The Project Gutenberg eBook of The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 — Volume 08 of 55

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Title: The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 — Volume 08 of 55

Commentator: Edward Gaylord Bourne

Editor: Emma Helen Blair

James Alexander Robertson

Release date: October 14, 2004 [eBook #13742]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Jeroen Hellingman and the PG Distributed Proofreaders Team


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 VIII, 1591–1593

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

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Contents of Volume VIII

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In this volume are recorded the more important events in the history of the Philippine colony during the years 1591–92. The dissensions between the secular and the ecclesiastical authorities continue, though the governor asks, in various important public affairs, the advice of the religious orders, and in view of a threatened invasion by the Japanese, appeals to the ecclesiastics to cease their opposition to his measures, and aid his efforts to save the colony. Dasmariñas does all in his power for its defense and increase; but the unfriendly attitude of the ecclesiastics, the restrictions laid on commerce, the poverty of the public treasury, and the greed of officials and other influential residents, all greatly hinder and embarrass his efforts. A papal decree orders the Indian slaves in the islands to be freed. Explorations are made in northern Luzón, opening up a rich and important region; and the conquest of Mindanao is undertaken. The Chinese trade continues to call for special measures: the Spanish residents of the islands ask for permission from the home government to trade with the Portuguese colony of Macao; and, in order to encourage the Indians to keep up their native industries, they are forbidden to wear Chinese stuffs. A revolt of the Zambales and Negritos of Page 5western Luzón is quelled, and the surviving insurgents are dispersed or enslaved. The emperor of Japan demands from the Spaniards of the islands tribute and homage, which excites in their minds apprehensions of coming war.

The document of 1591 relating to the collection of tributes in the islands, begun in Vol. VII, is here concluded. The bishop asks the governor to let him know his decision regarding such collection; the latter replies (February 8) that he cannot make any change in present conditions without further orders from the king; and issues (February 28) a decree regulating the collection of tributes. A dispute between the bishop and the governor ensues, followed by letters (dated March 4–21) interchanged by them, which are an interesting revelation of the relations between the religious and secular authorities, and of the conflicting interests involved therein. The governor repels (March 8) the accusation that he has been the mouthpiece of others; defends the Jesuits from any suspicion of unfriendliness toward the bishop; and complains that he is still attacked in the pulpit. In another letter (dated March 19) Dasmariñas makes suggestions to the bishop regarding the best means of meeting the religious needs of the Indians with the small number of priests who can be thus employed. He denies that he has any partiality for the Augustinians over the other orders and makes various explanations regarding his attitude toward the orders. He then urges the bishop to follow his suggestions, and thus to fulfil his obvious and pressing duties—advising Salazar not to meddle with the encomenderos, and other matters which do not concern his office. Dasmariñas also complains Page 6that the bishop does not provide laymen to instruct the natives; that he allows the Indians to come to Manila too often with their complaints, and that there are irregularities in the appointment of clergymen to benefices. Salazar replies (March 21) to this epistle, manifesting little confidence in the promises made by the secular authorities, and calling for their fulfilment. The bishop complains of the wrongs that are being perpetrated, and of the curtailment of his own authority. He claims that he has the right to decide whether a religious order may take possession of a new field. He discusses the governor's suggestions regarding the provision of clergymen for various districts, and explains what he is willing to do. He objects to placing one friar alone in a village, and desires to leave the assignment of the friars' charge to their superiors—citing for this the arrangements already adopted in Mexico regarding this matter; he also objects to any interference with his priests by the governor, rebukes the latter for assuming to instruct his bishop in the episcopal duties, and asserts his own rights and privileges. Salazar declares that he cannot find suitable laymen to instruct the Indians, and that they come to him for help and counsel because the governor treats them so ungraciously. He no longer fills the office of “protector of the Indians,” for it has brought him only sorrow, and he cannot do for them what he desires.

A decree of Gregory XIV (dated April 18, 1591) requires restitution to the Indians for the losses caused to them in the conquest of the Philippines, according to the ability of the individual conquerors; and sets free all Indian slaves in the islands. Page 7On May 12 of that year are signed articles of contract for the conquest of Mindanao, a task which is undertaken by Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa (the same officer formerly sent thither by Sande). He is to establish at least one settlement there; and encomiendas are to be allotted, the most important being reserved for the crown, and one-third of the remainder for the conqueror. Certain documents dated between April 9 and May 20, 1591, relate to a municipal ordinance (March 30) forbidding the Indians to wear silks or other stuffs from China. Dasmariñas institutes an inquiry (April 9) into the results of this on the natives, and the possibility that the decree should be suspended in some cases. Ten witnesses, converted Indian chiefs, testify that the importation of Chinese goods has ruined the native industries, and demoralized the people; and that the ordinance should be enforced.

A document unsigned, but prepared by order of the governor (dated May 31, 1591), gives “a detailed account of the encomiendas in the Philippinas Islands,” royal and private, pacified and hostile, with and without instruction; the names of the encomenderos, and the number of the tributarios, religious ministers, and magistrates in each. At the beginning is given a description of the city of Manila, with the churches, public buildings, governmental and municipal offices, Parián, etc. There are some three thousand Chinese in the islands, two-thirds of whom live in the Parián, where they have two hundred shops. There are so many friars in Manila that some of them might well be sent to districts where ministers are lacking. At the end of the document is a brief summary of the above statistics. The Page 8writer concludes that the number of religious teachers ought to be at least doubled, and “even more, for when they arrive here, one-fourth of these will have died”—pathetic commentary on the hardships of a voyage across the Pacific.

At the end of his first year as governor, Dasmariñas writes (June 20, 1591) a report for that period. Delay in receiving the royal despatches before leaving Spain has prevented him from obtaining the money which he was to expend in building the Manila cathedral, and the amount raised for this purpose at Manila had been much lessened by poor management; but he has stopped the waste (mainly in large salaries), and is pushing the work as fast as he can. He has aided the hospitals, but they need much more help, for they are crowded with patients on account of the unhealthful climate. He complains that the bishop hinders his attempts to obtain a statement of accounts from the Franciscan friars in charge of the hospital for Indians; the king thereupon orders that this matter be officially investigated, and that the governor take possession of both hospitals in the name of his Majesty. Dasmariñas recommends that more ministers of religion be furnished for the Indians, and sends an exact statement of the encomiendas and their religious needs (the document preceding this). He places before the king the problem of collecting the tributes, which he has recently been discussing with the clergy and friars; summarizes the position of the latter thereon, and his own arguments with the bishop; and complains that the latter is arrogant and self-willed. Another letter of the same date reports his measures for fortifying the city; he imposes a tax of two per cent Page 9on all shipments of goods from the islands. The bishop opposes this measure, as do the members of the late Audiencia, apparently because it touches their personal interests too closely.

In the summer of the same year, the citizens of Manila ask that they may be allowed to trade with the inhabitants of Macao, the Portuguese settlement in China. Dasmariñas orders an inquiry to be made into this matter, and has various witnesses examined. This is done according to a detailed interrogatory—the witnesses testifying that the Portuguese of Macao trade with the Philippine Islands, with much profit and advantage; that the trade of Macao is rapidly increasing in extent and range, and yet does not notably decrease the abundance of goods to be had at that port; that, if the Spaniards trade there, it will be much easier to introduce the gospel into China; that hitherto no trading ships have gone from the Philippines to India; that trade with Macao will enrich the islands; that the Portuguese at Macao have plundered a ship sent thither by Dasmariñas; and that the Chinese desire the trade of the Spaniards. To this are appended various declarations and decrees which bear upon the question discussed; and, finally, the recommendation of Dasmariñas that the king permit trade between the islands and Macao.

Hostilities arising with the Zambales of Luzón, the governor calls upon the religious orders for their opinion regarding the justice of waging war against these Indians. The Augustinians make a long and elaborate response; they state three conditions as necessary to make a war righteous—that he who begins it must have authority, just cause, and righteous intention. These are explained in detail, as general Page 10precepts, and then applied to the question now before them—all fortified by citations from doctors of law and theology, and from the Bible. Their conclusion is that war may be justly waged against the Zambales. They also lay down the rules which should, ex jure gentium, be followed in the conduct of such war; and end by recommending that the Zambales, when conquered, should be transplanted to some other district, and remodeled into an agricultural people. This document is presented in full, as a curious and interesting example of the reasoning employed by churchmen of that time in settling questions of public concern, and of the opinions then current regarding the laws of war. The Dominicans mention the evil practice of head-hunting among the hostile tribes, and declare that the latter have no right to attack, as they have done, the peaceable tribes; on the contrary these latter have just cause for war on the Zambales and Negrillos. To them the question is, whether it is, in the circumstances, expedient and necessary for the Spaniards to attack these ferocious peoples. The fathers consider this war as justifiable; the enemy should be destroyed, and all who are taken captive should be enslaved for a specified time. The Jesuits consider that the first step is to ascertain who are guilty of inciting the outrages which the Zambales have committed against both the Spaniards and their Indian allies—whether all of that people, or only a few; whether their chiefs, or certain lawless individuals. When this shall be known, then the guilty, and they only should be punished. If the tribe as a whole, or their chiefs, are responsible, war against them is justifiable; but it should be waged with all possible mercy Page 11and moderation. These fathers also recommend a limited period of enslavement for captives; and that the women and children of the conquered people shall be removed from their country and dispersed elsewhere in small bands—a proceeding from which “they will receive much benefit, both spiritual and corporal.” But they protest against mutilation, except for those who shall commit individual crimes. The Franciscan guardian renders a short opinion, to the effect that malefactors should be punished, and highways made safe for the Indian allies. If war be necessary to accomplish this, then war is justifiable; but therein the innocent should be spared.

A letter of congratulation to the bishop, clergy, and people of the Philippines is sent (March 25, 1592) by Clement VIII. On May 31, Governor Dasmariñas writes to the king. He states that he has received no letter from his Majesty since he arrived in the islands, and fears that his own to Spain may be lost. The islands are generally in a prosperous condition; trade is flourishing, the religious orders are at peace, “and, aside from the bishop, everything is quite as it should be.” The cathedral church is complete; the seminary for girls is established, and some of its inmates have been married, and a new house is being erected for its use. The new fort is well under way, and some artillery has been mounted in it. New galleys have been built, which are manned by Zambale slaves captured in war. All trading is now done by the royal ships, which is much less expensive and more satisfactory. Dasmariñas recommends that private shippers be charged a moderate rate on tonnage. The Zambales have been reduced to subjection, their country devastated, and Page 12the survivors dispersed in various new settlements. New explorations have been made in the interior of Luzón; one, which seemed important, had to be abandoned on account of sickness among the troops; half the Spanish soldiers have died. The country is in danger of attack by the Japanese, and needs prompt and effective succor; he asks that the troops be sent from Castilla, “and not Creoles or exiles from Mexico.” The governor is trying to secure quicksilver, on which the Chinese have given him prices. With this letter he sends a set of rules for the hospital.

A brief account of the expedition to Tuy is furnished (June 1, 1592) by Luis Perez, son of Dasmariñas. He has easily pacified the natives, who are a superior race; and expects to establish a Spanish settlement there, another year. The governor writes (June 6) to the king to make certain explanations about his relations with Pedro de Rojas, his legal counselor. The letter is conceited and self-willed, prejudiced and overbearing. Dasmariñas complains that Rojas and other late auditors have been greedy of gain in the foreign trade, and have opposed the governor's efforts to raise funds for necessary expenses. The latter has ascertained what their business dealings are, of which he has sent reports to Spain. He recommends that Rojas be transferred to some other country, preferably not Mexico. (An endorsement on the MS. states that Rojas has been given an appointment in Mexico.) At the end is the “register of merchandise carried in the ship 'Sant Felippe';” all the consignors are ecclesiastics, or officials of the Audiencia. In another letter (June 11) Dasmariñas informs the king of a recent embassy sent Page 13to him by a king in Japan, and sends to him translated copies of the letters which they bring, which demand from the Spaniards subjection and tribute, to be rendered to him. In this emergency, they are endeavoring to prepare for possible hostilities and Dasmariñas asks that the Mexican government be commanded to furnish troops and supplies to the Philippines. The letter of the Japanese ruler (written in 1591) demands, with much arrogance, that the Spaniards render him allegiance and tribute. Dasmariñas replies cautiously, alleging that he does not understand the Japanese language, and fears that the envoy is making false representations; he accordingly sends an envoy (Father Juan Cobo) to carry this letter, with a present, to the king of Japan.

Another Letter to Felipe (June 20, 1592) recounts the difficulties which Dasmariñas had to encounter upon arriving in the Philippines. He is disgusted with the exorbitant claims made by the soldiers for rewards due them for their services. He finds no ships or supplies, and no place where the latter could be kept. He is building storehouses, and collecting what supplies he can find. He has built such fortifications as his means permitted; for this he has levied various duties and contributions. He has incurred the enmity of the bishop and friars. The royal exchequer is empty, but heavily loaded with debts—a legacy from the Audiencia. The governor objects to the Chinese trade, and thinks that the natives of the islands should be induced to raise and weave their own cotton. He has issued a decree forbidding the Chinese traders to remain in the islands; this is violently opposed by the clergy and friars. Dasmariñas warns the king that this measure will decrease the Page 14royal income. The bishop intends to go to Spain, and is trying to make trouble for the governor. Another letter of the same date is devoted to an account of his difficulties with the ecclesiastics. He complains of their arbitrary and tyrannical conduct, and of the bishop's headstrong and obstinate disposition, and his interference with the conduct of secular affairs. Both he and the friars have so used their power over the Indians that the latter “recognize no other king or superior than the father of the doctrina, and are more attentive to his commands than to those of the governor.” Dasmariñas accuses them of practically enslaving the natives for their own service and benefit; and the bishop of taking for his personal use the money entrusted to him for restitutions to the Indians. The clergy “are all better merchants than students of Latin.” The governor thinks that it will be best to send the bishop to Spain. In another letter (July 9), he complains of the evils arising from the unregulated marriages of the widows and minor heirs who have inherited encomiendas, and suggests that he be empowered to control such marriages.

Two papers unsigned and undated, but evidently emanating from the governor, contain suggestions for precautions to be taken by the Spaniards in view of the threatened hostilities by the Japanese. These suggestions are submitted to a council of war and to the religious houses, respectively. Among the former are the expulsion of Japanese and Chinese traders from Manila; the accumulation of provisions; agreement that no one will, if captured, accept ransom; and establishment of a refuge in the hills near Manila for the women, children, and sick. The religious are asked to give their opinion on certain Page 15points: whether it would not be well to take from the Indians their gold, as a pledge for their good behavior in the event of hostilities; to induce the Christianized natives to remove inland to more secure locations, there to produce rice and other supplies; to seize the property of the Chinese and place it in the warehouses of the city, and break up the Parián; and to oblige the encomenderos to store in the city the provisions which they collect as tributes. Another communication from the governor is addressed to the ecclesiastics. He reminds them of their persistent opposition to his measures, but urges them, in view of the common danger that threatens the colony, to unite with him in efforts to repel it and to save the country.

A letter from Felipe to Dasmariñas (January 17, 1593) commends the governor's faithfulness and care in his office, and replies to various suggestions made in his dispatches. Dasmariñas is to take possession of the hospitals for the king, restrain the assumption of authority by the bishop, and not allow him to meddle with the payment of salaries to the priests. The religious orders are not to interfere with civil affairs. Dasmariñas shall appoint, in place of the bishop, a protector of the Indians. All the tributes are to be increased by two reals; and the royal fifth shall be exacted as soon as practicable. The soldiers are not to be allowed to trade, beyond the amount of a few hundred pesos; the governor may, at his discretion, permit some to return to Nueva España. The removal of the Chinese traders from Manila is left to the governor's judgment. Workmen in the islands are to be paid there, from the royal treasury. The duties levied by Dasmariñas are approved and continued. Page 16With this letter go two decrees; one (dated on the same day) ordains that suits involving one thousand ducados or less may be concluded in the court of the islands, and those for larger sums may be appealed to the Audiencia of Mexico. The other (dated February 11) restricts the trade with China to the inhabitants of the Philippines, and forbids those of the American colonies (except those of Nueva España) to trade, not only with China, but even with the Philippines.

The Editors October, 1903.

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Documents of 1591

Sources: All but two of these documents are obtained from original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla. The papal decree is found in Hernaez's Colección de bulas, i, p. 108; the account of encomiendas is taken from Retana's Archivo del bibliófilo filipino, iv, pp. 41–111.

Translations: Such part of the first document as appears in this volume is translated by Norman F. Hall; the second is by Rev. T. C. Middleton, O.S.A., of Villanova College; the third and fifth, by James A. Robertson; the fourth, by Herman G. A. Brauer, of the University of Wisconsin; the sixth, by José M. and Clara M. Asensio; the seventh, by Henry B. Lathrop, of the University of Wisconsin; the eighth, by Alfonso de Salvio, of Harvard University. Page 18

The Collection of Tributes in the Filipinas Islands (concluded)

Letter from the Bishop to the Governor


Inasmuch as your Lordship wrote to me at San Francisco del Monte that the encomenderos were urgently seeking from you permission to make collections from their encomiendas, I despatched to you from that place an answer to the letter which your Lordship wrote to me after having received my statement and that of the other theologians of the bishopric who think carefully about this matter. I had therein represented to your Lordship some of the difficulties which might result from carrying into execution some of the plans proposed in the aforesaid statement. In the reply, I solved these difficulties; and have since been waiting to learn what your Lordship has communicated to the encomenderos regarding collections in the encomiendas which are without religious instruction. Since I must inform all confessors who are outside the city how they are to deal in the confessional with the aforesaid encomenderos, I pray your Lordship to favor me by advising me of your transactions with these encomenderos, so that we may all be of one mind, express ourselves in harmony, Page 19and avoid dissensions among ourselves, which are wont to be the cause of many evils. It is necessary that your Lordship should inform me promptly; for messages must be sent to some districts remote from here, and, if I do not write at once, I shall be unable to send word to the confessors in time. May God guard your Lordship. From this house, on Ash Wednesday of the year 91.

The Bishop

Reply by the Governor

Yesterday I received a letter from your Lordship in which you request me to inform you what resolutions and plans I have adopted in the matter of collecting the tributes. I reply that besides the former statements and conclusions which your Lordship has written on this subject in such learned fashion, I have read also the last decision and statement thereon which your Lordship sent me in reply to my letter to you on this subject. I answer that all this comes as from your most reverend hand, and is most holy and excellent. But on account of those very obstacles which I represented to you, which every day are constraining me more and more, I dare not undertake any innovation, or put into execution a doctrine which will expose all our affairs to such risk.

The point on which your Lordship and I most differ is concerning the pacified encomiendas which possess justice and religious instruction; and in those also pacified which enjoy justice, but are without religious instruction. The king grants to neither your Lordship nor myself authority to deal with these encomiendas, nor in his instructions does his Majesty mention or raise any doubt in regard to them; he discusses Page 20only those which are disaffected, or were never pacified. Consequently, the other encomiendas must remain in their present condition, without making any changes, until such time as his Majesty shall make other provisions. I therefore state that my opinion and final decision is that which your Lordship may see in this document. I trust that your Lordship will strive to conform thereto; if you cannot, please give an account of your opinion of it to his Majesty, so that he may declare what action we are to take. In the meantime, I shall order the encomenderos and the collectors to act in accordance with my decision; and I have no more to say on this matter, and shall make no changes. As far as I am concerned, this discussion is closed for the present, and settled until I shall receive further orders from my king; for this decision is what I consider best for his royal service. From the office, February 8, 1591.

[Salazar writes a short letter (dated Feb. 14) to Dasmariñas, urging him to adopt the measures proposed by the clergy; but, as it contains no new information, we do not present it here.]

Order Issued by the Governor for Collection of the Tributes

I, Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, governor and captain-general of these Islas Philipinas for the king our lord: Inasmuch as I am notified, by the decrees and instructions of his Majesty, wherein he commands and charges me to exert myself to check the excesses and lawless acts which are prevalent in the collection of the tributes in the encomiendas belonging to his Majesty, as well as those of the other encomenderos, Page 21I have looked into this matter; and, with all the care and attention I could give, I have consulted and conferred as to the best order and method that should be employed in the aforesaid collections, in order that God and the king, our lord, may be served. Therefore, in order that the Indians may not be annoyed or aforesaid excesses—it is fitting that the procedure is not due them, to put an end to the evils and wrongs which have existed in this business, and to check the aforesaid excesses—it is fitting that the procedure which is to be henceforth followed be understood and established. Accordingly, by this present I do order and command that in the collection of tributes, not only in the encomiendas of the king but in all others, the following rules and conditions shall be observed:

First: In the encomiendas of his Majesty as well as in those of private persons, where they have Christian instruction and the administration of secular justice for the maintenance of law and order, the entire tribute levied may be collected from the natives; and the encomendero is bound, with that part of the tribute which falls to him, to aid in the support of the minister or ministers of religion who belong to his encomienda. The said tribute shall be collected in its entirety in the aforesaid encomiendas where justice and religious instruction exist, and equally from all the Indians therein, whether believers or unbelievers. I also order all encomenderos who are or shall be appointed in the encomiendas, to provide with the utmost punctuality and promptness, each in his own encomienda, that part of the tribute which is due from them for the maintenance of religious teaching, churches, and all other purposes of religion, under penalty of being deprived of their encomiendas; and Page 22the collectors, under the penalties hereinafter written, which will be most vigorously executed.

Item: In those encomiendas where justice is administered, but where, through lack of ministers, there is no religious instruction, the tribute shall be collected, reserving that part which would be due to the minister, if they had one—namely, a fourth part of the tax, a little more or less, which part shall be left and freely surrendered to the Indians.

Item: In those encomiendas which, on account of their remoteness, have neither justice nor religious instruction, no tribute shall be collected until such time as God shall order the affairs of these islands; and his Majesty, informed of their condition, shall make other provisions, in order that he may be better served.

Item: The same is decreed for those encomiendas which are disaffected or have never been pacified. No collection shall be made in this case except from those encomiendas which, having once been pacified, and having rendered obedience to his Majesty, shall without any just cause rise in rebellion. From those encomiendas may be taken such part of the tribute as can conveniently be collected, for their preservation and by way of recognition; and whatever small portion his Majesty may order, and what the lord bishop cites, may be collected.

And since, according to the above, no tribute is to be levied where there is no justice, occasion is offered for many parts of these islands—which, on account of their great distance, are beyond its reach—to become turbulent and rebellious as soon as they realize that they are released from tribute which is now collected from them. Most pernicious consequences [would Page 23follow (?) —illegible in MS.] and many other districts would be disloyal and rebellious; and it would be necessary, when they should have sufficient religious instruction, to go back and win them and [illegible in MS.] anew. Assiduous efforts shall be made to provide, as quickly as possible, justice in the aforesaid encomiendas. Where it is now lacking, I charge the encomenderos to inform me of such districts and territories, with their topography and location; also of the number of those who pay tributes, so that I may appoint accordingly, in each encomienda, an alcalde-mayor, or a deputy, or others, if necessary, who may be suitable persons for such offices. They will have salaries sufficiently large to enable them to administer justice to the natives, protecting and defending them against anyone who would injure them, and maintaining such intercourse and friendship with them as will incline them to receive religious instruction when they shall have it. Thus in all the encomiendas which have this justice and preparation, as soon as it is known what benefits are conferred upon the natives by those ministers of justice, in influencing and governing them, as above stated, authority will be given to the encomenderos to collect the three-fourths of the tribute, as I have said. But in the meantime, none of it shall be imposed or levied; and as soon as justice is established, efforts shall also be made, until religious ministers shall come, to employ a layman or laymen of virtuous life and example, in order to instruct the natives, to the best of their ability, in the things of our holy faith; and such persons shall receive some benefice, in accordance with the royal right of presentation.

The encomenderos shall fulfil and observe all the Page 24aforesaid orders, under penalty of being deprived of their encomiendas. In encomiendas belonging to his Majesty, and in those of other and private persons when the encomenderos shall—by order, or through any other lawful impediment—be prevented from making the collections personally, in case these collectors should exceed just bounds they shall be fined five hundred pesos for his Majesty's treasury, and half the expenses of any war thus caused. In addition, they shall make good any losses caused by them to the said Indians, and shall pay all costs. The aforesaid persons are likewise ordered to make the collections with all possible gentleness and equity, observing the other instructions of his Majesty concerning the manner of collecting tributes. The Indians shall pay in kind, or in such articles as they prefer to give. I also order that an authorized copy of this my decree be furnished to each and every one of the encomenderos or collectors who shall engage in the aforesaid collections. This decree I order and command to be observed, fulfilled, and executed, under the penalties above stated, for the present and until such time as his Majesty, when well informed of the present state of affairs in this land, which has been mentioned above, shall make suitable provisions in these and all other matters, according to his pleasure. Upon the first occasion that offers itself there shall be sent on my part and that of the encomenderos of this commonwealth, to his Majesty, a detailed and careful account of what is here decreed and ordered, as well as what the lord bishop suggests and advises; so that his Majesty, having examined both sides of this question, may make such provisions and so direct our course that God and his Majesty may be best served, and all may have the Page 25same object. Done in Manila, on the twenty-eighth of February in the year 1591.

Letter from the Bishop to the Governor

[Evidently as the result of a dispute between these two dignitaries, Salazar writes (March 4) a letter to Dasmariñas, deprecating any hostility between them, defending his own position, ascribing the differences between them to intermeddlers, and prophesying evil to the country if Dasmariñas maintains his present purposes in regard to the tributes. He criticizes the governor's decree in various points—the permission to collect three-fourths of the amount levied; the appointment of more officials (in most of whom the bishop has no confidence); and the importance attached therein to the administration of justice in the encomiendas, as compared with the provision of religious instruction.]

Since your Lordship cares so little for these arguments, know that the reason which induced his Majesty to command that in Nueva España there should be no fiscals was, that they wrought injury to the Indians; ... and yet he had not so much certainty of the evil deeds committed by the fiscals as he has of those done by the alcaldes-mayor and the deputies. ... Among other decrees which, I am told, Doctor Vera brought when he came here as president of this Audiencia, is one commanding him to be very cautious in creating alcaldes-mayor, on account of the injury thus occasioned to the country. ... You say that you do not dare to make changes, lest the encomenderos abandon their encomiendas, or become disaffected; and yet you know that all the inhabitants of these islands, whether or not they possess encomiendas, Page 26have been and now are faithful and loyal vassals to their king; and that nothing which could occur, even to the injury of their property or lives, would prevent them from rendering obedience to his Majesty's commands. This is one of the things in which the inhabitants of these islands can take most pride, and his Majesty should most highly value them, on account of the fidelity with which they have served him, at the cost of their lives and possessions. [The king confers the encomiendas upon certain persons, who thus assume obligations to the Indians; that they may fulfil these, he orders them to collect the tributes. Accordingly, the alcaldes-mayor do not appear in the king's provisions regarding this matter, and Salazar questions the governor's right to appoint them.] Neither the king of Castilla nor his ministers can exercise, in regard to the Indians, more authority than what the church confers upon them; and the church has not over the infidels as much authority as some who think otherwise have given your Lordship to understand. ... The church did not grant'lordship over the Indians to the kings of Castilla with the principal object of establishing justice among them, but did so in order that they should furnish to the natives religious instruction—which always, and in every instance, can and ought to be given them. [No tribute should be imposed upon the Indians unless religious instruction is given to them; and to allow them the fourth part of the tax is not to benefit their souls. The bishop insists that the governor is responsible for taking such measures as shall remedy the present abuses, and urges him to accept the plan proposed by the clergy.] If your Lordship, after reading what I here state, shall decide to pursue and carry Page 27into execution the opinion and resolution which you have communicated to me, I cannot, without violating the obligations of my office, decline to release the consciences of those whom I have in charge. From this your Lordship's house, on the fourth of March of the year 1591.

Fray Domingo, Bishop of the Filipinas.

Letter from the Governor to the Bishop

[Two days later (March 6) Dasmariñas answers, at considerable length, the letter written by the bishop. He adopts a conciliatory tone, disclaiming any intention to be arbitrary, unfair, or unfriendly. He explains his position in regard to the collection of tributes, saying that the plan laid down in his recent decree is but temporary, awaiting only the provision by the king of a sufficient number of religious teachers. He reminds Salazar that encomiendas and tributes were established in the land as soon as the Spaniards had obtained a foothold there, when only some half-score priests were to be had. Religious instruction is the chief but not the only reason for collecting tributes; and, until it shall be adequately provided, it is but reasonable to collect for the benefit of justice bestowed upon the Indians. The tax also is very moderate; “since an Indian pays here one peso, while in Nueva España he pays three or four pesos, by way of tribute.”] The advantages resulting to the Indians are not so small as your Lordship thinks. If we had no other example of this, the one which is afforded by the province of Pintados would be sufficiently convincing—seeing that, before the Spaniards came to these islands, and even after they came, the inhabitants voyaged from one island to another Page 28with many boats, assaulting, plundering, and murdering one another, not only in their fleets by sea, but in armed bands on the land. It was only after they had intercourse and communication with the Spaniards—although they had no religious instruction, and in most regions no justice—that factions, and raids, and assaults have ceased among them. This is no insignificant gain, to say nothing of many others, which, as I have said, result from the establishment of justice, in their better government, order, and preparation for receiving religious instruction, which is our principal object. Dasmariñas admits that religion is more important than justice; but the latter is so much more expensive that it justifies the appropriation of a larger share of the revenues; moreover, the encomendero should be allowed enough for his support, and for that of his family and the soldiers whom he must support (usually eight or ten in number). A parallel case is seen in the relative positions of himself and the bishop; the latter's office is certainly a higher dignity, and of greater importance, yet he receives but two thousand (pesos?), while the governor has twelve thousand; but the latter is thus remunerated because he incurs much greater expense. The governor claims that his instructions command him to consult the bishop only in reference to affairs in the districts which are mutinous, or have never been pacified; and cites the instructions further to show that he is justified in collecting tributes where religious instruction is not given, and that the bishop's privileges in the conduct of affairs are only advisory, not authoritative. Moreover, the opinions which the religious orders have furnished to him show that they disagree with the Page 29bishop in many important particulars—not to mention that the bishop and the religious superiors signed their approval of his plan in this matter, soon after his arrival. Dasmariñas has already compelled the encomenderos to refrain from collecting the fourth part of the tax when they do not provide the Indians with religious instruction—a reform which had never been secured until he made it. He advises the bishop to institute another reform by insisting that the encomenderos shall not collect any tributes until they shall have provided for the Indians both religion and justice.

I do not understand how it can seem to your Lordship that to provide the land with justice is to bring about its destruction. Your Lordship has, indeed, told me that, when the alcalde-mayor is what he should be, he better edifies and preaches than any minister of religion whatever. Thus far, I have not found any of these officials who are bad, except those of whom your Lordship has made some complaints to me, and whose evil-doing is proved by naught else than the opinion of your Lordship.

It seems to your Lordship that I wish to appoint too large a number of these alcaldes-mayor; but one day your Lordship asked me to appoint some of them. Since I have come to this land, I have established a new administration of justice in the island of Masbate; and good results which have followed, can be stated by the father custodian, who arrived yesterday from that island, and is well acquainted with the excellent result there. Hitherto, tribute has been collected there in the absence of every form of religious teaching, or administration of justice; but now, only from their intercourse and relations with the Page 30Spaniards and from having justice established at once among them, they have already made such progress that they demand a minister, and even the blacks have come down from the interior to settle near us.

[The governor reminds the bishop that the progress of religion among the heathen must depend upon the foundation established for that good work by secular government; and that if this be not maintained the land will relapse into barbarism, and the Spaniards will be compelled to abandon what they have begun to build in the islands.] Your Lordship should make some estimate of the damage which would result therefrom to the king our lord and his royal treasury; for according to that his Majesty would have to find one hundred and fifty thousand pesos and more with which to make restitution, to say nothing of thirty thousand of income which he would lose; for all the encomiendas are his. These islands would be left without one soldier, and your Lordship and the religious would alone remain; but within eight days there would be none of you left. Your Lordship may be sure of one thing: until I receive express orders from my king to do so, I can make no change whatever in regard to the encomiendas, by reducing or cutting off their income. It is twenty-six years since they were first instituted, and during twelve years your Lordship has known that they were in this condition; and yet you have until now maintained silence. [The governor again declares that he will not change his attitude; and that he has no right to interfere between the king and the encomenderos. It is his business to establish justice, and the encomenderos are bound to provide instruction; but they must have the means to do so.] Your Page 31Lordship does not provide religious to minister to the Indians, because you have none; but you have never been willing to give these good Christian laymen whom I have mentioned permission to go among them meanwhile to do this good work, although the encomenderos have many times asked for them, both since and before I came here. But your Lordship replies that you are not willing that any layman should teach them to make the sign of the cross; accordingly nothing is done for them. [The governor justifies some minor provisions of his decree, on a basis practically the same as has already been set forth; and, in his turn, cites various learned theologians. He requests the bishop to prevent the clergy from discussing this subject in their pulpits, as they have often done, which is not fitting to the uses of a house dedicated to God.]

Letter from Salazar to Dasmariñas

[The bishop replies (March 8) to the foregoing letter, which he accuses of being inspired by others than the governor—presumably by the Jesuits, since the name of Joseph de Acosta rouses Salazar to anger; he declares that “the doctrine contained in that book1 is exceedingly pernicious, and erroneous in regard to the Indias,” and warns the governor that under their guidance he will infallibly plunge into many errors. The land will go to ruin, and the governor and his advisers will be responsible therefor. He defends himself against what he considers unjust Page 32aspersions on his character, and remonstrates against the governor's neglect of his counsels. He promises to put a stop to the preaching by his clergy on public matters. The salary due him is greatly in arrears, which has caused him much privation; but he does not wish to receive it if it shall proceed from unjust collection of the tributes.]

Letter from Dasmariñas to Salazar

I have received your Lordship's letter dated today. When your Lordship says that, with the great number of opinions I am trying to weaken yours, I can only reply that my intention certainly has not been such, but to tell your Lordship with all plainness and truth the state of the case—which is that I have learned whether this is the general sentiment of the theologians of this bishopric, as your Lordship said it was in your conclusions. Even if it were so, I could not do more than leave it in the same state in which it was, and report it to his Majesty. But, my lord, if I find some other expression of opinion in clinging to the majority, I do not think that I am mistaken in it; and to this end alone I wrote to your Lordship—certainly not that you should be troubled by what did not come into my thought. Still less would I have you think that I made use of anyone in writing the letter which I sent to your Lordship last night, for I certify, upon the life of my son Luis, that (although that letter seems to your Grace to be a large harvest from my little stock) there is not in it one word by another person, save what suggested itself to me from my own papers and discourses; for all that I wrote there I have told you already at various times, except those quotations from authors and Page 33from the Council of Lima. Those I asked to be given to me, from memory, by the person who mentioned them to me as authority for what he stated and thought; and I quoted them there that your Lordship might see that I had not made up my mind without foundation. All this I had need of in order to justify myself in your eyes, for it seems to you that I could not reply without the help of assistants; but thus far neither my king nor his advisers have noticed in me such a deficiency as that. On another occasion your Lordship told me, in Saint Agustin,2 that I had read Father Acosta, although I have never in my life seen his book; and when your Lordship says that his doctrine is very pernicious, I have nothing to reply but that no book is written by any father of the Society which is not very carefully looked over and examined and approved by all the members. But before God, and in the name of the holy season [Lent] in which we are, I protest to your Lordship that all these fathers have not erred toward your Lordship in anything except that, at my request, they said what they felt. They are very devoted to you; and if there is in my letter anything worthy of blame, the fault is mine. I say this that your Lordship may not lay it upon anyone to whom it does not belong. Nor am I so fond of the far-fetched reasonings of others that in order to write a letter I need to use anything but the argument which the subject itself and its accompanying circumstances carry with them. And one occurs to me now, which is that matter of having laymen, for lack of religious ministers, look after and bring together the Indians and instruct them in our holy faith. This, I say, is in conformity with the Page 34royal right of appointment, where the king expressly orders it; and although your Lordship says that it is not to be believed that the king with so much risk should have put into my hands alone so important a business, I am satisfied with myself and I think that his Majesty is. For any business which is not of my profession I shall not direct by my own judgment; in this matter, accordingly, I consulted with those whose business it was, and I pray your Lordship to tell me if I did wrong in this. Your Grace says that I am new in the islands, and unlettered; and on the other hand you say that those with whom I have consulted are misleading me and are mistaken. I do not know then what recourse your Lordship leaves for me to find it out, if, as you say, I am a new arrival, and not a theologian, and you take away from me the recourse to the experienced and the theologians. Now since enough has been written and answered about this, I beg of your Lordship not to weary yourself with answering this letter, which is written only not to leave yours without reply. At least do not answer until the treatise is finished which you say you are composing, in which may it please the divine goodness to give your Lordship so much light that his Majesty, seeing it, may confirm it and approve it as a thing from your hand—with the result that all may be of one opinion in this island, and that all the service of God may be set in order and freed from difficulties, and that these divisions and encounters may cease; for I assure your Lordship that in many ways the state is very much scandalized, and that that matter is ill carried out which you said would be improved concerning the pulpits, for this affair was discussed with no little liberty in that Page 35place today. May our Lord keep your Lordship. From the office, March 8, 1591.

Letter from the Governor to the Bishop

As your Lordship was absent from this city, and many things presented themselves to me which were important to the service of God and of his Majesty, and needed remedy, it seemed to me that in order to provide for them it would be best for me to represent them to your Lordship in this letter; and I beg of you to see to them in order that they may be provided for and adjusted as may be most fitting and may best serve our Lord.

The preaching of the gospel is the matter in which we serve God most in these regions to which it came so late; and this is the first intention of his Holiness and of his Majesty, and it is the principal care which your Lordship and all of us who have come here must have. Yet, although this is so, there is nothing which needs more to be provided for and set right than this, on account of the lack which there is of ministers, whether clergy or religious, to do this work. For although his Majesty in his holy zeal has sent so many and continues to send them, there is need of a great many more, considering the many regions which we must reach. So we must not only make all possible efforts to have a sufficient number of ministers come, but must try to find means to distribute in so wide a field the force that we have here, endeavoring with all equality to arrange and stretch the line as much as possible, that there may not be an over-abundance in some parts and a distinct lack in others; but rather we should act as one who has Page 36much to cover and but little cloth, who plies the shears with no little prudence, being watchful in marking his outline to see how it can reach here and there. This may cause some inconvenience to the religious themselves, for it comes to this [illegible in MS.] since we have not the fulness and abundance that there is in España. I have already asked this from your Lordship at other times, as being one who was under such obligations to set about it, as well for the good of the souls as for the temporal good of the king and of his encomenderos, by selecting and distributing ministers in order that thus religious instruction may be communicated and spread. For this the following [illegible in MS.] plans occur to me, if they seem suitable to your Lordship.

The new settlement of La Hermita and Malate may be all one administration. Paranaque and Cavite at least can be another; and, by establishing a house for religious at Cavite, Paranaque and the tingues [“hills”] may be administered by visit, and also the lowlands of Tuley and Limbo. In this way there will remain three clergymen who can minister elsewhere, because [illegible in MS.] which is a great burden. The Augustinian fathers are able to give enough instruction to [meet (?) - illegible in MS.] their obligation; and they will accept it and take charge of it without any more alms being given them. I would save up what is given there, in order to bestow it somewhere else; for there are so many places where there is need of it. Moreover, two religious could be taken from Vatan, because there are four there, and two are sufficient, and there are not enough alms given for more. Furthermore, Father Leon is a very good speaker; and the dean, as he Page 37wishes to advance him, can employ him in the ministry.

The king's villages in Ylocos are for the most part without religious instruction; and the Augustinian fathers say that it should be given to some of them because, as they are new Christians, they do not confess yet. Thus, if the convents were near, a few might remain alone until there should be plenty of ministers; since now all that they can do is to baptize them and prepare them for subsequent confession. It would not be unsuitable that, for the present, while there is no greater supply of ministers, one friar should be alone in a house, since one clergyman is also alone, and is entrusted with the care of a greater number of souls. Moreover, Father Carvajal is a good interpreter and could be of use. I beg of your Lordship to insist that the clergymen who are ministers of religious instruction should not come and go so many times to Manila—not only on account of the offenses which they commit, of which there always are some (as your Lordship might ascertain if you wished to), but also that they may not impose such burdens on the Indians. This is as much as concerns the provision of ministers.

I propose the Augustinian fathers to your Lordship because they have a greater number of religious than the other orders have, and not because I have any partiality in regard to the orders, as your Lordship suspects. I do not know on what you found your suspicion unless it be on the advantages and benefits which have resulted to these fathers from my protection and favor, as your Lordship is accustomed to say, because you will not give any. I will tell you of several things in which, by my interfering Page 38and inclining to your side, they have lost what was due them; for in Cagayan I took away from them a resident's house which was worth one hundred and fifty pesos of rent to them; in Tondo, the lands to which the Indians laid claim; and the property in Laguio and Nuestra Señora de Guia, which was theirs. When they were saying mass in their house to the Indians, with considerable notoriety and scandal to them, and no little affliction to the fathers, they were ejected from the [illegible in MS.] at my instance; for I asked it, and chose to give them this punishment, in order to palliate their offense. Thereupon your Lordship [illegible in MS.] occasioned some disturbance to result. This is what I have done for this order, and the way in which I have favored them, which in truth I might have done in many things most deservedly, and very rightly and justly. But I protest before God that I neither have now nor have had any other consideration or regard in this or in anything else, except a desire that in some way or other so evident an obligation should be fulfilled, and that religious affairs should be settled as they ought, according to the adjustment and amendment which they themselves sought [illegible in MS.] In accomplishing this, let not your Lordship understand that the royal exchequer is to suffer, because [illegible in MS.] his royal intention is that there shall be no lack in this. Accordingly, we shall have recourse in other districts to the clergy whom I mentioned above as being at leisure, who will be occupied with their own support. The plans for this, as I say—taking away here, and replacing there, and distributing and selecting them in order that each one may receive a little—this is all matter for your Page 39Lordship and for the obligations of your office. It is much more your Lordship's duty that you should attend to this business than it is to prevent the king and his encomenderos from enjoying what in justice they ought to, because they do not give you ministers or because they have not them. Your Lordship can remedy and provide for this only in one of three ways—either as a protector of the Indians, or as bishop, or as one who has a special commission for it from his Majesty. As protector, what your Lordship can do is to bring suits in the courts (and, even then, not in all cases), and be satisfied with the decision; or else perform your own duties in the matter. As bishop, your Lordship is concerned with the collections of tribute, in that in confession you should deny absolution to anyone who confesses that he has not fulfilled well the charge of an estate. I do not know whether you, as bishop, can command the confessors that they all should refuse absolution in this or that case, provided the said confessors and your Lordship be of the same opinion and doctrine. As for special commission, I do not know if your Lordship have one, unless it be in the unruly and unpacified encomiendas. With this supposition there remains to your Lordship no other foundation on which to act. Neither does his Majesty commit it to you, nor do I find how your Lordship can be occupied in dealing with [illegible in MS.] more than to give your opinion on it; and here ends the prerogative which your Lordship can claim in this matter. You make strenuous efforts in what does not properly concern you, and fail to remedy what is most necessary and close to your office, which is what I mentioned above about religious instruction. I beg Page 40of your Lordship that, putting aside human considerations, you order that this be attended to, which the good of these souls demands with [illegible in MS.] necessity. Since in this way there are needs now, there will be at least many more. Meanwhile, until ministers are provided more liberally from Spain, let them all get along as best they can, and accommodate themselves, establishing houses wherever they wish to, and where no better opportunity is to be expected. God knows that this does not [illegible in MS.] your Lordship, because you interfere with my office. As far as this is concerned, if I could [illegible in MS.] with it and my commission, or even give it all to your Lordship, and perform my duty, [I would ask (?) —illegible in MS.] your Lordship to do it, if it were not for the obstacle which that would put in the way of the careful guidance and [illegible in MS.] who manage affairs.

Neither does your Lordship resolve to order that, on account of the great lack of religious ministers which exists, provision may be made in the encomiendas that laymen of good life and example may instruct the Indians, bringing them thus to a knowledge of the true God, as well as into friendship and intercourse with us. From this would result at least the favorable disposition which you wish them to have for the time when there may be religious instruction for them, as his Majesty orders in his charge regarding presentations. I have proposed this to your Lordship on several occasions, but you do not set about it or reply to it. Since your Lordship [knows(?) —illegible in MS.] what persons will be fitted for this ministry, I beg you to tell me of some who are suitable; for, as I am new here, am not as Page 41well able to [select them(?)—illegible in MS.] properly; and those whom I brought and know are occupied in other duties and neither [know(?)] the language nor are acquainted with the country.

The dependence which the Indians have upon your Lordship as one to shelter them and to defend them as bishop and father; and, beyond this, as protector, to try and relieve them and to negotiate with the person whom the king shall maintain here concerning all that shall be to their good, and to ward off all that would be grievous to them—all this is very just and proper in your Lordship, and very necessary to the Indians as poor, wretched beings. Although I have always told them to go to you or to the alcaldes-mayor, who would report their suits or troubles to your Lordship or to me, I did not, my Lord, intend to give them occasion that on pretext of this, or of protection, they should come with every childish trifle to Manila from their villages, perhaps very far away. And it is not two or four Indians who come, but often a whole village, with their women and children. But whether they come in small or in great numbers, they stay here, spending in petitions more than the thing which they are suing for is worth, while they are needed at home by their sowed fields, their plants, their young cattle, their wives, their children, their houses, and for their services to the community and the church and others. One might come on a business of importance, as I have ordered. Now your Lordship sees how annoying this is, and how you should wean them from repeating these comings and goings, in which they work their own harm and ruin themselves; and so, except in very important cases, their trouble and our time Page 42might be spared by preventing their coming and wasting time with their troublesome affairs.

The dignities, prebends, and canonries of your Lordship's cathedral you will fill the first time, according to the apostolic privilege which your Lordship holds, and then the king begins to present. I am very plain in this, for all I wish is to know what and how many have been filled by you and how many remain to be filled, in order that we may agree on this, as well as on provision for the beneficed curacies and the administration of religious instruction, which are assigned to the clergy. In these his Majesty always presents one of two whom you propose, according to his edicts. It will be well to know if the number is full or if there are some places to be filled, and if those which are filled are so with establishment in a parish and canonical installation by your Lordship, preceding presentation by his Majesty, or if they are, as I have heard of some, only in encomienda, accepted with your Lordship's consent; because in this way, by taking away one and placing another [illegible in MS.], and not in right of possession, the royal right of presentation is defrauded. I do not understand how it is that, when your Lordship had ordained Father Salinas under pretext of [giving him] the benefice of Catanduanes, it remained as it was, and he is serving in Valayan. I say all this only through desire that your Lordship may lose nothing of your rights, and that I may not give a bad account of what I am responsible for to his Majesty; and that affairs may be settled with the clearness and certainty which is desirable. I had other things to tell your Lordship, but they will wait for a better opportunity in order not to weary you; Page 43and if any doubt or difficulty arises between your Lordship and me concerning what has been said, there are learned men here who can easily solve it by examining it and discussing it, and by their decision and determination I will abide very willingly. Our Lord, etc. From this house of your Lordship, March 19, 1591.

Letter from Salazar to Dasmariñas


Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from your Lordship, and intended to begin a reply immediately; but there are so many occupations crowding upon me that they do not leave me time to take breath; and although I came out here to finish the little treatise which I had promised your Lordship, I see that neither here nor there have I opportunity to do anything.

I was much pleased with the earnest zeal which your Lordship showed in your letter, but you must know that as I am old and have seen so many things, I do not care very much for what I hear, but wait for what may be done; because laying down general rules and instructions for what is to be done is a very easy thing, but very hard to put into practice. Who doubts that the preaching of the gospel is the most important thing for which we have come here? but yet I see that this is the least object of solicitude; and, if you do not think so, look at the progress of the natives. I know very well that there is plenty of care about temporal things; and, as long as these present themselves, religious instruction is to cease—or the Indians must support it, even if they never understand it So we all say that the Gospel is the principal Page 44thing, but our works show what it is that we care most about. Ordinances, decrees, and provisions which speak in favor of it, we have in plenty; the fulfilment of them will come when there is nothing temporal to be looked after, which will be very late. If your Lordship does not think so, ask what is going on in the island of Panay. Of what do they take most account, of the galleys and ships which are being built there, or of the religious instruction which was to be preached there? Because I have seen with what dislike your Lordship hears of what is going on there, I have ceased to inform you of it—which I did, hoping that if you understood the situation, you would find means to improve it. Letters and messengers from there have told me things which are enough to break one's heart; but now I am hardening it, because I see that it is of no use for me to grieve over them. This I say in reply to the statement in the preface to your Lordship's letter, in which you say: “If they would allow me to be bishop, I would maintain better order in my bishopric than there is, and the natives would be much better instructed and not so harassed.” But where there are so many to order and so few to obey, he who leads this dance can ill guide it to the place where it ought to go. For this reason many things are going so far astray, and they will go astray as long as he who has care of everything does not have the authority which he ought to have. For how can I arrange for the religious instruction, or take away here or place there, if after I have ordered it someone says that he chooses not to abide by it, but to do what he thinks best? Allowing, in general, that in moral matters there is a little improvement, Page 45let us come to the particular point which your Lordship treats of in your letter. But, before considering it, I wish to warn your Lordship that concern for these things, and the arrangement of them, and deciding who is to be here and who is to be there, is my business—not only because it belongs to my office, but because his Majesty particularly committed and entrusted it to me, recommending me to do it in communication with your Lordship; but the execution of it he leaves to me, as by right is proper. I say this because I have heard that by virtue of some decree or other they are persuading your Lordship that religious can establish themselves without my consent in villages where they have never been. In this they are misleading your Lordship, and they themselves are mistaken; for that decree on the other side—which notifies the viceroy of Nueva España, which has never been used in this land, and which no governor has ever dared to use—is previous to the Council of Trent, after which it has no force, because in it the contrary [i.e., to the Council's decision] is decreed. So I beg of your Lordship, as I am in quiet and peaceful possession, that no house whatsoever be taken in my bishopric for religious without first seeking and obtaining my permission. It was some days ago that I found this out; but because your Lordship told me that you did not believe what they said to you, I did not pay any attention to it until I learned, yesterday, that the provincial of San Augustin says that, by decrees which they have from the king, they can occupy houses without my permission. This I believe your Lordship will not do; and I can not understand how they can do it with any conscience With this understanding, let us come to what you say. Page 46

The new settlement of La Ermita and that of Malate can very well be under one religious administration, and it shall be that of the priest whom I have placed there. The same seems to me to be true of Cavite and Parañaque, of which the priest whom I have there shall have charge. In this way the fathers of San Augustin can take away three or four religious who are now in those two places, and put them in other localities where they have great need of these men to fulfil their responsibility. I say this on the one hand, on account of the great satisfaction which I have in these two ministers; and on the other hand, because they are already incumbents of those two districts, and as such are, in equity, under obligations. Accordingly, I will not and cannot give them to one who may tell me that he will not receive them except as a favor, and then remain there, even though I should be dissatisfied with him. Add to this that I have need of some clergymen near me for the many necessities which arise, which religious cannot supply, and in order to help in the cathedral at times; for there is much need of this, as your Lordship has probably seen sometimes, when you have been there. As for what they say, that the fathers of San Augustin will take charge of those districts without having more alms given them, I am very sorry on account of this offer of these fathers, because I know that whatever burden is taken from the king's treasury will fall on the Indians; and I do not wish this, neither should your Lordship wish it. Since those fathers have, as I have said, so many districts to provide for, let them take there what they get therefrom.

Concerning the religious of Batan and the others of this bishopric, it seems to me that neither your Page 47Lordship nor I should interfere with them, for they know what is suitable for the government and preservation of their orders; and they would be great fools not to consider themselves first rather than others, for St. Paul knew very well what he was saying when he bade his disciple Timothy to take heed to himself first and afterward to teaching. For the apostle knew very well how proper it was for a minister to take heed to himself first rather than others—and this not only for the good of the minister himself, but also for that of those to whom he ministers. Now since the apostle said this to a bishop, who is under so great obligations to look after his sheep, how much better might it be said to the friars, who have this duty only through charity. This is the law of charity, primum mihi secundum tibi; and this should be observed more among religious than among other ministers who are not included among them—in the first place, because these religious did not choose to take up this ministry as under just obligations to do so, but merely through charity, which looks first to itself and then to its neighbor; in the second place, because a simple-minded minister who is withdrawn from the world, and given to prayer, and a careful observer of his religion, and who will make the Indians feel that he lives as a saint, is worth more than twenty who are inattentive to their duties, and who cannot remain an hour in their cells. These virtues and other similar ones, without which a religious can not maintain himself, can ill be acquired by the religious when they go alone and are so separated as you wish. Would to God that I might see in every house for Indians, not four such as are in Batan, but six or eight, and not one, as your Lordship says, because I Page 48should expect more fruit from these six or eight quiet ones than from eighty heedless ones. For as St. Paul said, speaking to the Corinthians, Regnum dei non est in sermone sed in virtute; for chattering is chattering, and teaching through works is the true teaching. There are no people in the world who have so great need of good ministers as have the Indians, or who notice as much as they do the life which these ministers lead, and the example which they set them. For one religious to be alone, although he be a St. Paul, is unsafe; and so it is proper that in this region we should permit the superiors of each community to govern their religious and arrange for them as it seems best to them; for, since they came to convert these souls, it is to be believed that they will not fail to do so if they can. But they will not, and very rightly, consent to ruin themselves through maintaining the religious instruction; but this is not unfavorable to religious instruction, but rather very favorable to it—since, in the way which I describe, it is to give them ministers who will profit them; and the way which your Lordship proposes means to put fire to them which will consume them. Of this I have more experience than your Lordship or anyone else who is in these islands, because I was a friar forty-six years, and minister more than thirty, and have been bishop twelve; and I know it all and have seen it all, and this is good reason why more reliance should be placed on me than on any other. This same matter was discussed in Mexico among all the orders. When they saw that it was ruinous to them to be alone, they determined to establish houses where there should be at least four; and, in order that they might support themselves without being Page 49burdensome to the Indians, they decreed that the orders of St. Dominic and St. Augustine might have some estates in the Indian villages, by which to support themselves. As it had been ordered by his Majesty that they should not hold property in the villages of the Indians, I went to España to see about the matter, and obtained from his Majesty the revocation of this decree. As some of the auditors of the Council said what your Lordship says now, I freed them from that error, and proved to them that it was not expedient that the friars should live otherwise than in a community. I discussed the same thing with his Majesty, and it seemed well to him and so it was provided. In confirmation of this, the fathers of St. Dominic who came to these islands brought a brief from his Holiness, confirmed by the royal Council, which orders that in each house there should be at least four religious; and they tell me that in the [illegible abbreviation in MS.] they praised it greatly and were much edified. In this way, wherever your Lordship thinks of making a short cut, you take a longer route. To give to the Indians ministers [as you propose?] will be to give them those who would destroy them, or at least who would be of very little profit to them. Do not think that I am so careless that I would have waited till now if I had thought that what your Lordship says would be expedient; but as I know how important it is for the good of my sheep that those who teach them should live uprightly, I am more pleased to see the religious living together than to see them separated. I am sorry in my heart when I know that some religious is alone in a house, and if I could remedy it I would do so; but I do what I can in not consenting Page 50that, through taking too many houses, the friars may be left alone in others. Your Lordship will do me the great favor and kindness not to treat of any other matter which shall be contrary to this, because I know that it is to destroy the religious and ruin religious instruction. The provincial who shall do this will give me a very bad example; and I shall understand that he cares more about establishing houses than about looking after his friars or religious instruction. On this account the religious and I have had some quarrels, but I know that they have not been right; for my zeal and desire has not been to prevent their having houses, but to prevent their taking so many that they could not support those establishments without harm to themselves and to the Indians. When your Lordship says that two are sufficient in Batan, you show clearly that you are not well informed of what is needed in order that there be religious instruction; for in Batan there is need of two more friars in order that it may be well instructed. As to what your Lordship says about provision for the encomiendas of Ylocos, you have as much care for them as if you forgot those which the king has in Panay and in other regions of the Pintados, who are all, or most of them, Christians. The Augustinian fathers, in whose charge these were wont to be, abandoned them; but since they have returned to take charge of the religious instruction of that people, and the obligation which holds them is greater than that of Ylocos, let them cease to claim houses there until they have more ministers. As for those who were to be sent to Ylocos, where there was no obligation at all, let them be sent to the Pintados, where there is so much obligation. With those who Page 51are to be taken from Malate, Laguio, and Parañaque, two or three houses might be occupied among the Pintados in the king's villages, which have been without religious instruction now for some time. If your Lordship carries this out, you will take a great burden from the conscience of the king and from your own, and those fathers will do a thing which they are under great obligations to do; for to claim the charge of Ylocos is only a whim of those fathers, and a desire to undertake what they cannot carry on vigorously. If your Lordship had consulted with me, I know that I should have given you much safer advice than that which others give you; because there is no one in this country who knows as much as I do about what is fitting, nor is there anyone who would give it to your Lordship with so little regard for other considerations as I.

What I have said about the religious, that it is not fitting for them to go about alone, does not extend to the priests; because these, by their profession and habit, are not obliged to be together, but each one goes by himself. This has been the usage of the church, and, so far, we have not seen that any bad results have followed; but many indeed have followed from the religious dwelling alone.

There is another great evil in what your Lordship wishes, and it is that, to station so many religious who are scattered about, each one by himself, is not to establish religious instruction but to permit it to go to ruin; for I have always been of the opinion, and shall be all my life, that a few well instructed are better than many ill instructed. When they are ill instructed they are like an ill-cured wound, which, when we think that it is well, breaks forth again. Page 52Thus it is with the ill-instructed Indians; for when we think that they have profited, we find that they are worse than before they were baptized. This comes from never having sufficient religious instruction, which in this part of the world is most necessary, among these unfortunate people who in but few places have seen one happy day. Your Lordship also suggests where the priests may be placed. To this I reply that, as we leave it to the superiors to govern their religious, it would be right for your Lordship to leave it to me to govern my priests, as I leave it to you to look after your captains and soldiers; for I know what each one of my priests is for, as your Lordship knows of your men. Your Lordship must understand that I am not so careless of the life that the priests lead that I am not on the watch, and they know this well; and if sometimes they come to Manila it is with my permission, or on business which cannot be avoided. In this I know that there is more to be remedied elsewhere than in my priests. If the scattering of these ministers in so many regions is, as your Lordship suggests, that the king and the encomiendero may collect their taxes, it seems to me that this is not a good means for it; because where there is not sufficient religious instruction, as there is not where there is one minister in an encomienda, neither the king nor the encomenderos can receive as much as your Lordship wishes to give them. And I know well from the Christian spirit of our king that, if he were informed of the truth which I know and have told you, he would never consent that any money which was so ill gathered should enter his treasury. Some day this truth will be known and we shall see who will weep for not having believed Page 53it. His Majesty understood this very well when, in an article of the letter which he wrote to me, he bade me to try to provide sufficient religious instruction; for his Majesty sees clearly that what is actually done is rather to neglect than really to provide the Indians with what they need. Would to God, as I know that what I say is true, that I might satisfy my conscience by not saying what I am going to pass over in silence, and that I might be in peace; for I desire this more than to see myself in the midst of disputes and hard feeling. But the obligation which I have, to fulfil the duties of my office, does not allow me to keep silent, but I have to speak and say what I feel.

I do not understand what your Lordship says about the Augustinian fathers and do not wish to reply to it until you have explained it to me, because it never entered my thoughts to be sorry that you should favor them, for they deserve it and your Lordship should do so. But when your Lordship says that since you came here they have lost some of their rights, I do not wish to agree to that, nor do I think that they will say so; but let this wait for another time, for I do not wish to treat of it here.

At this point your Lordship makes a long digression, trying to give me to understand what my office is and what I can do and what I can not do, and for this your Lordship makes distinctions of protector and bishop and commissioner. Your Lordship need not have taken so much trouble; for, as Captain Becerra dares to write to me not to take so much trouble to give him light, because he has enough from God, so it would not be very much for me to dare to tell your Lordship not to take so much trouble as Page 54you have taken in this letter to teach me what my office is and what I may do in conformity with it—because, speaking with the respect which is due to your Lordship, you did not come to this bishopric to teach me but to be taught by me. In truth I do not understand what could be your Lordship's thought in discussing a matter so foreign to your profession; and it did not seem at all well to me, unless your Lordship regards me as so contemptible a person that I am not equal to this. Although humility is well in all, and particularly in bishops, it is not humility for the sheep to teach the shepherd; nor would it be considered well in me, and still less so in your Lordship, if it were known that I allowed you, who should take rules of right living from me, to give them to me. Read, or have read to you, the chapter si imperator 96 distin., in which your Lordship will see what is the duty of secular princes and what that of bishops, where among other words it says these: “If the emperor is Catholic he is a son, not a prelate, of the church; and whatever concerns religion he is to learn, not teach.” In what follows in this chapter your Lordship will see what is your duty and what is mine; and our Lord, through the prophet Malachi, says that the lips of the priest held knowledge, and from his mouth the law is to be sought, and not from the governors. Since your Lordship wished to be master when you should have been pupil, you could not avoid falling into the difficulties into which you have fallen in this letter, as you say that you do not know whether the bishop can order that all the confessors should not absolve in this or that case. It is almost a matter of course that the bishop may reserve cases, when that may seem best to him; and Page 55it is an amusing thing that your Lordship sets about declaring to me when the confessors are to reserve the cases and when they are not to do so. I am astonished, and marvel at your judgment and prudence in coming to discuss such matters with your bishop, especially when your Lordship knows that he has studied a great deal to know this which you can not know, nor would it be proper for you to know it. The cases which I shall reserve shall be reserved, and those who dare to absolve, although they may have other privileges, will commit mortal sin, when the bishop declares the reason why he does it; and many doctors of the highest standing maintain that the absolution is void in such cases. When anyone shall confront me with a concession opposed to this, he must have studied deeply, for many talk about concessions without understanding them. Since your Lordship meddles so much in things in which you ought not to, do not be astonished if I reply as is suitable, in order that your Lordship may be instructed, and that I may satisfy the objections which are brought against me. When your Lordship says that you do not know and can not discover how I can be concerned in trying to remedy anything which concerns the encomiendas which are peaceful, except by giving my opinion about the matter, I say that I am not astonished that your Lordship does not know, since you are not under obligations to know; but I am astonished that because you yourself do not know, your Lordship should think that I do not know, since you cannot but confess that I know much more than your Lordship does about the matter in question. That your Lordship may be completely undeceived, please know that in order to discuss the collection of Page 56tributes and the rest that has to be done in that connection, I have no need of a commission from the king, because I have it from God. This limitation is proper for your Lordship, because you have no power but that which the king has given you. I hold mine from God, who gives the bishops all that they need to govern their bishoprics; and so I do not need to have the king tell me what I have to do, but I have to determine what is proper for the unburdening of the royal conscience, and my duty toward your Lordship and the others who are under my care; for I know better than any who are here what is proper for relieving the royal conscience in the Philipinas. Do not consider this as presumption, for it is not, but merely telling the truth; for if we consider the law, I studied it very well many years ago, and as for the facts, I know them better than anyone else, and there is no one who has so much experience as I. Your Lordship need not tell me that it is not my place to act in this matter, for it is, and it is more fitting for me than for any other to act in it and determine what should be done about it. Neither do I need to pay any attention to the fact that there are some who say the opposite, because, beyond the fact that I know that those who say the opposite are wrong and make your Lordship err, besides this, I say that when the bishop determines a thing after having taken due care not to be mistaken, it should not be suffered that others, however excellent they may be, should dare to say the opposite, for this is to cause dissensions between the prelate and his flock. Whoever shall be the cause of this, it will not go well with him, because in this bishopric there is no other doctor than I, and whatever I say must stand and Page 57pass in my tribunal. If I am not what I should be, let them use the remedy which our Lord Jesus Christ left in His church, as St. Luke tells in chapter XII. This is to wait for God to remedy the matter, and advise with anyone who, by his authority, can remedy it, and in the meantime to commend it to God. This same remedy laymen have as regards their governors. But in order that they should undertake to remedy it by opposing it, the error of the bishop must be so great that it could not be tolerated without great prejudice to the faith or to customs. But since I have relied on the reasons which I have, and have consulted with those who could give a good opinion about it, and particularly as I am so certain that I am in the right, it would be rash boldness for another to say the opposite, or to dare to preach it. Your Lordship is very much mistaken when you think that what I say is nothing but the opinion of any other person whatsoever; for now that I have set about determining this and discussing it so purposely, I know that no one who says the opposite can support it. I say this with such liberty because I know what I am saying; and in the defense of it I should think it but little to lose my life. When your Lordship tells me that I interfere with what is your business, I consider it as a great offense; for you yourself are a good witness of how little trouble I have given you in this matter, and henceforward I shall give much less. I am not so desirous of ordering that I wish you to share your charge with me, for my own work, which is not small, is enough for me. I do wish to have your Lordship know that my discussion of the manner in which the collections are to be made, or from what encomiendas they may be made and from what Page 58ones not, is not interfering with your Lordship's office, but fulfilling the duty of my own. Not that I am to imprison or sentence encomenderos who collect contrary to what I say, for this is your Lordship's duty. Before the tribunal of conscience I must condemn those to make restitution who collect without having the authority to collect, even if it be with the permission of your Lordship; and I must place your Lordship under the same obligation because you gave them such permission. This distinction of powers your Lordship ought to have known before telling me that I was interfering in what was not my business.

In the matter of employing laymen where there are no ministers of religious instruction, your Lordship says that I do not make up my mind, although you have already proposed it to me several times. Twice your Lordship tells me in this letter that you have communicated things to me, but I am astonished that my poor memory does not recall any of them. One of the greatest satisfactions is that your Lordship does things all by yourself, without my having anything to do with them, and in truth I hold it as one of the greatest mercies that could come to me; and although his Majesty orders the opposite, as many things fail to be done which kings command, so this also shall fail to be done, to my great satisfaction and to yours also, as I think. I have not stationed Spaniards in the encomiendas because I do not know whom to place there; and I remember very well having said this to your Lordship, but we agreed together that I should decide this matter, as I remember it. There is no reason why I should give your Lordship a report on the persons who can be appointed, because it is my business to appoint them, Page 59and to determine their salaries—not only by commission from his Majesty, but it is also my due on account of my office. But I have not dared, and do not dare, to appoint anyone—not because I do not wish to and have tried to, but because I know that there is no one in whom we can trust without great harm to the Indians and very little benefit; because those who could go and be of service to the Indians do not wish to, and those who wish to are not suitable. Thus your Lordship will see how right I was in saying that to appoint many alcaldes-mayor and lieutenants is a greater harm to the Indians, and this is not a fancy of mine but a common saying in all the land.

It is very amusing to me that your Lordship places to my account the coming of so many Indians to me that I may favor them, just as if I called them, or were a party to driving them away. It is evident that your Lordship knows but little of the Indians, since you say this. In order that I may tell you some truths, as your Lordship wished to tell me, please know that the Indians are much dissatisfied and complain that you receive them very ungraciously and roughly, and thus many do not dare to appear before you. This can but be a great obstacle to what is needed to be done in this country. If my meeting them with a friendly aspect and treating them kindly is the cause of their coming to me, I do not think that I shall mend my ways in this, because I know what they need. As far as being protector is concerned, that obstacle has been removed, for it is some time since I abandoned the office of protector; and by no means would I take it up again, for I do not wish to know more sorrow than I have known, without Page 60any other result than to grieve my heart at the sight of it. When his Majesty shall learn the reasons which I had for giving it up, I am sure that he will not regard me as undutiful to him in having abandoned it.

In conferring the prebends and benefices I abide by the royal rights of presentation in what I am obliged to; but to station a clergyman in a Christian Indian village [doctrina] when there is someone who opposes, is a thing that I have sometimes done, and will do henceforward, because I know that it is proper to do so for the service of God and the good of the sheep which I have in my charge. Against this there is no right of patronage; nor would it occur to the king to wish that this should not be done, nor would it occur to me to defraud the royal right of patronage; for I know very well the obligation under which I am to keep it, and I know when anyone acts according or contrary thereto. Surely I am surprised that your Lordship should meddle in such trifles as to ask from me an account of the title under which Father Salinas was ordained. If your Lordship does not know how he can act, I know; and for that reason I created him a priest; and I know that this was well done, and that it is not fitting to do anything else. I know that your zeal is great, but I also know what St. Paul said of others who had zeal, and zeal for God, but he said that that zeal was not according to knowledge. And certainly, when your Lordship interferes in the things in which you interfere in this letter, although I say it be with great zeal, you have greatly exceeded your powers, and overstepped the bounds to which they extend. For even if your Lordship had known and seen that I Page 61transgressed due limits, your Lordship had neither license nor authority to treat in so imperious a manner your bishop, whose instruction and advice your Lordship is bound to follow, and your Lordship should not undertake to constrain your master. The worst thing would be that your Lordship should think that what you have said pertains to your duty, because that would be a graver matter; for, if your Lordship could stretch your arm so far as that, there would be no need of any bishop in this country, except a titular one,3 for I do not see what remains to me if your Lordship can do all the things which you imply in this letter. But please read the chapter, si ymperator, already cited, and you will see how far your powers extend, and what is for me to do. Your Lordship has plenty to do in your office without extending your authority to mine, and I have plenty to do in mine without treating of what belongs to yours—although, since I have in my charge your Lordship's soul, not only as a Christian but as governor, I cannot be so careless as not often to be obliged to examine what you are doing and advise you of what you ought to do. This your Lordship cannot do with me by virtue of your office, although as friend and lord, as one who desires my good, I shall be pleased to be advised by your Lordship of my faults, which I know very well are not few. Except in what my office obliges me to, be certain that I shall keep as far from interfering in the matters of your government, or from giving you any trouble, as if I were not living or were not in the country. Page 62

This has turned out a very long letter, and certainly my occupations did not give me time for so much; but the great amount of matter in your letter which needed to be answered left me nothing else to do. Believe me that I am very much opposed to discussing such matter especially when a man has to say something which may seem praise or esteem of himself, which is a thing very unfit for those who try to serve God. But when this is not done arrogantly, or in vanity, but to defend the necessary truth, it is done as St. Gregory the Pope did against the emperor Maurice, and Gelasius the Pope against the emperor Anastasius. Even Moses and St. Paul, although they were so humble, when it was necessary to defend their authority said things of themselves which, said in any other connection, would seem wrong; but, spoken for the purpose for which they said them, were rightly spoken. As I think that what I have said is enough to satisfy your Lordship's letter (and, if anything remains to be set right, time will not be lacking in which it can be discussed), for the present let this be sufficient. May our Lord give your Lordship the light of His grace, that you may follow His holy will in everything. From Quiapo, March twenty-first, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one.

Fray Domingo, Bishop of the Filipinas. Page 63

1 Referring to the Historia natural y moral de las Indias (Sevilla, 1590) of Joseph de Acosta (1540–1600), a noted Jesuit writer. Markham's translation of this interesting work forms nos. 60 and 61 of the Hakluyt Society's publications (London, 1880).

2 Evidently a reference to the convent of the Augustinians.

3 Spanish obispo de anillo, literally, “bishop with a ring;” the same as a bishop in partibus infidelium. This means a titular bishop of the Roman Catholic church whose territory is occupied by infidels, so that he cannot reside there.

Liberty if the Indians in the Philippines

Gregory XIV, Pope: In perpetual remembrance of the affair.

Since, as we have recently learned, in the first attempts to christianize the Indians of the Philippine Islands, so many dangers of life had to be undergone, on account of the savageness of these Indians, that many were constrained to take up arms against those Indians, and even to ravage their property; while subsequently, after the conversion of these Indians—who, abandoning their worship of false gods, now acknowledge the true God and profess the Catholic faith—those who formerly had ravaged their property now wish to make good what they destroyed, but are without the means of so doing: with the desire to provide for the peacefulness of conscience of the said persons, and thus to guard against all dangers and discomforts therein, by these presents, with our authority, we charge and command our venerable brother the bishop of Manila to have the above-named persons and the parties to whom restitution is to be made come to an agreement thereon among themselves, with satisfaction to be made to the owners wherever these are known. But where they are not known, then the same compensation is to be made Page 64through the bishop in benefit and aid of Indians in distress, should they who are bound to restitution be able conveniently so to do; otherwise, if poor themselves, let them make satisfaction whenever they reach a comfortable state of life.

Moreover, in order that the resolutions determined upon by the said bishop, with religious and learned men assembled together, in benefit of the Christians newly converted to the faith, be not infringed by them through mere whim or anyone's individual deed or fancy, we wish and by our apostolic authority decree that whatever orders and commands be passed by the majority of the assembly in the interest of the Christian faith or the health of souls, for the good government of Indian converts, shall be steadily and invariably observed until further orders or commands by the same assembly.... In fine, we have learned that our very dear son in Christ, Philip, the Catholic king of the Spains, has ordered that in view of the many deceits usually practiced therein, no Spaniard in the aforesaid Philippine Islands shall, even by the right of war, whether just or unjust, or of purchase, or any other pretext whatsoever, take or hold or keep slaves or serfs; and yet that in contravention of this edict or command of King Philip, some still keep slaves in their service. In order, then, as conformable to reason and equity, that the Indians may go to and from their Christian doctrinas and their own homes and lands freely and safely, without any fear of slavery, in virtue of holy obedience and under pain of excommunication, we order and command all and singular the persons dwelling in those islands—of no matter what state, degree, condition, rank, and dignity—on the publication of these presents Page 65to set wholly free, without any craft and deceit, whatever Indian slaves and serfs they may have; nor for the future shall they in any manner, contrary to the edict or command of the said King Philip, take or keep captives or slaves.

For the rest, as it would be difficult [to send] these present letters to all and singular the aforesaid islands, etc.

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, under the seal of the Fisherman, April 18, 1591, the first year of our pontificate. Page 66

Articles of Contract for the Conquest of Mindanao

Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, governor and captain-general of these Philipinas Islands for the king, our sovereign, etc.:

His Majesty orders and charges me, by his royal instructions and decrees, as the most worthy and important thing in these islands, to strive for the propagation of our holy faith among the natives herein, their conversion to the knowledge of the true God, and their reduction to the obedience of His holy church and of the king, our sovereign; and to this end and object his Majesty has given me commission to make the expeditions and pacifications that I think best for the service of God and his own, and likewise to give license and commission for making them. By reason thereof, he also commissions me to make covenants and agreements with explorers and pacifiers who are willing to bind and pledge themselves, at their own cost, to make such expeditions and pacifications. Moreover, the island of Mindanao is so fertile and well-inhabited, and teeming with Indian settlements, wherein to plant the faith, and of so great circumference—namely, three hundred leagues—and distant two hundred leagues from this island of Luzon; and is rich in gold mines and placers, and in Page 67wax, cinnamon, and other valuable drugs. And although the said island has been seen, discussed, and explored (and even in great part given in repartimiento), no effort has been made to enter and reduce it, nor has it been pacified or furnished with instruction or justice—quite to the contrary being, at the present time, hostile and refusing obedience to his Majesty; and no tribute, or very little, is being collected. And the assignment into encomiendas made there has been null and void, as being made contrary to his Majesty's ordinances contained in his instructions and articles on “New Discoveries,” as the land must be first entered and entirely pacified, and its rulers and natives must be reduced to the obedience of his Majesty, and given to understand the evangelical instruction. Besides the above facts, by delaying the pacification of the said island greater wrongs, to the offense and displeasure of God and of his Majesty, are resulting daily; for I am informed that the king of that island has made all who were paying tribute to his Majesty tributary to himself by force of arms, and after putting many of them to death while doing it; so that now each Indian pays him one tae of gold. I am also told that he destroyed and broke into pieces, with many insults, a cross that he found, when told that it was adored by the Christians; and that in Mindanao, the capital and residence of the said king, are Bornean Indians, who teach and preach publicly the false doctrine of Mahoma, and have mosques; besides these, there are also people from Terrenate—gunners, armorers, and powder-makers, all engaged in their trades—who at divers times have killed many Spaniards when the latter were going to collect the tribute (once killing thirteen, and at other times four or Page 68five), without our being able to mete out punishment, because of lack of troops. By reason of the facts above recited, and because all of the said wrongs and troubles will cease with the said pacification; and, when it is made, we are sure that the surrounding kingdoms of Borney, Jolo, Java, and other provinces, will become obedient to his Majesty: therefore, in order that the said island may be pacified, subdued, and settled, and the gospel preached to the natives; and that justice may be established among them, and they be taught to live in a civilized manner, and to recognize God and His holy law, I have tried to entrust the said pacification to a person of such character that he may be entrusted with it. Now considering that the good qualities requisite for this, and which are demanded by section twenty-seven of “New Discoveries,” are found in Esteban Rodriguez de Figueroa—that he is rich, powerful, possessed of many friends, popular with the soldiers of this country, and well-acquainted with the land, as being one of the first discoverers—and that he has served his Majesty loyally and faithfully, and offers of his own accord to make the said pacification at his own expense; therefore, as I am confident that he will fulfil whatever he covenants and contracts to do in his Majesty's service, I have resolved to entrust and charge to him the said pacification, in his Majesty's name. And if he, on his part, shall fulfil his offers, which accompany this writ, then I, on my part, will fulfil likewise what I promise, as a reward for the said pacification. Therefore, by this present, I empower and authorize said Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa, to make the said pacification and settlement of the island of Mindanao, and at his own Page 69expense, under the following conditions and declarations:

As the first condition, the said Captain Estevan Rodriguez binds himself and promises to fulfil and observe as inviolate, first and foremost, the decrees and ordinances of his Majesty in the sections of “New Discoveries,” and in each one of them, separately—of which he will be given an authorized copy, so that he may exercise the equity and good method of proceeding, gently and without violence, which his Majesty has commanded to be observed and kept in the said pacification.

Item: That said Captain Estevan Rodriguez binds himself and promises to pacify and colonize the said island of Mindanao at his own expense within three years—making one settlement on the river of Mindanao, and more if necessary, according to the condition of the land; and to maintain the island, thus pacified and colonized, for one year.

Item: From that time the life-title of governor of said island shall be given to said Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa, and to one son or heir. And I shall have letters sent to his Majesty, entreating him to show him favor by granting him the title of adelantado or of mariscal of the island, as may be his pleasure, in accordance with the orders of his Majesty in my instructions.

Item: It is granted in his Majesty's name that, when the said pacification and colonization is completed, he may allot the land and island of Mindanao into encomiendas as follows: First, the ports and capitals shall be allotted to his Majesty's royal crown. Having subtracted these, he may, from the remainder, allot one-third part to himself, for the time mentioned Page 70in the said sections of “New Discoveries,” and in whatever part he wishes. The other two-thirds remaining he may allot and apportion among the soldiers enrolled under his banners, and those who take part in the said pacification.

The said Captain Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa said that he accepted the above covenant and agreement made as above stated, and promised to abide by its provisions. To this he pledged himself and his property; and both the said governor and captain-general, Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, and the said Captain Estevan Rodriguez signed the agreement (written secretly by the said governor), before me, the undersigned notary, Manila, May twelve, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one.

Gomez Perez Dasmariñas
Estevan Rodriguez de Figueroa

Before me:

Juan de Cuellar

[Endorsed: “Agreement for the conquest of Mindanao.” “Look for the decree mentioned, in order to see that it is provided; and bring it.”] Page 71

Ordinance Forbidding the Indians to Wear Chinese Stuffs

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, governor and captain-general for his Majesty in these islands, to you, Juan de Alcega, alcalde-mayor of the province of Pan Panga, and of the places pertaining thereto; or to your deputy:

Be it known unto you that some days ago the city of Manila issued an ordinance, which was confirmed by me, forbidding the Indian natives of these islands to wear silks or stuffs from China, for many reasons mentioned in the said ordinance. And in order to ascertain whether any benefit or advantage will result to the said Indians from the said ordinance and whether certain offenses against God and other abuses will be averted; and whether there are any for whose sake the execution of the same should be suspended: I therefore now, by these presents, ordain and command you that, by reason of the declarations hereinbefore made, you secure information from Spanish and Indian witnesses, examining the same in accordance with the interrogatory sent herewith; in order that his Majesty may be informed of the facts disclosed and asserted, and may issue commands at Page 72his good pleasure. Given at Manila, on the ninth day of April, in the year 1591.

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas

By order of the governor: Juan de Cuellar

Compared with the original:

Felipe Ramirez, notary.

Whereas, the city of Manila, on the thirtieth day of March of this year, issued an ordinance forbidding the natives from wearing silks and stuffs from China, for many reasons mentioned in the said ordinance, which are of importance to the general welfare and the good government of these islands; we, the cabildo and government of the city of Manila, command that the said ordinance be submitted to the royal Council of the Indias for confirmation, in order that the said causes, and any others that may exist, may be certified to his Majesty. We entreat your Lordship to send us information, in accordance with the questions sent you herewith, and that an authorized copy of said information be sent us for transmission to his Majesty, with the said ordinance; for which purpose, etc.

The witnesses are to be asked if they know whether, when first the Spaniards discovered these islands, all the natives wore any other garments than those made in the islands, planting cotton and weaving cloth for their own use, and continuing to do so even for many years after the Spaniards had settled in the islands; and whether the one or two ships that came from China each year, brought any cloth or silks to the islands. For these were not sold among the natives; and all that was carried in these ships was earthenware, horns, herbs, desaumerios, and other trifles of little importance. Also whether, after the Page 73Spaniards settled here, and the Chinese began to increase their trade with them and to bring many ships to these islands laden with cloth, the natives began to wear garments of said cloth from China, discarding their own, which they formerly used; and whether this use has reached such a pass that there is no year when the said natives do not buy and use for their clothing over two hundred thousand robes of cotton and silk, which at the present time are worth as many pesos—and in a few years will, unless this injury [to our trade] is opposed and checked, be worth twice as much. For as the natives are not a people who strive to acquire much property for the purpose of leaving it to their heirs, but spend all they get in food and drink and clothing, and as no one needs more than one or two pieces of cloth a year, they care not whether these garments be cheap or dear, but pay for them whatever is asked; and in this way the price has risen so high, that a piece which at first could be bought for two reals, now sells for ten, and very soon will cost twenty.

Also whether, for the reasons given in the preceding question, there results what would be a serious loss to these islands, and injury to his Majesty—that is, whether it be true that, whereas the Chinese formerly, in payment for the clothing they brought, carried away from these islands thirty thousand pesos in money, they now, on account of the recklessness and extravagance of the natives, take away two hundred thousand pesos. This money leaves the realms of his Majesty, and is carried to a foreign country, in violation of royal edicts; this would be prevented if the said natives were not to clothe themselves with the said stuffs. Page 74

Also whether the said natives have, since the Spaniards have been trading in these islands with the Chinese, abandoned the tillage of their lands, as regards not only the cultivation of cotton, but that of rice, wine, and other products of the country; and have given themselves over to vice and idleness, refusing to work. For, as there is money in the country, brought hither by the Spaniards, some of it gets into the hands of the natives, in payment for services and in many other ways. And thus the natives, finding the stuffs brought by the Chinese ready at hand, and having money to pay for them, have abandoned work and the cultivation of their lands, and become vagabonds, both men and women—courting the favor of the Spaniards, and committing and causing numberless offenses against God. For the natives are addicted to theft and licentiousness, and the women are ready to sell their persons; and for these reasons there is, here, more than an intimacy of men and women.

Also whether the evils and disorders above mentioned would disappear with the observance of the said ordinance. For the natives would then be at work, and there would be an abundance of fruits and provisions in the country, and at very low prices, as there has been hitherto, and thus the country would be supported; and there would not be taken out of the kingdom the large sums of money which the Chinese now carry away for the provisions which they bring to sell—such as flour, sugar, lard, and other things. Moreover, the natives would dress in their own stuffs, which are better woven and more economical than those from China; and besides making cloth for their own use, they would have some which the Spaniards could buy for their trade; and Page 75another large quantity of money would remain in the country, which now is taken from it because the said natives do not make the said cloth. Another serious evil would cease; the natives would no longer sell raw cotton to the Chinese, who take it to their own country and make it into cloth, and then return to sell it to the natives, and with these goods deprive them of their money. Most of all, there would be an end to the evils and sins against God above mentioned.

Also whether the observance of the said ordinance will induce the natives and the Chinese to carry on trade as they formerly did, without using money; for if the natives should wish to trade or barter in the islands (which is not forbidden to them), they can and will obtain goods, as they formerly did, in exchange for such articles as siguey (a small white snail), dye-wood, and carabao horns; to this mode of trading the Chinese will adapt themselves, and the outflow of money will cease.

Also whether all these islands, or most of them, are well adapted to the cultivation of cotton, so that, if the natives are set to the task, enough will be produced to supply all the islands with, provisions and clothing; and whether cloth will be made, as good as, or better than, that which comes from China, and a surplus be left for shipment to Nueva España in exchange for necessaries, and a larger surplus of cotton to be used in exchange for Chinese wares; and whether as much money will be taken out of the country as is now taken away. Let the witnesses tell what they know on these subjects; and whether the facts above stated are notorious or well-known, and matters of public discussion and report. Page 76

In the village of Bacolor, province of Panpanga, of the Philipinas Islands, on the thirteenth day of the month of May, in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-one, Captain Juan de Alcega, alcalde-mayor of the said province for our lord the king, declared that, inasmuch as the cabildo, magistracy, and government of the city of Manila, among other ordinances which they enacted for the welfare and government of that city, and for the benefit of the state, issued one forbidding the natives of these islands to dress in silks or stuffs from China, for the reasons and difficulties mentioned in the said ordinance; and because the enforcement and observance thereof is very just and expedient for these islands, Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the habit of Santiago, governor and captain-general of the islands for our lord the king, in his royal name approved and confirmed the same. But as Don Frai Domingo de Salazar, bishop of these said islands, in the name of the natives as their protector, has protested against the said ordinance on the ground of its being injurious to the natives, the captain-general, in behalf of the said natives, and in order to ascertain the truth, makes the statements contained in this mandate. And in order to ascertain whether the observance of the said ordinance would put an end to the troubles therein mentioned, or whether a fulfilment of the same would result in the injuries to the said natives which the said bishop, as their protector, mentions, I hereby command that the following investigation be made, and that the witnesses be examined in accordance with the interrogatory submitted by the said cabildo.


Juan de Alcega

Before me:

Felipe Roman, notary. Page 77


In the village of Çubao of the said province, on the fourteenth day of May of the year aforesaid, the said alcalde-mayor, for the purpose of the said investigation, caused to appear before him Don Nicolas Ramos, a chief of the village of Cubao and governor of the same—who, being duly sworn according to legal form, with the aid of the interpreter Domingo Birral, and having promised on the sign of the cross to speak the truth, was questioned in accordance with the purpose of the interrogatory, and deposed as follows:

In reply to the first question this witness stated that he knew that before the Spaniards came to these islands for their discovery, pacification, and settlement, and that of all the peoples who then were, or have since been, discovered here, all the natives of the islands, so far as this witness is informed—chiefs, timaguas, and slaves, without distinction of rank—wove cotton fabrics, with which they clothed themselves, all from cotton of their own planting. It is true that, as far back as this witness can remember, he thinks that he has never known cotton to have been planted or gathered in this province, or along the river and coast of Manila, from the village of Cabite to this province; but in all the other tribes except these cotton was planted, large quantities being gathered and sold to the inhabitants of this Pampanga, and to those of the river and coast of Manila, who gave in exchange the rice which they cultivated, and sometimes gold; and they procured the cotton for the purpose of spinning it and weaving cloth for their own garments. This continued to be the custom for many years after the coming of the Spaniards; for, although one or two ships came from China each Page 78year at that time, these brought no cloths or silks, but only iron, and earthenware, and camanguian. The principal reason why the Tagalos of Manila and the inhabitants of all this Panpanga have never cultivated cotton, is because they do not know how; and because they have never been accustomed to grow anything but rice, on which they chiefly subsist. This was his answer.

In reply to the second question this witness stated that since the Spaniards have become established in these islands, he has noticed how the Chinese have come hither, in larger numbers every year, eight ships at least coming annually from China; and in some years this witness has seen as many as twenty and thirty, all laden with cloths and bolts of silk. And when the natives of these islands and of this province saw all these cloths brought by the Chinese, they made less exertion to weave their own; but to avoid even that little work, all the natives began to clothe themselves with the said stuffs from China, discarding entirely their own, which they formerly wore. And so far has this gone at the present day, that all alike—without distinction of chief from timagua, or of timagua from slave—dress in these stuffs, making it impossible to judge of their rank from their dress. In this way a very large quantity of cloth is used—far more, as it seems to this witness, than the number stated in the question; and he is very certain that, if this tendency is not checked and corrected, the price of every one of these stuffs will in a few years be doubled; for now even the cheapest costs not less than a peso. For the natives of these islands do not accumulate wealth, but spend it all in food and clothing; and as none of the natives, however high his rank Page 79may be, needs more than two or three pieces of cloth in a year, in order to avoid the labor of weaving them, and so that they can spend their time in idleness, they prefer to buy them from the Sangleys, whether they are cheap or dear, paying without hesitation or heed whatever price is asked. The result is that everything is growing much dearer; for a piece of cloth which at first usually cost, on the average, three or four reals, as already stated, now costs ten reals, and, unless this rise is checked, will very soon cost twenty—and this for the reasons mentioned in the question. These matters should be considered, and some corrective be found, to avoid further difficulties. Thus did he reply to this question.

To the third question he replied that, for the reasons mentioned in the preceding question, considerable damage has been and is suffered, and, unless some check and remedy is applied, will continue to be suffered in these islands, by the Spaniards and by the inhabitants of the country, both Spaniards and natives, and especially to the injury of his Majesty's service; this damage consisting in the fact that while the Chinese formerly took away from these islands, in exchange for their merchandise which they bring from their own country, at the most from twenty thousand to thirty thousand pesos in money, at the present day—as all the natives are extravagant enough to buy their clothing, since they can dispense with making it—these merchants take from the country all the money stated in the question, and even more. This money they take out of his Majesty's dominions to their own country, whence it never returns. And this might be prevented if the natives were forbidden to buy the said clothing, and would dress in the stuffs Page 80which they formerly were accustomed to wear. This was his answer to this question.

In reply to the fourth question he stated that, before the coming of the Spaniards, all the natives lived in their villages, applying themselves to the sowing of their crops and the care of their vineyards,1 and to the pressing of wine; others planting cotton, or raising poultry and swine, so that all were at work; moreover, the chiefs were obeyed and respected, and the entire country well provided for. But all this has disappeared since the coming of the Spaniards. For since their coming all the Indians have given themselves over to vice and vagabondage, wandering from village to village to avoid work, and to indulge their vices—and this because, seeing that the Spaniards have plenty of money, they are eager to serve them. Finding that they have money, and food and clothing being given to them, or procured by a day's labor, there is nothing to induce them to return to their villages to cultivate the soil, and raise animals, and work, as they formerly did. This state of affairs is already so general in these islands that, when the attempt is made to compel a native to work, he immediately takes to flight, and wanders about, halting only at a place where he is allowed to remain idle. From this have resulted the offenses mentioned in the question, a condition which requires a remedy. Such was his reply to this question.

To the fifth question he said that all the evils and difficulties and offenses against God, our Lord, mentioned in these questions will disappear if the said Page 81ordinance is properly executed; for all the natives would work, and the country be well supplied with crops and provisions, and a surplus sufficient for the maintenance of all the natives and Spaniards, as before the coming of the Sangleys, and the money which the Chinese now carry from this country to their own would remain here. Indeed, if these traders stopped coming altogether, the islands would not lack supplies; as for clothing, the natives could dress in their own stuffs, which are three times better than those brought from China; and, besides what they make for their own garments, they could make a large quantity for trade with the Spaniards; thus would be kept in this country a very large sum of money, and thus all this country would be wealthy and prosperous. This has not been accomplished hitherto because the natives, for the reasons before mentioned, will not weave their stuffs as they used to. And, besides all this, there would be an end of the very great injury caused by the Sangley's buying the raw cotton and taking it to his own country, to be there worked into cloth, which again is brought to these islands for sale. Best of all, there would be an end of all the evils and offenses which the question mentions, and for which a remedy is most important. Thus he replied to this question.

To the sixth question he replied that everything said in the questions in regard to the Chinese and the trading with them, before the Spaniards had come, is true; that so matters were wont to be in these islands. Where the natives had not the kinds of goods mentioned in the question, they paid for them in rice and gold, which is very advantageous to the Chinese. If they continue to come and seek to trade Page 82with the natives, the arrangement described in the question would be very advantageous to both parties; and the Chinese would no longer draw from the country the large quantities of money which they have taken away yearly. Thus he replied to this question.

In reply to the seventh question he declared that he knew that all the tribes who have been discovered in these islands could plant cotton, and that the soil is adapted to that use; but that the natives of these provinces, and of those in which rice is grown, have been and are unwilling to plant cotton, fearing lest they may ruin the cultivation of rice, which is their chief article of food. But this witness is certain that, if they would consent to do so, they could plant cotton, as it is a crop that requires less labor than rice; and if cotton were cultivated at least by the Tagalos Indians, who are the laziest of all, large quantities of cotton might be gathered. With this they could make cloth of very good quality for their own garments, and even some besides for the use of the Spaniards, who wore these garments when they first came to the islands; much also would remain for shipment to Nueva España; and there would still be a large surplus of cotton for exchange against any articles they might desire. All these are facts well and publicly known, and matters of public report. The witness reiterates his statements and abides by them. He does not sign his name, as he cannot write, and appears to be about forty years old.

Signed by the interpreter, and by the alcalde-mayor

Juan de Alcega

Domingo Birral

Before me:

Felipe Roman, notary public. Page 83

And after the above the said alcalde-mayor caused to appear before him Don Juan Lisin, an Indian chief of the said village of Cubao, who received the oath through the said interpreter, was sworn according to the law; and on this oath, being questioned in accordance with the interrogatory, he deposed as follows:

In reply to the first question this witness declared that he knew that, at the time when the Spaniards discovered and pacified these islands, all the natives thereof—and especially those of this province, as this witness has seen—wore no other garments than those made of the cloths which they then wove, which were very good; nor did they care to use, instead of this, stuffs from other countries. And although one or two ships came from China, these carried no cloth, but only plates, horns, iron, and camanguian, which they took in exchange for rice and gold, and for cotton in the boll, where this was grown. And thus he replied to this question.

To the second question he said that since the Spaniards had settled in the city of Manyla, the Sangleys—who at various times had formed settlements there—seeing there were Spaniards in the country, and that the money they brought was different from that which had been used there before, began to increase their ships, bringing each year a greater number than before. In these they brought to the islands very large quantities of provisions (although there was no need of these in the country), together with many pieces of satin, damask, and taffeta, and other pieces of fine silk, and a large quantity of cotton cloths, white and colored. And so far has this gone that this witness has known as many as twenty ships to come in a Page 84single year, and he has known a time when at least eight entered the river of Manila alone. For, besides these, many go to the provinces of Pintados, which they call Pan, Cubu, Pangansinan, Ylocos, and Cagayan. And when the natives of all this Panpanga and of the rest of these islands—the Bisayan as well as the Tagalan—saw these large quantities of cloth brought by the Sangleys, and that these were so cheap, they were unwilling to weave cloth, as they were wont to do before the Spaniards had come and before the Sangleys brought cloth to them. To avoid this labor, little as it was, all the natives have taken to buying their stuffs for clothing, and have entirely abandoned their own, which they formerly wore. The result is that in all this province, as this witness knows, no cloths are made; for whenever a garment is needed by a chief, timagua or slave, he straightway goes to Manila, where the Chinese have their market, and buys it from them. Another result of this practice is this: As all the natives—chiefs, timaguas, and slaves alike—dress in these Sangley garments, the slave as well as the chief, no one can decide whether they are not all chiefs. A large quantity of the cloth is consumed, and it seems to this witness that the number is even larger than stated in the question, rather than smaller. And if this evil is not resisted and remedied very soon, this number will greatly increase. For as the natives are compelled to buy them from the Chinese, every one of the said pieces of cloth, however worthless it may be, costs a peso or a peso and a half. If the matter is allowed to go farther, experience shows that each year the price of clothing will go higher—all the more because the natives of these islands, when they have any money, try to spend that Page 85little for food and clothing; and, not valuing the cloth that they already have, they buy what they need—in order not to weave it, as this witness has said—paying whatever is asked for it. Even the most prominent and the richest of the natives finds three pieces of cloth enough for an entire year; and these he buys, whether cheap or dear, never hesitating to give whatever is asked for them in barter, rather than to weave them—although that would not be more work than they could easily accomplish. If this be permitted, all goods will, as before stated, grow dearer every day. A piece of cloth which this witness has known to be sold, and himself has bought, in former years for three or four reals, sells today for eight and twelve reals: and it will very soon cost twenty, if no check or remedy be applied. Thus he answered this question.

To the third question he replied that the evil referred to in the question is as therein specified. Last year it was stated to this witness that the Sangleys carried away to their country more than three thousand pesos, which he knows leave these dominions. This evil should be corrected; and the remedy would lie in forbidding all the natives of these islands to buy any cloth whatever for their own use, and in requiring them to weave the same, as they formerly were accustomed to do. Thus he replied to this question.

In answer to the fourth question this witness declared that he knows that, since the Spaniards have traded with the Chinese in these islands, the natives have begun to desert their villages—some of them leaving their rice-fields, and others the cultivation of their vineyards or the planting of cotton, living in idleness and vagabondage; some have taken service Page 86with the Spaniards and others with the Chinese. All this has resulted in a corruption of their morals; for, being paid in money for their services, and having a livelihood, as stated in the question, they buy their clothes from the Sangley, abandoning all labor, being encouraged and favored by the Spaniards; and this has led to the offenses against God our Lord which are mentioned in the question—which are very numerous, as the natives are so many; and unless a remedy is quickly applied, these crimes will increase more and more each day. Thus he replied to this question.

In reply to the fifth question this witness declared that he knows that, if the ordinance mentioned in the question is enforced with rigor, the evils and offenses against God, before mentioned, will cease entirely; and, the said ordinance being observed, all the people will work, as they did before the coming of the Spaniards. Thus the country will be maintained and well provided with all necessaries, and the money which now goes from it will remain here, and the natives will be rich; and besides all this the natives will weave much cloth, and make their garments from it, as it is three times better than that from China. There would also be a large quantity of cloth for sale to the Spaniards, and even much which they could use for themselves, as they did before the Sangleys began to bring goods hither. Thus would another large sum of money remain in the country. Of all these advantages there is great need in this country, which has suffered because an ordinance so just and advantageous to the entire country was not framed sooner. There would be an end of another great evil to which the country has hitherto submitted—namely, that the Page 87Chinaman buys cotton and takes it to his own country. And the other abuses mentioned in the question would also cease. Thus did he reply to this question.

To the sixth question he said that the proposals therein contained are very just for the natives of these islands, and the Chinese, if they continue to come to this country (which will not be necessary), will be glad to barter their goods for the articles mentioned in the question, and will be satisfied; for they traded thus before the coming of the Spaniards, and went away well contented. And thus will end the outflow of the money which has been hitherto carried from this country, and will continue to be carried away if no remedy be applied. This was his answer.

To the seventh question he replied that all these islands, except this province of Panpanga, and that of Calonpite and Candava, and the river and coast of Manila—all the rest, according to statements made to this witness by people who have visited them, are well adapted to the growing of cotton; and if the natives are induced to plant it, a large quantity would be produced, enough to maintain even those who do not cultivate cotton. Then much cloth will be made for the use of the natives, better than that which comes from China; and there will be a surplus for shipment to Nueva España in exchange for other things; and there will be a further surplus of cotton for trade with the Spaniards and the Chinese—although, as already said, it would be no injustice to the Chinese to forbid them taking cotton hence to their own country. Thus he replied to this question. He reaffirms, upon the oath which he has taken, that all his statements are known to be notoriously true, and are matters of current Page 88report; and he signs his name. He seems about thirty years old.

Juan de Alcega
Don Juan Lisin
Domingo Birral

Before me:

Felipe Roman, notary.

[Eight more witnesses are examined; but as they testify to the same purport as the two preceding deponents (and almost in the identical language of these), we omit their testimony. All of them are Indian chiefs, from villages near Manila; and all are presumably converts, as all bear Christian forenames. At the end appear the following affidavits:]

This document was prepared and copied from the original which remains in my possession, and was prepared by me at the command of the said alcalde-mayor; and which I declare to have been truly and certainly done in the village of Bacolor on the twentieth day of the month of May, in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-one.

Witness: Pedro Garcia de Molina.

Joan de Alcega

I, Phelipe Roman, notary of the province of Panpanga, in place of Rodrigo Quadros, notary-public of the same, prepared this document by order of the alcalde-mayor, who here has signed his name. At the end I have hereunto affixed my seal, in witness of the truth.

Phelipe Roman, notary. Page 89

1 Spanish viñas; here used metaphorically, since the natives then obtained their wine from the palm-tree, and from rice, etc. See Vol. III, p. 202; iv, p. 67; and V, p. 169. Cf. U.S. Philippine Commission's Report (1900), iii, pp. 264–266.

Account of the Encomiendas in the Philipinas Islands

A detailed account of the encomiendas in the island of Luçón and the other Philippinas Islands, both those belonging to his Majesty and to private individuals, pacified and hostile, with instruction and without it; with the names of the encomenderos, the number of tributarios in each encomienda, the number of ministers of instruction in them, and the number they lack and need; the capitals and the alcaldes mayor established therein, who maintain peace therein, and govern them in peace, justice, and civilization, in their present condition. May the last, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one.1


The city of Manila is located in the island of Luzón. It is the capital of all the islands, and the usual residence of the governor and captain-general, his counselor, and his Majesty's army. This city has about three hundred citizens. It contains the cathedral and bishop's house, and the prebendaries—to-wit, Page 90dean, archdeacon, schoolmaster, treasurer, two canons, seven or eight clerical priests, and some, although few, who are to receive orders. The city has a monastery of Augustinian friars, usually with sixteen religious, counting those who are going and coming—eight of the number being priests, and the rest brethren and candidates for orders. There is one Dominican convent, with four or five friars; and another convent of the same order, with a Sangley hospital, in the Parian in the same city, with two religious. There is one Franciscan convent, which generally contains four priests and seven or eight brethren, counting the teacher and the novitiates. The Society of Jesus has also a professed house, with its father superior, three priests, and three brethren. There is a royal hospital for the Spaniards, and another for the Indians, under charge of two Franciscan lay-brethren. The number of paid soldiers is generally about two hundred, besides their officers. There are two chief constables, one city and the other government; two constables; a prison warden; the three judges; the officials of the royal estate—factor, accountant, and treasurer; an executioner; a notary; a probate judge; the municipal body of the city, with two alcaldes-in-ordinary, twelve regidors, and two secretaries—one of finance and war, the other of administration; six notaries-public, and two attorneys; and one constable to attend to vagabonds. There are many calling themselves captain, but only four have companies. This city contains the silk-market of the Parian, which is composed of Sangley merchants, who have two hundred shops. The Parian contains about two thousand Sangleys, more or less, with their judge and governor. In addition to these there are somewhat more than one thousand Page 91in the city, in Tondo, and throughout the islands, engaged in various occupations and trades. Inasmuch as this relation treats only of the ministers of instruction here and those necessary, I shall not discuss further details of Manila and the islands, in order to come to my purpose. Manila and its environs have sufficient instruction, and even more than enough; for the usual alms is given to the religious of the convents, and they are charged to administer the sacraments and to give instruction to the natives there, each convent in its own district. Therefore the ecclesiastics occupied in Manila and its immediate environs, where there are plenty of ministers, might be sent to other districts where ministers are lacking.

His Majesty—In the city of Manila are many Indians who are liable to duty, both in service and in other employments, who are continually shifting— so that, out of the three thousand tributarios that there should be, not more than five hundred tributes are collected for his Majesty. To administer the sacraments and give Christian instruction there is one parish priest for the Indians, and they attend mass at the hospital for Spaniards. They are under the jurisdiction of Manila, in affairs of justice. ... D.

Bagunbaya: His Majesty—His Majesty collects about three hundred whole tributes in the new village of Bagunbaya. This means one thousand two hundred souls. The convent of Sanct Agustín of Manila provides instruction for one-third of them, those nearest the city. The other two-thirds attend mass there. They are under the charge of the parish priest of the Manila Indians—that is, as far as the hermitage of Nuestra Señora de Guía [“Our Lady of Guidance”]. There mass is celebrated for them; Page 92while he who says it to the Indians of Manila says it in the hospital. There are many other churches where they may attend mass, for the parish priest assists at that of the hermitage, as it is a good settlement and outside of the city. These Indians are under the jurisdiction of Manila. ... CCC.

Laguio y Malate: His Majesty—His Majesty collects three hundred tributes, which represent one thousand two hundred souls, in the village of Laguio y Malate. They are instructed by one Augustinian religious, who has a church and house there. They are under the jurisdiction of Manila. ... CCC.

Longalo y Parañaque: His Majesty—In the village of Longalo y Parañaque—two places merged into one—are eight hundred tributes, which are collected by his Majesty; counting in those of other small hamlets, they represent, in all, three thousand two hundred souls. They are in charge of one Augustinian convent established there, with two religious. These religious visit the other small hamlets. Tondo exercises justice therein. ... DCCC.

Cabite and Others: His Majesty—In the village of Cabite and other neighboring hamlets, his Majesty has three hundred and seventy tributes, representing one thousand four hundred and eighty souls. One ecclesiastic residing there has them in charge. He visits in addition some small villages very near by, and the port of Cavite, where Spanish sailors are wont to be found. ... CCCLXX.

Maragondon: His Majesty—His Majesty collects two hundred tributes, which represent eight hundred souls, in the village of Maragondón. Formerly the ecclesiastic of Cavite visited them, being assigned a special salary therefor. But he does Page 93not visit them now; and for three years they have been without instruction, through the bishop's negligence. ... CC.

Dilao: His Majesty—In the village of Dilao his Majesty collects two hundred whole tributes, representing eight hundred souls, whose instruction is in charge of the convent of Sanct Francisco of Manila. They attend mass at this convent, as it is quite near. ... CC.

Tondo: His Majesty—The town of Tondo, on the other side of the river, opposite Manila, is an encomienda of his Majesty, and is capital of a district, with its own jurisdiction and an alcalde-mayor. In Tondo, Nabotas, and Tambobo are collected one thousand five hundred whole tributes, which represent six thousand souls. It has one Augustinian convent with two ministers, who can give sufficient instruction. ... MD.

Besides that, there is another convent of Dominicans, with two religious, who furnish instruction to forty Christian Sangleys, whose tribute is paid to his Majesty. They are under the civil jurisdiction of that town. ... XL.

Zapa: His Majesty; Pedrode Chaves; a minor son of Velazquez—In the village of Capa, an encomienda of his Majesty, are collected two hundred tributes. In Pandaca, an encomienda of Pedro de Chaves, are collected one hundred more. In other neighboring small hamlets, on the river above, belonging to the minor son of Velazquez, are collected two hundred more. Together these amount to four hundred [sic.]. They are under the charge of one Franciscan religious who resides in Zapa and visits the other places. ... CCCC.

Passi: Thome de la Ysla—The encomienda of Page 94Passi belongs to Thome de la Ysla. It has two thousand tributes, under the instruction of one Augustinian monastery with two ministers. On the uplands are two thousand more, among the Tingues above, who, although friendly, pay no tribute and have no instruction. They could be provided with two more ministers in due time. ... MMMM.

Tagui: Captain Vergara—The encomienda of Tagui belongs to Captain Vergara. He collects there eight hundred tributes. It is provided with adequate instruction by Augustinians. ... DCCC.

Thus the encomiendas of Manila, its coast, and the opposite shore of Toado have nine thousand four hundred and ten whole tributes, which represent thirty thousand six hundred and forty souls, or thereabout. They have thirteen ministers of instruction, without counting that given by the monasteries, as above stated. Thus they are amply supplied with instruction, and even more than sufficiently. They are under the judicial and civil jurisdictions of Manila and Tondo, according to their districts.

La Pampanga

Batan: Esguerra—The encomienda of Batan, belonging to Juan Esguerra, has about one thousand tributarios, who represent four thousand souls. There is one Dominican convent there, and justice is administered by a deputy. ... M.

Bitis y Lubao: King—The encomienda of Bitis y Lubao, which belongs to his Majesty, has about five thousand tributes, or twenty thousand souls. It has four Augustinian convents. Justice is exercised by one alcalde-mayor and his deputy. ... MMMMM.

Macabebe: Pedro de Chaves—The encomienda Page 95of Macabebe, belonging to Pedro de Chaves, has about two thousand three hundred tributes, or about nine thousand two hundred souls. It has one Augustinian convent. A portion of these Indians are instructed, however, by a friar—that portion of them settled in certain new arable lands in Araya. Justice is administered by the alcalde-mayor of Bitis y Lubao. ... MMCCC.

Candava: Don Juan Ronquillo; Don Goncalo Vallesteros—The encomienda of Candava, belonging to Don Juan Ronquillo and Don Goncalo de Ballesteros, has about two thousand tributes, or eight thousand persons. It has one Augustinian convent, but a portion of these tributarios are in charge of the religious in the above village of Araya. It is in the civil jurisdiction of the alcalde-mayor of Candava. ... MM.

Apali: Minor daughter of Santos; Juan Lopez; Cañedo; King—The encomienda of Apali, belonging to a minor daughter of Santos, has one hundred and seventy tributes, or six hundred and eighty persons. The encomienda of Cabanbangan, belonging to Juan Lopez de Leon, has about three hundred tributes, or one thousand two hundred persons. The encomienda of the village called Castilla, belonging to his Majesty, has seventy tributes, or two hundred and eighty persons. Another village, called Capalangan, with seventy more tributes, or two hundred and eighty persons, belongs to Antonio de Cañedo. All these villages are instructed by one Augustinian friar, who lives in the above village of Apali. All the above-named villages are near a river. It is in the jurisdiction of Candava and Calompit. In all, these amount to six hundred and eighty tributes or Page 96two thousand seven hundred and twenty souls. ... DCLXXX.

Calompit: Juan de Morón [sic]—The encomienda of Calompit y Agunoy, belonging to Juan de Morones, has about three thousand two hundred tributes, or twelve thousand eight hundred souls. It has two Augustinian convents, and one alcalde-mayor. ... MMMCC.

Malolos: Tirado—The encomienda of Malolos, belonging to Tirado, has about nine hundred tributes, or three thousand six hundred souls. It has one Augustinian convent. Justice is administered by the alcalde-mayor of Bulacan. ... DCCCC.

Binto: Cañedo—The encomienda of Binto, belonging to Antonio Cañedo, has five hundred tributes, or two thousand persons. It is in charge of one Augustinian religious from the Malolos convent, which is close at hand. It is in the jurisdiction of the alcalde-mayor above, who visits it. ... D.

Guinguinto: Ligero—The encomienda of Guinguinto, belonging to Ligero, has about five hundred tributes, or two thousand persons. Instruction and justice are administered from Bulacan. ... D.

Caluya: King—The encomienda of Caluya, belonging to his Majesty, has about seven hundred tributes, or two thousand eight hundred persons. It is under the charge of the convent of Bulacán, and is in the jurisdiction of that town. ... DCC.

Bulacan: Mariscal—The encomienda of Bulacan, belonging to the Mariscal [i.e., Gabriel de Ribera], has about one thousand two hundred tributes, or four thousand eight hundred persons. It has one Augustinian convent, and one alcalde-mayor. It is a capital town. ... MCC. Page 97

Mecabayan: Minor son of La Rea—The encomienda of Mecabayan, which belongs to the minor son of La Rea, has about seven hundred tributes, or two thousand eight hundred persons. It has one Franciscan convent. It is in the jurisdiction of Bulacan. ... DCC.

Thus the encomiendas of Pampanga have eighteen thousand six hundred and eighty whole tributes, or seventy-four thousand seven hundred and twenty souls, more or less. They have twenty-eight ministers of instruction, by whom, for the present, they are well instructed, and well governed in judicial and civil matters.


Lingayen: King—The encomienda of Lingayen, belonging to his Majesty, has one thousand tributes, or four thousand persons. It has one Augustinian convent. The inhabitants are peaceable, and have justice. ... M.

Sunguian: Vexarano—The encomienda of Sunguian, belonging to Vexarano, has six hundred tributes, or one thousand [sic] four hundred persons. It has justice and is pacified. There is no instruction. It needs one religious. ... DC.

Magaldan: Axqueta—The encomienda of Magaldan belongs to Captain Christoval de Axqueta. It has eight hundred tributes or three thousand two hundred persons. It has both instruction and justice. ... DCCC.

Labaya: King; Ximenez; minor son of Sandoval—encomienda of Labaya, belonging to his Majesty, Juan Ximenez del Pino, and the minor son of Alonso Hernández de Sandoval, has one thousand Page 98five hundred tributes, or six thousand persons. It has instruction and justice. ... MD.

Tugui y Bolinao: Aguilar—The encomienda of Tugui y Bolinao, belonging to Alonso de Aguilar, has two thousand tributes, or eight thousand persons. Not more than one-half are pacified. They have no instruction. The magistrate visits them. They need at least three or four religious. ... MM.

Thus the encomiendas of Pangasinan have about six thousand whole tributes, or about twenty-four thousand souls, who have eight ministers of instruction. They will need five more, which will make in all thirteen. The natives of this province will be sufficiently instructed with that number.


Bigan—The town of Bigan is called Villa Fernandina. Five or six Spanish citizens are settled there. It has one parish priest, one alcalde-mayor, and one deputy.

Baratao: Don Bernardino—The encomienda of Baratao, belonging to Captain Don Bernardino de Sandi, collects tribute from one thousand five hundred men, or six thousand persons. It has one Augustinian convent with two religious. It has justice. Two more religious are needed. ... MD.

Purao: Guiral—The encomienda of Purao, belonging to Christóval Guiral, has two thousand tributes, or eight thousand persons. There is one Augustinian convent with two religious, and it has justice. It needs two more religious. ... MM.

Dumaquaque: King; Don Alonso—The encomienda of Dumaquaque, belonging to his Majesty and to Don Alonso Maldonado, has nine hundred Page 99tributes, or three thousand six hundred persons. It has one monastery with two religious, and justice. ... DCCCC.

Candon: Aregue; Ribas—The encomienda of Candón, belonging to Juan el de Aregue and Ribas de Mendoza, collects nine hundred tributes, which means three thousand six hundred persons. They have justice, but no instruction. Two ministers are necessary. ... DCCCC.

Nabucan: The Mariscal—The encomienda of Nabucan, belonging to the mariscal Gabriel de Ribera, collects one thousand four hundred and ninety tributes, which means five thousand nine hundred and sixty persons. It has instruction, one ecclesiastic, and justice. It needs two more ministers. ... MCCCC. [sic]

Napandan: Hospital—The encomienda of Narandán, belonging to the hospital for Spaniards, collects three hundred and ninety tributes, which means one thousand five hundred and sixty persons. It has instruction and justice. There is one minister in it. ... CCCXC.

Bigan: King—The encomienda of Bigan; his Majesty collects there eight hundred tributes, which means three thousand two hundred persons. It has one religious who takes care of it, and has justice. ... DCCC.

Batay y Batanguey: King—The encomienda of Batay y Batanguey; his Majesty collects there one thousand tributes, which means four thousand persons. It has no instruction. It is at present visited from Bigan. It has justice. Two ministers are needed. ... M.

Panay: Don Pedro de Aguirre—The encomienda Page 100of Panay belongs to Don Pedro de Aguirre, a minor. He collects seven hundred tributes, which means two thousand eight hundred persons. It has justice, but no instruction. One minister is necessary. ... DCC.

Sinay y Cabugao: King—The encomienda of Sinay y Cabugao, belonging to his Majesty, pays one thousand tributes, which means four thousand persons. It has justice, but no instruction. It needs two ministers. ... M.

Barao: Don Juan de la Peña—The encomienda of Barao belongs to Don Juan de la Peña. He collects there seven hundred tributes, which means two thousand eight hundred persons. It has justice, but no instruction. One minister is needed. ... DCC.

Cacabayan: King; Gaspar Perez—The encomienda of Cacabayan, belonging to his Majesty and Gaspar Perez; two thousand one hundred tributes are collected there, which means eight thousand four hundred persons. It has one monastery with three religious, and justice. ... MMC.

Boncan: Hernan Gutierrez—The encomienda of Boncan belongs to Captain Hernan Gutierrez. He collects there three hundred and fifty tributes, which means one thousand four hundred souls. It is visited by the fathers from Ylagua. It has justice. ... CCCL.

Ylagua: King—The encomienda of Ylagua belongs to his Majesty. He collects from it one thousand five hundred tributes, which means six thousand persons. It has three ministers, and justice. ... MD.

Balleçillo: Piçarro—The encomienda of Balleçillo belongs to Andres Piçarro, who collects there one hundred and fifty tributes, which means six hundred persons. It has no instruction, but has justice. It needs one minister. ... CL. Page 101

El Abra de Bigan: Doña María Ron—The encomienda of El Abra de Bigan; Doña María Ron collects from it one hundred and fifty tributes, which means six hundred persons. It has no instruction, but has justice. It needs one minister. ... CL.

Bacarra: Captain Castillo; Hermossa—The encomienda of Bacarra; one thousand tributes are collected in it by Captain Castillo and Andres de Hermossa. This means four thousand persons. There are two Augustinian priests, and the people have justice. ... M.

Dinglas: King; María Bermudez—The encomienda of Dinglas belongs to his Majesty and María Bermudez. They collect there six hundred tributes, which means two thousand four hundred persons. It has no instruction, but has justice. One religious is necessary for this encomienda. ... DC.

Thus in the province of Ilocos and its jurisdiction, there are seventeen thousand one hundred and thirty whole tributes, or sixty-eight thousand five hundred and twenty persons. It is in charge of twenty ministers of instruction, and needs about eleven other ministers for the districts where they are wanting, in all more than thirty ministers. With this number it would seem that there would be sufficient instruction in the gospel, as there is in peace and justice.


The City of Segovia—The city of Nueva Segovia is the capital of Cagayan, and its principal port. It has a number of Spanish citizens, with an alcalde-mayor, his deputy, and regidors. There is one Augustinian convent in charge of the Spaniards, with one priest, and his associate, a brother. Page 102

Cabicunga: Don Sebastian—The encomienda of Cabicunga is assigned to Don Sebastian Ruyz de Baeca. It has five hundred tributes, which represent two thousand souls. It has no instruction, but has justice. One minister will be needed there. ... D.

Pata: Vacant—The encomienda of Pata lies vacant. It has two hundred tributes, or eight hundred persons. It has instruction and justice, and is peaceful. The minister of Cabicunga could visit it, and it would have sufficient instruction. ... CC.

Massi: Serpa; Vacant—The encomienda of Massi, belonging to Christoval de Serpa, has five hundred tributes, which represent two thousand persons. ... D.

On this river of Massi is another encomienda, called Bangal, with three hundred tributarios, which means one thousand two hundred persons. It lies vacant. They are both pacified and have justice, but no instruction. One religious to reside in Massi, and visit Bangal, will be sufficient. ... CCC.

Tulaque: Captain Castillo; Juan de la Feria—The encomienda of Tulaque, which belongs to Captain Castillo and Juan de la Feria, has one thousand five hundred tributarios, which means six thousand persons. The greater portion is pacified. They have no instruction. Two ministers will be necessary for the whole. ... MD.

Camalayuga: King—The encomienda of Camalayuga belongs to his Majesty. He collects there five hundred tributes, which means two thousand persons. They are pacified. They have no instruction, but have justice. ... D.

Camanaguan: King—The encomienda of Camanaguan belongs to his Majesty. He collects there three hundred tributes, which means one thousand Page 103two hundred persons. Likewise Tocol, which has one hundred tributes, or four hundred persons. These tributes have been assigned to the repairs of the fortress of the city of Segovia. They are pacified and have justice. At present one minister, to reside in Camalayuga and visit the other villages, will suffice. ... CCC.

Gotot: Don Pedro de Espinosa—The encomienda of Gotot belongs to Don Pedro de Espinosa. It has six hundred tributes. One or two of its settlements are pacified. Justice is administered there. It has no instruction. One religious will be necessary there. ... DC.

Maguin y Taviran: King—The encomienda of Maguín y Tabiran belongs to his Majesty. It has five hundred tributes, or two thousand persons. There is one pacified settlement. Justice is administered from Cagaian. There is no instruction. One minister for the instruction of these settlements will be necessary. ... D.

Sinavanga: Juan Pablo—The encomienda of Sinavanga, belonging to Juan Pablo de Carrion, has one thousand tributes, or four thousand persons. It is hostile, and has no instruction. Two ministers are needed there. ... M.

Manacu: Don Sebastian—The encomienda of Manacu, belonging to Don Sebastian Ruyz de Baeza, has two hundred tributes, or eight hundred friendly persons. It has justice. The two ministers of Manacu are without instruction. The ministers of Sinavanga might care for those of Manacu, and it would be instructed. ... CC.

Dumon: Sequera—The encomienda of Dumon, belonging to Juan de Sequera, has eight hundred Page 104tributes, which means three thousand two hundred persons. It is hostile. One religious might be stationed there when it is pacified. ... DCCC.

Talapa y Gatara: Juan Vasquez; Argonca; Alonso Martín—The encomienda of Talapa y Gatara belongs to Juan Vasquez and Juan de Argonca. It has five hundred tributes, or two thousand persons. They are hostile. One religious might be stationed there, when they are pacified, and who can visit the estuary of Talapanga, which has fifty tributes, or two hundred persons, and belongs to Alonso Martín. It is hostile also.... DL.

Lobo: Don Rodrigo Ronquillo; Diego Ronquillo—The encomienda of Lobo, belonging to Don Rodrigo and Diego Ronquillo, has four thousand tributes, or sixteen thousand persons. It is all hostile. For its administration and instruction it requires six religious. ... MMMM.

Bato and Masipin: Don Sebastian; Alonso Martín—The encomienda of Bato belongs to Don Sebastian Ruyz Baeza. It has four hundred tributes, and Masipin two hundred tributes, which means two thousand four hundred persons. It is all in rebellion. It might have one religious to minister to both parts. ... DC.

Caralanga, Yaguan, Ygui, Tagoran, Pagamon: Francisca de Cardenas; Alonso Vazquez; Alonso Sanchez; Don Sebastian—All the above encomiendas belong to Francisca de Cardenas, Alonso Vazquez, Alonso Sanchez, and Don Sebastian Ruyz de Baeza. They have about six hundred tributes, or two thousand four hundred persons. All of them are hostile. They might have one religious to administer instruction in them all. ... DC. Page 105

Nabugan: King—The encomienda of Nabugan belongs to his Majesty. It has seven hundred tributarios, or two thousand eight hundred persons. It is in rebellion. One minister to instruct them is needed. ... DCC.

Gabalatan, Gat, Tapia, Dudulique: Don Sebastian; Alonso Sanchez; Patiño—These encomiendas of Gabalatan, Gat, Tapia, and Dudulique, belong to Alonso Sanchez, Don Sebastian, and Patiño. They have six hundred tributes, or two thousand four hundred persons. They are all hostile. One minister is needed for them, who may live in Gabalatan and visit the other villages. ... DC.

Tubigarao, Tabagar, Acuba: Henao; Alonso Vázquez—These encomiendas of Tubigarao, Tabagar, and Acuba, belong to Henao and Alonso Vazquez. They have seven hundred tributes, or two thousand eight hundred persons. They are in rebellion. When pacified, one minister might instruct them. He could live in Tubigarao and visit the other villages. ... DCC.

Batona, Sulu, Rot, Lapugan: Bartholome de Caravajal; Enrrique Martín—These encomiendas of Batano, Sulu, Rot, and Lapugan, belong to Enrrique Martín and Bartholome de Caravajal. They have five hundred and fifty tributes, or two thousand two hundred persons, who are in rebellion. When the rebellion is suppressed, one minister can furnish instruction in all these villages. ... DL.

Cimbus: Caravajal; Serna—The encomienda of Cimbus belongs to Bartholome Caravajal and Estevan de la Serna. They have one thousand two hundred tributarios, or four thousand eight hundred persons. It is all in a state of rebellion. When pacified, Page 106two ministers can attend to the instruction there. ... MCC.

Nalaguan: Juan Vázquez—The encomienda of Nalaguan belongs to Juan Vázquez. It has five hundred tributes, or two thousand persons. It is hostile. One minister is necessary. ... D.

Bololutan: Caravajal; Juan Vazquez—The encomienda of Bolo y Lulutan, belonging to Bartholome Caravajal and Alonso Vázquez, has five hundred tributes, or two thousand persons. Bolo is at peace but Lulutan is in rebellion. One religious can administer instruction in both parts. ... D.

Bataguan, Sugarro: Alonso Sanchez; Alonso Galindo—The encomienda of Bataguan and Sugarro, belonging to Alonso Sanchez and Alonso Galindo, has six hundred tributes or two thousand four hundred persons. It is all in rebellion. One religious can administer instruction, and can reside at Bataguan and visit Sugarra. ... DC.

Balissi, Moyot, and Camiguil: Serna; Alonso Sanchez; Juan Vázquez—The encomiendas of Balissi, belonging to Estevan de la Serna, Moyot, belonging to Alonso Sanchez, and Camiguil, belonging to Alonso [sic] Vazquez, have five hundred and fifty tributes, or two thousand two hundred persons. They are in rebellion. One minister, who could live in Balissi and visit the others, could furnish instruction. ... DL.

Purrao Culit: Miguel Nunez—The encomienda of Purrao Culit belongs to Miguel Nuñez, and has about five hundred tributarios, or two thousand persons. It is in rebellion throughout. One minister could furnish instruction to all the inhabitants. ... D.

Taotao: Alonso Martín—The encomienda of Page 107Taotao, called otherwise Tingues de la Paxada, belongs to Alonso Martín. It has five hundred tributes, or two thousand persons. It is all in rebellion. One minister might instruct these encomiendas. ... D.

Yoguan: Luis Patiño—The encomienda of Yoguan has another village, called Togol, and both belong to Luys Patiño. They have four hundred tributarios, or one thousand six hundred persons. It is all in rebellion. One minister can instruct these villages. ... CCCC.

Pugao: Juan Rodríguez de Mansilla and others—The valley of Pugao, which is in charge of Juan Rodríguez de Manssilla, at the head-waters of the Rio Grande; we are informed that it has two thousand tributarios. They are in rebellion. When they are pacified, they will require three ministers. This encomienda belongs to others together with Manssilla. ... MM.

Babuyanes: Alonso de la Serna; Francisco Castillo—This encomienda of the Babuyanes consists of two islands belonging to Estevan [sic] de la Serna and Francisco Castillo. From one to the other is a distance of two leagues. It has five hundred tributarios, or two thousand persons. They are all in rebellion. It might have one minister, living at Puga and visiting Aperri. ... D.

Calayan: Serna—This island of Calayan belongs to Estevan de la Serna. It has four hundred tributes, or one thousand six hundred persons. It is in rebellion. It needs one minister. ... CCCC.

Camiguin: Alonso Martín—The island of Camiguín belongs to Alonso Martín. It has five hundred tributes, or two thousand persons. It is in rebellion. One religious might attend to the instruction there. ... D. Page 108

We have notice of other islands, although we have not seen them, and they remain yet to be allotted. Thus in the province of Cagayan and the islands of Babuyanes, there are twenty-four thousand whole tributes, or about ninety-six thousand souls. Notwithstanding that most of it is in rebellion, a great part of it is being reduced to the royal crown. In all the province there is not a single minister of instruction, and it will need thirty-eight religious, when it is wholly pacified. As to the administration of justice, in the part now pacified or being pacified, the encomienda and government of Nueva Segovia has it in charge. When all is pacified, more alcaldes-mayor will be needed, and will be provided.

La Laguna

Mirabago: Juan Gutierrez—The encomienda of Mirabago, belonging to Juan Gutierrez, has six hundred, nay, seven hundred tributes, or two thousand eight hundred persons. It has justice. The instruction of this encomienda located on the shore of the lake is in charge of the bridge2 of Tabuco. One minister is needed for the tingues. ... DCC.

Tabuco: Don Luis Enrriquez—The encomienda of Tabuco belongs to Don Luis Enrriquez. It has one thousand tributes, or four thousand persons. The tingues of this encomienda live very far away, although the ecclesiastic in charge of this encomienda visits them. For this reason they will need one ecclesiastic. ... M.

Taitay: Juan Pacheco—The encomienda of Taitay, belonging to Juan Pacheco, has six hundred tributes. Page 109One Franciscan friar takes sufficient care of the instruction there. ... DC.

Bay: Juan Pacheco Maldonado—The encomienda of Bay belongs to Captain Juan Pacheco Maldonado. It has two thousand one hundred tributes, or eight thousand four hundred persons. It has two Augustinian convents, and justice. It has sufficient instruction. ... MMC.

Pila: Captain Mercado; Peñalossa—The encomienda of Pila belongs to Captain Mercado and Ensign Peñalosa. It has one thousand seven hundred tributes, or six thousand eight hundred persons. It has justice; and two Franciscan convents furnish sufficient instruction. ... MDCC.

Mahaihai: Captain Ossorio—The encomienda of Mahaihai belongs to Captain Ossorio. It has five hundred tributes, or two thousand persons. It has justice, and one Franciscan friar. ... D.

Lumban: King—The encomienda of Lumban belongs' to his Majesty. He collects there one thousand seven hundred tributes, which means six thousand eight hundred persons. It has two convents of Franciscan friars, and is well instructed. ... MDCC.

Tayaval: King—The encomienda of Tayaval belongs to his Majesty. It has seven hundred tributes, or two thousand eight hundred persons. It is sufficiently instructed. ... DCC.

Panguil: Minor son of Velazquez—The encomienda of Panguil, belonging to the minor son of Velázquez, has eight hundred tributes, or three thousand two hundred persons. It is instructed by Franciscans. ... DCCC.

Sinaloa: Brito—The encomienda of Sinaloa belongs to Pedro de Brito. It has seven hundred tributes, Page 110or two thousand eight hundred persons. It is sufficiently instructed, although the tingues live very far away, and cannot come to the convent for mass. One more minister is necessary. ... DCC.

Moron: Hernando deAbalos; Hospital—The encomienda of Morón belongs to Hernando Abalos and the royal hospital. They have one thousand tributes, or four thousand persons. They have instruction, but in order that all may have it, one more minister is needed. ... M.

Nayun: King—The encomienda of Nayun, belonging to his Majesty, has seven hundred tributes, or two thousand eight hundred persons. They are sufficiently instructed. ... DCC.

Thus the province of La Laguna, which is the alcalde-mayoralty styled by itself Bay, has eleven thousand five hundred whole tributes, or forty-eight thousand four hundred souls. These are well instructed, for with its twenty-seven ministers, if the tingues were gathered in the settlements, and another four ministers were added, it would have sufficient instruction. Likewise it is all furnished with adequate justice.

Vicor and Camarines

Caceres: The town of Caceres is the capital. It has thirty Spanish inhabitants and one Franciscan convent with two religious, not counting those who come and go. There is one parish priest with his church, stationed by himself, to whom his Majesty gives a stipend of fifty thousand maravedís; and, with the balance given by the citizens, the sum amounts to more than three hundred pesos. There is one alcalde-mayor and his deputy.

Milarrit: Minor son of Torres—The village of Page 111Mirralit [sic], belonging to the minor son of Torres; in this encomienda there are five hundred and twenty whole tributes, or two thousand and eighty souls in all. This encomienda is one-quarter of a league from the town up the river. Two Franciscan religious from the convent of Caceres visit it, so that it is sufficiently instructed. The magistrate of Caceres administers justice there. ... DXX.

Minalava: King—His Majesty has control of the encomienda of Minalava, in which are six hundred and sixty-eight tributes, or two thousand six hundred and seventy-two souls. The villages of this encomienda are quite close to one another, so that they can hear the bell when it is rung, and assemble in this encomienda. There are two religious of the order of St. Francis—one a priest and the other a lay-brother—so that it is furnished with instruction. In addition, these religious visit the following encomienda. ... DCLXVIII.

Ynguinan: Doña María de Ron—These two religious visit the encomienda called Ynguinan, which has two hundred and six entire tributes, or eight hundred and twenty-four persons. By means of the above mentioned visitation, instruction is furnished. ... CCVI.

Linaguan: Pedro de Salazar—These two religious visit Linaguan also. It belongs to Pedro de Salazar, who has in the said encomienda of Niguinan sixty whole tributes. It is one-half league from Minalava, its capital. There is another encomienda two or three leagues farther. At present these towns of Niguinan and Linaguan are not sufficiently instructed by this visitation. However, with the addition of one more minister they will have sufficient. Page 112Justice is administered in these encomiendas by the alcalde-mayor of Caceres, two or three leagues away. ... LX.

Nabua: King—His Majesty has another encomienda also, Nabua by name, numbering one thousand and eighteen whole tributes, or four thousand and seventy-two persons. The villages of this encomienda are near together. They used to have four ministers, for they visit the two following encomiendas. There are in Nabua two Franciscan friars. ... MXVIII.

Bula: Doña Maria de Ron—The village of Bula belongs to Doña María de Ron. It is four leagues from Nabua. It has two hundred and six whole tributes, or eight hundred and twenty-four persons. It is visited from Nabua. ... CCVI.

Bao: Minor son of Sebastian Pérez—These fathers of Nabua visit also the encomienda of the minor son of the late Sebastian Perez, called Bao. It has one hundred and seventy-six tributes, or seven hundred and four persons. Like Nabua, the capital, it used to have four friars, but now has not more than two. These encomiendas are not well administered, but five religious would be sufficient for it. ... CLXXVI.

Buy: Sebastián García—Likewise these fathers of Nabua visited and instructed the encomienda of Buy, which belongs to Sebastián García; but they say they can do so no longer. It is two leagues from Nabua, and can receive instruction from no other place. It has three hundred and twelve tributes, or one thousand two hundred and forty-eight persons, who will receive instruction, when Nabua, its capital, has the said five ministers. ... CCCXII. Page 113

Guas and Libon: Estevan Rodríguez—Captain Estevan Rodríguez has the encomienda of the villages of Guas and Libon, with one thousand one hundred and seventy-four whole tributes, or four thousand seven hundred and ninety-six souls. The settlements of these two capitals are near one another, except some located in the mountains six or seven leagues away, where there are many Christians. The said encomienda is instructed and visited with difficulty. Four religious of the order of St. Francis-three priests and one lay brother-live there. They visit the following encomienda. ... MCLXXIIII.

Polangui: Pedro de Salazar—Between Guas and Libon, Pedro de Salazar owns a village named Polangui, with six hundred and forty-one tributes, or two thousand five hundred and sixty-four souls. By means of the above-mentioned visitation, they are tolerably well instructed at present; but if more religious can be had, they might have two more, so that there might be two in Guas, two in Polangui, and two in Luyon, which would furnish sufficient instruction. Caceres rules it in affairs of justice. ... DCXLI.

Canaman: Gregorio Sanchez—Gregorio Sanchez has Canaman as an encomienda, with three hundred and six whole tributes, or one thousand two hundred and twenty-four persons, including adults and children. It receives instruction from two Franciscan friars—one a priest, and the other a lay-brother—so that it is well instructed. ... CCCVI.

Alimanan: Diego Díaz Marmolejo—Alimanán, the encomienda of Diego Díaz Marmolejo, lies on the way to Canaman. It has six hundred whole tributes, or about two thousand four hundred souls. Page 114There are two religious of the order of St. Francis in the said encomienda, who furnish sufficient instruction. Caceres administers justice therein. ... DC.

Magarao: Pedro de Arceo—The Canaman fathers visit likewise the encomienda of Magarao, which belongs to Captain Pedro de Arceo. This encomienda has four hundred and fifty whole tributes, or one thousand eight hundred men. The villages of both these encomiendas [Canaman and Magarao] are quite near one another, being separated by little more than one-half league. These villages are well instructed, with the visitation of the two religious; although, if there were a good supply of priests, they might, in order to be thoroughly instructed, have one more for the administration of the sacraments. They are one league from the city of Caceres, from which place they are governed in civil and judicial matters. ... CCCCL.

Quipayo: Luys Brizeño—Captain Luis Brizeño has the village of Quipayo as an encomienda, with five hundred tributes, or two thousand souls. The villages of this encomienda are quite close together, being separated by only one-half League, or three-quarters at the most. It has two religious, priests of the order of St. Francis. It is well instructed and has the following visitation. ... D.

Caravanga: Sebastian Garcia—These two fathers visit the encomienda of Caravanga, belonging to Estevan [sic] García. There are three hundred tributes there, or one thousand two hundred persons. By means of the two above-mentioned religious, it is well instructed. Caceres governs it in judicial matters. ... CCC.

Labo y Aguette: King—His Majesty owns also Page 115another encomienda in this province, called Labo y Aguetet, having six hundred and forty-eight whole tributes, or two thousand nine hundred and ninety-two persons. The villages of this encomienda are close together, except six villages having seventy tributes, which are up the river, four or five leagues from the capital. One priest furnishes the instruction in this encomienda, namely the canon Paz; but he makes the following visits. ... DCXLVIII.

Batas: Minor son of Hernando de la Cruz—The encomienda of Batas, belonging to the minor son of Hernando de la Cruz, has three hundred whole tributes, or one thousand two hundred persons. The priest of Labo instructs it in visits. ... CCC.

Tarisey: Pablo García—Pablo García owns another encomienda, called Tarisey, lying between Labo and Batas. It has about eighty whole tributes, or three hundred and twenty persons, and is visited from Labo. Although the said minister of Labo is aided by another from Paracali who says mass, this latter does not know the language. In respect to the said visitations of Batas and Tarisey, it seems that, to have sufficient instruction, the said encomienda of Labo should have two friars. The alcalde-mayor of Caceres administers justice to the natives of these encomiendas. ... LXXX.

Paracali: Andres Cauchela—The accountant Cauchela has five hundred and seventy tributes in Paracali. This means two thousand two hundred and eighty souls, all sufficiently instructed. DLXX.

Mauban: King—In this province at Mauban, and on the island of Buyun, the island of Mandatto and Bisayas, his Majesty has one thousand two hundred Page 116tributes along twenty leagues of coast. It is not instructed and numbers four thousand eight hundred souls. Two religious are necessary. ... MCC.

Lagunoy: Brizeño—Captain Brizeño has an encomienda in the province of Lagunoy, at Mapoto, with two hundred whole tributes, or eight hundred souls. It has not instruction, and needs one minister. ... CC.

Lagunoy: Rodrigo Arias—In the same province, Ensign Rodrigo Arias owns an encomienda of seven hundred whole tributes, or two thousand eight hundred persons. It has no instruction. When instruction is furnished to the above encomienda, this one will have it. ... DCC.

Lagunoy: Doña María Ron—In the same province, Doña María de Ron has three hundred whole tributes, or one thousand two hundred souls, without instruction. ... CCC.

Lagunoy: Juan Rodríguez Lausor—In addition Juan Rodríguez de Lausor has three hundred whole tributes in the same province. There are one thousand two hundred souls living in fine settlements, near one another. This province and all the said encomiendas are without instruction. They might have four ministers, if there is a sufficient supply, for they are twelve leagues from the city of Cáçeres, from which justice is administered to them. ... CCC.

Malinao: Briçeño—In the province of Malinao and Cagarei, the said Captain Brizeño has four hundred whole tributes, or one thousand six hundred souls. They have no instruction, but below will be told how they can have it. ... CCCC.

Albai: Brizeño—The said Captain Brizeño has another hundred and sixty whole tributes, which Page 117means six hundred and forty persons, in the province of Albay, without instruction. ... CLX.

Albai: Gregorio Sánchez; Diego de Montoro—Gregorio Sánchez and Diego de Montoro have between them one thousand five hundred whole tributes, or six thousand souls, in the same province of Albay. The settlements in this province are excellent, and located near together. Four or even three ministers might take care of these two provinces of Manilao and Albay, and instruct the said four encomiendas, which are under the civil jurisdiction of Cáçeres. ... MD.

Camarines: Pedro de Arçeo—Captain Pedro de Arçeo has the province of Camarines as an encomienda. This has eight hundred and eighty tributes, or three thousand five hundred and twenty persons. They are all settled in one village, a condition which was brought about by two Franciscan friars who were there, but who left it about three and one-half years ago. Therefore they have no instruction. Two religious will be necessary at present. ... DCCCLXXX.

Yguey: Alonso Pimentel—Alonso Pimentel has an encomienda in Yguei, with six hundred and seventy tributes, or two thousand six hundred and eighty souls. Two religious are needed there. The encomendero has taught them a great deal, for many of them know their prayers. The alcalde-mayor of Cáçeres administers justice there. ... DCLXX.

Bondo y Caporagua: Alonso Lopez—He owns the encomienda of the bay of Bondo y Caporagua, with five hundred whole tributes, or two thousand souls. They live on nine rivers along eight leagues of coast, the said rivers having one hundred, or one hundred Page 118and thirty or fifty, inhabitants. They might be collected on two of the rivers and be instructed by one priest. The magistrate of Camarines visits them. ... D.

Bondo: Manila Hospital—Manila Hospital owns five hundred and forty more tributes, or two thousand one hundred and sixty souls, in the said province of Bondo. It will need one more minister for instruction, for they have none. This encomienda, with the one above, belonging to Alonso López, will need three. ... DXL.

Lumanao in Ybalon: Saavedra—In the province of Ybalon, Diego López de Saavedra owns the encomiendas of Lumanao, with four hundred whole tributes, or one thousand six hundred persons. It has no instruction. It and the following will need three ministers, when there is a sufficient supply of them. ... CCCC.

Ybalon: Christóval Sánchez—On the said bay of Ybalón, Christóval Sánchez has an encomienda of seven hundred and forty whole tributes, or two thousand nine hundred and sixty souls. They are without instruction, but can have it with the three ministers mentioned in the above encomienda—two here, and one there. The alcalde-mayor of Cáçeres visits these encomiendas. ... DCCXL.

Uban y Builan: King—His Majesty has seventy tributes along the river of Uban y Builan. They have no instruction, but can be visited from Ybalón. There are two hundred and eighty souls. ... LXX.

Coast Opposite Ybalon: Pedro de Arnedo—Pedro de Arnedo has seven hundred and thirty-five whole tributes, or two thousand nine hundred and forty souls, on the coast opposite the said bay of Ybalon, in Baco y Busaigan. This encomienda, extending Page 119ten or twelve leagues along the adjacent coast, and occupying five settlements along the seacoast, might be reduced to two settlements, except one river on the strait and mouth of Bugaigan. One priest might be established here in this encomienda, and visit the following, as it is small. ... DCCXXXV.

Capul: Hernando Muñoz—Hernando Muñoz de Poyatos has three hundred and thirty whole tributes, or one thousand three hundred and twenty souls, in Capul, which is situated one league from the strait. It has no instruction, but will be visited from the above encomienda. ... CCCXXX.

Catanduanes: Thomás Dato; Rodrigo Sarfate; Juan de Yepes; Antón Sánchez—The island of Catanduanes has three thousand tributarios, and more than fully pays its listed tribute. It has more than fifteen thousand souls, and belongs to four encomenderos: Thomás Dato, Rodrigo Sarfate, Juan de Yepes, and Antón Sánchez. The five scattered settlements might be reduced to two. With four more ministers it could be instructed. Cáçeres administers its justice, by visitation from Cáçeres. However, it will require a deputy, who should generally live there. ... MMM.

Thus the province of Vicor y Camarines, with the island of Catanduanes, has twenty-one thousand six hundred and sixty whole tributes, or eighty-six thousand six hundred and forty souls. For its entire instruction it has at present fifteen ministers. According to the allotment of the land, thirty-two more ministers are necessary, so that it may have sufficient instruction. In all it needs fifty-three, if there are sufficient. All the province has justice, which is administered from Cáçeres. Page 120

Masbate: Moral—The encomienda of Masbate is an island belonging to Francisco de Moral. It has about four hundred tributes, or one thousand six hundred souls. The people are peaceable. It has justice administered from Cáçeres. It has no instruction, and needs one minister. ... CCCC.

Burías: Captain Brizeño—This encomienda of Burías is another island, and belongs to Captain Brizeño. He collects there four hundred tributes. It has justice, but no instruction, and will need one minister. ... CCCC.


Zebu—In the island of Zebú is the capital city, Sanctissimo Nombre de Jesús, with more than thirty Spanish citizens, with its alcalde-mayor and magistracy. It has one ecclesiastic, who acts as vicar of the Spaniards.

Leite: Oseguera—The encomienda of Leyte belongs to Don Pedro de Oseguera. He collects there six hundred and twenty-six tributes, which means one thousand and five hundred and four persons. It has justice; and that it may have instruction, needs one minister. ... DCXXVI.

Gonpot y Cagayán: King—This encomienda of Gonpot y Cagayán belongs to his Majesty. He collects there seventy tributes. It has neither instruction nor justice, but needs them. ... LXX.

Butuan: Doña Lucía—Doña Lucía de Loarca owns the encomienda of the river of Butuan. She collects there one thousand two hundred tributes. It has justice, but no instruction. Two religious are necessary to take care of it, for it has four thousand and eight hundred persons. ... MCC. Page 121

Zampojar: Caravajal—Diego de Caravajal collects along this river of Sampójar, fifty-eight tributes. They are not well pacified, and have neither instruction nor justice, both of which they need. ... LVIII.

Caraga: Juan Gutiérrezdel Real; Francisco de Sancta Cruz—Juan Gutiérrez del Real and Francisco de Sancta Cruz collect eight hundred and ninety-two tributes in Caraga. This represents three thousand five hundred and sixty-eight persons. They have no instruction, and are not pacified; but when that shall be effected, it will need two ministers. ... DCCCXCII.

Dulaque: Francisco Rodríguez de Avila—Francisco Rodríguez de Avila collects tribute along the river of Dulaque from four hundred and eighty-two tributarios, who represent one thousand nine hundred and twenty-eight persons. It has justice, but no instruction. It needs one minister. ... CCCCLXXXII.

Leyte: Sedeño—Pedro Sedeño collects tribute in the island of Leyte and along the river of Tambolo, from five hundred and sixty-three tributarios, who represent two thousand two hundred and fifty-two souls. It is peaceful, and has justice, but no instruction. It needs one minister. ... DLXIII.

Carigara: Juan de Truxillo—Juan de Truxillo collects tribute along the river of Carigara from four hundred and thirty-four tributarios, who represent one thousand seven hundred and thirty-six persons. It has justice, and is peaceful, but has no instruction. It needs one minister. ... CCCCXXXIIII.

Barugo: Henao—Alonso de Henao collects four hundred and fourteen tributes on the river of Barugo. These represent one thousand six hundred and fifty-six persons. It is peaceful, and has justice, but Page 122no instruction. It needs one minister. ... CCCCXIIII.

Abuyo: Reyes—Gaspar de los Reyes collects three hundred and four tributes on the river of Abuyo and the town of Guisan, in Ybabao. These represent one thousand two hundred and sixteen persons. It is peaceful and has justice, but no instruction. It needs one minister. ... CCCIIII.

Palo: Pedro Hernandez—Pedro Hernandez collects four hundred and ninety tributes from the encomienda of Palo. These represent two thousand persons. It is peaceful, with justice, but without instruction, and needs one minister. ... CCCCXC.

Dulaque: Sauzedo—Domingo de Sauzedo collects from the encomienda of Dulaque six hundred and thirteen tributes, which represent two thousand four hundred and fifty-two persons. It is peaceful, and has justice, but no instruction. It needs one minister. ... DCXIII.

Abuyo Ebito: Ysla—Gaspar de Ysla collects four hundred and thirty-five tributes, which represent one thousand seven hundred and forty persons, in Abuyo Ebito, and Zebu. It is peaceful, with justice, but without instruction, and needs one religious. ... CCCCXXXV.

Hinundanga: Abila—Francisco de Ábila collects five hundred tributes, which means two thousand persons, from the encomienda of Hinundanga. It is pacified and has justice, but no instruction. It needs at least one religious to take care of it. ... D.

Tilan: Sepulbeda—Francisco de Sepúlbeda collects the tribute of the encomienda of Tilan, which has one hundred and forty tributes. He collects unjustly. Although it has justice, it has no instruction, and needs it. ... CXL. Page 123

Baybay and Zebu: Navarro—Pedro Navarro collects six hundred and fifteen tributes in Baybay and Zebú. This means two thousand four hundred and sixty persons. It has no instruction, but has justice. One minister is necessary. ... DCXV.

Samay and Ybabao: Juan Méndez—The minor son of Juan Méndez collects one thousand tributes, which means four thousand persons, in Samay and Ybabao. It has peace and justice, but no instruction. It needs two ministers. ... M.

Tinagon and Burí: Soria; Núñez—Pedro de Soria collects two hundred and six tributes in Tinagón. These represent eight hundred and twenty-four persons. It has justice, but no instruction. This is needed between him and Francisco Núñez, who collects one hundred and ninety tributes in Burí. ... CCCVI.

Sámar, Ybabao: Molina—Francisco de Molina collects in Sámar, Ybabao, Siquión and Maripit, four hundred and seventy-seven tributes, which represent one thousand nine hundred and eight persons. It has no instruction, but has justice. It needs one minister. ... CCCCLXXVII.

Candaya: Françisco Martin—Françisco Martin collects from Gandaya two hundred and fifty-five tributes, which represent one thousand and twenty persons. It has justice, but no instruction, and needs it. ... CCLV.

Ybabao: Gonçalo Ximénez; Juan Gutiérrez—Gonçalo Ximénez and Juan Gutiérrez del Real collect, in the island of Ybabao, eight hundred and sixteen tributes, which represent three thousand two hundred and sixty-four persons. It has peace and justice, but no instruction. It needs, at the least, one minister. ... DCCCXVI. Page 124

Ybabao and Zebu: Carreña—Francisco Carreño collects, in Ybabao and Zebu, three hundred and thirty tributes, which represent one thousand three hundred and twenty persons. It has justice and is pacified, but has no instruction, which it needs. ... CCCXXX.

Leyte, Masbate, and Ybabao: Moral—Francisco Moral collects, from Leyte, Masbate, and Ybabao, one thousand one hundred and sixteen tributes, which represent four thousand four hundred and sixty-eight persons. It has justice, and is entirely pacified. It has no instruction, and needs two ministers. ... MCXVI.

Bantayan: Minor son of Gamboa—The minor son of Gamboa collects, in Bantayan, one thousand six hundred and eighty-three tributes, which represent six thousand seven hundred and thirty-two persons. It has both justice and instruction. ... MDCLXXXIII.

Tanay: Ossorio—Ossorio collects, from the river of Tanay, one hundred and eighty tributes, which represent seven hundred and twenty persons. It has justice and peace, but no instruction, which it needs. ... CLXXX.

Tanay: Juan Martín—Juan Martín collects, from the river of Tanay and the island of Negros, five hundred and fifty-seven tributes, which represent two thousand two hundred persons. It has no instruction, but is pacified and has justice. It needs one minister. ... DLVII.

Abuyo: Françisco Álbarez—Françisco Albarez de Toledo collects, along the river of Abuyo, Vincay, and Maya, four hundred and eighty tributes, which represent one thousand nine hundred and twenty Page 125persons. It is pacified, and has justice, but no instruction, which is needed. ... CCCCLXXX.

Camote and Matan: The city—The city of Sanctíssimo Nombre de Jesus has of its own, in Camote and Matan, two hundred and eighty-seven tributes, which represent one thousand one hundred and forty-eight persons. They are pacified, and have justice, but no instruction, which is needed. For this and the two following one minister is necessary. ... CCLXXX.

Mindanao: Roman—Alonso Roman collects in Mindanao one hundred tributes, which represent four hundred persons. It is pacified, but has no instruction. It has justice. ... C.

Masagua y Payta: Espinosa—Christoval Espinosa collects, from the encomienda of Masagua y Payta, in Ybabao, one hundred and thirty-seven tributes, which represent five hundred and forty-eight persons. It is pacified, and has justice, but no instruction, which is needed. ... CXXXVII.

Thus the tributes of the island of Cebu and its jurisdiction amount to fifteen thousand eight hundred and thirty-three whole tributes. This means thirty-five thousand [sic] persons, and for these there are but two ministers. Twenty-one ministers are necessary to furnish sufficient instruction. As to justice, the entire province is sufficiently governed by one alcalde-mayor and his deputy.


The town of Arevalo is the capital of this island of Panay, and contains more than twenty Spanish citizens. There is one alcalde-mayor and one corregidor for the river of Panay, besides its body of magistrates, Page 126and a parish which is in charge of an ecclesiastic.

Oton and Ymaral: Doña Lucía—Doña Lucía de Loarca collects, from the village of Oton and its tingues, the island of Ymaras, and the river of Hilo, one thousand six hundred tributes, which represent six thousand four hundred persons. Otón has instruction, and one of its two friars visits Ymaras and the tingues. There is no instruction in Hilo. It needs one more minister. Justice is had from Arevalo. ... MDCL.

Xaro: Captain Arçeo—Captain Augustin de Arçeo collects, in the encomienda of Xaro and its tingues, one thousand three hundred tributes, which represent five thousand two hundred persons. It is cared for by one ecclesiastic, but needs another minister. Justice is had from Arevalo. ... MCCC.

Araut: King—His Majesty collects, on the river of Araut, two thousand tributes, which represent eight thousand persons. It has justice, but no instruction. It needs four ministers. ... MM.

Araut: Captain Juan Pablo—Captain Juan Pablo de Carrion collects, on the said river of Araut, two thousand tributes. It has justice, and two Augustinian friars who instruct it. It needs one other minister. ... MM.

Araut: Diego López; Lope Rodríguez—Diego Lopez de Valdepeñas and the minor son of Lope Rodriguez collect, on the said river of Araut, one thousand six hundred tributes, which represent six thousand four hundred persons. They have justice, but no instruction. They need two ministers. ... MDC.

Axuí: King; Rivera—His Majesty and Françisco de Rivera collect, from the encomienda of Page 127Axuí, one thousand two hundred tributes, which represent four thousand eight hundred persons. It is pacified, and has justice, but no instruction. It needs two ministers. ... MCC.

Aranguen: Captain Sarmiento—Captain Pedro Sarmiento collects, along the river of Aranguen, three hundred tributes, which represent one thousand two hundred persons. It is pacified, and has justice, but no instruction. It needs one minister. ... CCC.

Panay: King—His Majesty has along the river of Panay and its branch, the Mayo, eight hundred and fifty tributes, which represent two thousand four hundred [sic] persons. They have instruction and justice. ... DCCCL.

Panay: Guarnico; Lievana—Captain Guarnizo and Ensign Pedro Guillén de Lievana collect, along the said river, two thousand three hundred tributes, which represent nine thousand two hundred persons. It has justice, and one ecclesiastic who furnishes instruction. It needs at least two more ministers. ... MMCCC.

Mambusao: Rivera; Morales—Francisco de Rivera and Gaspar Ruyz de Morales collect, along the branch river Manbusao, one thousand tributes, which represent four thousand persons. It is pacified, and has justice, but no instruction. It needs one minister. ... M.

Yguican: Captain Sarmiento—Captain Sarmiento collects, along the river of Yguisan, ninety tributes, which represent three hundred and forty persons. It has justice. ... XC.

Maharlu: Ángulo—Álbaro de Ángulo collects, in Maharlu, Damayan, the island of Tablas, and Page 128Cabuyan, six hundred tributes, which represent two thousand four hundred persons. It has justice, and is pacified. It has no instruction, and needs one minister. ... DC.

Batán; Miguel Rodriguez—The encomienda of Batán belongs to Miguel Rodriguez. He collects there, at Moguín, Dunblón, Batón, and along the river of Hilo, one thousand two hundred tributes, which represent four thousand eight hundred persons. It has justice, and is pacified. It needs at least two ministers. ... MCC.

Aclán: Minor son of Antonio Flores—The minor son of Antonio Flores collects, along the river of Aclán, one thousand three hundred tributes, which represent three thousand two hundred persons. It has instruction and justice. ... MCCC.

Ybahay: Captain Pedro Sarmiento—Captain Pedro Sarmiento collects, in Ybahai, Potolanbit, Buracay, and other islets, and along the large bay and river of La Lupa, two thousand tributes, which represent eight thousand persons. All of this territory has justice, but no instruction. It needs four ministers. ... MM.

Bugason: Pedro Guillen—Ensign Guillen collects, in Bugason, two hundred and fifty tributes, which represent one thousand persons. It has instruction and justice. ... CCL.

Antique: Serna—Alonso de la Serna collects, from the encomienda of Antique, five hundred and fifty tributes, which represent two thousand two hundred persons. It has justice and instruction. ... DL.

Amiagao: Minor son of Flores—The minor son of Antonio Flores collects, in Amiago [sic], three hundred tributes, which represent one thousand two Page 129hundred persons. It has instruction and justice, and is pacified. ... CCC.

Bongol: Augustín Ossorio—Augustín Ossorio collects, from the encomienda of Bongol, three hundred and fifty tributes, which represent, two thousand four hundred persons. It is visited by a religious, and has justice. ... CCCL.

Tibagua: Captain Estevan Rodríguez—Captain Estevan Rodríguez de Figueroa collects, from the encomienda of Tibagua, one thousand two hundred tributes, which represent four thousand eight hundred persons. It has justice and instruction, and is pacified. ... MCC.

Caraco: Pareja—Christóval de Parexa collects, from the encomienda of Caraco, six hundred tributes, which represent two thousand four hundred persons. It has no instruction, but is pacified. It needs one minister. ... DC.

Bago: Albaro Pérez—Albaro Pérez collects, along the river of Bago, three hundred and fifty tributes, which represent one thousand four hundred persons. It has no instruction. It is pacified and has justice. It needs one minister. ... CCCL.

Ynavaga: Herrera—Francisco de Herrera collects, along the river cf Ynavaga, five hundred tributes, which represent two thousand persons. It has no instruction, but has justice and is pacified. It needs one minister. ... D.

Hilo: Trigo—Hierónimo Trigo collects, along the river of Hilo, one hundred and fifty tributes, which represent six hundred persons. It has no instruction, but has justice, and is pacified. ... CL.

Hilo: Ysla—Gaspar de Ysla collects, along the said river, two hundred tributes, which represent Page 130eight hundred persons. It has no instruction, but has justice. One minister might care for this and the above encomienda. ... CC.

Hilo: Mendía—Martín de Mendía collects, along the said river, five hundred tributes, which represent two thousand persons. It has no instruction, but has justice, and is pacified. One minister is needed. ... D.

Cuyo: Captain Juan Pablo—Captain Juan Pablo collects, in the island of Cuyo, one thousand tributes, which represent four thousand persons. It has neither instruction nor justice, and needs two ministers. ... M.

Thus, in the island of Panay and its jurisdiction, are twenty-five thousand eight hundred and ninety tributes, or sixty thousand [sic] souls. It has at present eighteen ministers, and needs twenty-five more, which will make in all thirty-eight [sic] with whom it will be well instructed. In regard to justice, it is quite sufficient throughout the island.

Lumbán: Sauzedo—The island of Lumbán belongs to Phelippe de Sauzedo, and has five hundred tributes, or two thousand persons. It is in the jurisdiction of Balayán. It has no instruction. It needs one minister to instruct it. ... D.

Mindoro: Sauzedo-The encomienda of Vaco y Mindoro belongs to Phelippe de Sauzedo. It has seven hundred tributes, or two thousand eight hundred persons, it is in charge of one religious, and is under the civil jurisdiction of Balayán. The opposite coast of this island has neither instruction nor justice. ... DCC.

Batangas: Francisco Rodríguez—The encomienda Page 131of Batangas belongs to Francisco Rodríguez. He collects there one thousand four hundred tributes, which represent five thousand six hundred persons. It has sufficient justice and instruction. ... MCCCC.

Bonbon: The mariscal Gabriel de Ribera—The encomienda of Bonbon belongs to the mariscal Gavriel de Rybera. He collects there four thousand tributes, which represent sixteen thousand souls. It all has sufficient instruction, and its justice is administered from Balayan. ... MMMM.

Balayan: Cauchela—The encomienda of Balayan belongs to the accountant Cauchela, and his Majesty has there six hundred tributes, which represent two thousand four hundred persons. It has one alcalde-mayor, who is the judicial chief of the district. It has instruction, which is administered by one ecclesiastic. ... DC.

[Tuley]: King—The lowlands of Tuley belong to his Majesty. Six hundred whole tributes are collected there, which represent two thousand four hundred souls. It has no instruction, and needs one minister. ... DC.

Calamianes: Sarmiento—The islands of Calamianes belong to Captain Sarmiento. Tribute is levied, although not in all parts—about two thousand five hundred, counting the negrillos. Four ministers are needed for the whole encomienda. It has no justice. ... MMD.

Calilaya: King; Torres—Calilaya and Marinduque is a corregidor's district by itself. Half of the encomienda of Calilaya belongs to the king, and the other half to Torres. There are one thousand two hundred tributarios, or four thousand eight hundred persons. It has had instruction, and there are Page 132many Christians. It has justice. One ecclesiastic attends to the instruction. It needs two ministers. ... MCC.

Galvan: Medrano—The encomienda of Galvan belongs to Medrano. It has eight hundred tributes, or three thousand and some souls. It has had instruction, but has none now. It is visited from Batangas. It has justice, and needs one minister. ... DCCC.

Mahuban: King—Mahuban belongs to his Majesty. On this coast of Manila he has eight hundred tributes, which represent more than three thousand persons. It has never had instruction, but has justice from Calilaya. One minister is needed. ... DCCC.

Casiguiran: Francisco Garçia—The encomienda of Casiguiran lies on the same coast opposite Manila. It belongs to Françisco García, who collects there five hundred tributes, which represent two thousand persons. Half of it is hostile, and more than half has neither justice nor instruction: One minister is needed. ... D.

Balete: Juan Martín—The encomienda of Balete belongs to Juan Martín Picon. He collects the half of five hundred tributes, for the other half is hostile and without justice or instruction. The magistrate of Calilaya administers justice to one-half of it alone. It needs one minister. ... D.

Thus Calilaya has five thousand five hundred tributes, or twenty-two thousand persons, who have but little instruction. Nine ministers are necessary now, so that it may have some instruction. With the nine ministers it will have sufficient instruction; but it has adequate justice. Page 133

Marinduque: Poyatos—The island of Marinduque, belonging to Captain Poyatos, has seven hundred tributarios, or two thousand eight hundred persons. It has justice, and needs one minister so that the people may be instructed. ... DCC.

Batan: Captain Esguerra—The encomienda of Batan belongs to Captain Esguerra, who is his own deputy. This said encomienda has one thousand tributes, or four thousand persons. It has one monastery, containing four Dominican friars. ... M.

Thus in the city of Manila, along its coast and the coast opposite, and in the provinces of Pampanga, Pangasinan, Ylocos, Cagayan, La Laguna, Camarines, Masbate, Zebu, Panay, Balayan, and Calilaya, which is all of Luzon and the other Philippinas Islands settled, there are one hundred and sixty-six thousand nine hundred and three whole tributes. Each tribute includes husband, wife, and excepting the sons, the children. Therefore there are six hundred and sixty-seven thousand six hundred and twelve souls in the said provinces, besides the religious of the convents of Manila. One hundred and forty ministers—twenty of whom are ecclesiastics, seventy-nine Augustinians, nine Dominicans, and forty-two Franciscans—are divided among the provinces to instruct the natives and administer the holy sacraments. It appears from this relation that there is a lack of ministers through the departures above noted. It shows that one hundred and sixty-one more ministers are needed to furnish adequate instruction. These should be sent very soon, and even a greater number, for when they arrive here, one-fourth of these will have died. His Majesty has Page 134thirty-one encomiendas in the said provinces. Private individuals have two hundred and thirty-six. Of these, however, from many of those in Cagayan and some in other districts no tribute can be collected, because they are not pacified, while others are quite worthless or of slight importance.

The said provinces have twelve alcaldes-mayor, each with his deputy; and, in addition, are three who are their own deputies. In some of these districts it is impossible to go to administer justice, because of their distance from the capitals where the alcaldes-mayor live. This must be carefully looked into and these needs supplied.

Whole tributes 166,903
Souls 667,612
Number of religious 140
Religious still needed 161
King's encomiendas 31
Those of individuals 236
Alcaldes-mayor 12
Deputies 12
Other deputies 3

Page 135

1 The allusion to this document which appears in section 8 of Dasmariñas's letter to the king of June 20, 1591, which immediately follows this, shows that it was prepared by his order, to accompany the letter.

2 Spanish puente, in Retana's text; apparently an error for some other word referring to the priest at Tabuco.

Letter from Governor Dasmarinas to Felipe II


Last year, a short time after my arrival in these islands, I gave an account to your Majesty, by the first vessels leaving here, of my arrival and of the condition in which I found matters. I could not enter into full details, because of the short time between my arrival and the departure of the ships. I venture to declare that never were four and twenty days so occupied, busy as I was in the despatch of the vessels, the new government, and other things that occurred here at that time. Now I am somewhat better informed, and I shall give advices of everything with due punctuality, so that your Majesty may ordain and decree in accordance with the royal pleasure. I hereby respond more systematically and clearly to some clauses of your Majesty's instructions some of which I am sure have not been followed; and, accordingly, some of the affairs in this new land are in the same condition as when it was discovered. Your Majesty's orders should have been received and observed, which has not been done. [Marginal note: “He has done well.”]

2. As these regions are so remote and far away from the possibility of appeal to your Majesty, and Page 136from your Majesty's favor and protection, the religion and zeal of your Majesty are so much the more remarkable. It is sufficient to support the gospel and Christian religion in so remote lands and seas, and among such a diversity of idolatrous infidels, at so great cost to the royal estate, and at such risks and losses to your Majesty's subjects and vassals. Nevertheless, your Majesty is interested only in the glorious renown of serving God, from whom I await the beginning of the fulfilment of the great hopes that the arrangement and close position of these islands promise your Majesty for the extension of the holy Catholic faith through your royal medium.

3. To the first clause of your Majesty's instructions I do not have to respond, as it seems to be but a preamble of the orders thereby given me. I can only express to your Majesty my desire to serve you faithfully, and to render a good account of my obligation as your Majesty's born vassal, and as your servant and creature, to pay that debt with all diligence and zeal.

4. Under the second clause your Majesty orders me to bring about the maintenance of the pacified district in these islands, and to increase its extent as far as possible. In answer I will say that I am promptly attending to that, as your Majesty will see by every clause and subject separately. [Marginal note: ”It is well.”]

5. I am ordered by the third clause to expend, in the construction and erection of the cathedral church of Manila, twelve thousand ducats, to be apportioned in three parts—namely, between your Majesty, the encomenderos, and the Indians; two thousand ducats of your Majesty's share to be advanced from the royal Page 137treasury of Mexico. I could not collect these two thousand ducats from Mexico, as the decrees to that effect sent to me at Sevilla did not come as they should have done; and therefore the officers of the royal exchequer there would not give me the money. When I came here I found that the work on the church had been going on for three years, and there had been spent on it eight thousand pesos, received from assessments on the three parties—namely, your Majesty, the encomenderos, and the Indians. There had been poor management of the expenditure of this money, as very large salaries were paid to those engaged on the work. Had not some reform been inaugurated, most of the money would have gone for salaries. The building is being carried on as rapidly as possible, although there are other large undertakings hereabout—namely, the fortifications and other public works of the city. The greatest lack felt is that of people; but nevertheless I expect, God willing, that in a month from this date, mass can be said in the cathedral. The two aisles are already covered over, and the chapel will be finished for Corpus Christi, and the rest by Christmas. [Marginal note: “Thank him for the care he has used, and tell him to continue the same.”]

6. In this fourth clause of the instruction, your Majesty orders me to provide most carefully for the hospital for the Spaniards in this city, and that all due hospitality be observed there. The same is to be done in the hospital for the Indians. The hospital for the Spaniards is to be endowed with one thousand pesos of income, and that for the Indians with five hundred ducats, from the first repartimientos that may be vacant. Your Majesty gives as alms to the one four Page 138hundred ducats, and to the other two hundred, from the royal treasury of Mexico, which also was not paid, owing to the same difficulty of my not receiving the proper decree. This hospital is one of the good and necessary pious works of the islands. As there are here no doctors or medicines, conveniences or cleanliness for the cure of Spaniards, it is a usual practice and universal remedy for all to go to the hospital whenever ill. Thus with all possible care and cleanliness the poor soldiers and other Spaniards are attended. The rich go also, as there are no conveniences elsewhere. The rich pay the hospital for treatment and medicines, and some persons even give alms. In fulfilment of your Majesty's commands I have already endowed the hospital for the Spaniards with the thousand pesos of income, and that for the Indians with the five hundred ducats. I have not given the alms because, as I have said, I did not collect it in Mexico for lack of orders; for, although in the instruction it stated that a decree would be given me, that was not done. There are usually many sick persons in this hospital, and although there is now an income of two thousand seven hundred pesos, more or less, much more is needed. Money is necessary to build a couple of rooms where contagious diseases can be treated. Those are the most frequent diseases in this land, on account of the heat and humidity; and for their treatment a comfortable and well-situated apartment is needed. Moreover, we need a kitchen and other work-rooms; and salary for a chaplain, to confess and say mass for the sick and administer the sacraments. He would have not a little to do. There should also be salary for a doctor and apothecary, and money sufficient to import medicines Page 139in bulk from Mexico. If they are bought here there is not sufficient to pay the expenses. Hence the present income cannot supply these necessities, unless your Majesty grant more, as the income should be four thousand pesos. The blankets which your Majesty orders brought from Mexico are not needed, as those of this country are sufficient, on account of the heat here, and because our blankets are cheaper. Consequently the money which is to be spent for them could be better employed for other necessities. At the hospital for the Indians, I have tried to make investigations of some Franciscan brethren who are there. It were well that they be called to account; because many things come into their possession, and much money is handled, in the course of administration. Nevertheless, they would give no account, saying that that hospital is not under the control of your Majesty. The bishop upholds and sustains them in this course, saying that until your Majesty endows that house and gives what is needed therefor, your Majesty has nothing to do with that or other pious works of this bishopric. They persistently shield themselves with the habit of St. Francis, although they are but lay brethren, through the artifice of the bishop. Your Majesty will accordingly send the despatches which may seem expedient to the royal service, as otherwise this matter cannot be attended to. [Marginal note: “Send this decree, after taking note thereof, so that the sum stated therein shall be paid over in Mexico. Have this decree framed and sent, even though it has been despatched already. It is well that this be favored and aided as much as possible, because the work is so necessary. Give him this decree.” Page 140

“Granted. Advise his Majesty, that another thousand pesos from vacant tributes be applied to this hospital for ten years, for the reasons given. Let this notification be given immediately. In regard to the blankets, inasmuch as he says they are unnecessary, direct the viceroy of Mexico to exchange these for whatever seems most needed.”

“Take possession of the hospitals for his Majesty, as patron of hospitals. Have investigations made thereof, and of the accounts of whatever person may have the administration of them. The bishop is to place no obstacle in the way, although, if he wishes to be present, he may attend the investigation. Write this decision to the bishop.”]

7. In clause 5 your Majesty directs that religious be provided for the instruction of the Indians; and that they be not permitted to leave the islands, at least not until after due consideration, and with license from the governor and bishop.

8. Although your Majesty with holy zeal is so careful to furnish ministers for teaching, to evangelize and extend the faith to these natives, as you have always provided and now provide at great cost to the royal exchequer, nevertheless, many more workers are needed. For there are many encomiendas, both those in your Majesty's name and those belonging to private persons, some of which have never had a minister, but magistrates only; while others, although they have had ministers, have not had enough of them to give sufficient instruction. Thus it is most pitiable that many thousands of souls who have been subdued to your Majesty's service for many years, pay their tributes, declare their desire to become Christians, and ask for ministry, but for lack Page 141thereof are not converted. The encomenderos will be glad to pay their share of the expense for the support of the instruction, which they do not have in their encomiendas on account of the lack of ministers. Therefore I send herewith to your Majesty an exact account of the districts in this country where ministers are needed. And I beseech your Majesty kindly to provide ministers, to give instruction, as this is the principal royal purpose. In case of entrances and of taking possession of lands for your Majesty, the lack of instruction is one of the greatest troubles; for it is important to the service of God and of your Majesty that there be religious present when said entrances are made and possession is taken by your Majesty. They should be there to attend to the instruction, as the principal object, so that everything may be carried on according to the intention and obligation of your Majesty—that is, that the conversion of these souls may be brought to pass. It should be taken into consideration that, of those friars who are sent here, some die before reaching their destination and others after their arrival; while others grow infirm, and none are born. [Marginal note: “Friars are sent herewith; and care shall be taken that provisions be made according to the advices received.”]

9. Besides the cessation of the preaching of the gospel for lack of ministers, as has been stated above, which is the principal danger affecting the spiritual good, there is another question of no little consideration touching temporal welfare. In the present condition of things here, where there is no instruction (even should there be justice) the entire tribute cannot be raised, according to the statement of the theologians Page 142of this bishopric. The Indians must be left at least the fourth part of the tribute, which is about the sum owed and applied for the expense and support of the instruction. Taking into account the large number of tributarios and encomenderos of your Majesty, this would amount to a very great sum, which would not be collected for this reason, and your Majesty would lose much more in these fourths. There is another inconvenience in the lack of instruction, and that is, that where there is no instruction and the payment of the fourth is excused and less tribute collected, the consequence is very damaging for the other Indians; for they say that the Christians pay more tribute than do those who are not Christians, and consequently no one is willing to be converted. This effect would cease under adequate instruction, as all would become Christians and would pay the same tribute, there being no opportunity for the aforesaid practice. Moreover, restitution of the amounts collected would be obligatory in the places where there is no teaching. Over this subject of payment of tributes I have had various arguments with the bishop, as your Majesty will see by the papers which are sent herewith. By them your Majesty may understand more accurately all that has passed, and what the bishop and I have written and replied to each other. Therefore, as briefly as possible, I shall report it.

10. The bishop founds his opinion on clause 32 of my instructions. This treats of the encomiendas which are disaffected or have never been pacified; and orders that I try to correct the excesses in the collection of the tributes of such encomiendas as are without instruction. From this the bishop formed Page 143his opinion, or merely on account of his office of bishop—which, he thinks, makes him master of everything. He commenced his argument by saying that, as the Indians had no instruction, nothing could be collected from them, nor from the obstinate infidels living among those who have instruction, and who refuse the faith, even if instructed. He contends that, if anything had been collected, it should be restored. Also, that in the encomiendas where there is justice or other temporal benefit which tends to the spiritual, the third part of the tributes in the large encomiendas could be collected, and in small ones, the half thereof. This sum would be for the support of the encomendero, and is even placed under certain conditions imposed by the bishop. He says that from the encomiendas which do not have sufficient instruction no tribute, or at least very little, can be collected; and, even then, it must be under the same obligation to restitution of the sum collected or to be collected by his Majesty and encomenderos, as well as certain royal officials, collectors, and others who order, permit, or consent to the same. This in substance is the content of the twenty-five conclusions of the bishop, or the greater part of them. As I said, the bishop at the beginning spoke with me personally in regard to these matters, and then gave his opinion to me in writing in the letters, treatise, and conclusions which I am sending now to your Majesty. He preaches thus to the encomenderos from the pulpits. Inasmuch as it seems difficult for me—whose duty it is to give orders for the collection of the tributes, and correct the excesses in this regard, in the name of your Majesty—to put his theories into practice, I represented to the bishop verbally, at various times, the Page 144reasons that I had for making no innovations until after informing your Majesty and awaiting your Majesty's order and resolution. Setting forth many reasons, I tried to persuade him in the letter which accompanies this; I wrote to him explaining that, even in the never-pacified and rebellious encomiendas, your Majesty commanded that something be paid, as a token of recognition of authority. If there are justices and other benefits useful to the Indians, such as instruction in the faith, teaching them to live decently, and attracting them by kind treatment to receive instruction, when it should be furnished, then all the tribute could be collected except the portion due for instruction. If neglected, the Indians would become intractable and all would be lost. If tribute is never exacted from the infidels, they will never become Christians. This tribute should be collected with all possible gentleness, avoiding violence and wrongs to the Indians. The furnishing of instruction is not delayed by the encomenderos, for they urgently ask for it; but it is not given them because of the lack thereof. It seemed to me that, for the said reasons and others, it is better to make no innovations now; but that an account of everything be given to your Majesty so that you may order the necessary provisions. In the meanwhile, collection will be allowed of at least three-quarters of the tributes belonging to the encomenderos. If their support is taken away, these men would leave the land, and everything would be lost. In that case, even if there were instruction there would be no one to receive it; and the Indians would have to be conquered anew. In particular some arrangement should be made so that the Indians shall receive benefit and profit from us, by Page 145introducing justice where none has existed, and continuing commerce, so that they will conceive love and affection for us and will be disposed to receive the faith whenever there may be anyone to teach it. Thus, I told the bishop, the least troublesome way was for affairs to remain in the same condition until after your Majesty had been consulted. Otherwise the land would be lost if the encomenderos should abandon it, which would without doubt come to pass if they could not be supported therefrom. Moreover, in accordance with these conclusions of the bishop your Majesty would be obliged to make restitution of more than one hundred and fifty thousand pesos, and there would be lost every year more than thirty thousand pesos of income. As for the encomenderos, there was not enough property in the world for restitutions, nor would there be greater cause for pity than that an encomendero who has spent so many years in conquering this land should be deprived of the bread for his sustenance therein. Furthermore, in that letter I said to the bishop that, although it is true that your Majesty commits to him only the arrangements for the disturbed encomiendas and those unpacified (and these are the only ones in doubt), nevertheless, it was necessary in that case for us to meet, in order to discuss them all and give our opinions regarding them. Moreover I told him that, even though his opinion and advice were right and proper, yet, in carrying them out there were inconveniences and difficulties which endangered this land. For that reason I did not agree with him, and was of another opinion. Being unable to agree, it was better to advise your Majesty and await your consequent commands. As we had already waited so long, we Page 146could wait a little longer for the resolutions of your Majesty.

11. After several days the bishop replied to this letter by another of great length. He still insisted on the observance of his conclusions, saying that it was unnecessary to await new orders from your Majesty, as your Majesty had already remitted them to him and to me. He proceeded to interpret the aforesaid clause of the instruction after his own manner. He declares that your Majesty commands the payment of a small portion, as token of recognition of authority; and that three-quarters of the tribute is not a small part. He does not take into consideration that your Majesty does not treat therein of the encomiendas pacified, and under administration of justice, order, and other benefits, but of those never subdued or rebellious. The difficulties which I encounter in the execution of his projects he passes over with some generalities, as that God will preserve the faith which He has planted here; and that the encomendero will have enough for his support from the share assigned him—namely, the third of the large encomiendas and the half of the smaller. He also claims that the encomenderos will not abandon the encomiendas, as they are not deprived of all, but of only a part of them—and that only for the brief period until your Majesty declares what is to be done (and this period will be very brief); and it is to be noted that this declaration will be, beyond doubt, that the encomenderos and your Majesty shall not collect the tributes. The time intervening until the declaration comes from your Majesty seems to him short. As to leaving things as at present and collecting the tribute without any innovation therein, until after your Majesty has Page 147been consulted, the time appears to him long; and he thinks that orders and corrections will never cease coming from España, and that instruction will never be obtained in this manner. He enjoins upon me, the city, and the encomenderos to make every endeavor and use all diligence to supplicate your Majesty for said instruction. He declares frankly that if the infidels do not become baptized because they see that tribute is levied after such baptism, it is of no account that such are not converted. He supports himself by the reasons given in his letter, which are characteristic of one who does not have at heart the perpetuity and preservation of this state; and who does not see, in the distant future, the trouble which its loss might cause. He declares, moreover, that even though I should wish to do so I could not correct the excesses of the encomenderos and the injury which they inflict on the Indians. For the latter there are punishments, but none for the Spaniards. To establish more justice in the land would be to ruin it, as the officials do not do their duty, but rob the Indians. At this, the bishop returns to the subject of the restitutions in which he becomes engrossed; and declares that he is finishing a treatise or declaration in respect to them. With this he closes the letter in which he gives his opinion of what I should have done—concluding by advising that, before allowing the encomenderos to collect the tributes, I should investigate or make inquiries about their good or bad treatment of the Indians and how they treat, caress, and regale them. As soon as I should ascertain the truth, I should either give or deny the permission according to the results of the investigation. Then he makes a clever deduction, namely, that in the same manner he Page 148and the other confessors shall not absolve the encomenderos without first having made a detailed investigation and inquiry in respect to their treatment and good disposition toward their tributarios, so that they could grant or deny absolution accordingly. Thus he constitutes himself judge, in the exterior court, of encomenderos and their property.

12. While these letters were passing between us, and during several days after—which were wasted in persuading the bishop to make no innovations until after consultation with your Majesty; and, although our opinions do not coincide, we should however agree in giving account to your Majesty of what was happening—the encomenderos came to me sorely troubled, saying that in the pulpits, sermons, and confessional, they were being greatly harassed and many obstacles were being imposed on the collections in their encomiendas; and that they were being ruined, and were being prohibited now from collecting more than the third or the half of their tributes. They were also constrained to make restitutions of past payments. Thus they are so afflicted and ruined that, if this continues, they will have to be allowed to leave their encomiendas and to go to serve your Majesty nearer the royal person, where they may gain a livelihood—since after having served so many years with bloodshed and services which deserve merit and obtain it, these scruples are imposed. They ask me in the accompanying petition1 if your Majesty would not issue some order declaring what must be paid.

13. Having investigated their grievance and affliction, and seeing that the bishop was reading his Page 149conclusions in the pulpit and was quite determined to have his way, and was even giving orders that absolution should not be granted to the encomenderos acting contrary to what he thought proper; inasmuch as the bishop declared in his conclusions and treatise that that was the universal determination and sentiment of all the theologians of this bishopric, I determined to communicate and confer with the superiors and religious of the orders themselves. Thus they might thoroughly and conscientiously consider what could and ought to be done in regard to this matter, and ascertain (if it were a fact that all held and thought alike) whether some regulation could be made; and if not, to advise your Majesty of everything. I acquainted them, in detailed information, with the reasons for making no innovations until after reporting to your Majesty, and for not restricting the poor encomenderos to such an extent. I discovered that three-fourths of the number of theologians and religious were of a different opinion, one quite contrary to that of the bishop. Although it is true that the Dominicans (of which order he is a member), but not all, hold that his doctrine is good, the Franciscans think differently; for, singularly enough, they have another opinion with regard to the payment of the quota and reject the bishop's opinion respecting the infidels. The Augustinian fathers, however, who are three times more numerous than the Dominicans, and with the Augustinians the fathers of the Society [of Jesus]—these two orders, I say, hold (in entire agreement, nemine discrepante) that the encomenderos can, with good conscience, collect the entire tributes from the encomiendas which have instruction, from both the believers and the infidels. Where Page 150there is justice, but no instruction, they may collect three-fourths of the payment, the remaining fourth being left to the Indians, the believer and the infidel paying equal shares. From the encomiendas which have neither instruction nor justice, nor other spiritual or temporal benefits, nothing whatever should be collected; nor from the encomiendas disaffected or unpacified, except in case of those disaffected without cause and through their own fault, which would accordingly pay the part justly collected by way of acknowledgment. All the aforesaid facts your Majesty may consider at greater length by means of the opinions which I send. It may be seen how many there are which vary from that of the bishop and his friars, who alone follow him. I saw fit to reply to a note in which he inquired what resolution I thought of taking, and what order must be given to the encomenderos for their collections. I declared therein that if he did not wish to wait until the return of our ships in two or three months, in which the remedy for all would doubtless be sent, I had resolved to give orders to the encomenderos according to a paper which I sent him, wherein my opinion was upheld in every respect and agreed completely with that held by the said fathers. [Marginal note: “Have this opinion brought, so that after consideration the contents of this letter may be replied to from clause nine to this point; also all the papers which are here acknowledged by the governor, and those of which mention is made in the following clauses as far as the twenty-first.”]

14. At this juncture, the bishop came to see me in these royal houses of your Majesty; and among other discussions in regard to my assertion that the clergy Page 151must not have preeminence over me in every respect, as they have done heretofore, he replied that he had directed his clergy that no one, not even your Majesty, had any rights here, and other things to this same effect. To this I replied that I would not interfere with his clergy, as far as punishing them is concerned, nor with his jurisdiction; but that the boat-service which they took from the Indians without payment, and a thousand other injuries committed by them under the pretext that they are fathers of instruction, ought not to take place; and that he had misunderstood me. It is true that I said he was very peevish; and I begged him to speak plainly for if we could not come to terms this time and disagreed again, I could discuss the subject no longer. While replying to me on this point and others, he rose from his chair at the beginning of the discussion, very wrathful and choleric. Several days later, on the fourth of March, he wrote me a letter as long as it was good-humored and free from anger—as may be seen, if your Majesty wishes. Nevertheless (not to discuss what concerns myself), it contains nothing new, except many arguments by which he still defends his opinion. Among other statements, he declares (and rightly) that the encomenderos are so loyal vassals of your Majesty that they would not leave their encomiendas nor the country, as if I had denied their fidelity and loyalty in thinking that if they could not be supported by their encomiendas, they would leave them, and, having abandoned them if they could not be supported therefrom, try to seek their fortunes elsewhere. He says also that although a Franciscan father is placed in every province, there is not sufficient result to warrant the paying of the tribute; and that neither Page 152the king of Castilla nor his officials have any greater power in the Indias than that given by the church, although the church does not have so much authority as this with the infidels. He still insists that your Majesty entrusted to both him and me equally the settlement of this matter; and that bringing justice into the land is like bringing firebrands: [Marginal note: “Answer him with what has been decreed in this.”]

15. To this letter I replied by another which your Majesty will please to have examined, in which I answered his assertion that without giving instruction to the Indians we can collect tribute; for he said that where there is justice, three-fourths of the tribute can be collected, as this is a temporal good which tends to spiritual benefit and which prospers, directs, and administers equally justice, government, and good order. It is not my intention to leave things thus as the bishop points out, until your Majesty has been consulted in regard to furnishing or providing other means of instruction, since you have therefor so great care and holy zeal. Moreover, the tributes are so moderate here that each Indian pays eight reals, whereas in Nueva España he pays twenty-four and thirty-two. For we see that since the Spaniards went to the Pintados, although without then providing instruction, their communication and example, and the blessing of justice, alone have caused hostilities, and the razing of towns among the natives to cease; as also the wars by land and sea waged among them; this is no small gain. This assertion that the ministry of instruction is more important and noble than that of justice and other good works, I admit; but justice and its ministers, and the other necessary means for the Page 153preservation and defense of the Indians, are of greater cost and expense than that for instruction—to which is allowed one-fourth, and which is reserved and kept for the Indians; thus in respect to the cost of each ministry its stipend must be given, as I prove in my letter by many arguments. As to his saying that your Majesty ordered me to remedy, with his help, these excesses in the collection of tributes, I responded that, only as regards the disaffected and never-pacified encomiendas, your Majesty orders me to communicate and confer with him, in these words: “I have heard that there has been and is disorder and misappropriation in the collection of the tributes from the disaffected or unpacified encomiendas,” etc. Therefore your Majesty bids us to discuss no others except these, as in the others I shall correct the excesses. The only ones in doubt are those disaffected. It says further that “Such encomiendas must not be abandoned; but that at least the entire tribute should not be collected, but only a small part in token of acknowledgment,” etc. Consequently it is not ordered that they be abandoned, but that something be collected; and even then nothing shall be collected except from those who are in rebellion without cause; your Majesty declares further that “Since the Indians of the said encomiendas receive no temporal or spiritual benefit from their encomenderos, there is no reason why they should pay,” etc. It clearly follows from this that, if they receive any temporal benefits—as is that of justice, and others which are proposed—the collections may be made. In continuing, your Majesty declares: “This is a matter that requires as effectual a remedy as you can provide; and I therefore charge you to “decide in this what appears to you to accord with the judgment of Page 154the bishop.” This does not mean to commit the affair to him alone; but, after hearing his opinion, and having examined his discussion and treatment of the matter with me, I am to resolve upon what measures are best for the remedy thereof, and then in the name of your Majesty provide and carry out that remedy, and have it observed most punctiliously. Further, I told him that two-thirds of the number of religious are of this opinion and sentiment, contrary to that of the bishop; moreover that the bishop himself and all the theologians were lately of one mind in this matter, but that now the bishop alone disagrees; and that I think I make no mistake in being guided by so many learned opinions in a matter which I find to be of service to God and my king. Furthermore, I replied to various inquiries that he made of me, such as the remedy which had been brought to bear in these things, and the resulting benefit. My answer is so long, that in order not to be detailed here, I refer your Majesty to the aforesaid reply, as well as to the result obtained, which I show there, and to the orders now in force. I see no other remedy than to take the matter as I find it. I see that for lack of justice nothing can be collected, as the Indian receives no benefit. I wish to establish justice for administration and government, and for dealings with and good management of the Indians, that both your Majesty and the encomenderos should receive profit; and that the royal estate should not suffer, nor the encomendero starve, abandon everything, and go away. For your Majesty's share alone there would necessarily be more than a hundred and fifty thousand pesos of restitution, not to count thirty thousand pesos of income which would be lost from the present tributes (for all the encomiendas Page 155belong to your Majesty); and these islands would be left alone without a single soldier, and with only the bishop and the religious, so that within one week there would be neither the one nor the other. I assured him, in fact, that without express order from your Majesty I could not curtail or diminish the royal income or alter the encomiendas from their first establishment, which they have had for twenty-six years. I answered him fully in respect to the establishment of justice where there is none, and the great good that would result therefrom. I urged him to appoint laymen of good life and example, who, while there are no religious there, may instruct and bring them up in the holy faith, as your Majesty commands in the royal charge regarding presentations—to which the bishop never has given me an answer. I told him that finally, in these two ways, it will be brought about that they will not be left alone and intractable, and thus ready to rebel and rise in two days' time. It were well that these laymen of good life, when religious are lacking, not only be not appointed by the bishop, but that they do not importune the Indians. The bishop does not wish others than the religious to do that, and meanwhile it is not done by either. It would doubtless be of some benefit, and the lack of instruction of which your Majesty complains would be obviated, if the encomenderos could furnish it. But, if there is no such thing in the land, the encomendero is not to blame—as your Majesty declares plainly in my instructions, clause forty-nine, in the following words, “they do not supply it or try to supply it as they are bound to do, and as they should, although there is a sufficient number of the said ministers.” Therefore, when there is not a good Page 156supply, but a lack of ministers, the encomendero is not at fault, and has no reason for not collecting his tribute. Should the encomenderos be deprived of this, your Majesty, as the party most interested, could not support here a soldier, nor the bishop, nor me, and everything would be lost. I replied to his question as to what action I should order taken; and finally, as authority (with added reasons) for the orders that were being carried out, I cited several authors who were quoted in an opinion that I had from the religious. He was greatly offended thereby as your Majesty will see by his reply, and I have just entreated him to wait at least until the ships arrive; and especially as, in a general meeting of the orders which took place soon after my arrival, all agreed, and he with them, in the opinion which I have now applied in my orders; and 1 asked him, inasmuch as he had approved of it then, not to make any innovation now. Finally, I begged him at least to refrain from scandalizing the people from the pulpit, defending certain opinions and refuting others very improperly and freely. Since the Augustinians kept silence, they should not be obliged to answer for themselves.

16. This letter appeared to the bishop so disrespectful and bold that in his reply there are but sharp and heated words against the religious. He says that they err from the beginning, and that they do not know the fundamental principles. He had imagined that the letter was not mine alone, as he believed that I could not by myself have seen the authors cited therein for its authority and doctrine. He says that neither I, nor your Majesty, nor the pope has authority to take from the infidels a single real; that it is true that he was of the general opinion before, but Page 157that he erred then, and now is in the right (It appears to me, however, that he errs now, and was then in the right.) So firm is he in his opinion that he does not wish to call it opinion, but truth. He declares that if all the orders in this bishopric, and the universities of Salamanca and Alcalá2 in addition, should say the contrary, he would not forsake his opinion; and he is very certain that your Majesty will oblige me to follow his opinion. He offers a treatise on the subject which he is preparing for the explanation and elucidation of everything, and finally closes by asking me to have the money paid which is owed by the royal treasury.

17. It is unnecessary to report here my reply to his letter; for, besides being brief, inasmuch as I had said all that there was to say in regard to the principal business, I did not care to attempt more than to pacify him, and to reply by means of the fathers, who had caused him to show such indignation, and to beg him not to give rise to scandals and schisms. I advised him to finish his treatise and hoped that God would grant that everything might be settled and composed.

18. After this there was quiet for several days, in Page 158which we maintained no correspondence. During this time I gave to the encomenderos (who had begged me to do so in the name of your Majesty) the order which was necessary for the collection of their tributes. As your Majesty will see by the accompanying document, this order was the most justifiable that could be given and did not depart one jot from my opinions, which I also send in their original form to your Majesty. The encomenderos are now somewhat consoled for their former afflictions, and all this land likewise, as will appear by the petition presented to me which I send in the original. This order will be kept in force until your Majesty shall order differently.

19. After the lapse of several days, and having ascertained that the service of God and that of your Majesty were suffering, as the bishop would not right them, I wrote him the accompanying letter. In it I proposed some means of providing instruction in places where there is none. Moreover, as the encomenderos were still uneasy because he denied them absolution, I gave him to understand that, in the diminution of the encomiendas and the reduction and collection of the tributes, he was neither judge nor party, since he could discuss the subject only in one of three ways which I expressed therein; and by no means could he do more than give his opinion, which he had already done. I again have recourse to the laymen of good life, in lack of religious; and beg also that he will not keep engaged here the large number of Indians that he is wont to, who come here under the pretext of making complaints, which are a thousand childish and impertinent trifles—thereby losing much more in their absence from their homes and Page 159fields. I remind him that the appointments to prebends, canonries, and benefices are reserved to your Majesty's royal patronage; and that you should not be defrauded, as you have been, by making the appointments terminable ad nutum, and not with complete title, and with due presentation by your Majesty, and canonical institution of the bishop. On these things I write a separate letter to your Majesty, as also on other matters about which I give advice. I offered to place the unsettled points in the hands of learned persons.

20. This letter so important, weighty, and full of substance that it required a remedy and settlement without any disagreements, he interpreted in such a way that he ended by losing his head, and expressed himself very freely, saying in reply such things that—considering they were not said to me personally, but to a minister of your Majesty—I would have been quite justified in checking and correcting the offense once for all. But as I am in a new country, and far away from your Majesty, it is better to avoid dispute, publicity, and scandal. Indeed, it will be seen by his letter that even the importance of the affairs about which I wrote him did not check him, or settle the matter, and that he cares only for defending his own dignity—thinking that every one must learn, of him, and that he is the only doctor who can teach here; and that he will oblige the encomenderos and me to restore the tributes wrongly exacted. He thinks that, in writing to him, I have exceeded my duty and have treated my bishop with much show of authority and domineering; that I have acted as if I were his master; and that if I can do so much, there is no need in this land for a bishop, but a titular Page 160bishop would be enough. He cites me decrees showing the respect which emperors must have for bishops, and refers to some examples and authorities, as if he were preaching to some rebel against the church. It never even entered my imagination to say a word to him which should be lacking in the respect and propriety due to his office, but I wish only to fulfil my duty.

21. I have written all this so fully in order to give an account to your Majesty of everything that has passed between the bishop and myself, in the controversy and discussion regarding the collection of tributes. It appears at even greater length by his letters and mine which accompany this, so that your Majesty may be sure of the arguments on both sides. My present orders are that the encomenderos shall not collect tribute where there is neither instruction nor justice (although some persons thus will suffer large loss). Nevertheless, the majority of them are quiet and consoled, and are observing the order I gave them (which I send to your Majesty), until such time as your Majesty, as above stated, may be pleased to order something else, and to clear up all these doubts.

22. In regard to the needed instruction and ministers, I am writing a separate letter to your Majesty. I am sending a very long and exact account of the encomiendas and encomenderos in these islands of your Majesty, both with and without instruction and justice; also of the ministers there are and those who are needed. I beseech your Majesty to have them provided, since it is so great a service to God and for the good of these souls, and a means by which so many evils and troubles will cease. May our Lord Page 161preserve your Majesty for many long years as is needed by the Christian world. Manila, June 20, 1591. The papers referred to in this letter are inside the first sheet.

Gomez Peres Dasmarinas

[Endorsed: “Manila. To the king, our sovereign. From Governor Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, June 20, 1591.”

“July 16, 1592. Make an abstract of the different points.” “Relation abstracted as ordered.” “Provided within; let the petition be acted on at once.” “Everything has been examined and provisions made.”

“Let examination be made of the provisions made in clauses 9 to 21, that came recently with the duplicate of this letter. The other clauses are answered, and despatches sent.”] Page 162

1 Evidently referring to the petition which appears in Vol. VII, p. 301.

2 The university of Salamanca was founded in the twelfth or thirteenth century. The city of Salamanca, although it contains beautiful churches, owes its fame chiefly to the university. The studies were divided into the greater schools, or university proper, and the lesser schools, or colleges. In 1569 it had the following chairs: canonical law, ten; theology, seven; medicine, seven; logic and philosophy, eleven; astronomy, one; music, one; Hebrew and Chaldean, two; Greek, four; rhetoric and grammar, seventeen. It was among the very first universities to teach the sciences.

The university of Alcalá was founded by Cardinal Cisneros, July 26, 1508, under the name of Colegio Mayor de San Ildefonso. It was removed to Madrid in 1836. The building occupied by the university combined in itself several forms of architecture, not adhering to any one.

The Fortification of Manila


As there are no funds here belonging to your Majesty, and as this city is very poor and has no established source of income to meet the expense involved in carrying on the erection of the wall around it—which is absolutely necessary for its protection and safety because it is quite exposed without it—therefore an effort must be made to find some source of revenue in order that so important an undertaking may not be given over. I have accordingly in your Majesty's name granted the merchants' peso [peso merchante] on Chinese goods for two years. The amount of this is thus far unknown, because it has not hitherto been laid. The most profitable source of income is the monopoly of playing-cards which has been established for the benefit of your Majesty's exchequer. I apply the proceeds of this to the wall for the present until your Majesty commands otherwise. This amounts in one year to two thousand five hundred, or three thousand pesos. I considered that the whole amount was very small, while it was absolutely necessary to fortify this place, which is entirely open and exposed to every sort of danger. Hence, seeing that there was a great quantity of Chinese stuffs here this year, and that there were present a number of Page 163merchants from Peru and Mexico who ought to do something for the good of the city—if for no other reason than the damage they do it by raising the price of merchandise with the large amount of money they bring—I decided for this once to levy upon all, upon citizens and inhabitants of this city and these islands as upon all others who were therein, an assessment and contribution of two per cent, upon the cargo and appraisement of everyone, as appears from the decree to this effect, a copy of which I send your Majesty. All, citizens and others, were satisfied and were ready to pay the contribution which fell to the share of each, for they plainly saw how just it was to ask it. But, the very moment the bishop and his friars knew of the matter, they called a formal meeting of their theological council and in it considered whether I had authority to levy the assessment, whether I had received orders from your Majesty to that effect or not, and whether I had incurred the censures of the bull concerning the Lord's supper [De cena Domini], inasmuch as this was a new impost. They resolved, in fact, that I had no authority to do this, and were even on the point of declaring me excommunicated. The city was so upset and disturbed by them that open scandal almost resulted. I do not now discuss the character of this assessment, for your Majesty will see the justification for imposing it. All I have to say is that certainly, in addition to my ordinary difficulties with the bishop, this last trouble is due specially to the president and the auditors, although they know well how necessary and useful the wall is. It was because of the lack of it that the English, when they plundered the ship “Sancta Ana,” were able to get away with their booty so safely. Page 164It would have been possible to attack them and to force them to give it up in the island of Oton, where they lay at anchor for some days, if it had not been that the president and auditors were unwilling to run the risk of leaving the city when it had no wall. If we had had any, no matter how few the people in it, it would have been safe. But they have not said or done anything to help me. On the contrary, they have joined the bishop in denouncing and attacking this tax because it affects them. They have loaded themselves with cloths and merchandise in such quantity that their share of the tax is likely to amount to something; and this they would be glad to avoid, like the good merchants they are. I at least do not know any other rich people here than the president and auditors; and that is the only reason why they object to the tax, to which they incorrectly give the name of “impost.” This it certainly is not, for it is assessed once only and upon men such as the Peruvians and Mexicans, who are going away, and will not be obliged to pay it again, even if it is demanded. It is a great pity, Sire, that the theologians, when they are not invited and ought not to be invited to do so, meddle thus with this matter, as they do with everything else which is decreed; and that they should wish to act in all respects as a superior tribunal. This they do not only in the interior court of conscience, but with outward proceedings in the exterior court by excommunications, declarations, and the taking of measures to stop that which is being done. It is this disturbance and interference for which in other letters I beg your Majesty to command a remedy. The ecclesiastical tribunal has certainly possessed itself and gained the mastery of everything here to an extraordinary Page 165degree; and this is not consistent with exemplary conduct and life in the clergy. From the bishop down to the humblest of them, they are as good merchants as the most secular and the most skilful tradesmen. It is because the two per cent affects and includes them all, as I have said, that the theological council finds fault with it, declaring that it is not just. It is fortunate that they do not directly affirm it to be unjust; but assert that I err in laying this assessment, which the laws themselves declare shall be laid for expenditures upon defenses and walls. From this it is plain that they desire to be jurists and theologians and governors, and, under pretext of conscience, to embark in and embarrass everything. Notwithstanding, I have gone on with this tax; and all who pay it are very well pleased—except, as I say, these long petticoats, who smart under it. I believe it will amount to something, and a statement of its value will be enclosed in this report. The best of all is that, some days before the two per cent was laid, there was a meeting called at my request, and held in the bishop's house before him and me and all the regidors of the city. At this meeting were present all the superiors of all the orders; this matter was discussed, and it was decided that the tax might lawfully be levied, inasmuch as it did not exceed two per cent, and was for the public welfare; while now they have taken to denouncing it. May our Lord keep the Catholic person of your Majesty for many a long year, as Christianity requires.

Manila, June 20, 1591.

Gomez Perez Dasmariñas

It appears that the duty [i.e. the ordinary duty of Page 166three per cent] on the appraisals amounts in this present year to thirteen thousand two hundred and fourteen pesos and six tomins. XIII U. CCXIIII pesos.

Hence, in proportion to the three per cent duty, the duty now imposed for the building of the wall comes to eight thousand eight hundred and nine pesos and six tomins. VIII U. DCCC IX pesos.

This is without having finished the clearing of the vessels, although there is little left now to be shipped.

[Marginal note: “Everything that has been done in regard to the walls is approved; let this impost and the others be continued until the fortification is completed.”] Page 167

Investigations at Manila Concerning Trade with Macan


Most potent Lord:

The city of Manila in the Filipinas Islands declares that the investigation which it presents to the governor, Gomez Perez de las Marinas, was made at his request and contains its opinion. Since this document will show clearly the excellent reasons for, and the great advantage and lack of all harm resulting from, trade between Macan and the said islands and, besides the general advantage, that it would be of great importance for the commerce, trade, and conversion of Great China—the city beseeches your Highness to have the investigation examined; and to favor the said city by ordering that commerce be opened with the inhabitants of Macan, in order to enable the inhabitants of the Filipinas Islands to trade and traffic with them. Since this is a matter of so great utility and necessity, as appears from the investigation, may the city receive favor.



(The city: The investigation presented to the governor. Manila, July 15, the day on which it was presented.) Page 168

I, Melchor de Baeça, declare, in the name of the cabildo, magistrates, and regimiento1 of this city, that the rights of those whom I represent require that a formal report of this inquiry be made, in order to notify the king, our sovereign, concerning the lack of harm and the great profit which would be derived from commerce between Macan and these islands; and that, besides the benefit which the Portugese receive, this commerce would be of great importance for the conversion of Great China and for its trade and commerce with these islands. Likewise the king ought to be informed that no ships or merchants have gone or are going to Goa or other ports of Yndia to trade or traffic, or to take away their [i.e., the Portuguese] shares, bargains, and profits; and how they could pursue their business in the said port of Macan, and at Canton, without there being felt any scarcity, or enhancement of prices; but, on the contrary, a great excess of goods would remain at Macao—all that arises from the trade which they are about to begin with Goa, Chave, and other regions that maintain trade with Macan. All this would result in the great increase and prosperity of these islands, from which it appears that the said commerce, which does no harm, should not be hindered.

I beseech and beg your Lordship to give orders that the said report be accepted, and that the witnesses whom I shall put forward testify according to these questions. Your Lordship will please make a decision concerning the matter. I offer my plea to that effect. Page 169

I also beseech your Lordship to give orders that that section in the instructions which your Lordship received from the king our lord be added to this inquiry, so that I may be able to send word to the said city of Macan. I present the claim, etc.


Item: Let them testify whether they know that the Portuguese inhabiting Macan, Malaca, and other places in India trade and hold business intercourse with the Castilians who inhabit this city and these islands; and whether the said Portuguese have derived or are deriving from it much gain, profit, and advantage, without incurring any loss or harm. The witnesses know about this, because they have been in Macan, Malaca, and other regions of Yndia, and have seen it with their own eyes; if it were otherwise, the witnesses would know, and it would not be of less importance, because they have seen it all themselves, as above stated, and are Portuguese; etc.

2. Item: Let them testify whether they know that a greater number of ships and much more money than in any previous year have gone to the city of Macan from the city of Goa and other places in India, to purchase Chinese goods. There was and is plenty of cloth and merchandise for all, and no scarcity is produced by the exportation which is made to India; etc.

3. Item: Let them testify whether they know that not only the Portuguese meet with no loss, as stated in the previous questions, but that, on the contrary, if the Castilians pursued the said commerce more frequently, making the journey to Macan a feature of their trade, they could enter Great China, for Page 170the Chinese greatly desire their trade. This would render an immense service to God and to his Majesty, because the gospel could be imparted to the Chinese from here; etc.

4. Item: Let them testify whether they know that no ships or merchants have gone or are going to Yndia to buy and sell, or to check their trade. The witnesses know this, because they have seen and examined it with their own eyes; were it otherwise, they would have known, seen, and heard of the matter. It must have been no less than this, since they continue to come to this city and trade with Yndia; etc.

5. Item: Let them testify whether they know that not only the Portuguese have gained much, without loss or injury, but that the commerce between this city and that of Macan, according to the previous questions, and the entrance into China through trade are of immense advantage for the prosperity and enrichment of these islands, as well as for that of their citizens and inhabitants. In a short time this city and port will be one of the richest which his Majesty possesses in the Yndias; etc.

6. Item: Let them testify whether they know that in July of last year, ninety, when Gomez Perez de las Marinas, governor and captain-general of these islands, sent a ship to the port of Macan with royal money to purchase ammunition for the fortress and fortifications of this city and the islands, promising the captain in command at Macan to favor and help him in all his needs, as a vassal of the same king and master, some inhabitants of this city sent by the said ship a quantity of money, in order to purchase goods with it, which was seized by the Portuguese of Macan who were on board. The ship would not have been Page 171sent if it had not been on account of the instructions of his Majesty which the said governor possessed. We know for certain in this city that the captain in command seized the said ship and the money, thus bringing loss and ruin to the said citizens. As to what they do not know, let them refer to the said instructions and despatches, which the said governor sent.

7. Item: Let them testify whether they know that the said loss and ruin has been so severe that those citizens who own nothing else are unable to support themselves, or to aid in the service of his Majesty when occasions arise, as they have done until now. They are embarrassed with debts and obligations.

8. Item: Let them testify whether they know that the aforesaid is generally known and manifest to all.

Melchor de Baeça

This interrogatory was presented to the governor, Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, in the city of Manila, on the twenty-third day of May, in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety-one, on behalf of the cabildo, magistrates, and regimiento of the city. His Lordship examined it and declared that he would order, and he did order, the attorney of the said city to give a report of his declaration before the notary, Gaspar de Azebo, whom he would entrust—and he did entrust—with the examination of the witnesses.

Gaspar de Azevo

Authority given by the Cabildo to Diego Hernandez Bitoria, whom they elected attorney-general. On November [sic] nineteen, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one, there met and assembled before Page 172me in Manila, Esteban de Marquina, public and cabildo notary of this city, and the magistrates and regimiento of the same—namely, Captain Diego de Castillo, Alcalde Don Francisco de Poya y Guevara, High Constable Antonio de Cariedo, Captain Joan Pacheco, Diego Hernandez Bitoria, and Antonio Garrido de Salzedo. All these regidors met, and unanimously elected and appointed the regidor Diego Hernandez Bitoria attorney-general for them and for this city. They gave him power, as he holds it and justly needs, to draw and present all the claims, petitions, injunctions, evidences, oaths, warrants, and investigations which may be fitting and necessary, and which the said cabildo would, if present, offer, in connection with all the trials and suits, both civil and criminal, which the said city might have concerning its privileges and exemptions; and in whatever process, whether in or out of court, might come before any magistrate and judge of the king our lord. They also gave him power to replace or recall attorneys, and to appoint new ones. They gave him this power, and gave assurance for maintaining it, by signing their names, and by pledging the property and revenues of this city which have been or are to be received. It was signed by Diego del Castillo, Joan Pacheco Maldonado, Antonio de Cariedo, Don Francisco de Poya, and Diego Hernandez Bitoria.

Before me:

Estevan de Marquina

Therefore I have hereto set my seal in witness of the truth.

Esteban de Marquina Page 173


Witness: Captain Poyatos. On May twenty-seven, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one, in the city of Manila, Melchor de Baeca, attorney of this city, presented as witness in the name of the same, Captain Hernando Muñoz de Poyatos, a citizen of this city, from whom he took oath, according to law, upon a sign of the cross, under obligation of which he bound himself and promised to tell the truth. After having been questioned according to the interrogatory presented by the said Melchor de Baeca, he made the following declaration:

1. To the first question, the witness testified that the Portuguese of the city of Macan trade and hold business communication with the Spanish inhabitants of this city and of these islands; that much gain and profit has come and comes to them, and that they have not met, and never will meet any injury for coming to trade in these islands. The witness knows this because he has been in the city of Macan, and has seen that matters are as the question declares them to be. And he believes that they will surely continue thus if the inhabitants of Malaca and other regions of India will continue to trade in these islands. This is his answer.

2. To the second question, the witness, who, as specified above, has been in the city of Macan, testified that, although ships now go from Goa, from these islands, and from many other parts in greater number and with much more money to invest in Chinese goods than hitherto, there are cloths and merchandise enough for all who go there, and much is left over. This is what the witness answers, because he has found it so in the said city of Macan. Page 174

3. To the third question, the witness testified that he was convinced that if the Spaniards in these islands went to the city of Macan to trade and traffic with its inhabitants, a great step would be made toward the possibility of preaching the gospel among the Chinese, a thing which would be of great service to God our Lord, and to his Majesty. He does not know anything about what is asked of him in the rest of the question. This is his answer.

4. To the fourth question, the witness testified that he has lived in these islands more than sixteen years, and that in all this time he has neither seen nor heard that any ship had been despatched from these islands to Yndia for trading purposes; had it not been so, the witness would have known of it; nor could it be otherwise, since he has resided in these islands for so many years. This is his answer.

5. To the fifth question, the witness testified that the answer was the same as the one given to the previous question, and that, to his knowledge, if commerce is established between these islands and Macan, in a short time this city, its inhabitants, and the islands will be greatly enriched. This is his answer.

6. To the sixth question, the witness testified that Governor Gomez Perez Dasmarinas despatched a large ship from these islands to the city of Macan, and that it was well known by all that it was sent for the purpose specified in the question. Concerning the rest of the question he refers to the decrees and other documents issued by the said governor in reference to the despatching of the said ship. He has heard that the rest of the question is true. This is his answer.

7. To the seventh question, he testified that certain Page 175inhabitants of these islands sent money to Macan, and that they suffer need because thus far they have not been given the proceeds. This is his answer.

8. To the eighth question, he testified that his answer was the same as the one given to the previous questions, and that it is the truth according to the oath he took. He acknowledged it with his signature, and declared that he was more than thirty-five years old, and competent to be a witness.

Fernando Muñoz de Poyatos

Before me:

Gaspar de Azevo

[Here follow depositions, in answer to the same questions, from six other witnesses, all agreeing in the main with the facts as presented in the questions and in the deposition of Captain Poyatos, given above. The other witnesses are: Bastian Jorge Moxar, a Portuguese, Ensign Christobal Flores, Notary Alonso de Torres, Captain Juan de Argumedo, Captain Pedro Sarmiento, and Joan Sordo.]

[Bastían Jorge Moxar, besides what is contained in the foregoing, testified that the Portuguese feared any Spanish trade in the Indian country, and that the use of Spanish ships in the trade would bring great distress to the Portuguese.]

[Notary Alonso de Torres alleged that he had bought goods from the Portuguese in Manila for from sixty to sixty-five per cent above their cost price; and the Portuguese captains had told him that they could make twice as much on their investments with a trip to Manila as to any other port of the Indias, and with a shorter voyage. He was told by his intimate friend Francisco Sobrino, of Goa, that the said Page 176Sobrino came to Manila in eighty-eight with two thousand odd pesos in Chinese goods, and left a year later with eleven thousand three hundred pesos. On the ship sent by the governor, certain citizens of Manila had placed funds amounting to more than one hundred and twenty thousand pesos, the witness himself entrusting four thousand pesos to the said Francisco Sobrino, all which money was seized by the governor of Macan. He further states that he himself is one of the heaviest losers by this act.]

[Captain Juan de Argumedo reported the following conversation:] To the third question the witness testified, as before, that he was in Macan, and knows that the Portuguese are not injured but greatly benefited. While the witness was speaking with the chief captain of the said city, and the mandarin of the Chinese, the latter said: “Let the Spaniards come here and trade; for the inhabitants of your country do not come to trade with the Chinese, as the Portuguese do.” The witness answered: “We are hindered by the Portuguese, who do not wish us to come.” Thereupon the mandarin became much vexed, and addressing the chief captain of the Portuguese, said loudly: “How is this, does not the land which you hold belong to the king of China? The Portuguese have nothing to do in the matter;” and then, addressing the witness, through an interpreter who was there, he said: “Look you, Castilian, from now on come here and carry on your trade, and have nothing to do with the Portuguese; for we will give you all you need, as well as a passport.” This witness then answered and said: “Sir, it would be better to assign the Spaniards a small piece of land near Canton, upon which to settle.” Page 177

The mandarin, after a little hesitation replied: “If you will come to Canton with me, I shall obtain a chapa—a passport used there—from the viceroy, and shall see to it that the Spaniards make a settlement in good time.” As this witness had no order to that effect, and was busy with his own affairs, he did not go to Canton, or pursue the matter further. Considering what he has seen, he believes that the Chinese desire the trade of the Spaniards; that, if the latter went there, a place would be given them for a settlement; and, if the trade were once established, he thought it certain that the holy gospel could be communicated to the Chinese, whence would follow much good to the service of God and of his Majesty. He knows this because it was in the same manner that the gospel was introduced into the realms of Xapon by the Theatin friars, who went there with the merchants. This is his answer.

[Captain Pedro Sarmiento testified that the Chinese desire commerce with the Spaniards; for when the witness was there, by order of Governor Guido de Lavezaris, the said Chinese assigned the Spaniards a definite site on the mainland for settlement and a trading-place. Joan Sordo testified that he believed the Chinese would welcome the Spaniards, and quoted a Sangley as saying to him: “Castilians, when will the day come for your entry into China? for these mandarins oppress us so that we long for the day.”]

Petition of Diego Hernandez Vitoria

In the city of Manila, on the twenty-first day of June, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one, Diego Hernandez Vitoria, a regidor of this city, appeared Page 178before me, the notary, and before the undersigned witnesses, in his capacity of attorney-general, and declared that he would give, as he in fact did give, the power which he holds from the cabildo and regidors of this city, to Melchor de Vaeça, attorney at law; and that he would approve and ratify all the pleas which the said Melchor de Vaeça might make in this suit in the name of the said city, and as attorney of the same. He signed his name in the presence of the witnesses, Hernando Diaz, Miguel de Solarte, and Adrian Perez.

Diego Hernandez Vitoria

Before me:

Gaspar de Azevo

I, Diego Hernandez Vitoria, citizen and regidor of this city and attorney-general of the same, declare that, in order to show by the above investigation the little harm which the Portuguese suffer from our going to Macan, I need a copy from the government books, of the decrees which Pedro Brito took to Macan. Therefore, I beg and beseech your Lordship to order that the said copy be given me. I offer this plea.

Diego Hernandez Vitoria

On the seventeenth of July, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one, in the city of Manila, the person mentioned in the petition presented it to Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, governor and captain-general for the king, our lord, in these islands; and his Lordship ordered that the copy which he asks be given him, attested in the form prescribed.

Gaspar de Azevo

In fulfilment of this, I, the said Gaspar de Azevo, notary-in-chief of the government of the Philipinas Page 179Islands, caused to be made and did make, out of the government books which are in my keeping, a copy of the decrees which Pedro de Brito took to the city of Macan, and whose contents are as follows:

[Decrees Taken to Macan]

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the order of Sanctiago, member of his Majesty's council, and his governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands. At present I am actually practicing and exercising the said office of governor and captain-general, according to the commission of his Majesty, which reads as follows:

Commission of Gomez Perez Dasmarinas as governor; and other decrees which were taken to Macan. Don Felipe, by the grace of God, King of Castilla, Leon, Aragón, the two Sicilies; Jerusalem, Portugal, Navarra, Granada, Toledo, Valencia, Galizia, Mallorcas, Sevilla, Cerdeña, Cordoba, Córcega, Murcia, Jaén, the Algarbes, Algeciras, Gibraltar, the islands of Canarias, the eastern and western Yndias, and the islands and mainland of the Ocean Sea; Archduke of Austria; Duke of Borgoña, Bravante, and Milan; Count of Abspurg, Flandes, Tirol, and Varcelona; Lord of Vizcaya and Molina: Inasmuch as, from the time when the Filipinas Islands were discovered in the great Chinese Archipelago, I have always given much care to the supplying of religious to preach the gospel in those far-away and remote regions, in order that our Christian religion might be spread in those islands which our Lord through His mercy chose to call to a true knowledge of Himself; and in order that a more godly success might be obtained among the natives of the said islands and others Page 180of the same archipelago, and of other neighboring lands and provinces surrounding the regions already discovered and pacified; and in order that, through the mild method of instruction, they might attain the end for which they were created, I have continually supplied Spaniards to settle those islands, so that with their presence and defense, religion might be established and its ministers protected. Moreover, wishing better to regulate affairs and to render them more stable, I gave orders for the establishment of the Audiencia and royal chancilleria in the city of Manila, of the said Filipinas Islands. But now—having heard that the said Audiencia is a heavy burden to a new and thinly-populated land; and that besides, having few matters to settle, it incurs heavy expenses for the maintenance of ministers and officers—I have decided to order the abolishment of the said Audiencia and the resumption of the same form and order of government that existed before the establishment of the Audiencia. Considering how much and how well you, Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the order of Sanctiago, have served me, and considering the many good qualities united in your person, I hereby elect and appoint you my governor and captain-general of the said Filipinas Islands, hoping that you will continue to serve me on all occasions with the love and faithfulness which my great trust in you imposes upon your person. In such capacity, it is my will that you enjoy and exercise the said offices in the cases and matters connected with and depending upon them, so long as I desire; and in the manner which the persons who have exercised them hitherto have been accustomed, permitted, or obliged to do; and as other persons who have served and are serving Page 181me in similar offices in these islands and provinces of the Yndias do, may, or must do. It is my desire that you administer justice for me, both civil and criminal, in all the cities, towns, and places, settled or to be settled; you shall also confer offices of justice, war, and others which exist in the islands. Through this decree, or a copy of it, signed by a notary, I order that the civic bodies, courts, regidors, knights, esquires, officers, and good men of all cities, towns, and places of the said Filipinas Islands, and the officers of my exchequer, and the captains, inspectors, and other persons residing there, whatever be their station, shall—after you, the said Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, have taken the oath with the solemnity required by the occasion, and according to the custom of the cabildo of the city of Manila, of the Filipinas Islands—receive you and look upon you as my governor and captain-general of the said islands, and freely allow you to enjoy and exercise the said offices, and to carry out and execute my justice in the said islands, whether it be through your agency or through the lieutenants of my governor and captain-general. I think it advisable that the offices of corregidor, alguazil, and others which you assign in the said islands shall be declared vacant and removed whenever you consider that my service and the execution of my justice demand it. You are empowered to substitute others in their places; and to hear, dismiss, and decide all the civil and criminal trials and suits which may arise in the said islands and towns; you and your lieutenants are empowered to deprive the said offices of the fees connected with and pertaining to them, and to make any investigation in former suits, and other matters connected with and pertaining to the said offices Page 182which you and your lieutenants may consider necessary for my service, the execution of my justice, and the settlement and government of the said islands and communities. In order that you may enjoy and exercise the said offices, and carry out and execute my justice as above stated, all men shall submit to you and give and cause to be given to you all the support and aid which you ask and need from them. All shall respect and obey you, and carry out your orders and those of your lieutenants; and they shall in no wise place or allow to be placed any obstacle or opposition before you, since I hereby accept and consider you as accepted in the capacity of the said offices, and in the enjoyment and exercise of them. I give you power and authority to enjoy and exercise them and to carry out and execute my justice as above stated. In case those persons, or any of them, shall not accept you as holding the said offices, I command whomsoever holds the reins of my justice in the said islands, as soon as you, the said Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, ask for them, to give and yield them up to you, and to exercise their offices no longer—under pain of incurring the punishment incurred by those who exercise royal and public offices without any authority; for I hereby suspend and hold them suspended from the said offices. You, your lieutenants, and other magistrates shall enforce, and cause to be enforced, all fines and punishments which you may inflict, which moneys are to be given and delivered to the officials of my exchequer. Whenever you consider it fitting for my service and for the execution of my justice for any of those persons, who are now or may be in future in the said islands, to leave the same and not return thither, but come before me instead, you shall Page 183send them in my name, and cause them to depart in accordance with the ordinance to this effect. You shall state to the persons whom you thus send the reasons for your doing so; but, if it seems best to give the information secretly, you shall give it enclosed and sealed, and then you shall send me a similar explanation by another messenger, in order that I may have knowledge of it. You are warned not to send any one in this way unless urged by serious reasons. Both parties are to do nothing contrary to this, under pain of losing my favor. Given in San Lorenzo, August the ninth, one thousand five hundred and eighty-nine.

I, The King

I, Joan Ybarra, secretary of the king our lord, had it written by his order.

The licentiate

Hernando de Vega de Fonseca


Pedro de Ledesma, Chancellor.

San Joan de Sardaneta

Clause of the instruction. The king, our lord, sent me, in such capacity, an order through royal decree and instruction, signed by his royal hand, the original of which does not accompany this on account of its being inserted in other important decrees and secret orders relating to his royal service. The order in question reads as follows: “Whenever you think best to allow and give permission to the inhabitants of the said islands to go to Xapon, Macan, and other kingdoms or settlements of the Portuguese or the heathens, for the sake of trade, you can do so after having first carefully investigated whether there is Page 184any obstacle or danger in the journey.” Since, for the reason which will be stated below, his Majesty's desire corresponds to two other royal decrees which will be shown, we have inserted here a number of original documents which successively read as follows:

The King: To Don Gonzalo Ronquillo de Peñalosa, my governor and captain-general of the Filipinas Islands, or, in your absence, to the person or persons having charge of the government. According to what I wrote you on the fourth of April of last year, eighty-one, and what you have seen since in the despatches sent by the fleet which left for Nueva España on the thirteenth of June of the said year, you must have heard that, on account of the death of the most serene, powerful, and lofty king, Don Enrrique, my uncle (may he rest in peace), I succeeded to the kingdoms of Portugal; and that their crown is united to that of the other kingdoms which I already possessed. Since for this reason all become one and the same people, and you and the Portuguese are all my vassals; and since it is right that, for the better support of my service, there be agreement and amicable relations among all, especially in these regions—where, on account of their great distance from here, one must exert himself to remedy the losses which may come from events that occur daily, without awaiting orders from here, on account of difficulties which would be caused by the delay—I command you that on all occasions, whether together or separated from one another, you maintain friendly relations and one mind among yourselves, as I have written, being careful to help, support, and defend one another alike in all needs and with great harmony and friendship, as it is right for you to do. I warn Page 185you to act in all things according to that trust I place in you, so that there may be no omission in the affairs committed to you, for this should be your chief and main aim. Lisboa, March thirty-one, one thousand five hundred and eighty-two.

I, The King

By order of his Majesty:

Antonio de Herasso

The King: To Don Gonzalo Rronquillo de Peñalosa, my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas Islands; or, in your absence, the person or persons who may hold the reins of government. You understand, from what I have written you before and what I write now, the causes and reasons why there should be a close and friendly relation between you and your people dwelling in those islands and my viceroy of Eastern Yndia, and my governor and captain-general of Malaca with his Portuguese; and how well served I shall be if, since you are all on the same footing, and since you are all my vassals, you deal, communicate, and make friends with one another, and help one another whenever occasion and need shall arise. There was little necessity to remind you of this; yet, seeing that it is so important and so reasonable that things be so, I have decided to recommend the matter to you, assuring you that I shall be much pleased thereby. If at any time my viceroy of Yndia, or the governor and captain-general of Malaca, should write to you asking to send men to his aid, you will send him the men whom you can spare from those islands, in order that he may be secure; and do so with the precaution that you shall find needful. In either case, you will give orders as one who has the matter at heart, and knows what can and must be Page 186done. Since I trust in you and your prudence, and allow you to send some troops and captains under similar circumstances, you shall ask the same to obey and carry out whatever he whom they go to help may say and order, either in writing or orally, serving him with the good discipline and obedience to which that nation [the Portuguese] are accustomed, in the expeditions and military exploits which may take place. Lisboa, on the thirty-first day of March in the year one thousand five hundred and eighty-two.

I, The King

By order of his Majesty:

Antonio de Erasso

Considering the fact that the king, our lord, is pleased to have harmony, friendly relations, commerce, and trade between the inhabitants of these islands and the Portuguese nobles inhabiting Macan, Xapon, and other regions—which things are necessary for the preservation of these his kingdoms, and the welfare and prosperity of his vassals, and the exaltation of our holy Catholic religion; and since in fulfilment of this royal desire and offer of friendly intercourse, commerce, trade, and many other things pertaining to his royal service, as I am in need of ammunition for this camp, I am forced to send a person to the city of Macan—namely, Pedro de Brito, a regidor of this city of Manila—whom I order to sail from these islands to the said city of Macan on the ship “Nuestra Señora de Conception” (or, as it is also called, the “San Pedro”), with Pedro de Solorzano as captain, and Antonio Diaz Delaleres as ship-master. I have given him permission to sail, and if necessary, to let this document serve as a permission Page 187for the voyage and the return to this city, observing strictly all my instructions and orders: therefore in the name of the king, our lord, I request and ask in my own name the chief captain of the said city of Macan, the officers of the exchequer, and the magistrates and rulers of the city; and whatever governors, captains, judges, and magistrates may reside in the said city in his Majesty's name; also nobles, and other persons who live there, and in others of his kingdoms and seigniories—of all these I request that, whenever this is shown, they examine the said royal decrees and obey and observe them. I request them to let the said regidor, Pedro de Brito, come into port with the said ship and crew, allow them to land, and communicate and trade with the inhabitants and natives in all things that they desire and need, and to offer no obstacle or hindrance; but, on the contrary, to protect and help them for their success, and in the necessary preparations which they will make, as they owe to the service of his Majesty. I shall do as much to them whenever a similar request is made of me. In the city of Manila, on the third day of July, in the year one thousand five hundred and ninety.

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas

By order of the governor:

Gaspar de Azevo

This was corrected and compared with the said government book from which it was copied. Manila, June twenty, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one. The following witnesses were present when it was corrected and compared: Miguel de Solarte and Adrian Perez.

Gaspar de Azevo Page 188

The Governor's Opinion

Sire: Having examined this investigation which the cabildo, magistracy, and regimiento of this city have made, so that your Majesty might favor the inhabitants of Manila by granting them commerce with the inhabitants of Macan, and considering the little harm which the Portuguese would suffer from it, my opinion is that, with your Majesty's pleasure, the favor could be granted, for very little trouble will follow from it. Moreover, it will benefit this camp, in that we shall be able to get ammunition, supplies, and other things from the city of Macan: for, as far as ammunition is concerned, the trade with China is closed, since no Chinese would dare to bring it over.

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas

This copy was made, corrected, and compared with the evidence and other decrees already mentioned, at the request of the attorney of this city of Manila, and by order of the said governor, on June twenty-second, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one, in Manila; and in the presence of the following witnesses, who saw when it was taken, corrected, and compared: Miguel de Solarte, and Adrian Perez. Therefore, I set my seal to it in witness of truth.

Gaspar de Azevo

We, the undersigned notaries, certify and truly testify that Gaspar de Azevo, whose signet and name are attached to this investigation, is government notary of these islands; and, as such, the instruments drawn before him, or which have heretofore been drawn before him, are to be given full faith and credit in or out of court. Port of Cavite, June Page 189twenty-third, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one.

Alonso Esteban de Marquina, notary.

Tomas Perez, notary.

Miguel de Quintanilla, notary-public.

The preceding was deliberated upon in Madrid on the twentieth day of July, one thousand five hundred and ninety-two.

The licentiate Gonzalez.

[Endorsed at beginning of document:

“The city of Manila in the Filipinas Islands; concerning the possibility of their inhabitants trading with those of Macan.

Ledesma, secretary.”

“Eighty-four maravedís were paid for the examination, on July 15, 1529 (sic; sc. 1592).

The licentiate Gonzalez.”

“The possible trade between Macan and the inhabitants of Manila.”]

[Endorsed on back of document: “Investigation concerning the question of Macan; for Domingo de Uribe.”] Page 190

1 Regimiento: the body of regidors, who never exceeded twelve, forming a part of the municipal council, or ayuntamiento, in every capital of a jurisdiction. See Bouvier's Law Dictionary (Rawle's rev. ed., Boston, 1897), p. 860.

Documents of 1592

Sources: All these documents are obtained from original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla.

Translations: In the first document, the opinion of the Augustinians is translated by Joseph Fitzgerald; that of the Franciscans, by Victoria G. Peacock; the remainder, by James A. Robertson. The second document is translated by Rev. T.C. Middleton, O.S.A., Villanova College; the third, by José M. and Clara M. Asensio. In the eighth document, the first letter is translated by Helen E. Thomas; the third, by Mary F. Foster. The remaining documents of this group are translated by James A. Robertson. Page 191

Opinions of the Religious Communities upon Waging War with the Zambales

Opinion of the Augustinians

Your Lordship orders us to give our judgment whether it be lawful to make war on the Zambales, in view of the many injuries that they have been and daily are inflicting upon our people; and, if so be that the war is lawful and righteous, what measures may be taken to attain the end proposed therein, security.

In reply to this we say that, according to all the authorities, divines as well as canonists and jurists, three conditions are required in a war to make it a righteous one; and on these we will rest the justification of the war at present under consideration.

The first condition is that he who begins the war shall have authority; the second, just cause for making war; and third, righteous intention.

The first requires that he who begins the war and by whose order it is waged be a public person, as St Augustine declares, Contra Faustum Manichæum; cited by Gratian (23 qu. I. c. Quid culpatur): Ordo naturalis mortalium paci accommodatus hoc poscit, ut susctpiendi belli authoritas atque consilium penes principes sit. Whence it is clear, as St. Thomas says Page 192(2a 2æ, q. 40, art. I),1 that a private person cannot lawfully make war; for, if he is aggrieved, he should resort to his superior for satisfaction; and it is as little within the right of a private individual to collect such a body of men as is requisite to carry on a war. The difficulty is to understand what is meant by “public person” or “prince;” for it is plain that it is not lawful for every prince or judge whatsoever to wage war. The solution of this difficulty, according to St. Thomas (ubi supra,) and Cajetanus (ibi and in Summa, ch. Bellum), and Castro (De justa hæreticorum punitione lib. 2, c. 4), is that by “public person” in the present case is understood the one who in his government depends not on another; such are the kings of Spain and France, also some free commonwealths, as Venice, Florence, and Ferrara: these have authority, without recourse to another, to wage war. But those princes and states whose government is not sovereign may not levy war without authority from their superior; and so the lords of Castilla and the viceroys and governors appointed by our king Philippus may not without a warrant make war.

What is said applies not when war is waged for defense against enemies, but in other circumstances; for if it is for defense, such war is permitted to any governor or king, as the authors say, because vim vi repellere licet;2 and thus the viceroys and governors of the Indias have authority to levy war against disturbers Page 193of the peace and quiet of the states of which they are in charge, without necessity of resorting to his Majesty for permission.

The second condition of righteous war is that the cause for which it is waged shall be a just one, as St. Thomas says: “Those upon whom war is waged deserve it for the offenses that they have committed, and the grievances that they have inflicted upon the one who makes war on them.” Thus says St. Augustine (lib. 83. Quæstionum super Josue, 9. 10), and Gratian quotes him (23, q. 2, c. Dominus noster): Justa autem bella solent definiri quæ ulciscuntur injurias, si gens vel civitas plectenda est, quod vel vindicare neglexerit quod a suis improbe factum est, vel reddere quod per injuriam ablatum est.3 And as this injury and grievance may be of many kinds, so too, many and various are the just causes of war; but we will consider here only those which make for the matter in hand, confirmed by the authority of Scripture.

The first ground of a righteous war may exist when one is hindered from doing what he may by right do. This is matter of natural and divine law and on this ground Julius Cæsar, as Lucan represents him (lib. 1), made defense of his conduct in waging war against the Roman state—viz., that the state had blocked to him, a Roman citizen, the route to Rome; and so he said, arms in hand, Omnia dat qui justa negat.4 On this ground, as St. Augustine says (in Quaest. Num. q. 43),5 the children of Israel justly Page 194made war on the kings of the Amorites (Ut legitimum, c. 21), for having withstood their passage through their country when they were on their way to the promised land, although the Israelites had given assurance that they would do no damage to the lands, the crops, or the vineyards of the Amorites. And so says St. Augustine (and he is quoted ubi supra, last chapter), Notandum est sane quemadmodum justa bella gerebantur a filiis Israel contra Amoritas: innoxius enim transitus denegabatur qui jure humanæ societatis aequissimo patere debebat.6 Upon which passage Joannes Andreas in his gloss well says: Licet enim transire per alienum agrum jus non sit, tamen quia necessarius et innoxius erat iste transitus illi prohibere non debuerunt; item quia via publica erat et nemo prohibetur via publica.7

The second ground, as I said, of a righteous war is the self-defense of the prince or of his subjects. This ground also is matter of both natural and divine right; for even as self-defense is a natural right, on which right is founded the rule of vim vi repellere, so too in the prince is the defense of his subjects—for the care which the prince has of his subjects is as essential on his part as is the care which each one of them has for himself; hence, if the subjects are aggrieved Page 195by their enemies, the prince may justly in their defense make war, and vim vi repellere. This is much better than that the individual should himself avenge the wrong; for the individual can lawfully defend himself and his property only in continente, as Sylvester declares (Bellum, 2 § 3), but he may not avenge past wrongs, nec sua repetere save by recourse to his judge and superior.8 Whatever goes beyond that is contrary to law and good government and, as Cajetan says, is extra moderamen tutelæ,9 it being an essential condition of the right vim vi repellere that it be done cum moderamine. But the prince and the state have the same authority with respect to their enemies at whose hands they have suffered injury, which they have with regard to their own subjects; and hence not only may they defend themselves lest either they or their subjects suffer injury, but they may avenge injuries by inflicting punishment, exact satisfaction for damage done, and take the enemies' lives, if so the quiet and safety of their subjects require. Under this head come the many wars waged by King David against the Philistines, mentioned in the Scriptures; as also the war of the Machabee captains against the kings Antiochus and Demetrius.

The third cause and ground is rebellion and disobedience of subjects. This was the ground of David's war with Sheba, son of Bichri, who raised a revolt, as you may read in II Sam. 20;10 and this is Page 196what St. Augustine says (Contra Faustum Manichæum, I. 22, c. 74): Adversus violentiam resistentium sive deo sive aliquo legitimo imperio jubente gerenda ipsa bella suscipiuntur a bonis ubi eos vel jubere tale aliquid vel in talibus obedire juste ordo ipse constringit (in c. Quid culpatur, ubi supra.)11

The fourth cause and ground for a righteous war is when there is default of keeping faith or carrying out agreements; for in such case the party who has been wronged may lawfully make war on him who, by not keeping faith, has done him injury. This made Joran [Jehoram], king of Israel, wage war on Mesa [Mesha], king of Moab, for his having failed to keep the agreements and to pay the tribute which he had promised to pay to his suzerain, King Ahab; and that this war was just is clear, for that he was assisted therein by the holy and righteous Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, with the approval of the prophet Elisha—who in the name of the Lord urged them on to war, and promised them a sure victory—as is seen in II Sam. ch. 3. These four causes and grounds, or any one of them by itself, justify war; and there are other grounds also, but these are the most certain and the most applicable to the matter in hand.

The third condition which, as we have said, must Page 197be fulfilled to make a war righteous is a right intention on the part of him who wages it; because, failing this, even when the other two conditions concur—to wit, authority and just cause—a faulty intention may render and does render the war unjust. This condition is also laid down by St. Augustine (Contra Faustum), and he is quoted by Gratian (in c. Quid culpatur); and as his words are of great weight and define wherein a bad intention consists, it is well to quote them: Quid culpatur in bello? an quid moriuntur quandoque morituri ut dominentur in pace victuri? Hoc reprehendisse timidorum est non religiosorum. Nocendi cupiditas, ulciscendi crudelitas, impacatus atque implacabilis animus, feritas rebellandi, libido dominandi et si quae sunt similia: haec sunt quae in bellis jure culpantur.12 And what must be the right intention of the prince in levying war the same Augustine declares in the book De Verbo Domini; and the passage is found in c. A pud, ubi supra: Apud veros dei cultores et ipsa bella peccata non sunt quae non cupiditate aut crudelitate sed pacis studio geruntur ut mali coerceantur et boni subleventur.13 Peace is the end that is to be sought in war, and so saith Aristotle (lib. 10 Ethicorum): Bellum gerimus ut in pace degamus.14 And Augustine Page 198says the same (Epist. ad Bonifacium): Non quaeritur pax ut bellum exerceatur, sed bellum geritur ut pax acquiratur.15

But here it is to be noted that this right intention which is here required is a condition no more essential to a righteous war than to other good works, for in all these it is required, and without it no work is virtuous; and hence it is that if this right intention be wanting in the prince who levies war and in those who urge it, he would sin by wrong intention, but if the other two conditions be fulfilled, he, as Soto says, will not be held to make amends for the injuries that may be done in the war. So, too, if a judge orders a robber to be hanged, granted that ex odio suspendat,16 he will not be held to restitution, if on the testimony adduced the man deserved hanging. Reply

Having ascertained the conditions required to make a war just, from them we shall be able clearly to decide whether such is the war against the Zambales at present under discussion. To this question we will answer affirmatively: that it is lawful without any scruple whatever, for in it the three conditions meet which are required for a just war, as we have already said.

And first, in this war is found the first condition, namely, authority in the one who wages it, for he is persona publica, the governor of these isles; and also he has a superior who is our king. But since the cause is self-defense, as will later be proved, he has Page 199no need of other permission to defend his state against enemies who molest it, as we have proved.

In this war, the third condition, too—we shall speak of the second later—is fulfilled, namely, right intention; for its end is the peace and security of the subjects, disturbed by these their enemies. And this peace it has not been possible to secure by means of our benevolent efforts, although such means have been tried—as appears from our labors to that end last year in sending religious of our order, and persons known to the Zambales, to persuade them to desist from wrongdoing and be our friends, granting them a general pardon for the wrongs they had committed against us; and although the Zambales promised, and made oath in their fashion, they have defaulted utterly, committing since then many atrocious wrongs against our people, as appears from the reports on that matter which have been drawn up. And, forasmuch as nothing has been gained through kindness, comes now, as a last and drastic remedy, the resolution to win peace and security for the king's subjects by waging war on his enemies; and this is the right intention that is required according to Aristotle and St. Augustine, as before quoted. But even suppose this intention to be lacking, it is already said and proved above that this condition is not in such sort essential as to oblige to indemnification.

It remains that we look into the second condition of just warfare, to wit, that just cause exist for waging it. This condition, in which might be presented greatest difficulty, is the clearest and plainest part of the matter before us; for not only are some of the four causes and grounds pointed out by us, as being any one of them in itself sufficient, but all the just Page 200causes are here concurrent. The first condition is fulfilled in that these Zambales impede the general traffic by sea and land of those who go to Pangasin and Ylocos and Cagayan. And, albeit the traffic works damage neither to them nor to their lands, but uses a common highway, yet they sally out upon the highways and kill and rob passengers, as appears from the reports.

Concurs also the second cause; for, although these Zambales are not molested by our people, they assault and murder them, not only falling upon them in the highways, as already said, but also seeking them out in the settlements while they are laboring in the fields; so that neither in their fields nor their homes are our people safe—which also is shown in the reports.

Furthermore, after promising obedience to our king and to the governor on his behalf, they have rebelled and renounced obedience, as we have said; and this is the third of the reasons which, as we said, justify the war.

Finally, the war is justified by their failure to keep their word and their pledges of friendship; for, as is well known, they have again and again, in the time of previous governors, been reconciled and have promised friendship, and thus have obtained pardon for their acts. And in the year just past this was done with greater formality and more solemn assurances, as appears from the record; but notwithstanding this, breaking the compact of peace, they have since then inflicted other and graver injuries—sallying out as robbers into the public routes by land and by sea, making descents on our settlements and murdering everyone on whom they can lay hands, be they Page 201Indians or Spaniards, seculars or ecclesiastics. Indeed, it is well known that last year they murdered a religious of our order, and they were tracking our provincial and two others, his companions; but all these, thanks to their own watchfulness, escaped.

From what has been said it stands amply proved that the war to be waged against the Zambales is a just one, and, beyond all scruple, as well on the part of him who sets it on foot as of those who take part in it.

But it may be that some one will, in opposition to what has been said, cite to us certain law texts to the effect that when a number of persons or a town sins, even if all or most of them are guilty, yet they should be pardoned. In the Decretum (dist. 50, c. ut constitueretur) St. Augustine says, writing to Bonifacius: Ubi per graves dissentionum scissuras non hujus aut illius hominis periculum sed populorum plurimorum strages jacet, detrahendum est aliquid severitati ut majoribus sanandis malis charitas syncera subveníat.17 And (1 q. 7 c. Quoties) Pope Innocent, as cited by Gratian, says: Quoties a populis auta turba peccatur, quia in omnes propter multitudinem vindicari non potest inultum solet transire.18

Much to the same effect is what is said by Alexander III (c. Extra, De clerico excommunicato), and also by Honorius III (in the last chapter, De transact.). And the reason for this is that in a multitude Page 202or in a town are many innocent persons, and it were a grave injustice to require that they shall suffer the rigorous punishment awarded to the guilty; while it is certain that in a war one suffers as much as the other; and hence, lest the innocent be punished, the guilty should be pardoned. To the objection which cites these testimonies in proof that parcendum est multitudini19 Castro makes apt reply (lib. 2 De justa haereticorum punitione c. 14), that the proposition is true and applies when the multitude or town purposes amendment, and there is fair hope of the same; but if the case is otherwise, and they persist in their evil ways after being admonished, reason says they shall be punished rigorously. The opposite course would only give them occasion to go on and become more hardened in their sin and misdoing, and cause others, after the example of these, to do the same—that appearing to them to be lawful, when they see that it is not punished. And such is the teaching of c. Qui vult, de Pænitentia, 3. 6., attributed to St. Augustine: Cum enim tot sunt qui labuntur ut pristinam dignitatem ex authoritate defendant et quasi usum peccandi sibi faciant, rescindenda est spes ista.20 Then, as these Zambales have many times been warned, and have promised and sworn peace and amends, and have totally defaulted, as we have already said, and have taken occasion, from the lenity shown them, to do greater mischiefs with more boldness—mistaking for timidity the kindliness that we have used toward them—it follows that, numerous Page 203though they are, we ought no longer to dissemble with them, but must punish them sternly; for the more numerous they are, the more mischief they do.

What we have stated in enforcing our thesis affords us occasion for explaining here the mode of procedure in this war, and—assuming it to be a lawful war, as has been sufficiently proved—for inquiring what considerations may be urged by those who carry on the war. And, for the sake of brevity and clearness, we will resolve the matter into a few points, without any arguments, for these points are corollaries of a just war.

First: If, to attain what is purposed—to wit, to bring the said Zambales under control—it becomes necessary that we burn their crops, their houses, and their other properties, and even kill those who make resistance, even if the presumption be that among them are some who are guiltless—it is lawful to do all this during war, until the final victory is won which is purposed. We say “if necessary,” for unless the purpose of all that is done in the war is the final victory, such deeds will be impious and tyrannical. And hence the matter should not be left to the arbitrary will of the soldiers, but should be directed by the order of him who governs them.

Second: Also, if during the war there be lack of subsistence, or of other supplies needed for its prosecution, these may be taken from what the enemy have, even though the owners be guiltless, and this without obligation to restitution—the reason being that cum licet bellum licet apponere media necessaria ad finem victoria.21 Page 204

Third: Ex jure gentium, during the war, all movables taken from any one of the enemy belong to him who has them, and there is no obligation to restitution: Sylvester Presbyter (Bellum, 1 § 10), and Cajetan (in Summa). I say “during the war,” because when it is ended non licet ultra praedari.22

Fourth: After they are reduced to subjection, those who are most guilty may be condemned to death, as also such others as regard for the security and tranquillity of the land may determine. But it will not be lawful to kill those of them who are found to be guiltless, even though it be feared that they may be mischievous in the future; for no grievance has been suffered at their hands, and means can be found of holding them securely, as we will show presently. Those of the inhabitants of a state who are usually deemed guiltless are lads not yet old enough to bear arms; old men incapacitated by age, save in the case that heretofore they have been mischievous; and the women, unless it appear that they too have engaged in war. But it will not suffice to say with Soto that they supply provisions for their husbands during the war, for that is a natural right and obligation. All the rest are deemed guilty, failing proof to the contrary; here strict investigation is to be made, lest wrong be done.

Fifth: Ex jure gentium, those captured in a just war are held as slaves. Paludanus (in 4. d. 15, q. 3) holds that this is not to be understood as applying to Christian captives; and such is the truth, and this provision is observed among Christian kings. But, as these Zambales are not Christians, they may be dealt with according to the jus gentium, and made Page 205slaves. Yet, inasmuch as they are a people of small mental capacity, and hence do not realize the seriousness of their crime, they ought not to be treated with the full vigor of law; and therefore it seems to us that it will be enough to make them slaves for a limited time, ten or fifteen years.

Sixth: The war ended, his Lordship the governor may exact from the Zambales all the costs of the war, and indemnification for all the losses suffered; and he may, by way of chastisement, levy from them some tribute: for all this is jus belli in the case of a just war, such as is this, as stands proved.

Seventh: Since it is not enough to punish past crime unless a remedy is applied for the future; and since a wide experience has shown that little confidence is to be reposed in the word and the character of this people; and since to leave them in their mountains would be to give them occasion and good opportunity for doing mischief and damage hereafter, as always in the past: it seems to us that inasmuch as these Zambales are few and have not in their villages or in their territory any cultivated fields or any fixed settlements, it will be advisable, as security against their returning to their old ways, to transplant them from the mountain region to peopled districts, depriving them of arms, and giving them a village site and lands upon which, with police control and under a government, they may live and cultivate their farms. This we deem the ultimate remedy, and as being necessary for the ends of peace and security at which we aim.

Finally: It seems to us from the experience we have had in this matter, and from what we have seen, that the expeditions sent against these Zambales have Page 206been ineffective because this method was not employed. The plan should be carried out chiefly by means of the Indians of Pampanga and the Zambales of Pangasinan—people who know the country and its hiding-places and coverts; and who, as being more agile than Spaniards, bear more easily the toils of the march over the routes that have to be traversed, owing to the wildness of the region, which, as is well known, is very great. In payment of the costs to these Indians, the slaves captured in the war might be apportioned to them; and in virtue of this compact they will not commit the cruelties and murders to be apprehended from them. Besides, this will benefit the state; for, having more field-hands, they will plow and cultivate more land. Further, as regards the Panpangos, they will in this way obtain satisfaction for the many and serious wrongs that they have suffered from the Zambales in the way of both murders and robberies.

Such, with all respect for the better judgment of others, is our opinion regarding the matter proposed to us by your Lordship, with command to declare our views. This we do, recommending always moderation and Christian charity, which should ever be practiced, and especially in dealing with this people—who, as we have said, do not realize the gravity of their offense; and on whom, therefore, the penalties of the law ought not to be inflicted in all its rigor. And, to signify that this is our judgment, we confirm it with our names. Given at San Augustin de Manila, the nineteenth day of January, 1592.

Fray Joan de Valderrama, provincial
Fray Alonzo de Castro, definitor
Fray Lorenso de Leon, definitorPage 207
Fray Joan de Tamayo, prior
Fray Antonio Serrano, prior
Fray Diego Gutierrez
Fray Diego Muñoz
Fray Diego Alvarez
Fray Alonso de Montalvan, superior
Fray Matthias Manrique
Fray Alonso de Paz23

[Endorsed: “Opinion of the Augustinian fathers regarding the Cámbales.” “Opinion of the Augustinian fathers upon waging war against the Zambales.”] Page 208

Opinion of the Dominicans


Admitting the information received against the Negrillos and certain Zambales, who commit assaults; and admitting (what is generally known) the murders committed daily, both past and present, and which have not been committed in their just defense or in just revenge for injuries—as is evident because indeed the Batanes, Panpangos, Pangasinanes, and Ylocos (and these last are the worst sufferers) were at peace with them, and, since that peace, neither the Panpangos nor the others have disturbed them in their villages or on the highways, but, on the contrary, have tried to preserve friendly relations; and admitting (likewise a well-known fact) the custom of this race from the earliest period of killing, whenever possible, Spaniards and Indians, without any distinction, and without having received any injuries, for the sole purpose of proving their courage by their ability to kill men, collecting heads and hanging them up in their houses, as such proof; item, admitting one other certain fundamental, that no incursion has been made into their lands for the sake of provoking them in their common habitation, but that they, on the other hand, invade, from their lands, the royal open highways and the settlements of the peaceful natives, in order to kill those who are living in peace with them, and with all: we render freely an exact opinion.

1. The Negrillos and mountain Zambales have not, because of their former wars, before the arrival of the Spaniards in this land, at present any just title to war against the settled and peaceful people of these islands. This is proved, for, although in those former Page 209times force ruled, and injustice held full sway, and meant different things to each individual, and no distinction was made—as, where two persons quarrel with words, and injure each other equally, there is no satisfaction other than to stop, and there is no distinction in the injury—now, after the pacification of the Indians in settlements, these wars ceased for many years; for which reason the old animosities do not furnish any just pretext for war to either Negrillos or Zambales against the Ilocos, Panpangos, etc. Item: Since those petty wars ceased, the Panpangos, etc., and all the others have not incited the Negrillos or Zambales to war; nor have they done them any injury, either personally or in their lands. Therefore the present action of the Negrillos and mountain Zanbales in committing assaults on the highways and killing as many as they have killed, has no just pretext of war from their neighbors.

2. Second, we assert that the Batanes, Panpangos, Pangasinanes, Ylocos, and other tribes living near the Negrillos and mountain Zambales, have a just pretext for war against the Negrillos and mountain Zanbales—a proof of which is admitted in the fact of the murders, robberies, attacks, and assaults on the highways, made without any just pretext, as we have said in the first conclusion. Therefore, on the contrary, the injured ones have a just pretext against them.

There appears to be no doubt regarding these two conclusions, for they are most certain according to natural reason and to all law. The whole difficulty is whether the injuries committed, the present harm, and that which with some reason is feared (which will be greater each day)—considering also the condition of the Negrillos, and the sort of country in Page 210which they live—whether all these together constitute sufficient pretext for an expedient so severe as war; and if fire and sword are necessary.

To answer this doubt, we must admit that, with the diversities and natural features of countries, and with the characteristics of the peoples therein, is entwined most intimately the jus gentium, as we call it. Accordingly, in some lands some things are regarded as established, and classed with the jus gentium, but not in others; and some things lawful in certain lands are not so in others. On the contrary, things that would be wrong for some would be lawful and jus gentium for others; while things wrong for others would be lawful and honorable to the first, because of the diversity of countries, customs, and race, whence arises this jus gentium. Therefore we say that, if in Castilla, where neither the land nor people of these islands are known, this case were to be judged on only the things written and proved, nothing more than that these people were assaulters would be decided; and an order would be issued to proceed against them as against assaulters. If these things should happen in Sierramorena, no orders would be given to destroy the towns near by; or, if in the Pyrenees, for that reason war would not be declared upon the Gascons or Navarrese. For this would be esteemed a personal offense, and not one committed by the community. But here, where we know the land, the people, and their abominable and long-standing customs, we must esteem it, not a personal, but a communal offense; nor must we presume amendment where ferocity springs from custom, now rendered almost natural instinct, and from the land being unconquerable. Therefore it must be presumed that, Page 211if they are not punished by force superior to their own, they will grow worse each day; for they consider cruelty honorable, and esteem him most who kills most. Therefore, with people of this nature, we apply the saying of Aristo—namely, that it is lawful to make war on and kill like wild beasts, those people who live unsettled and wandering like wild beasts. It is quite evident that Aristo means people harmful to others; for, even when they live like wild beasts, but are not harmful, war is not on that account lawful. And inasmuch as these arguments extend to the Negrillos and Zambales, it is our opinion that the war must be judged as just or unjust rather by the condition of the land and people, the injuries that will be inflicted, and the little relief obtained by employing other methods, than by the severity of the injuries received. It is no remedy to guard the roads, as is quite evident, because they do more harm in one night than the soldiers in a week. Likewise it is no remedy to guard the villages, for the people are obliged to go to the fields, etc. Consequently we say:

That, it is justifiable—by methods which will not cause greater annoyance to the regions adjoining the Negrillos and Zambales—to make war upon the Negrillos and Zambales, even with fire and sword, whenever the above reasons are evident. We prove this by the above statements, for ferocity is a quality among them now almost a natural instinct; and they place all their honor in killing, without caring for any other object. Again, these ills cannot be obviated and prevented, except by destroying them, if it be possible. Item: because there is no hope that they will make peace and settle down; for their happiness consists in living a nomadic life, without any restraint, Page 212and they are a race who never keep any promise.

Item: We say that, because the method of warfare as employed by the Castilians is not by means of rough ground, forests, and dense thickets—as witness the war of Granada, in which Hespaña lost so many men because the rising was in places unknown to the Spaniards but known to the Moors. It has been seen here many times that the Spaniard needs ten or twenty servants to take care of his person, furniture, food, and clothing, alone—from which results more loss than that which the Negrillos and Zambales can inflict in a lifetime. We think, in the absence of better judgment, that, for a specified time, those captured alive should be handed over to the neighboring districts as captives, or remanded to the galleys. Whoever is put to death, let it be by order of the captains, and at the time and place appointed. We render this opinion, as long as this measure does not appear more harmful [i.e., than the harm caused by the Negrillos and Zambales]. If any measure whatever is more harmful, then we shall consider it unlawful, although we are assured that a most justifiable right exists for making war, and for destroying with all the harm possible to them, and less harm to the surrounding people, than is done or can be done by the Negrillos and Zambales. Item: We declare that, as the losses of war are accidental, and depend on artifice, seasons, and innumerable other circumstances, it might well happen that what is advanced one time as justifiable may, given a change of conditions at the time of execution, become unjustifiable; for with the change of conditions the argument of justice or injustice is altered. Page 213

Item: Because the term “Zambales,” in general, comprehends many people to whom the above arguments do not apply, we say that, under the terms Zambales and Negrillos, we understand only those who are nomadic, as above stated. As to whom these may be, we refer to the investigations in detail; it is not for us to judge the information given, but to credit it. This we advance as our opinion, and as such we sign it. Given in the convent of Santo Domingo at Manila, January 1, 92.

Fray Juan de Castro
Fray Alonso Ximenes
Fray Juan de Castro
Fray Juan de San Pedro Martir
Fray Juan Cobos
Fray Thomas Castellar
Fray Juan Garcia

Opinion of the Jesuits


In regard to our right to make war upon the Zambales, the following is our opinion. Granting as true the reports of robberies and murders committed by them, past and present, on both Castilians and the pacified Indians (who are our allies, and Christians), then it must be ascertained how these crimes have been committed—whether by all their land in common, or one portion of their province, so that by common consent those of one or many villages or the whole province conspire, and the bravest and strongest go forth to rob and kill; whether its head or chief is of one or of many villages or of the entire province, by whose order certain men go out to commit Page 214these depredations; or whether it is not really by common consent, or by the authority of the chiefs, but by crowds of ruffians from one or several villages who commit the said injuries.

If this people have a leader, and any go out from the villages or from the province to commit assaults, then this is sufficient cause for war. The same is true, even if they do not go at his order, but if the chiefs allow them to go, and do not punish them; since they have authority and power therefor. If there are no chiefs, then it must be ascertained whether they go out by common consent, to commit assaults, even if all do not go, but only a few. For, if they go by common consent, then war may be made on them all. But war may not be made if they went out as a single band of plunderers, even when they have friends and relatives in the villages, who protect them and supply them with food. It can not be determined that the latter are accomplices; neither can they be punished, nor be dissuaded from doing it, nor even prohibited from giving them food, etc., because of their being, as is usually the case, women and children, while the former are barbarous and cruel men. In such a case, then, it could only be allowable to seek to apprehend the guilty, as well as one might, and to punish them in conformity with their crimes. But nothing may be done to the others.

But should it be by common consent, according to the first supposition, without any leader, or if they have chiefs who possess authority superior to the others, so that they may punish them as they deserve, but who do not punish these guilty ones or have them punished by their order, then, in these cases, war is allowable against the villages that shall have taken Page 215part in the depredation, or against all the province, or the guilty part; but it must be with the moderation with which our Catholic king has ordered, in so Christian-like a manner, war to be made, with the least bloodshed and injury possible. Those captured shall not be killed, except those who shall have committed individual crimes, who consequently merit death; and the others shall not be reduced to perpetual bondage, but for a limited period only.

However, because of the great danger from this tribe, in order to be sure of peace and to render secure our allies who dwell near the Zambales, whom we are bound to protect, all the children and women and the others may be taken from their land and divided in various parts in small bands, even when their crimes were perpetrated by but a few ruffians. By this method we receive much benefit and security, and they no harm, but on the contrary much benefit, both spiritual and corporal. But in no case do we think that they may have their ears cut off or be crippled so that they can not take flight—neither women, nor children, nor those who do not commit any individual crime which may merit such punishment; for this is great cruelty and will engender in all a deadly hatred of our nation and law. Besides, other and gentler means can be used to prevent them from becoming fugitives—such as dispersing them throughout many widely-separated districts, and providing some one to watch over them.

Antonio Sedeño

Opinion of the Franciscans


I have read the papers which your Grace sent me, Page 216and although, at first reading, the justification of this proceeding was not apparent, I wished, on account of its being so serious a matter, to study at leisure the doctors who have discussed this subject. It is important for me to know if what I have heard is true—that the Zambales have, upon various occasions, been molested by the Spaniards. To be sure of this point is a matter of much importance, because if we have injured or provoked them, first, by wrongs, or by exacting from them tributes which they did not owe, such action on our part would ill be justified. But, since I am not certain on this point, I first find, according to the account which I have read and examined in the papers which your Grace sent me, that they have been persuaded and invited with offers of peace, and pardon for the injuries which have been done; and that for this purpose, the governor, using mild and conciliatory measures, sent religious with the military, to whom the said Zambales promised to be peaceable. They made similar promises to former governors, but have kept none of them; on the contrary they have been bolder and more lawless than ever, robbing and killing many persons on sea and on land. For these offenses I consider that all the malefactors should be punished, and that means should be provided to protect the highways for the benefit of the Tagalos, Panpangos, and Ilocos, and of all others who pay tribute—since it is for this purpose, together with the teaching they receive, that they pay their tributes, and have placed themselves under his Majesty's protection and favor. If this punishment cannot be accomplished without war, then I consider war justifiable, for the reasons above stated. Without doubt the authority of the king is Page 217the first condition to be established, observing faithfully in all things the spirit of uprightness and Christian moderation—which is justice, charity, and freedom for the innocent, according to the saints, particularly St. Augustine and St. Thomas, and other doctors of the church—seeking the common weal. Since the cause for just war is the injury received, war against them would be unjust, if they are innocent of the charges against them. This is my opinion, in view of the aforesaid report, in the absence of better judgment. Issued from this convent of San Francisco at Manila, January twentieth, 1592.

Fray Pedro Baptista24 Page 218

1 The quotation from St. Augustine is cited in Gratian's “Decretum,” in Corpus juris canonici; it reads thus, in English: “The natural order, fitted to promote peace among mortals, demands that the power to wage war, and the direction of it, rest in the sovereign.” The other citation is from St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa theologica, part ii, div. ii, qu. 40, art. i.—Joseph Fitzgerald.

2 “One may repel force with force.”

3 “Just wars are defined to be those which avenge wrongs; if a nation or a state is to be punished either for neglect to punish the evil deeds of their people, or to make restitution of what has been taken wrongfully.”

4 “He concedes all who refuses what is just.”

5 This reference is to St. Augustine's “Questions on (the book Page 194nof) Numbers.” The citation Ut legitimum is to a chapter in Gratian's Decretum, of which these are the opening words.—Joseph Fitzgerald.

6 “It is to be observed in what manner just wars were waged by the children of Israel against the Amorites; for inoffensive transit was denied to them, although by the most equitable laws of human fellowship it should be open.”

7 “Though it be not lawful to cross over the lands of others, still, as this transit was necessary and harmless, they [the Amorites] ought not to have forbidden it—and, further, because it was a public route, and no one is forbidden to use a public route.”

8 In continente, “on the spot;” that is, at the actual time of the assault or other wrong. Nec sua repetere, “nor recover his own” (by force or violence is implied). Silvester is cited in the Theologia moralis of Alphonso Maria de Liguori.—Joseph Fitzgerald.

9 “Beyond the due limits of [lawful self-]defense.”

10 “The Spanish writer cites “II Kings.” But the books designated Page 196n“I and II Kings” in the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and the Catholic canon are called in the English Bible “I and II Samuel.”—Joseph Fitzgerald.

11 “Whether at command of God or that of some legitimate ruler, wars are undertaken even by good men, to be waged against the violence of rebels, when civil order itself justly constrains them either to command such action or to obey [i.e., to serve in the army].”

Quid culpatur is the opening of a chapter in Gratian's Decretum, a section of the canon law, and serves as the title of the chapter.—Joseph Fitzgerald.

12 “What is condemned in war? Is it that men who at some time must die, die in war? It is for cowards to fault this, not religious men. The desire to do injury, the cruelty of revenge, unappeased and implacable hate, the wild passions of rebellion, lust of power and the like—such are the things which are justly condemned in wars.”

13 “With God's true worshipers even wars are not sinful if they are waged, not through greed or with cruelty, but for the sake of peace, that the wicked may be repressed and the good sustained.”

14 “We wage war that we may live in peace.”

15 “Peace is not sought that war may be waged, but war is waged that peace may be won.”

16 “He hangs him out of hatred.”

17 “When from dissensions and factions results, not peril to this one or that, but slaughter of whole populations, then severity must be relaxed somewhat, that sweet charity may intervene for the healing of those greater ills.”

18 “Whenever evil is done by whole populations or by a multitude, then, because it is not possible to punish them all, on account of their great number, the matter usually passes by unpunished.”

19 “The multitude should be spared.”

20 “For when there are so many who fall that they defend their former iniquity by authority, and who make, as it were, a business of sinning, that hope itself must be cut off.”

21 “As war is lawful, it is lawful to use the means needful to attain the end, which is victory.”

22 “Plunder is no longer allowable.”

23 Juan de Valderrama was the head of the Augustinian missionaries sent to the Philippines in 1582. He had much executive ability, and, besides conducting one or more churches in the villages near Manila, held successively important posts in his order (prior provincial, from 1590). He died in 1618. Alonso de Castro came to the islands in 1577, and was missionary in several villages, both Tagalo and Bisayan, as he had mastered both languages. Gifted as a theologian and orator, he was designated by Felipe II as bishop of Nueva Cáceres, but died (1597) before he could exercise that office.

Lorenso de León came in 1582, and held many high positions in his order there. In 1606 he returned to Mexico, where he died in 1623. Juan Vega Tamayo who arrived in the same year, remained until his death (in 1603), most of his time being occupied in official duties at Manila. Of Antonio Serrano it is only known that he occupied various official positions in the Manila convent from 1590 to 1596. Diego Gutierrez was a missionary in Luzon from 1578 until his death in 1613.

Diego Muñoz came in 1578, and was professor of theology in the Manila convent, missionary to the Chinese at Tondo in 1581, the first commissary of the Inquisition in the islands (see his instructions, Vol. V, pp. 256–273), and prior provincial from 1587. He died at Manila in 1594. Diego Alvarez was in the islands from 1578 until his death (1601) mainly engaged in official duties. Alonso de Montalban came in 1590, and died in 1604. Matías Manrique came in 1586, and died in 1593. Alonso Paz is known to have been in Luzon during 1591–93.

The above information is obtained from Perez's Catálogo.

24 This was doubtless St. Pedro Bautista Blazquez y Blazquez Villacastin, born June 29, 1542, of a noble Spanish family. He made his religious profession in the Franciscan order, in 1567. After some time spent in Mexico, he came to the Philippines, where his first task was the instruction of Tagals in music. In 1586 he was chosen as custodian of the Franciscan communities there, which office he held until 1591; he was then appointed guardian of the Manila convent. He was very active in mission work in the islands, and founded several convents and villages. In 1593 he was sent by Governor Dasmariñas as ambassador to Japan; was afterward placed in charge of the Franciscan missions in Japan; and founded a hospital for lepers and a convent in the city of Miaco. On February 5, 1597, Father Bautista with five of his brethren, and a number of Japanese converts, were martyred at Nagasaki. He was beatified in 1627, and canonized by Pius IX in 1862. See Gomez Platero's Catálogo biográfico (Manila, 1880); and Santa Inés's Crónica, i, pp. 452–466.

Letter of Congratulation

To the Bishop, Clergy, and People of the Philippines

Venerable brother and beloved son, health and apostolic blessing.

The lofty works of divine power, that in the earthly realm take place not by human but by heavenly means, very often are wont to display themselves from the very outset; while matters that through divine wisdom as leader and mistress tend to a spiritual end, the health that is of our souls, in the meanwhile lie unrecognized, or, if unveiled, seem of such trivial import as not to be viewed in their grandeur even by the keenest of minds, until aroused thereto chiefly by the splendor of their results. This, as oftentimes before, has happened now at this very time in the conversion to gospel truth of the New World, of both the Indias, and especially of the Philippine Islands. Wherefore we are uplifted in great wonder at the most bountiful results wrought therein secretly by divine wisdom, from the first discovery of those countries. Previously we had learned of this, in truth, from the letters of many persons and from report; now however, that the divine goodness has raised our insignificance to the summit of apostolic dignity, we have heard it also from the ambassador, Page 219our beloved son Alphonsus Sanchez, a professed priest of the Society of Jesus—sent in your name first to Sixtus V, pope, of happy memory; then to the following Roman pontiffs, our predecessors; and lately to us—from whom, in private conversations which we frequently have held with him, we have learned more in detail ... From conversation, too, with the same Alphonsus we have learned of your purposes and deeds in the foundation of churches, the spread of divine worship, the training of natives, the establishment of schools, the practice of useful arts, the appointment of magistrates, the defense of missionaries, the protection of new converts, and, in fine, the permanence of those commonwealths—which as so many members and parts thereof you have brought about through the union of the New World with the Old.

Now, however, in order that you may have some recompense for your love and good-will toward us, and enjoy some reward for your endeavors and toils, by the authority of almighty God and of the holy apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own, in virtue of these presents, we take you all and singular and all that you have, into our trust and protection, and that of the apostolic see; and we send you through the same Alphonsus our apostolic blessing....

Given at Rome, at St. Peter's, under the seal of the Fisherman, March 25, 1592, in the first year of our pontificate. Page 220

Letter from Gomez Perez Dasmarinas to the King


By two ships which sailed from this port for Mexico at the end of June, 1591, I wrote your Majesty, advising you of everything here, in duplicate, sending a copy in each ship. Afterward, on the eighteenth of October (same year), by a fragata sailing to Malaca and Eastern India, I wrote later events, and sent the duplicate of the letters. As that route is not considered very safe, I send this, combining both reports, written in fuller detail—fearing least perchance, on account of the many accidents which have taken place on the sea in these years, all the letters have been lost. I cannot help fearing so because, as I write this, a ship has just arrived from Mexico, by which I have received no letter from your Majesty; nor have I received one since I have been in charge of this government—although, praise be to God, I have had good news of the health of your Majesty. For this I return infinite thanks to God, and pray that it may continue, and that He may give your Majesty complete success in all the new cares and anxieties which may present themselves. I am confident that His Divine Majesty will give long life to your Majesty, in order that everything may be ordered and arranged according to the needs of Christianity. Page 221

Supposing that the duplicates of the letters aforesaid have been received, this letter will be more brief, in order not to repeat herein what has been said elsewhere. It is now necessary to describe in general the state of this land, although this year has been very unfortunate, deaths and sickness being common among both Indians and Spaniards; and we are also pressed hard and threatened by enemies, as your Majesty will learn by a separate letter. As to the general quiet and tranquillity of this state and kingdom, it has never been better; for great progress is being made in the strengthening and adornment of public buildings, both ecclesiastical and state.

Hitherto the Spaniards have not experienced misfortune, but much profit in traffic; and trade [with Nueva España] is being regulated and put in order. The natives are content and happy; the Chinese are more fond of trading with the merchandise which they bring from that kingdom. There came this year twenty-eight ships with much merchandise, including very rich goods of silk and other articles. The religious are agreed among themselves, and aside from the bishop, everything is quiet as it should be—except in some few matters, of which I will give an account to your Majesty. The encomenderos have more peace of conscience than they have heretofore had, and justice is equitably administered in the districts of the alcaldes and the villages of the Indians; and, finally, everything which my poor strength could accomplish has been done for the common tranquillity and good government. As I realize my little worth and ability, I would wish it to be known how much I desire and strive to accomplish in the service of God and your Majesty. Page 222

The cathedral church is completed, thanks be to God; and mass has been celebrated therein since the twenty-first of last March with a large attendance and much devotion, and to the great satisfaction of the people.

The seminary for girls, although in its first house, is maintained in seclusion and good order; and there have been several marriages or establishments made from among the inmates. As I have written, that house is so unsuitable that the erection of the new church and house is being pushed forward; it is being built of stone, and will be very substantial and commodious, and will be completed inside of six months. Your Majesty is patron of this house; and not only on account of the preeminence of the royal patronage and what for this reason is due, but for the good ordering of the house, I desire that there be sent me from España some rules or laws whereby such houses are ruled and governed. The regulations which I have been able tentatively to ordain here are those accompanying this letter. This house will have four hundred pesos of income. That being built has not hitherto received anything whatever from the royal exchequer of your Majesty; for, although I would like to give it, your Majesty does not have it here. I am sending also a set of rules for the conduct of the hospital, in order that your Majesty may order them amended there.

The new fort, which will be called Santiago, is now raised from the level of the ground more than two estados; and in one ravelin thereof, which is now finished, eight pieces of artillery have been mounted already, and guard is kept. By the time this reaches you, God willing, the fort will be finished and perfected. Page 223All the beach from the fort of Santiago to the fort of Nuestra Señora is occupied by the curtains and traverses—the latter very suitable, two and a half estados in height. It needs nothing but the parapet, which is being built. Although that already built was called a fort, it is not one, nor can it be of use; for it is but a large tower, badly cemented, and was falling in four places. It was braced by four buttresses which were called cavaliers, and cost your Majesty a large sum, as I have written. Everything is now being rebuilt in order to put the fort in good condition.

I have launched four galleys, and have for them a gang of free rowers on pay, although they are hard to manage. Even that has been accomplished in the face of great difficulties and scruples; for the religious say that I cannot maintain galleys or rowers, or avail myself of Indians for that purpose. If they do not serve, it is impossible to maintain galleys here, because there are no other people to row. What I have been able to accomplish is that the Indians are to remain on the galleys until your Majesty shall advise me of the plan which you are pleased to adopt. I have manned one of the galleys with four hundred Çambales, who were captured in war. They were given to me by some captains and soldiers, and I have used them in your Majesty's service. They are now on a galley and would to God that I could thus provide everything for the many needs which your Majesty has here.

As regards the sailing of the ships on the account of your Majesty, and not that of private persons, I have already written the weighty reasons, and send herewith a duplicate of the letter in which they are Page 224set forth. In fact, when all the expenses are on your Majesty's account, this not only causes no loss whatever to your Majesty's offices and royal exchequer, but results in great profit to this state from the charges on the tonnage. The cost is but half of what it is when the ships sail at the expense of private persons; and, if your Majesty would set the price of the tonnage at the same rate as private persons set it, there would be gained a large sum of money. This is the truth, although in Mexico they try to argue and discuss this point for private ends. Moreover, in this manner deserving soldiers are utilized and occupied, as your Majesty ordains, in these matters of transportation; and the dangers arising from the insufficient number and the vices of those who come from Mexico in these vessels are avoided. There are also deceits practiced by private persons, and other reasons which I have already stated. Besides, when the ships belong to private persons, their owners will not become citizens of these islands; and, on account of the large amount of money taken away by them, the prices of merchandise are raised, and the land is ruined. I therefore repeat that if your Majesty will set a moderate price for the tonnage on the ships, not only will there be no expense for your Majesty's exchequer, but there will be gained more than twenty thousand pesos. In accordance therewith will your Majesty please signify your will.

As I wrote your Majesty last year, troops have been sent for the pacification of the Çambales, and in their proceedings with the natives the severity and chastisement which they deserved were dispensed with. Garrisons were established, and many of the chiefs were subdued; they appeared to act sincerely, and gave Page 225evidence of being tractable and living in peace and justice. The troops returned, and thereupon the pacified ones, and those who still remained to be reduced, came down from the mountains to the highways, robbed, murdered, and committed innumerable injuries. Therefore I determined to lay a heavier hand upon them, and to bring them to open warfare, if that could be done conscientiously, after consulting with the religious orders, and after I had made inquiries concerning the damages, treacheries, uprisings, and crimes of the Cambales, and the reasons and causes therefor.

All the religious orders concurred in the opinion that war by fire and sword was justifiable, as is evident by the original opinions which I send herewith to your Majesty. In conformity therewith I resolved to strike the blow at once by sending troops with six captains. Under each captain was a troop of twenty Spanish soldiers and five or six hundred Indians—Pampangos, who were willing to go to war, and gave much assistance, because of the damages received by them from the Cambales. They approached that country, which had never before been entered, by six routes; and although they were troubled by the roughness of the roads and the large brambles, they hid themselves and destroyed all the food and the crops which were either harvested or growing. In that region those whom they killed and took captive amount, men and women, to more than two thousand five hundred; and from the men taken the captains and soldiers gave me about four hundred Sambales. I have utilized them for your Majesty's service on the galleys, where they are learning to row. Many have been reduced by famine, and have formed settlements Page 226where they were ordered to do so. As it was the rainy season, and the troops were dying, I commanded them to withdraw, leaving garrisons at convenient points, and well provisioned, in order that they might overrun the country and destroy their rice and grain. I believe that, because of this, these people will not revolt again nor raise any disturbance. On the contrary, I think that in due time they will be pacified thoroughly. The relation of what was done, accompanies this letter.

All of Cagayan has been as quiet as Manila for many days and months. Tributes are being collected from the encomiendas that remained to be pacified and subdued. A memorandum of encomiendas and villages explored lately, with an account of the discovery of Tuy, accompanies this letter.

I enclose, with the duplicate, also the relation of the late exploration of Tuy, in which I stated that my son Don Luis would remain there, in order to make another entrance of not less importance, of which I had a reliable report and account. It happened that, having gone upon this errand, and having arrived with the soldiers that he was taking to the province of Ylocos, through which he had to pass, he was taken ill, in the month of October, with attacks of fever. This sickness was very severe, and he came here to be treated; and, although he is doing well, he has not entirely recovered his strength. Almost all the soldiers fell sick at the same time, as that district is at that season very unhealthful. Captain Don Alonso de Sotomayor died, as well as some of the soldiers there. Others were brought to the city sick, and so the expedition had to be abandoned until a more favorable opportunity. Page 227

On account of these expeditions and pacifications, and because their country is not very healthful (and particularly so this year), both for Spaniards and Indians, a number of the soldiers have died, so that, from the total of four hundred, I have but two hundred left. And although this fort, in its present condition, can be defended by a much smaller force than formerly, yet without it, there would be no safe position. Since España is at such a distance, when reenforcements arrive half of the former troops will have died. If in any one year (as has happened) there should fail to be a ship from Castilla, it is pitiful to see the state of this land. Moreover—as I report elsewhere to your Majesty, and send papers thereon—for the new danger from hostile Japanese, against which I am guarding, I need troops, in order to defend a land so destitute and far away that it cannot expect succor in time of necessity. Although I have sent earnest petition therefor to Mexico, I think that they will neglect my request, just as they do everything else, unless they see an order from your Majesty I beseech your Majesty to have compassion for this new plant of the faith of Jesus Christ, which costs your Majesty and your subjects so dearly to establish and preserve. May your Majesty grant me grace and send me troops, and let those who come be from those realms of Castilla—a matter of moment and importance—and not the creoles or exiles from Mexico. I should also be provided with ammunition, arms, and men to cast artillery. An order should be sent to Mexico to supply me with money, to meet the needs and contingencies. I trust in our Lord, and in the excellent arrangement and plan that this city is assuming, that if there are supplied barely sufficient Page 228troops to defend a town of this size, your Majesty need not fear all Xapon, nor any other more powerful enemy that might attack us. This I discuss at greater length elsewhere; but here I only remind your Majesty of the completion of this fort, and the necessity of troops therein, as also of the workmen and their wages for which, in my former letters, I have petitioned your Majesty.

By a decree which I have received here from your Majesty, I am ordered to make inquiries as to whether there is quicksilver here, or if it can be brought from the Chinese realms and taken to Mexico, and at what price. I will say that I have dealt with these Chinese, and they are so distrustful that unless the money is given them beforehand, they will not bring the goods the following year. It is true, nevertheless, that they guarantee the fulfilment of their commission. They ask one hundred ducats for a pico of quicksilver, the equivalent of one hundred and thirty Castilian libras. If this price is satisfactory, will your Majesty order as suits your royal pleasure; for they can bring from their land whatever quantity is desired. May our Lord preserve your Majesty for many long years, with increase of better kingdoms and seigniories, as is needed for Christendom. At Manila, May xxxi, 1592.

Gomez Perez Dasmariñas Page 229

Rules for the Manila Hospital

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the order of Santiago, governor and captain-general of these islands and districts of the West, for the king, our sovereign. Inasmuch as it is advisable, for the service of God, to reform certain matters in the royal hospital of this city that require such remedy, and to decide and establish other matters for its better government and service, for the welfare of its poor sick, and for the perpetuity of the said hospital, as it is a work of so great piety and so much needed in this community: Therefore, by this present, he ordained and ordered that the following articles be observed and kept to the letter, as permanent rules and regulations.

1. First, because sick persons are received in the said hospital, who are not of the character and station entitling them to admission, many annoyances result; for some of them are wealthy, and others are servants of certain persons from whom they receive pay and wages. By receiving these persons into the hospital, contrary to right, they occupy the places and beds which more properly should belong to his Majesty's poor soldiers, the workmen of this colony, and the other poor, for whom hospitals are chiefly established. And, that there may be system in this, and that expense to the hospital may be avoided, and so that the Page 230expense incurred be for those persons whose due it is, he ordained and ordered that, now and henceforth, the hours for receiving sick persons shall be from six in the morning until five in the afternoon; and that the head chaplain, or his substitute, and the physician or physicians who may be there, and the steward, surgeon, and nurse of the said hospital be present at the entrance and reception of patients. These he ordered and commanded not to receive any sick except workmen or paid soldiers of this colony, paid sailors, and the sick and needy poor; there is no restriction on the admission of such, whether they are servants of the king or not. In case any sick person is received without the previous order and consultation above-mentioned (unless some of the said hospital officials are lawfully prevented), or if the sick person belongs to the classes who ought not to be received, then he who shall have received him shall incur and bear the penalty of paying all the expenses incurred by the hospital for such sick person.

2. Item: It is ordained that, when a sick person is received, his name shall be taken down, with the date and hour of his entrance. He shall come confessed, or shall confess immediately; shall declare whether he is married or single, and whether he has father or mother; and an inventory shall be made of the possessions and clothes that he brings to the hospital—so that, when he comes to leave the hospital, his property and that of the said hospital may be known. And if the property should have to be used for the repose of his soul, or left to any other heir, the same consideration and account must be observed.

3. In order that this be observed with rigor and care, a book of accounts shall be kept, wherein shall Page 231be entered, by day and hour, the names of the sick who are received, and the exit of those who leave or die, since all the wealth of the hospital consists in allowances and income.

4. Likewise, in order that there may be greater neatness and order, there shall be a numbered wardrobe, in which shall be kept the clothes of the hospital, and the clean and reserve clothes, respectively—the blankets being kept in one place, the sheets and the other white clothes in another, and the bandages to be used for wounds and sores in another. Great care must be taken in this division; and it is very advisable to keep the clothes and garments of those sick with contagious diseases in a place by themselves. Likewise the clothes and garments of those who enter shall be washed and laid aside with memoranda as to the owner of each garment, so that if he recover, it may be returned to him clean and neat; or if he should die and it must be sold, either for the repose of his soul or for the hospital, that it may be in good order and condition.

5. Item: There shall be two porters who shall serve by the week. They shall take oath not to allow anything to be given to any sick person, except by permission of the doctor. The hospital door shall be locked at seven at night, without fail, and cannot be opened.

6. Item: There shall be an apothecary shop inside the said hospital, so that medicines can be furnished to the sick more easily and at less cost; and the apothecary shall not give or hand out any medicines except by order of the physician, either on his own account or that of the said hospital.

7. Item: The head chaplain or another (his Page 232substitute) shall always sleep in the hospital, in order to administer the sacraments to the sick.

8. Item: The nurse shall have two deputies for service, so that watch may be kept in turn through the quarters of the night, and attention given to the service and sudden needs of the sick. For this purpose it is ordered that the chaplain, as above stated, and the nurse, steward, apothecary, and all the servants, shall always sleep in the hospital.

9. Item: No person connected with the hospital shall keep swine or have other means of gain in the hospital.

10. Item: A book shall be kept, in which shall be set down the alms given by charitable persons to the hospital, whether in money, clothes, and food, or other things.

11. The food of the sick shall be received and placed under the head of ordinary expense of the hospital; and at mealtimes, the physician shall be present at the distribution of food to the sick, in order to see that his orders are observed; and the steward likewise, if not lawfully prevented.

12. Item: Those who are sick of contagious diseases shall be treated separately, and their service of beds and clothes and their food shall be kept separate from those of the other sick; and much care shall be taken in this.

13. Item: A book shall be kept wherein to enter the income of the hospital, whether from tributes and annual pensions, or from other sources of income or profit possessed by the hospital. Likewise there shall be a book for the entry of alms and legacies bequeathed to the hospital by the dying, as well as those collected and sent to it by charitable persons, in either money Page 233or fowls, or anything else, so that the steward in whose care they shall be placed may have them all credited in the said book, and so that there may be a full account of everything. There shall also be another book in which to enter the clothing, beds, ornaments, and other furniture acquired by the hospital; and it shall be kept by the person in whose charge they are. There shall be another book in which to enter the names of the sick, with the day, month, and year of their entrance; and the deaths and the departures, also with the date. Likewise there shall be another book of the allowances, wages, and pay spent in the hospital, both of its sick and of its officials, entering therein the tickets of admission of the sick.

[Endorsed: “Rules of the Manila hospital.”] Page 234

Expedition to Tuy

When we went upon this expedition to Tuy, the Indians surrendered of their own free will, and no blood was shed, solely through the efforts of two religious who accompanied Don Luys. Then they gave only their tribute of recognition in beads and a trifle of adulterated gold. And so that it might not appear that the tribute was to be collected immediately, they were given one year's respite, within which the Spaniards would return to collect it. They bound themselves to pay it. In order not to break faith, we shall not return there until the time limit has expired; and, even then, I shall see to it that when we return they shall not be oppressed in any way, in order to compel them to give the whole tribute. They shall give only what they are willing to, because we have furnished them no instruction; nor have we effected a settlement, as I expected—because of the few people we have, on account of the death of many of them, and because I am deliberating whether I should make a settlement in Tuy itself, as it is the capital, or at place thirty or forty leagues from Cagayan, up the river, opposite Tuy, and midway between Cagayan and Tuy. This year we shall go thither, and and I hope, with God's help, to found the settlement and attain the success that is desirable. As I had to Page 235encounter the Zambales, who were attacking me, everything could not be done. The land there is very fertile, and the climate more temperate than this. The Indians are robust, intelligent, and energetic. All the houses are large and quite well constructed. The villages contain about five hundred or more inhabitants. Two crops of rice are gathered, one being irrigated, and the other allowed to grow by itself. The land contains deer, buffaloes, swine, goats, poultry, anise, ginger, cotton, and many wild fruits. The people display more politeness and good manners than all the others. They have places set apart where they discuss public matters. They say that public affairs must not be discussed in the houses with women. When asked if they had enemies, they answered, “Yes, we would have them if we would leave our land to commit depredations. But we are not like you Castilians, who rob everywhere.” They recognize no king among themselves, nor any other sovereignty than to have a chief in each village, who is over all, and whom all of that one village alone recognize. I trust, God helping, that this plan may be fully carried out this year. Sealed at Manila, June 1, 1592. Page 236

Two Letters from Dasmarinas to Felipe II


Immediately upon my arrival last year, I wrote your Majesty what I observed in the disposition of the licentiate Pedro de Rrojas, my counselor—in the little while in which I could study him—that he was very fond of his own opinion, and of meddling with what did not concern him. This resulted from his office, since he wished to reduce everything pertaining to war and administration to justice. I also stated that he considered his commission and mine as identical, with no distinction between them; and that I thought him moved by and wedded to his opinion. Now that by intercourse with him, I know him better, I am able, in accordance with what I owe your Majesty's service, again to [break in the original MS.] he is indeed so sure and certain of his opinion that it appears to him that with four courses at Salamanca [[break in MS.] other letters or judicature but his; and that he knows everything, and others nothing. Regarding this, he uses very free and disrespectful language, shutting himself up in his resolution, from which there is no drawing him. And hence there happened to me one day with him what Page 237your Majesty will see by the enclosed investigation,1 which I send, only that your Majesty may know what passed, and the liberty with which he talks and acts. It is not a new thing, since he antagonized and quarreled with President Sanctiago de Vera, as is evident by the investigation I send thereof; he certainly has very little fondness for peace, and is inclined to disputes and arguments. As the royal Audiencia was here so haughty and domineering, he retains that authority and harshness, with which he tries to reduce all others as his vassals. In the matters of justice that he discusses, he is unable to be impartial, but is in many matters very biased. This is because of his trading and trafficking, which the president and all the auditors carried on from the time of their arrival—and with so great avidity, trying to secure it all to themselves, that I find no rich men here beside them. This is the reason why Rojas (as I inform your Majesty in a separate letter) and the auditors opposed the pancada,2 in order that the consignments of money sent by them to China for merchandise might not be known—which, at last, have come to light. Moreover, as they were unwilling to pay, on the present shipment to España, the two per cent that I levied as a tax for the wall, they opposed it; and they stirred up on both questions the bishop and friars. I inform your Majesty of these things in another letter, and of the manner in which I have cleared up all doubts regarding them, and ascertained the investments of the present year, as appears by the accompanying paper. Page 238If the matter of inspection and the residencia held here had fallen to my order and commission, as it fell to that of the viceroy of Nueva España, I would have proved to your Majesty the investments of past years. I wish to say but two things, pertaining to your Majesty's service, and which I ought to say. One is that the licentiate Rrojas, in this country, where he is so busied with these means of gain, is so puffed up with the authority and name of auditor, and with his other abilities, that I believe that he will not serve your Majesty so well in this country as in another, where these opportunities are wanting. The other thing is that I do not consider it fitting to the royal service of your Majesty to give a man who should have served your Majesty in a similar place here, anything in Mexico; for as such men go delighted with their interests and gains from trade here, they are fettered and biased by their relations with the trade of this country, which always [break in MS.] objects and profits, and not in accord with the common welfare and perpetuity of these islands. In both of these matters your Majesty will determine what is most important for your royal service. May our Lord preserve and prosper your Majesty for many long years, as Christendom has need.

Manila, June vi, 1592.3

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas

[Addressed: “To the king, our sovereign.”]

[Endorsed: “To His Majesty, 1592. Gomez Perez Dasmariñas. June 6.” “A place has already been given him as alcalde of Mexico, although the Page 239matters reported in this letter are not remedied thereby.”]

[Accompanying the letter, and on a separate fold of paper, is the following:]

Register of merchandise carried in the ship “Sant Felippe

I, Juan de Cuellar, notary of mines and registers, certify that, in the galeon “Sant Felippe” now ready to set sail for Nueva España, from the port of Cavite, this present year of five hundred and ninety-one, the persons named below are exporting the following bales and boxes of merchandise:

Bales Boxes
Don Frai Domingo de Salazar, bishop of the Philippinas, fifteen bales and thirty-three boxes. xv xxxiii
The president Santiago de Vera, with the others contained in his memorandum, sixty bales and twenty-nine boxes. lx xxix
Pedro Herrandez, for the licentiate Rojas, former auditor of the royal Audiencia, and present counselor, etc., nineteen bales and four boxes. xix iiii
The auditor Don Antonio de Rribera Maldonado, fifty-two bales and twenty boxes. lii xx
The licentiate Ayala, fiscal, twenty-seven bales and seventeen boxes. xxvii xvii
The dean of Manila cathedral, in the said vessel and in that of Juan Pablo, thirteen bales and seven boxes. xiii vii Page 240
Estevan Gonzales, canon of the said church, five bales and three boxes. v iii
The licentiate Herver del Corral, visitor of the royal Audiencia of Manila, eighteen bales and one box. xviii i
The schoolmaster of the Manila cathedral, six bales. vi
Father Cervantes, ecclesiastic, three bales and six boxes. iii vi
The beneficiary Juan Gutierrez, two boxes. ii
Father Rodrigo de Morales, ecclesiastic, three bales. iii
Father Crisanto de Tamayo, ecclesiastic, two bales. ii
Benito Gutierrez, ecclesiastic, two bales. ii

And in order that this might be evident, I give the present, signed with my name and the usual flourishes. Given in Manila, June four, one thousand five hundred and ninety-one.

Juan de Cuellar, notary of registers.


In another letter I have informed your Majesty of my fears of Japanese enemies. After that letter and packet were closed, and the ships about to leave, it happened that the ambassadors of whom we had advices came here in a ship that made port on the twenty-ninth of May, On the thirty-first, they delivered to me the letter from that king, enclosed in a box of wood one and one-half varas in length and painted white. Inside this was another box of the Page 241same proportions, excellently painted, varnished, and polished in black, with some medium-sized gilded iron rings and some large cords of red silk. Within this box was another one painted in various colors—yellow and gold—with its large iron rings and cords of white and violet silk, both covered with damask. In this third box, wrapped in a stout, wide paper, painted and gilded, was the letter, written with Chinese characters in the Japanese language, on stout paper, illumined and gilded with great neatness. The letter is even larger than the sealed bulls from Rroma, on parchment, and is sealed with two painted seals stamped in red. I am not sending the originals, because you have no one who can translate them there; while they will be needed here, perchance, for what must be done to affirm the embassy, and even for objects and matters of importance that we might be able to discuss, by virtue of these letters, with the king of China. Therefore I enclose only one copy of the letter, in accordance with the best and most exact translation that could be made here; and another copy made for me by the emperor himself, by means of an interpreter. Although these two copies differ somewhat, they agree in their essential point, namely, the demand for recognition and obedience, made with the arrogance and barbaric haughtiness that your Majesty will find in them. They also brought, resting in small boxes, a letter from the king's chamberlain (one of the grandees of that kingdom), another from their captain-general and another from the king of Firando; and at other times letters have been written to the governors here. I am also sending the translated copies of these letters, from which your Majesty will see the determination and Page 242resolution of that king; and that we are not harboring suspicions, but veritably expect him here by October of this year or the beginning of next. I have assembled the orders, as is due to the respect and name of religion—giving them all needed information, and asking them only whether they thought that it was fitting to answer to this tyrant, and in what form. I did the same with the captains and war-officers of these islands—those of the best judgment—in whom I place the greatest confidence. To these I communicated the matter in all its details; and, after discussing it thoroughly with them, and after they had all consulted together, it was decided that this letter of which I am sending your Majesty a copy, should be written. The said persons affixed their signatures thereto, in token of approbation; and it is in my possession. My purpose in sending a person to Japon, and in answering his letter, is, as your Majesty will see plainly, only to divert his attention and put him off, until the repairs and fortifications and the reenforcements that I am expecting are well assured; and to prevent him from being informed by his ambassador of matters here, so quickly as the latter could inform him. I also plan that, by means of the envoy going from here, I may know and be advised of affairs there, by one way or another. Therefore, when he comes, we shall know it, and be forewarned. Even now this place is in a reasonable state of defense; and I even trust that, God helping, the enemy will find more resistance than his barbarous confidence promises him. I beseech your Majesty to be pleased to provide in this what is most advisable for your Majesty's service. And for the future—and because it may arrive late for this emergency, as is expected expected—Page 243will your Majesty ordain that Mexico shall furnish what pertains to its part. For, if I ask for troops, they send me twenty men, who die before they arrive here; and none are born here. And if I ask for ammunition, they laugh at me, censure me, and say that I ask impossible things. They retain there the freight money and the duties; and if they should send to this state what is yours, your Majesty would have to spend but little from your royal patrimony. And, just as they forget us in everything, I fear that they will do so in this. Surely it is advisable to send troops here, and to have this matter attended to, well and continuously, from Mexico; for, as long as this state of affairs continues and the fortification goes on, the inhabitants are being punished by greater anxiety; as they cannot see that this is taken as a matter of general course and in earnest, and the fortifications are being continued—which is, I believe, the chief reason why Japon is moved to try to obstruct it Your Majesty will ordain what is most to your service. May our Lord preserve your Majesty many long years, as Christendom requires. Manila, June 11, 1592.”4

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas

[Endorsed: “Manila. To his Majesty. 1592. Gomez Perez Dasmarinas. June 11.”] Page 244

1 The document here mentioned is an official report of certain conversations between Dasmariñas and Rojas; it is not presented here, because it is of little importance or interest.

2 Contract for disposing of goods by wholesale.

3 An extensive synopsis made by some government clerk is written on the back of this letter.

4 An extensive synopsis of the letter was made by one of the government clerks.

An Embassy from Japan

Letter from the King of Japan

It is more than one thousand years since Japon has been governed by one sovereign. During this period the wars and dissensions among the rulers of the country were so many, that it was impossible to send a letter from one part to the other; until now the Lord of Heaven has willed that the country be united in my time, and that it be reduced to my obedience. In accomplishing this, everything was so favorable to me, that as yet I have lost no battle, but have been victorious in every one for ten years. Likewise I have conquered the island of Lequio, which was not under my sway, and Acoray [Korea];1 and even from Eastern Yndia embassies have been sent to me. Now I am about to invade Great China in order to conquer it, for heaven, and not my forces, has promised it to me. I am much surprised that that country of the island of Luzon has not sent me ambassador or messenger, and I was therefore of a mind, on my way to China, to attack Manila with my fleet, were it not that Faranda, a Japanese noble, told me of the Page 245good treatment accorded to my vassals, the Japanese traders, who go to those islands from here. When I asked him if the ruler there was my friend, he answered and assured me that, if I should send a letter to the governor, he would send me an ambassador. And should he not do it since I am well established in my kingdom, I am so powerful that I have men who can go to conquer any kingdom whatever. Although this messenger is a man of low rank, I have accredited him, because of the good account he gives. And also, since I am not sending the troops I thought to send, I shall descend, within two months, from where I am now, to Nanguaya, my seaport, where are stationed the forces composing my army; and if an ambassador comes to me there from those islands, and I ascertain that the governor is my friend, I shall lower my banner in token of friendship. If an ambassador is not sent, I shall unfurl my banner2 and send an army against that country to conquer it with a multitude of men; so that that country will repent at not having sent me an ambassador. In order to become the friend of the Spaniards, I am sending this embassy from Miaco, in the year 19, [sic] from the country of Japon, to the country of Luçon.3

[Endorsed: “Copy of the letter from the king of Japon.”] Page 246

Letter from the Chamberlain, Tiau Kit4

Although we have never before had any correspondence, I am writing this present letter in all courtesy. Next year, our great prince, Quampec,5 is going to make war on China; and unless it renders homage to him, together with all the other kingdoms (notwithstanding their distance from here), and pays him tribute, he will send his soldiers to seize their land. On this account, all the neighboring kingdoms have rendered homage to him and obeyed his commands. Likewise he was thinking of making war on that rich kingdom of yours; but Guantien informed a certain member of the council, who in turn informed Quanpec, that war would be unnecessary, if without it tribute were sent, and that this would certainly be done, if you were advised of the Page 247intention of the kingdom and court of Japon. Acting upon this suggestion, I am writing the present letter; let us promptly consult together. I am one of the grandees of the kingdom. Therefore your kingdom can sleep secure, and you need have no fear or hesitation; but discuss all secret matters with him whom I send, who is my confidential man. With all due courtesy. The year 19, Tienchen,6 the ninth month and eleventh day. From Siaulyuquiu.

The Chamberlain

[Endorsed: “Copy of the chamberlain's letter.”]

Letter from Dasmarinas to the Ruler of Japan

Gomez Perez Dasmariñas,7 knight of the order of Santiago, governor and captain-general in these islands, great archipelago, and districts of the West, for the king, our sovereign, Don Phelipe the Second, king of Castilla, Leon, Aragon, the two Sicilies, Jerusalem, Portugal, Navarra, Granada, Cerdeña, Corcega, Page 248Murçia, Jaen, the Algarves, Aljecira, Jibraltar, the Eastern and Western Yndias, and the islands and mainland of the Ocean Sea; archduke of Austria; duke of Borgoña, Bravante, and Milan; count of Abspurg, Flandes, Bretaña, Tirol, etc.: to the very exalted and powerful prince and seignior, Quamboc, after all due respect, wishes health and perpetual happiness. Faranda Mango Schiro, a Japanese vassal of yours,8 and a Christian, arrived in this city, bringing me news of your royal person, at which I rejoiced exceedingly; for, because of your greatness, and the worth and prudence with which the God of heaven has endowed you, I am much affectioned unto you. Some days ago Faranda gave me a letter, which—although it seemed to be in its form and authority, and even in the gravity and style of its language, a document despatched by so great a prince—yet, since the messenger was below the rank and quality requisite to the royal name of him who sends him, and of the one to whom he is sent, and the importance and greatness of the embassy, I have doubted, on the one score; and on the other, because he is a man so common and poor, and coming in an ordinary merchant vessel, which came hither for the purpose of selling provisions and other articles. Because this took so long in coming hither, I have doubted whether these letters were not written by this man himself or by another, for some individual end, so that by this means, he might receive more attention here. Furthermore, as I have no accurate Page 249interpreters thoroughly acquainted with both the Japanese and Spanish languages, as has been likewise declared to me by the letter and embassy, I am in doubt also of the true sense and purport of the words of the letter. I think that if the king of Japon wished to write me, he might, since he has in his kingdom the fathers of the Society of Jesus and other Spaniards, send me at least a copy of his letter in my own language, through their medium. I can say with truth that I have not even been able to read or understand in toto the letter or embassy presented me by this man; and therefore, that he may not have practiced any fraud or deceit toward your royal person, or toward me, I have thought it best to detain him here, until I could ascertain the truth and will of the king of Japon, and what are his commands and wishes. And in that doubt, because of what I owe to even the semblance and appearance of a letter and embassy from you, I have observed this respect and courtesy of writing this reply to the small portion of your letter that I understand, which has been no more than Faranda has chosen to interpret for me. Since I am sending the father vicar, Fray Juan Cobo,9 a man of great virtue and goodness, and of the highest estimation in these islands—from whom, because of his prudence and worth, I seek counsel, and to whom I communicate the most important matters—he will express, in my name, the fullest respect due to your exalted rank. For the honor of Page 250the embassy, if it is really one, I give you many thanks,10 assuring you that I am and will remain your friend; and that, in the name of my king and sovereign, the greatest monarch in the world, I shall rejoice at your well-being and grieve over ill-fortune (which may the King of Heaven keep from you). Let it be taken for granted that I desire your friendship, in the name of my king and sovereign, because of the good reception and hospitality extended by your royal hands to the Spaniards, vassals of my king, who have gone to Japon and Asia by way of Eastern Yndia and these districts; and because the best treatment possible has been extended here to your vassals and will be extended to them with the same love. My king will consider it a favor to be advised if the message brought to me by this man is true. If it is such, then I shall respond to the friendship due so great a prince, without any lack of my duty and obligation to my king and sovereign, to whom I shall immediately give account of this, in order to ascertain what his orders shall be then. I trust that this matter will result quite to the satisfaction of two so great princes as my king and the king of Japon; and that these discussions and conferences in true friendship and alliance may redound to much peace to the universal happiness of the world, and to the glory of omnipotent God, the King of kings. Inasmuch as certain presents have been sent me but lately from Japon, which are of great value, I would wish to have some rare and valuable products of our España to send in return; but, since weapons are the articles most esteemed among soldiers, I am sending you with this a dozen of swords and daggers. They Page 251are the finest that we have, and you will receive them from me as from a private person who desires your well-being and greatness, with the good will with which they are offered, and as a token of affection. [I send only these, too,] because the bearer of this letter is going only for the purpose of assuring me of what I have stated above, so that we may have the information here that is desired. May our Lord preserve your royal person with great prosperity. Manila, June xi, 1592 years since the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

[Endorsed: “Copy of the letter, from the king of Japon—I mean, to the king.”] Page 252

1 The conquest of Korea was not accomplished until 1592, although the preceding year had been spent in vigorous preparations for the campaign. Hideyoshi evidently made this statement in boastful anticipation of success. His design was to conquer, at one blow, both Korea and China.

2 The device of Hideyoshi was a bundle of gourds.

3 As explained in the letter of Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, of June 11, 1592. (q.v. p. 256, ante), two copies of the translation of this letter into Spanish were sent to Spain. The above, which is the second in the document we follow, bears title “The same letter translated by the ambassador, through an interpreter.” The other copy was the one made by order of the governor in Manila. Page 246nAs the governor states in his letter, they are alike in essentials. The first letter is dated “The year nineteen of Tienche, in the ninth month, and on the nineteenth day of the month. The Quanpec of the kingdom of Japon.” See another version (in Spanish) of the second letter, with still other variations, in Santa Inés's Crónica, ii, pp. 545–547; the editor of that work states that the date of the letter—which, however, is there given as “the 13th year of Tenjo, 11th month”—corresponds to the year 1591.

4 This letter, as found in the archives, is written on a separate sheet and is inserted in the fold of the following letter.

5 “A corruption of Kuwambaku, the Japanese designation of a regent appointed by the Mikado. The holder of this office at the time here referred to was Hideyoshi, one of the most notable rulers of Japan. Born in 1536, he entered the army when a youth, and rapidly rose to its head. He was appointed regent in 1586, but in 1591 abdicated in favor of his adopted son, Hidetsugu—retaining, however, actual authority until his death in 1598. This embassy to the Spaniards in the Philippines was but one evidence of Hideyoshi's insatiate arrogance and ambition; for he planned to subjugate China and all the other countries within his reach. For the history of his reign, see J.J. Rein's Japan (London, 1884), pp. 277–294; David Murray's Story of Japan (N.Y., 1894), pp. 184, 190–226; and W.E. Griffis's Mikado's Empire (5th ed., N.Y., 1887), pp. 236–243.

6 The Japanese calendar was based upon the lunar year; and the years were divided into cycles of sixty years each. Besides this division, there is another and more arbitrary one, into periods between important historical events, which divisions are named from a list of Chinese words specially set aside for this purpose. The name used in this document, Tienchen, is that of one of these historical periods; it is written “Tensho” by Griffis, and its dates given as 1573–92. See Rein's Japan, pp. 434–437; and Griffis's Mikado's Empire, pp. 623–626.

The place from which the letter was written was probably the town of Shiuri, the chief port of the Riu Kiu (or Loo Choo) Islands, known to the Spaniards as Lequios. See Basil Hall's “Bibliography of Luchu,” in Transactions of Asiatic Society of Japan, xxiv, pp. 1–11.

7 A different version of this letter is given by Santa Inés, ii, pp. 547–549.

8 La Concepcion states (Historia, ii, pp. 217, 218) that Faranda had come to Manila in 1591, and, having carefully observed the condition and defenses of that city, returned to Japan and informed Faxevedono (Hideyoshi) that he could easily conquer the Spanish colony in the Philippines.

9 Juan Cobo was a prominent member of the Dominican order in Manila. He accomplished his errand as envoy to Japan, but on the return voyage was shipwrecked, presumably on the coast of Formosa; it is supposed that any who might survive the wreck were slain by the natives. See La Conception's Historia, ii, pp. 223–229.

10 Span., yo beso vr̃as Reales manos, “I kiss your royal hands.”

Three Letters from Governor Dasmarinas to Felipe II


Last year I wrote to your Majesty that I had arrived in this city of Manila, on the first of June of the year ninety, having been nine months on the way, counting the time I spent in Mexico recruiting troops; the total of these was two hundred and seventy soldiers, including those I brought from Spain. On my arrival here, I ordered the soldiers whom I had brought, inasmuch as they were drawing pay from your Majesty, to mount guard and do sentry duty, posting sentinels at the forts, and excusing those whom I found here, and the townspeople, from acting as sentinels. Although I understood that they were very grateful to me, and that they kissed your Majesty's hands, for this; and as there was, on other accounts, no reason why they should fail to do their duty; still, some ungrateful rogues counseled the soldiers that they should resist authority, and that they should not perform their guard duty, or carry their muskets—all of which, they said, was only to make trouble for them. Besides, they did other things well worthy of punishment. Along with this fiction, they instantly bombarded me with memorials and importunities for rewards for services. I assure your Majesty Page 253truthfully that, even if you had here three hundred encomiendas and a like number of offices, you could not recompense them for their services, which they exaggerate and overestimate beyond what they have actually performed for your Majesty. The most deserving of them merits very little, unless it be a reward for having conducted himself with great freedom, and for having destroyed the property committed to his charge. I do not in conscience feel that your Majesty is under any obligation in this country, beyond that of rendering justice for past excesses. I could easily give your Majesty a detailed account; but, not to be prolix, I shall leave it until the especial thing that demands reform here has been somewhat remedied—and this is in regard to the soldiers of this land. For in their begging for favor they are all in need of reform; for it is through many sicknesses, and through being dependents of the members of the Audiencia, and in like manner, that they have been deprived of their gains.

Likewise, I found here not a ship or a galley, not a libra of iron or of copper, or any powder except what I brought from Mexico—forty quintals. Not a braza of rope did I find, nor balls for ten pieces of artillery which are here. These are very insufficient for the needs of the place; for four of them are swivel-guns, and another, a large piece, is neither culverin, cannon, nor sacre; nor do any here understand how to manage it, except by chance; there is no account of it, no design, and no name for it. There are no storehouses, with the exception of a shed where there is a little rice; and an enclosure where have been put the wood and remains of three rotted galleys, which were built but never launched. Their Page 254timbers are all rotted, and the oars of the galleys also. The enclosure contains, as well, a makeshift turret where the little powder that they had was kept, and where I put what I brought; but unfortunately we had a fire, and now it is all gone. In order to collect these necessary supplies from those places where it is not proper to keep them, I resolved to build storehouses, and have constructed four, where we are placing what comes—such as iron (for I confiscate it all), rigging (which is being made, for the sake of having some in reserve), rope, lead, and rice. Shovels, pickaxes, and spades are being made, because of the great need for them. Ammunition I planned to obtain in the following way: I sent to Macan a ship which I found here, and which had been despatched hither from Mexico by the Marques of Villamanrrique (bound for Macan, as he said)—after taking from it guarantees to the amount of fifteen thousand pesos that it should make the voyage to Macan and return, bringing the ammunition. I sent also a regidor, Pedro Debrito by name, with a copy of the warrant that your Majesty gave me, authorizing me to do this; but up to this time he has not returned. Some Chinese who have come from there say that the ship has been captured by Portuguese, and sent to India. I can scarcely maintain my position for the lack of ammunition, which is great—and greater than ever just at the present time, for twenty-two Chinese ships have come, without bringing a libra of copper, of saltpeter, or of powder; and they say that under peril of their lives they had been forced to dispose of them. They say the same of horses and black cattle. As for the affairs of this city, the need of thorough equipment is very great, Page 255for it has almost nothing, not even a prison; and that under an Audiencia, as your Majesty will see by that report. Neither are there any fortifications, so I have devoted myself to providing for what is most necessary, namely, safety. I began the walls at the point, where a fort was being built. I have made it with its curtains and traverses, placing the traverses symmetrically as regards one another. It is one and one-half estados from the ground, and the foundation is of the same depth. It is from sixteen to twelve and eight feet wide on top, according to the plan. The creek of the sea stretches up to the fort, in all about one thousand brazas in length; and while it would not do more, it will serve as a very good trench. On account of this fort and wall I have increased the import duty here on all articles from China, such as pepper and other things. Likewise, playing-cards were seized in your Majesty's name. With this the work was begun, but was about to stop for lack of funds; and, assuming that your Majesty does not possess them, and orders me also to fortify this city and be responsible for order in it, it seemed best to me to levy a tax for this purpose on the property of all those from different places who were settled here, and on the inhabitants in general. This I did, charging two per cent, in consideration of the many and great profits. Inasmuch as this affected the property of the president, the auditors, the bishop, the clergy, and those in benefices, they immediately held secret meetings and declared that I was incurring the censure of the bull of the Lord's Supper. As is a very common proceeding for the bishop and the Dominican friars, because I will not let them go to España to seek many things from your Majesty “very important to the Page 256welfare of these islands,” I am now excommunicated; the Franciscans are now saying the same thing because I have forbidden them to go to China and Japan, and now to España. So great is the freedom and assurance of these saintly folk that they say they will go whether I will or no; that I am the most ill-tempered man in the world, the most cruel, intolerable, and wicked; and that it is from fear that I will not let them go. In response to this, I say that I beseech your Majesty to be pleased to hear them and peruse their letters, and to appoint a person and time, so that the truth may be known; for, if the truth be known, for me and for the vindication of whatever they may say, I am sure that no man in this country can injure me in the least degree. This is the truth, and even though other motives unite with malice and evil intention, I am not concerned a maravedi in my honor or another's honor, or any sign of it. If this be not so, may neither God nor your Majesty protect me.

What I find here is plenty of debts, which your Majesty owes for the services of the poor Indians, and for the work and material on the public buildings, all of which the Audiencia failed to pay; and for the salaries of chaplain, chancellor, bailiffs, and others, the total of which must amount to more than thirty thousand pesos; and there is nothing here with which to pay them.

In order to obviate the discomfort of the soldiers, who are quartered some in one place, some in another, among the inhabitants; and to prevent the quarrels into which they get with the people, I have built for them barracks of stone and brick which are now finished, and which will accommodate four hundred. They are near the official buildings and a small fort Page 257which I have made, where they may keep their flags, and where they may be assembled aid at hand, and safe from the misfortune of fire, when there is need of such safety.

With your Majesty's permission, I must state that I regret the trade of these Chinese, for it seems to me injurious. It might be forbidden on the ground of the great sums of money which they take from these islands to foreign countries. The most of the trade is in cotton stuffs—the material for which they take from this country in the first place, and bring it back woven. The natives here could just as well make these, if they chose, of their own cotton, and even better than those which come from China. They could export them to Mexico, and could have a trade worth four hundred thousand pesos. This would lead to greater care in producing and cultivating the cotton, because they would not have the Sangleys acting as middlemen. The rest that they bring is silks, very poor and sleazy, except some silk which is brought in raw or spun into thread. This last, I fear, exceeds in quantity that brought from the Spanish kingdoms; and would interfere with your Majesty's royal revenues from the silks of Granada, Murcia, and Valencia, which would be most undesirable. Besides this, there is another point deserving no slight consideration—namely, that they (the Chinese) come to these islands with freedom to sell their goods, and even settle here, and frequently marry. They do not permit us, however, to go to their country, nor may a Spaniard go thither to invest one real—a custom entirely contrary to freedom of trade. Therefore, in order to avoid other undesirable results, I have decreed that Chinese traders shall not live here under Page 258the pretext of being merchants; but that only certain workmen who are mechanics may remain, and that, when their merchandise is sold, they shall return home. The bishop and all the friars say that they cannot thus be deprived of the liberty of coming and settling here, and that no such commands or decrees can in conscience be made for them. From the pulpits they say that the governor is going to hell, because the Chinese have their laws, and we cannot dictate to them unless we first govern ourselves according to the laws and customs which we found among the Indians of this country, because it was and is theirs. In regard to what I have said concerning the trade of these Chinese, I am doubtful on only one point—namely, if this trade be abandoned, your Majesty will lose the royal duties which this commerce brings in, on the arrival and departure of the merchants. These must amount to thirty or forty thousand pesos yearly, lacking which, your Majesty would have to supply it from your royal treasury in Mexico, or elsewhere, in order to maintain the army here, and for other very pressing expenses. I have set all this before your Majesty, so that, having considered it on both sides, your Majesty may inform me of your will.

The bishop is about to go to Spain,1 and is so wrought up over what touches his individual interests, Page 259and matters connected with his friars (as are all of the latter), that he declares publicly that if I would not let him go he would betake himself to a desert, in order not to look upon injustices. Not the least among these are the many murders of Indians, very evil in the way in which they were committed, and worse in their concealment for twelve years past; and the failure to make restitution of great amounts, received but not returned. Because I am remedying this, with which neither the bishop nor his clergy concern themselves, the bishop forces them to take this attitude because the name of injustice irritates him.

With great eagerness the bishop is making up something to say about me, taking great pains to get information in regard to my life, and trying to bring forward someone who could tell him something to write. About a little amber which I bought a few days ago, for my own use, and at my own expense, he made many inquiries of the man who sold it—namely, whether he had been paid for it, and how; besides other things of which he has managed to get hold. But since I am sure these charges against me will not be believed, his base intention gives me no uneasiness. May our Lord guard the Catholic person of your Majesty for many long years, since Christendom has need of you.

Manila, June 20, 1592.

Gomez Perez Dasmariñas


By the letters I am writing your Majesty through your royal Council of the Indias, your Majesty will learn of all affairs here. It is advisable that your Page 260Majesty be able to correct and provide as is most fitting to your royal service. Although I advise in those letters concerning the conditions of affairs here, and what I think about each one, agreeably to the nature of the events and affairs contained in the letters, I am writing this letter, addressed to your Majesty in person, so that it may serve merely as a memorandum and reminder of certain matters that most occupy and busy me. I set them down here in small compass, in order not to fatigue your Majesty, since I have already given a detailed account of them by letters, memorials, informations, and reports which I am sending to the Council, in which your Majesty can ascertain what you may be pleased to know.

In this land, as being so new, and where affairs have not as yet the solidity and completeness requisite, are many obstacles and impediments to its good government. One of them, and not the least, is the power, authority, and even tyranny, with which the bishop and religious have insinuated themselves into and domineered over it. Nothing is attempted or tried that they are not wont to oppose it; and nothing is ordained or decreed here in which they do not meddle and interfere, without being summoned or consulted. They assert that they must pass their edict of approval or disapproval on everything; so that there are but few or no matters whose execution they do not oppose and obstruct—saying that such and such cannot be done or ordered, under penalty of going to hell; and, in conjunction with the bishop, they immediately excommunicate and terrorize, so that the secular arm and hand of your Majesty has not here the strength and freedom that it should have Page 261for the execution of affairs. One of the things most needing reform is that, as the bishop, according to his caprice—and often in cases outside of his jurisdiction—excommunicates and proceeds unjustly, doing violence to the law; and as there is no royal Audiencia here to remove the excommunications: justice and the despatch of business may suffer greatly, unless your Majesty entrusts the governor here with power to try such cases, and to lift and remove the ban, since other recourse is so distant, and so many wrongs might be perpetrated. For it is certain that, both in this and in all other matters, the conduct of the bishop and of the religious with so great power and license is one of the most severe trials of this government; because the bishop has a title as a saint (so that some persons imitate him), and a man of upright life. That I do not take it upon myself either to praise or to censure. I have never seen a man more peculiar or so inconsiderate and obstinate in his opinions, who even does not hesitate to oppose the right of patronage, the jurisdiction, and the royal exchequer of your Majesty. All this he judges and discusses as injuriously as the most utter foreigner, and even enemy, would do. I say this with truth, on account of what I owe to your Majesty's service; and although I warn him of the harm that he is doing, as it appears to me, and although I am restraining myself in regard to him with the moderation suitable in a land so slippery and uncertain, he is wont to answer with monkish liberty, what the king must do for him; and that, inasmuch as neither pope nor king can do him good or ill, he is not at all concerned. He says that your Majesty has no authority here; that to him is due the conquest and conservation of this land; and that Page 262he is not bishop for your Majesty, but for the pope. What royal patronage he must observe, the pope declares in his bulls, and not he who praying kept to his bed. He talks with the same liberty in his theology and judgments, since in order to prove his opinions, he says that the universities of Salamanca and Alcala (who do the contrary) are in error, and he right. He declared also that those who should follow the instruction of the Theatins here would go to hell; and that the doctrine of Father Acosta was heretical—beside innumerable other things. And it is quite certain that, since my arrival here, I have had in him a continual opposition and obstacle to whatever is ordered and done. If things are not quite to his taste, he says that he will go into retirement, and abandon everything. And the friars say the same thing—namely, that they will abandon their doctrinas [i.e., Christian villages] if their power over the Indians is taken away. This power is such that the Indians recognize no other king or superior than the father of the doctrina, and are more attentive to his commands than to those of the governor. Therefore the friars make use of them by the hundreds, as slaves, in their rowing, works, services, and in other ways, without paying them, and whipping them as if they were highwaymen. In whatever pertains to the fathers there is no grief or pity felt for the Indians; but as for some service of your Majesty, or a public work, in which an Indian may be needed, or as for anything ordered from them, the religious are bound to gainsay it, place it on one's conscience, hinder it, or disturb everything. Without doubt, if I did not exercise so much caution and moderation, some mutiny or rebellion might arise, in a country so new, at Page 263less opportunities than those which the bishop and his friars afford. For they do not content themselves with opposing our proceedings in the tribunal of conscience [fuero interior], announcing them as sins or cases against conscience; but also, as soon as they assemble in their councils and enunciate their propositions, in the latter and in their pulpits they declare these acts to be unjust, wrong, and worthy of restitution. Thereupon the bishop orders refusal of absolution in confessions, excommunicates, and proceeds in the outer court.2 Thus if it is ordered in accordance with your Majesty's commands that the citizens alone discuss [any matters], they say that that is not just, because it must be for the general welfare. And if, by your Majesty's command, it is ordered that the Chinese merchandise be bought at one price, theology declares that no such thing can be ordered. If it is decreed that the Indians, in order that they may cultivate and weave their cotton, since it is so abundant in the country, should not wear silks and Chinese stuffs, nothing could be worse. No sooner is the excise, or the merchant's peso, or the two per cent duty imposed for the wall, than it is against conscience and the bull De cena Domini [“of the Lord's supper”]. If I undertake to appoint magistrates to govern in peace and establish order among the Indians, they say that I am setting the land on fire. If I pass any sentence in accordance with the merits of the case, there is murmuring, and [it is said] that such a thing has never been seen in these islands; and therefore there is no man more severe or of more evil disposition than I. They assert also that not a Page 264single arquebus-match should be lighted here, or a single soldier be kept; and that the pure gospel must be preached. Thus, I behold myself, Sire, greatly restricted by these obstacles, and even more by the procedures of the bishop in matters in which he has no jurisdiction, and which do not concern his office—because those that do pertain to him, he has most forgotten. For I assure your Majesty as a Christian that since my arrival here, although the work on the church was no farther advanced than the raising of the walls a matter of six varas, and enclosing a court, never did he come to me so that we might give orders to have even one brick placed in it. On my faith, he has not been so forgetful of his own house, for he has one so handsome and well-finished, and from money for the restitutions, which was in his possession. From these restitutions he gave pensions to whomsoever he wished, and took such part as he chose for his own house. Nor have I known him, as long as I have been here, to consult in regard to placing one minister of instruction where there is none, or to convert one soul; but he has only opposed those who tried to provide instruction and to be of service in this matter. This is because he wished, in all things, to have his clergy preferred, in regard to whom he took sufficient care to importune me for them; although they are all better merchants than students of Latin. Consequently, in no other way was more time wasted than in listening to his complaints on this score, and regarding the Augustinian fathers—to whom he is very hostile, because he wished his Dominican friars to have everything good; and in disposing of the misrepresentations and invented tales with which he kept coming Page 265to me, we lost much time. In short, the bishop is growing old, as I am informing your Majesty in another letter. But it is certain that, unless he himself goes away, I see no other remedy for the obstructions caused by his temper and passion (by which he has embarrassed the course of business and government here), than the very journey which he contemplates—namely, to send him to España (as I would assuredly do, because he would have made this step necessary for me) in order to tell your Majesty that there will be no deficiency in his duties here, for he has not busied himself more in them than to hinder me in mine. May our Lord preserve your Majesty for many long years, as Christendom needs. Manila, June 20, 1592.3

Gomez Perez Dasmarinas

[Endorsed: “Manila. To his Majesty. Gomez Perez Dasmarinas. June 20.”]


In previous letters I have reported to your Majesty the irregularities and abuses existing here in the marriage of widows of encomenderos and others who are minors, and I now refer again to the subject. According to the order of your Majesty, the widow or child of an encomendero who served in the conquest inherits the encomienda or income. It happens very often that the widow is young, and rich through her succession to the encomienda; and, following bad advice or personal inclination, she makes an unsuitable or improper marriage, giving Page 266that rich reward and appointment to some trader or newcomer, without merit or claim for service. Thus many honorable and deserving men, who have rendered services to your Majesty here, and who might, by this means, be rewarded and established, are deprived of the encomiendas. The same occurs in the case of minors, who by reason of their youth or through bad advice on the part of interested guardians or relatives (who openly sell them in marriage to the highest bidder), contract many misalliances. In addition to these evils, many quarrels and lawsuits ensue from this practice.

Only yesterday a woman who had but a month ago buried her husband, one of the most honorable captains in these islands, married one of her servants, a man of very short lineage, still fewer years of service, and poor natural endowments. I think that the same thing will happen in the case of four or five rich widows and several minor encomenderos, who are about to be married. All this might be prevented or largely corrected, if the governor here, by order of your Majesty, should be empowered to control this matter. Without his consent and approval no marriages should be allowed, at least of an encomendera, who owes her position to favor conferred by your Majesty upon her father or husband, for services rendered, or to special favor on your Majesty's part. It is not right that some trader or transient resident, who has rendered no service, but who has rather been unserviceable to your Majesty, should usurp and enjoy these benefits by unjust means. The governor should be instructed not to allow, on any account, marriages to take place with any creditor or servant; but he should have, as his sole object, Page 267reward and honor to worthy persons who have served your Majesty in the country. God keep your Majesty many years in the prosperity of which Christendom has need. Manila, July 9, 1592.

Gomez Perez Dasmariñas Page 268

1 Salazar embarked for Spain in this year of 1592, and after his arrival there obtained from the king various favors, and a considerable gratuity for the adornment of the Manila cathedral. The king determined to relieve Salazar's burdens by erecting new dioceses in the islands, and creating him archbishop. While preparations for this were being made, the aged bishop died at Madrid, Dec 4, 1594. See La Concepción's Hist. de Philipinas, ii, pp. 192–194; also biographical sketch in Cartas de Indias, pp. 837, 838, where are mentioned his writings (one of which was printed).

2 A court of canon and civil laws, in opposition to the inner court, or tribunal of conscience. (See vol. vi, p. 260, note 51.)

3 A synopsis by a government clerk is written on the back of this letter.

Luzon Menaced by Japanese

Precautions Submitted to the War-Officials and Certain of the Cabildo of the City

That the citizens reserve their arms and food to as great an extent as possible, and, for possible contingencies, fowls and any other delicacies for the sick.

That the vessels coming from Xapon be examined carefully to see whether they bring in secret other articles than those which they announce publicly.

That twenty vessels—virocos and fragatas—well manned and equipped, be stationed in the river, below the artillery of the fort, in order to be used in carrying food, news, or messages to any point considered advisable; and that the other boats—champans, and all other vessels—not needed there, go up the river, where they can not be attacked by the enemy and used for making entrenchments by them, and in order that the seacoast may be kept clear for fighting and skirmishing.

That an immediate general review and muster be made of all the Spanish forces for the defense of this city; every one, not only of those who are paid, but of the old inhabitants, to be entered on the list, with his weapons.

That a proclamation be made throughout the Page 269coast of these islands that no viroco, banca, fragata, or other vessel, leave the islands without permission; for, should they happen to meet the enemy, the latter would have news of affairs here.

Another proclamation that no citizen or anyone else may remove from this city gold, silver, property, wife, children, or household, or leave it without permission, under penalty of his life, and confiscation of the property thus removed, the latter to be applied to the expenses of war.

As we see our fears of the Xaponese enemy so confirmed in every direction, and that the German1 pirates are actually here and committing daily depredations along the coast, it seems that, in order to relieve ourselves from anxiety regarding so many Xaponese traders as are in the city, it would be advisable to assign them a settlement or location outside of the city, after first taking away all their weapons; and that they live there and sell their property. Likewise, the question of what shall be done with the Xaponese servants here should be considered, for there is a great number of them, and they have free entrance into our houses and this city; in this great danger they would be able to set fire to it, or cause other like damage.

Also, it will be advisable to send word throughout the coasts of Mindoro, Lunban, Valayan, Ylocos, and other districts that piratical enemies are about, so that they may be forewarned and that the natives may be protected.

That the coast be reconnoitered from Parañaque to Cavite, to ascertain whether the enemy have disembarked along it, and to discover what location and Page 270convenience there is for laying ambushes and keeping the enemy busy.

What is said here of our fears of Xapon should be understood as well of the Chinese, since we have so little confidence in them.

That word be sent to Gallinato to set a price on rice, and gather as much as possible, on the account of his Majesty's tributes there.

That four fragatas be fitted up and used for nothing else than to transport rice and food, putting each fragata under command of a thoroughly trustworthy master.

That the biscuit brought by the Chinese, should be taken, and also one-half the flour brought by this Xaponese ship, in order to give it a trial, at a moderate price; and if any well-preserved tunny-fish have been brought, they should be taken, although first it should be ascertained whether they have any yew-tree or other poison in them.

Item: It appears advisable that two careful regidors of this city—in order that they may secure due respect, and act in the name of the city—should go to bring twelve or fourteen thousand fanegas of rice and one thousand five hundred jars of wine, from such district or districts as they may choose, for any necessities that might arise in general—namely, in city, monasteries, and hospitals; since all are sustained by alms, and, in such times, there is no possibility that these can be supplied or provided for them from any place. For this reason it would be advisable to levy an assessment among the citizens of this city; for, although there may be no necessity therefor, it can be sold, and paid to those who should have lent or furnished the said rice and wine, and Page 271up to the amount that shall have been lent—so that, in one way or another, having either consumed or sold it, each one shall receive satisfaction for his loan.

Item: It is advisable that, in case anyone of us, from myself and my son first, down even to the least, should be captured while fighting with the enemy, no one shall be ransomed, even though the enemy be willing to surrender him for a very small ransom; and that this be with no exceptions or with no equivocation, so that each one may fight with greater courage and resolution, preferring—though God grant that we come not to blows with the enemy—death rather than capture.

Item: whether it would be advisable that, in the tingues and mountainous districts near Manila, forts and strongholds be established, to which, if possible, there be a safe path from this city, and an entrance and exit therefrom to that place. Then, when occasion should arise, the women, children, old people, sick, and other non-combatants might be placed there; for, if they remained in the city, they would hinder us and cause us to starve, while there they will have more comfort and refreshment.

Precautions Submitted to the Religious

In all present and future affairs, the chief remedy is to invoke God, endeavoring to placate Him by sacrifice and prayer, and beseeching Him to protect us by His powerful right hand. This duty devolves by special right upon the religious. Our duty is to threaten and strive to correct him who offends God.

Admitting that we expect outside enemies—and we have them among us, because of our little assurance Page 272that the natives, if they see themselves safe, will not rise and attack us, on which point will he discussed, in its proper place, whether it will not be advisable to collect the arquebuses given them during the war with the Çambales—the immediate question is whether it would be advisable to take some security from them, such as, for instance, the gold that they wear, and of which they should be possessed, so that, if they did not prove an aid to us, they should not prove harmful. Also, whether this gold should be deposited with the fathers who instruct them, so that the natives would understand that this action is taken only for security, and with no other intent; and whether this gold should be brought to Manila by the said fathers of the doctrina, and deposited in the fortress—that being the most secure place. Also it should be considered whether this taking their gold seems a harsh measure, and whether others easier and milder offer themselves—as the exemption of certain chiefs from tribute, and otherwise making much of them. But this race is so barbarous and ungrateful that, if they understand our necessity, and discover any weakness or fear in us, the majority of them will rebel against us, and we shall be compelled rather to deal with them as with enemies. Therefore, whatever our exigency, we must deal with them with the same courage, superiority, and firmness as in our most prosperous time itself; and we must assure them that our orders and requests are solely for their good, and by no necessity of ours. It appears to be advisable to order them that each chief send one of his sons with his gold, in order to watch it, and to prove that the rightful owner accompanies it.

Likewise: whether it will be advisable to have a Page 273quantity of rice, swine, fowls, and other food stored in certain parts of the mountains and tingues; for were the places where these are chiefly produced near this city, or in places easy of access to the enemy—and since it is supposed that they would come in force—in such case, it would not be difficult for them to seize this food and appropriate it to their own use, or burn it, for we could not have sufficient forces to divide them, or withdraw them from the defense of this city. And in this connection it is observed that it would be advisable to have the cattle-pastures -which are the support of this state, and the first thing that the enemy look for—established inland (as there is sufficient pasturage in all parts), with some guard. And since, if the enemy came, and we were actually confronted with the danger, it would be necessary for the Indians who have their villages and houses on the seacoast, or along the rivers or estuaries, where the enemy could penetrate easily, to retire inland to live, it seems that it would be advisable for the fathers of the doctrinas to have the natives warned and persuaded immediately to move to more retired and secure places; and that they should commence their sowing, since there are many virgin and unoccupied lands. Should such an event [the coming of an enemy] occur, then this would be already done; and if not, then they would lose nothing in harvesting their rice; for it would be necessary to abandon their hamlets and comforts, if the enemy did come. Furthermore, as these Indians are traders, as is known, and trade in rice and other products with this community, since they bring it from Otton, Camarines, Ylocos, and other places, this trade and provision would, if the enemy came, have to cease; and Page 274if these Indians remained among us and near their present abodes, they would consume our food, and we both would starve. In order to supply food, there is no better remedy than to commence to sow in distant and secure places, so that the natives may be safe, prepared, and forewarned, and that there may be abundance of provisions; since, by withdrawing from each varangay ten men, or the number that may be deemed sufficient, these fields and new settlements may be commenced.

Likewise should be considered whether it would be advisable to store the property of all the Sangleys in the stone warehouses of this city, where the goods might be kept safe, while the Sangleys could go outside of the city to build their houses, because of the great danger, lest by some fire-contrivance they should burn that Parian and a great part of the city. This is to be understood as proposed only if occasion should arise for us to take such measures. Likewise, it will be advisable to have the houses or churches which now are thatched with straw or nipa roofed with tiles; or else they might be destroyed, because of the manifest danger of being set afire with great facility upon any occasion.

Whether the encomenderos, because of these common necessities, should be allowed to collect from each tributario the value of two reals in rice and one real in one laying hen, or two chicks (male or female), or one cock, and the rice at its value among them. Also whether the encomendero should not store it in the city, in the house that he is actually living in; and whether, since the hen is obtained from the Indian as the tribute for one real, neither the hen, the male or female chicks, nor the cock—whichever Page 275the Indian gives in tribute, the matter being left to his choice—can be valued, sold, or bought for more than one real.

Communication from the Governor to the Ecclesiastics

Relation of the proposition made by Gomez Perez Dasmariñas, knight of the order of Santiago, and governor and captain-general in these islands, for the king, our sovereign, to the fathers provincial of the orders, and to other superiors, religious, and ecclesiastics at the meeting that he held with them; and the response of the said fathers.2

Since my arrival in this kingdom, whose government and defense the king, our sovereign, was pleased to entrust to me—certainly a trust greatly disproportionate to my poor strength—I have ever watched over its conservation and perpetuation, as being a new land, in the midst of infidel and idolatrous enemies; and I have even peopled the greater part of it with them; and those so far away have a remedy and aid from their hardships and dangers. In this, God has willed, by His mercy, to plant His faith among and to enlighten those natives, by preaching to them, through His ministers, His holy law, with a zeal so fervid. And this is very different from other provinces in these regions, where there is likewise a Christian faith, and the name of church of the faithful; but their people are so remiss that they content themselves with furthering only their trading and commerce, caring only for their own individual aims and interests, and peradventure, to no Page 276little renunciation of the name of Christian, and causing it to be despised (as in Goa, Malaca, Macan, Maluco, and other parts)—who, satisfied with their own individual interests and business, do not, as here, regard the propagation of the holy gospel as their principal purpose. The maintenance of this is costing so many deaths of blessed fathers religious, who, in the planting of this vine in the Lord, completed so much toil and affliction with their lives, and who, in the conversion of souls, were laboring and overcoming ail manner of danger and fatigue; so much blood and lives of so many honorable Spaniards, who have so happily ended their days in the furthering and building of this new church; and lastly, the vast amount of wealth and royal patrimony which his Majesty has expended, and is expending daily, in the prosecution of so glorious an object. This is none other than the exaltation of the Catholic faith, although it costs so much, as is known, that every year he expends money from his own house, while the temporal gain derived here is so small, and the expense and cost so great and excessive that, unless he lift up his eyes and behold the eternal reward which will result from this, he would have abandoned it already—and as, I believe, no other monarch whatever would have been so zealous for the honor of God, and the Catholic name, that he would not have abandoned it. Therefore we must consider prudently, and fear lest (may God preserve him to us for many years!) he might die, and be succeeded by one who, because of nearer cares and labors, will grow tired, and not take any care of the affairs of this state. Therefore, it is advisable that, should this happen, he [a successor] take and find it in such condition that, with the divine favor, it might, Page 277in its own strength, furnish its own defense from the injuries inflicted by weather and enemies; and, planning out its duty in the most secure manner, take courage, so far as it might, to construct a solid and durable fort. And although this care and vigilance have always been mine, and I have been especially attentive, from the time of my arrival, to look after the repair and fortification of this city, as being the head and court of this kingdom, and where, in whatever attack and emergency, the heart and principal strength of the defense of this kingdom must be located; and for this and for the conservation and perpetuation of this state, I am setting in force many activities and provisions that I have ordained and made in anticipation, which are to be seen and considered, conforming to and governing myself in this by the express orders given me by his Majesty—who for it points out to me, and advises me especially of certain hostile nations, with whom I must proceed carefully and cautiously; nevertheless, in the preparation and repairs of this city, the defense of the coasts and seas, in order to resist the enemies that might invade them, I would have displayed greater zeal and energy (both in these and in other provisions), had not the fathers, superiors of the orders, and other religious, in all or nearly all of them, opposed me by raising scruples, both in private conversations and in their pulpits and sermons, contradicting my authority and raising up obstacles. For indeed, in the building of the wall and fort of this city, the scruples that they have urged against me are well known—namely, that this country had no need of the defenses; that the Indian, to whom the country belongs, does not request them; and that the whole thing results in Page 278labor and oppression for the Indians. If galleys are built and equipped—even when by order of his Majesty, and for the defense of these seas and rivers, it has been said with accusations that for so poor a land this is a very heavy burden; and that these and other preparations cannot be made, except in a known extremity, and a manifest and evident danger. They have urged the same obstacle against me in equipping the galleys with seamen from among the Indians; and say that, in good conscience, this cannot be done; that although such natives otherwise may be the perpetual slaves of their chiefs, while here they are seamen for but three years, at the end of which they are freed, this is not sufficient to justify it, as the work is different, greater, and against natural right. They have even said that, if there is no other means to have galleys, there should be none, or that the king find the method, since, by virtue of the tribute that he levies, the defense of the land belongs to him. If order is given to gather the rice and other foods—so necessary a preparation in case of any adverse event—or that tackle, lines, and other supplies be made (for which the Indians are well paid for their work thereon), neither can this be done, because the Indians are deprived of food, and it is a great affliction. In short, there is contradiction and opposition to everything, and moreover, called by a name so serious as charge of conscience and salvation or condemnation of the soul. This, at the very least, however necessary may be the things ordained, renders lukewarm and greatly disheartens him who ordains them, and continues to warn him; so that it has happened to me that, by finding myself confused and with my hands almost tied by so many outcries in the pulpits, Page 279so many declarations, and so many acclamations and persuasions, I have been temporizing. And, little by little, this has increased, with that which the troubles and dangers were demanding in the procuring of repairs and remedies, until now when it is evident—by reason of the information that I have received of Xaponese enemies, which can have only a sure and certain foundation—that there will be no need of announcing to them, in the manifest danger that threatens, the arousing and quickening of the great and ardent desire that I have always had, that I might succeed in seeing this state in some condition of perfection, and in such repair and defense that it may await, with courage and confidence (after the protection of God), any attack whatever from surrounding enemies, who are known here—until, with the lapse of time, and God opening His hand more generously, and the city growing stronger with its power and forts, it may, not contenting itself with only conserving that conquered in the name of God and of its king, extend and enlarge itself, ever acquiring greater dominion and authority. For this purpose, there is no surer means than by repairs and preparations to have foreseen the danger and extremity to which we might come, before such danger comes to let fall its blow—since, if we await it until that time, the enemy will give us no opportunity to take counsel or protect ourselves, much less to make and prepare things, that, necessarily, to be of use, should have been made and prepared much beforehand; for the sword is worn many days in the belt, to but one that it proves its worth by its aid. It would not suffice for me then, when the enemy tried to kill me in the fort, to have my sword at home. Nor is it a discreet Page 280state which, when expecting enemies, waits until they are actually seen, before providing a fort, walls, artillery, galleys, arms, and other preparations [aparatos], which for that very reason are called preparations: because they have to be made ready beforehand [aparejados] many days, and even years. Accordingly, not only should the arms be ready, but the soldiers experienced in and accustomed to them; the galley not only finished, but the rower skilful at the oar; the food collected; and even the money, which is the sinew of war, ready and assigned for the expenses of war—in order that the enemy, who spies on all our actions, may see how well prepared and equipped we are, and be restrained and intimidated. For many times battles are fought as much by means of reputation as with forces, and since the future danger, when it is assured, must be held as present, in order to anticipate it and prepare for it, let us take counsel on the danger expected as if we had it already at the doors of our houses. And with the same diligence, let us set ourselves to the preparation, as if we actually saw the enemy on that sea. I would wish to be judged as too forearmed and assured, than, by negligence, over-confidence, and lack of diligence to lose one palmo of land, or one iota of reputation. This proposition, then, Fathers and Sirs, I have petitioned and prayed from your Paternities and Graces, that we might assemble here, since we all have equal share in the common safety, to discuss it; and so that, in the provisions and preparations that must be made, I may take action in everything with an easy conscience, which is the part pertaining to your Paternities; so that, with light and clearness on this point, I may prepare in time for the imminent Page 281danger that threatens. For if we waited until the extreme point of necessity was reached, innumerable difficulties would ensue, since what gradually, and in space of time, can be done easily, and with few people, who are well paid, must then be done at one stroke, with an infinite number of conscripted and unpaid people, and with intolerable confusion and hardship, besides many other annoyances, which are a great hindrance and obstacle to both soul and body, and to defense from the enemy, but which are avoided, if preparation be made beforehand.

[Endorsed on the front leaf: “For the religious.”] Page 282

1 The writer apparently confuses the Dutch with Germans.

2 The reply here mentioned is not preserved with this document.

Documents of 1593

Sources: Both of these documents are obtained from the original MSS. in the Archivo general de Indias.

Translations: These are made by James A. Robertson. Page 283

Letter from the King to Gomez Perez Dasmarinas

The King: To Gomez Perez Das Marinas, my governor and captain-general of the Philippinas Islands. I have received the letters that you wrote me by the last fleet from Nueba España. You have done well to advise me so minutely of the condition in which you found affairs in those islands, and how ill their government was being carried on. You shall continue on all occasions to do this, acting in the islands according to your obligation, and in conformity with the hope and satisfaction that I have had, and have, in you. You have done very well in having observed so punctually, as you say, what was ordered you in the instructions that I had given you. You shall do likewise with the other matters in your instructions.

I was very glad to hear how far advanced work was on the cathedral church of that city. I was pleased to see the care and promptness with which you have attended to what I ordered you in regard to this. I consider this as a service from you, and charge you that, if there be anything lacking to finish the work, you shall see that it is done as quickly as possible. Although you have been sent in duplicate the decrees that you carried, they are now being sent again, without Page 284considering that fact, to the officials of Mexico, so that they may, upon the first opportunity, provide you with the supplies mentioned.

You have done very well in applying the one thousand pesos of income to the hospital for Spaniards, and the five hundred to that for the Indians, as I ordered you in your instructions. I charge you that you aid and protect them to the best of your ability, since the work is so charitable.

Since you say that the blankets that I ordered sent from Mexico for the said hospitals are not needed, as you have there all you want, and at a cheaper price, and that the money spent on them might be better spent on other indispensable necessities of the said hospitals, you shall advise the viceroy, Don Luis de Velasco, so that he may convert the money for them into what you consider most needful.

You advise me that you wished to audit the accounts of certain brothers of the habit of St. Francis, who have charge of the hospital for the Indians, but that they refused to show the accounts, and asserted that I had nothing to do with it; and that, until I should endow that house and satisfy its needs, I could have nothing to do with it, nor in the other charitable works of that bishopric. You say that the bishop had abetted that, and that he had sided with and aided the brothers. And although you ought, notwithstanding his reply, to continue your investigations, which have not yet been made, you shall, as soon as you receive this letter, take possession of the said hospital, and of any others in the said islands, in my name, as patron of them—for such I am by right and by apostolic bull. Likewise you shall call to account all who shall have had charge of the incomes, alms, and other Page 285matters pertaining to them. I am writing to the bishop not to hinder you in this; and that, if he desire, he may be present at the said settlement of accounts.

Since the bishop has gone to excess in placing so many fiscals and officials in that city and in the other towns of that island, and in arresting and whipping Indians, to the very great prejudice of my jurisdiction, he certainly must restrain himself. Now and henceforth you shall see that the said bishop does not meddle or concern himself with more than pertains to him by right, and that he observe the regulations imposed by the laws of my kingdoms.

I have noted what you say in regard to the artifices and plans of the bishop, so that my patronage might not be exercised; and that he appoints the incumbents of benefices removable ad nutum, and temporarily, not in actual ownership and by institution, in order to be able to remove them and appoint others; and the excommunications with which he annoys the officials of my royal estate, and the encomenderos, if they do not furnish the salaries of those ecclesiastics whom he appoints without notifying you. Inasmuch as these things are prohibited with especial distinctness, and the said patronage belongs to me throughout all the states of the Yndias, you shall have it observed. The bishop shall not meddle with the matter of the salaries, but you yourself shall pay to those who shall give instruction what is due them according to the ordinance.

As I have understood the opposition offered by the religious, and the difficulties that they placed in the way of executing the ordinance which prohibited buying the Chinese merchandise—except through Page 286persons assigned for it and at a moderate price set by them, who should buy at wholesale, and afterward distribute the merchandise—I am writing the enclosed letters to the provincials of the orders, ordering them not to offer any opposition in such matters. You shall deliver them to the provincials, and shall act according to your orders.

You have acted excellently in ordaining that no suits regarding actions committed and past before the establishment of the Audiencia shall be admitted, since, as you very truly observe, this meant opening the door to many difficulties, and giving opportunity to the people to become entangled in embarrassments and troubles. Therefore, you shall continue with the execution of this plan, and shall endeavor always to prevent suits and quarrels, which are so prejudicial and harmful in lands so remote, as is easily understood.

In regard to what you say of the embassy and present that you think should be sent to the king of China, in order to conciliate him to my service, and to open the door, by this way, for the preaching of the gospel in those districts, I am considering the matter, and shall advise you of what is resolved upon.

All that you say concerning the need of religious is borne in mind. Therefore as many as possible will always be sent. At the present time, a number of them are going, in especial thirty descalced religious of the order of St. Francis. Care and diligence will be exercised, in the future, to provide those who, as you shall advise us, are needed.

It is very advisable and necessary for the Indians to have a protector and defender, as is the case in Piru and Nueba Spaña. And since, as you say, the Page 287bishop, to whom I had entrusted it, is unable to attend to the affairs, acts, and judicial procedures which require personal attention, you, as governor, shall appoint the said defender and protector, to whom you shall assign a suitable salary. This salary shall be paid from the tributes of the Indians, distributed proportionally among those assigned to my crown and those allotted to private individuals, without at all infringing for this purpose upon my moneys that proceed from other sources. Notwithstanding this, you are to understand that the bishop is not to be deprived of the general superintendence of the protection of the said Indians.

You report that, upon your arrival at those islands, you found that the Indians of Sirean, Yllocos, and Cagayan were paying ten reals, and had been doing so since the tribute was imposed, because, as they were more wealthy, heavier tribute was imposed on them than on the others. You say that you are in doubt, because your instructions state that the tribute of eight reals is to be increased and raised to ten, whether you are to understand that all the tributes are to be raised two reals; for if so, then those who formerly paid ten must now pay twelve, just as those who were paying eight now pay ten. Inasmuch as the intention was that all the tributes should be raised two reals, you shall order that those Indians who were paying ten reals shall pay twelve, now and henceforth. You shall adjust this with the mildest possible means.

Respecting the duties that are to be paid on the gold dug in those islands—about which you say there has been a dispute, since the former fiscal of the Audiencia there claimed that it should be the fifth, Page 288while the city contradicted him, and petitioned that it be but the tenth—you shall endeavor, conveniently and mildly, now and henceforth to introduce the fifth, since it is the right that pertains to me. If you shall encounter in this great difficulties and annoyances, you shall leave the matter in its present shape. You shall advise me of the condition of the country and the mines, and the annual amount of the said fifth, based on the present value of the tenth, so that after examination in my royal Council of the Yndias, the most advisable measures may be enacted.

You say also that, inasmuch as you found Don Bernardino de Sande very poor, you were unable to collect from him the proceeds of the encomienda of Baratao, in accordance with the writ issued by my royal Council of the Yndias. In consideration of this, and because he had served well, you say that you left him in possession of the encomienda, providing that he annually put one-third of the income arising from it into my treasury. Also, that you have allotted the other villages that he occupies in La Laguna of that city to Don Juan Ronquillo and Don Gonzalo Ronquillo de Ballesteros in equal portions, as a reward for their services; and that likewise you have appointed Captain Gomez de Machuca (who is a very meritorious person) to the post of treasurer, with a salary of five hundred pesos, until the owner of the office should arrive. All of the above is well done.

Likewise you say that one section of your instructions orders that while the soldiers draw pay they may not trade, as such a thing would distract them from their military duty; and that although this is right, you think that they might be permitted to invest Page 289two or three hundred pesos, because of their great poverty and as an aid to its alleviation. This would not embarrass them, and you would not allow it to distract them. In consideration of this, I endorse what you say. Therefore you may tolerate this in them to the above amount.

You wrote me from Mexico what you repeat in your latest letters—that, in order to be able to ensure respectable soldiers going to those islands, it would be advisable to permit the soldiers who go there to return to Nueva Spaña, or wherever their wives or business interests were, after several years' service, or if necessary business arose, or if they were, as some are, married; for, as it is seen that they are not permitted to leave those islands, none but mestizos and people of little account go there. After discussing this matter, it was determined to refer it to you, as I do now, in order that you may act as you may consider most advisable; but so that there may be no lack of the people necessary in that country.

The suit that you mention between the bishop and the encomenderos in regard to the tithes, has not yet arrived here. As soon as it comes, it will be examined, and necessary steps will be taken.

Inasmuch as you report that there are certain Sangley shops in the Parian, whose rent is given to their governor; and that it is not advisable that those Sangleys remain there, because they are not Christians; but that some settlement outside the city should be assigned them, and the rent for their shops applied to that city as public property, while another kind of remuneration be given to the said judge of the Sangleys: I refer to you everything pertaining to this matter, so that, after consulting with the licentiate Rojas Page 290and the municipal government of that city, you may provide for it in such manner that the said Sangleys receive no injury or dissatisfaction.

Under the present cover I enclose to you a second decree, ordering that my officials of those islands should pay their wages to the sailors, carpenters, blacksmiths, and other workmen; and that, if my treasury there should prove insufficient for this, they send to Nueba Spaña for the deficit. Under other covers I am writing to the viceroy to have this carefully obeyed.

Notwithstanding that the provision mentioned in your instructions, ordering that none but inhabitants of those islands engage in trade, was not delivered or afterward sent to you, you shall observe the contents of that section of the said instructions which treats of this.

The effort which you report having made with the city, that a convent of nuns be founded in the church of Sant Andres (the erection of which has begun), which is discussed in section twenty-seven of your instructions, is well, and you shall continue it.

You will know my wishes in regard to the sale of the offices from the despatches that have been sent to you, and you shall observe them.

The bulls of crusades and composition, which you say might be applied in those islands, were sent to you; and my royal Council of the Crusade is writing in regard to it.

In remunerating and providing for the deserving, you shall continue to observe the instructions and orders given you.

In regard to what you say about the entrances and Page 291new discoveries, and their great necessity in order that the soldiers may be maintained, and their extreme poverty alleviated, this is not the principal end that must be observed, but that of the service of God, and the welfare of the Indians. Inasmuch as you have the matter in hand, you shall consider what will be most advisable, and you shall accordingly ordain in it what you consider fitting, in accordance with the nature and condition of the country, and the people that you shall have.

You have done very well in applying the proceeds of the merchant's peso on the Chinese merchandise, and the monopoly of playing-cards, to the wall of that city; and because you have made, for the same purpose, a two per cent assessment and contribution on the citizens and on the Peruvian and Mexican merchandise traded in that land. And although you report that this two per cent assessment has been made for only one time, you shall continue the collection of this duty, and that on the playing-cards, and the merchant's peso, until the said fortification is finished.

You shall be very careful to favor the cathedral and hospitals. You shall advise me of what alms can be given, and to what amount, since you report their, necessity as so great.

I note what you say in regard to the change of lieutenant-governor that you advise, or my giving you permission to appoint another. In the meantime, until what is deemed advisable is provided in regard to this (which is now being discussed) you shall endeavor to maintain pleasant relations; and shall proceed as is most desirable to the service of God and to mine, and to the welfare of the land. Page 292

What pertains to the navigation from those islands will be determined as soon as possible—namely, whether it shall be at my account, or at that of private individuals, and you shall be advised of the resolution taken. In either case, you shall send information, now and henceforth, upon all occasions, to my royal Council of the Indias, of all vessels leaving there, and of their registers, with itemized cargo—as, so much in gold, and so much in merchandise, with the declaration of the different kinds.

You say that you have experienced difficulties and opposition on the part of the encomenderos in establishing the increase of two reals on the tribute of each Indian; and that notwithstanding that they afterward agreed to it, yet they petitioned that they be allowed to collect their tributes in the usual way. As this does not seem to you advisable, but you desire that they collect with mildness, you shall ordain thus, and it will receive endorsement.

In undertaking the construction of the galleys, you shall advise me of its progress, and of their cost, and for what purpose they can best be used.

I am ordering Joan de Ledesma to send you, with this, signed copies of the decrees prohibiting Peru and Guatemala from trading in those islands and in China. In accordance with these decrees, you shall regard as confiscated everything that may be traded in violation of those orders.

It is not advisable to make any innovation in regard to the permission which you request—namely, power to despatch vessels to Peru and other points; but you should observe the decree.

The other points of your letters are being discussed, and an answer will be sent to you upon the first occasion. Page 293Madrid, January 17, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three.

I The King

By order of the king, our sovereign:

Joan de Ybarra.

Countersigned by the council.

[In the margin, at the beginning of this document: “Reply to Gomez Perez das Marinas, governor and captain-general of the Philippinas Islands.”] Page 294

Two Royal Decrees

Lawsuits in the Philippine Islands

Don Phelipe, etc. When I ordered the suppression of my royal audiencia and chancilleria resident in the city of Manila of the Filipinas Islands, and established there a governor and lieutenant-governor (the latter of whom is a lawyer), to take care of matters of justice, one of my decrees was ordered to be promulgated, in which was declared the order to be followed in the hearing of suits and causes that might arise in the said islands. This is of the following tenor:

“Don Phelipe, by the grace of God, king of Castilla [his other titles follow]. Inasmuch as, for certain reasons advantageous to my service, I have resolved to order the suppression of my royal audiencia, at present established in the Philipinas Islands, and have appointed as my governor and captain-general of them Gomez Perez Dasmarinas, knight of the order of Santiago, and you, the licentiate Pedro de Rojas (at present my auditor in my said royal Audiencia), as his lieutenant-governor and counselor, to determine matters of justice; and inasmuch as, the said Audiencia not having existence, it is advisable that for the peace and tranquillity of the said islands Page 295and the citizens and inhabitants thereof, and the good administration of justice therein, you should understand the system that you are to observe and follow in the hearing and determination of the suits, which were moved and were pending in the said Audiencia, or that will be moved hereafter: I declare, desire, and will that in all cases you shall hear, sentence, determine, and execute in the following form and manner. All the suits that were pending in the said Audiencia, and were not concluded on trial, you shall resume in the condition in which they were left, and they shall be prosecuted before you. You shall pass sentence upon them; and if appeal is made by the parties, or either one of them, from your decisions, you shall submit the appeal to the president and auditors of my royal Audencia residing in the city of Mexico, in Nueba España. You shall likewise refer to my said Audiencia of Mexico the suits that may have received sentence on trial in the said Audiencia, if appeal has been made from the sentence, so that the cases may be prosecuted before it, and sentenced in review. And if any suits were sentenced in review in the said Audiencia of the said Philipinas Islands, and the execution of the sentences is demanded, then you are authorized to have them executed, as well as the sentences given on trial in the said Audiencia in suits pending therein, and on which no appeal was made, and if the said sentences on trial were passed in a case where judgment was rendered. Likewise I declare, and it is my will, that you may hear and try the suits regarding Indians which shall be moved in the said islands henceforth, and those which might come before you on appeal from the corregidors that are and were in the said islands. In hearing the said suits Page 296regarding Indians, you shall observe the royal decree and edict given at Malinas, and the declarations that were made regarding it. In this and in all the abovementioned cases, as well as in all other suits and causes that the said Gomez Perez Dasmarinas can and ought to try, as being governor and captain-general, and you, the said licentiate Pedro de Roxas, as his counselor and lieutenant-governor, for the determination of the said suits and matters of justice, you shall observe the laws and ordinances of these kingdoms, and the instructions, provisions, and decrees, given by the emperor and king, my sovereign (may he rest in peace), and by me, and those that shall be given. And for authorization to perform and fulfil all that is above mentioned, and any portion and part of it, and all else annexed and pertaining to it, I grant you as complete and sufficient power as is required and as is needed. I order the presidents and auditors of my royal audiencias of the said Nueba España, and all the councils, magistrates, regidors, knights, esquires, officials, and good men of all cities, towns, and hamlets of Nueba España and of the said islands, to keep and observe this my decree in every point, according to the tenor of what is contained and declared therein; and that, for its fulfilment, they give and cause to be given to you the help and assistance that you request and that is necessary. And I order my said presidents and auditors of my said royal Audiencia of Mejico to hear the said suits that shall be sent there, in accordance with the above order; and that they give sentence and conclusion to them in accordance with the law and ordinances of these kingdoms, and with the said ordinances, provisions, and decrees; and none of you shall violate them. Given at San Lorenzo, Page 297August twenty-one, one thousand five hundred and eighty-nine.

I The King

I, secretary of the king, our sovereign, had this written by his order.

Juan de Ybarra

I have been informed recently that, because of the great distance of those islands from the city of Mexico (to whose Audiencia must be sent appeals in the said causes), many, especially the poor, refuse to prosecute their suits; for in some of them the costs amount to more than the principal, besides the annoyance of the delay. This serves as a cause for grief and annoyance, from which the wealthy profit to the injury of most of that community. As I desire the relief of this state of things, I order, with the concurrence of my royal Council of the Indias, for the present that henceforth all suits for the value of one thousand ducados or less be concluded in the courts of the said Philipinas Islands. If appeal be made from the sentences given at the first instance, and substantiated in the second, in conformity with law, the case shall be regarded as closed with the sentence imposed by the said lieutenant-governor in the second instance, and no appeal can be taken from it. In suits and causes for more than one thousand pesos [sic], appeal may be made to my said royal Audiencia of Mexico, in accordance with the tenor of the decree inserted above. In order that this may be public and manifest, I order this my decree to be published in the said city of Manila. Given at Madrid, January seventeen, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three.

I The King Page 298

Countersigned by Juan Bazquez, and signed by the council.

[In the margin: “In order that suits and causes of one thousand ducados and less may be concluded in the court of the Philipinas islands; and, if the amount be in excess of the above sum, they may be appealed to the royal Audiencia of Mexico.”]

Restrictions on Commerce

The King: Inasmuch as, whenever we have promulgated ordinances prohibiting trade between the Western Yndias and China, and regulating that of the Philipinas, I have been informed that there has been neglect in the execution thereof; and that, as the merchants and other persons in the Northern Sea who trade in these our kingdoms of Castilla, and in the Yndias, have suffered so many losses during past years, and those engaged in the profits of the Chinese trade have gained so much, the latter has increased greatly, while the commerce of these my said kingdoms has declined, on which account both these kingdoms and my royal income have received great damage: therefore, since it is so important that the commerce of these my said kingdoms and of the Yndias be preserved and increased, and that there be quite usual communication and trade between them, I have, with the concurrence of my royal Council of the Yndias, determined to prohibit by new orders—as by this present I do pruhibit, forbid, and order—in the future, in any manner and under any circumstances whatever, any vessel from sailing from the provinces of Peru, Tierra Firme, Guatimala, Nueva España, or any other part of our Western Yndias, to Page 299China, for trade or traffic or for any other purpose. Neither can they go to the Philipinas Islands, except those from Nueva España, which are permitted to go by another decree of this same date. We have ordained that, should this be done, such vessel will be regarded as confiscated, with all its money, merchandise, and other cargo. One third part of all of this shall be applied to our exchequer, a second third to him who shall give information thereof, and the other third to the judge who shall pass sentence. And further, we forbid that any merchandise brought to the said Nueva España from the Philipinas Islands be transferred to the said provinces of Piru and Tierra Firme, even when the duties imposed on such merchandise have been paid. For our purpose and will is that nothing from China and the Philipinas Islands be used in the said provinces of Piru and Tierra Firme, except what may be there at present, and for which we allow them four years, to be determined from the date on which this our decree shall be promulgated. For this purpose every person shall register what he has at present before the justice of the city, town, or hamlet, where he lives, or of which he is a citizen. Henceforth whatever of the aforesaid merchandise shall be taken to the above-named provinces, or whatever shall be found in the possession of any person whatsoever, outside of the said register, or after the conclusion of the above time-limit, we order that it be confiscated also, and divided and shared as above stated. But we permit them to bring to these kingdoms, anything of the above-named articles that they may have had hitherto, within the limit of the said four years. I order my viceroys of Piru and Nueva España, Page 300my governor and captain-general of the Philipinas, the presidents and auditors of my royal audiencias of the Yndias, and all other magistrates therein, that they observe and fulfil this our decree, strictly, inviolably, and punctually; and that they execute the penalties contained herein without any remission or dispensation whatever, as is thus my will, and as is fitting for my service. They shall promulgate it in all places where this shall be necessary and desirable, so that all may have notice of it, and none may plead ignorance. Given in Madrid, February eleven, one thousand five hundred and ninety-three.1

I The King

1 On February 9, 1594, Garcia Hurtado de Mendoça, marques of Cañete, and viceroy of Peru, ordered this decree to be delivered to the royal officials of Ciudad de los Reyes, who in turn ordered it to be promulgated in due form by the herald.

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Bibliographical Data

The papal decree of 1591 is taken from Hernaez's Coleccion de bulas, i, p. 108; the account of encomiendas, from Retana's Archivo del bibliófilo filipino, iv, pp. 41–111; the letter by Clement VIII, from Hernaez, ii, p. 357. All the remaining documents of this volume are obtained from the Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla, being translated from the original MSS. or from transcriptions thereof; the pressmarks are as follows:

1. Collection of tributes (1591)—See Bibliographical Data for Vol. VII.

2. Conquest of Mindanao.—”Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del cabildo secular de Manila vistos en el Consejo; años 1570 á 1640; est 67, caj. 6, leg. 27.”

3. Ordinance regarding Chinese stuffs.—”Simancas—Secular; Audiencia de Filipinas; cartas y expedientes del gobernador de Filipinas vistos en el Consejo; años 1567 á 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 6.”

4. Letter by Dasmariñas (1591).—The same as No. 3.

5. Fortification of Manila—The same as No. 3.

6. Investigations at Manila—”Simancas—Filipinas; descubrimientos, descripciones y poblaciones Page 302de las Yslas Filipinas; años 1582 a 1606; est. 1, caj. 1, leg. 3|29.”

7. Opinions of the religious orders.—”Simancas—Secular; Cartas y expedientes del presidente y oidores de dicha Audiencia vistos en el Consejo; años 1583 á 1599; est. 67, caj. 6, leg. 18.”

8. Letters from Dasmariñas (1592); also all the remaining documents of that year.—The same as No. 7.

9. Letter from Felipe II (1593).—”Audiencia de Filipinas; registros de oficio y partes: reales ordenes dirigidas á las autoridades y particulares del distrito de la Audiencia; años de 1568 á 1605; est. 105, caj. 2, leg. 11.”

10. Two royal decrees.—(1) Is a part of No. 9; (2) The same as No. 6.