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The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898

Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and
their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions,
as related in contemporaneous books and manuscripts, showing the
political, economic, commercial and religious conditions of those
islands from their earliest relations with European nations to the
close of the nineteenth century,

Volume L, 1764-1800

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

The Arthur H. Clark Company
Cleveland, Ohio


Preface 9

Document of 1764-1800

Events in Filipinas, 1764-1800. [Compiled from Montero y
Vidal's Historia de Filipinas.] 23

Miscellaneous Documents, 1766-1771

Financial affairs of the islands, 1766. Francisco Leandro
de Viana; Manila, July 10, 1766. 77
Letter from Viana to Carlos III. F. L. de Viana; Manila,
May 1, 1767. 118
Anda's Memorial to the Spanish government. Simon de Anda
y Salazar; Madrid, April 12, 1768. 137
Ordinances of good government. [Compiled by Governors
Corcuera (1642), Cruzat y Góngora (1696), and Raón
(1768).] 191
Instructions to the secular clergy. Basilio Sancho de
Santa Justa y Rufina; Manila, October 25, 1771. 265
The expulsion of the Jesuits, 1768-69. [Compiled from
various sources.] 269
The council of 1771. [Letter by a Franciscan friar];
Manila, December 13, 1771. 317

Bibliographical Data. 323


Plan of the city of Manila and its environs and suburbs
on the other side of the river, by the pilot Francisco
Xavier Estorgo y Gallegos, 1770; photographic facsimile
from original MS. map (in colors) in Archivo general de
Indias, Sevilla 35
Plan of the present condition of Manila and its environs,
drawn by the engineer Feliciano Márquez, Manila, September
30, 1767; photographic facsimile from original MS. map
(in colors) in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla 83
Map of the river of Cagayan, showing town sites along its
banks, 1720(?); drawn by Juan Luis de Acosta; photographic
facsimile from original MS map in Archivo general de
Indias, Sevilla 182, 183
Map of Manila Bay, port of Cavite, and Lake of Bay, showing
depths of various parts of the bay, drawn by the engineer
Feliciano Márquez, September 28, 1767; from original MS. map
(in colors) in Archivo general de Indias, Sevilla 201
Map of Guam, one of the Marianas Islands, in Concepción's
Historia general (Sampaloc, 1788-1792), vii, facing p. 145;
photographic facsimile from copy in library of Harvard
University 291


In this volume is a brief outline of events from the restoration
of Manila by the English (1764) to 1800; and a group of documents
relating to the more important topics in the first decade of that
period. The condition of the islands and their people at that time
is well described by the able and patriotic officials Viana and Anda;
and the "ordinances of good government" are an important addition to
our sources of information regarding the administration of justice in
Filipinas. The most important event of that time was the expulsion of
the Jesuits from the Spanish dominions, although its great significance
in Europe was but feebly reflected in those remote colonies.

In a brief summary are noted the leading events in Filipinas from
1764 to 1800. Manila is restored to the Spanish authorities by the
English on March 31, 1764; a few months before, Archbishop Rojo had
died, in captivity. The brief term of the temporary governor, Torre,
contains little that is noteworthy, outside of a controversy between
the civil government and the religious orders, occasioned by the
imprudent utterances of a Jesuit preacher. In July, 1765, arrives
the new governor, José Raón, in whose term occurs the expulsion of
the Jesuits from the islands, a matter treated more fully in a later
document; he also publishes a revision of the laws compiled earlier by
Arandia. The city of Manila first coins small copper money about this
time. The old controversy regarding episcopal visitation of the regular
curas is revived (1767) by Archbishop Santa Justa y Rufina, and it is
complicated by Raón's attempt to enforce the royal rights of patronage;
bitter controversies arise, and are carried to the Madrid court.

After the capture of Manila by the English, the Moros had renewed
their piracies, and ravaged the entire archipelago, year after
year - even entrenching themselves and opening a slave market on
Mindoró Island. Later, an expedition is sent to drive them out of this
stronghold, which is successful. In 1770, the patriot Anda returns
to Filipinas as its governor; he brings suit against Raón and other
officials for misconduct in office, which is proved against them;
but they and their friends rouse bitter opposition against him,
and hinder his labors for the country. Incited by reports of another
English invasion, he strengthens the fortifications of Manila Bay. His
appointment was unwelcome to the friars, and he makes official
remonstrance against the abuses prevalent among them, and calls
for corrections of these. Attempting to enforce the royal rights of
patronage, all the orders save the Dominicans refuse to obey; but later
royal orders (1776) make provision for more gradual secularization
of the curacies in Filipinas, and somewhat modify the enforcement of
the episcopal visitation - to secure which Santa Justa had convened a
provincial council at Manila in 1771, which was afterward disapproved
by the king. Difficulties arise with the Moros of Joló through the
imprudence of an envoy sent thither by Anda, and through the military
establishment made by the English on an islet near Joló. The Moros
seize this fort by treachery (1775) and kill most of the Englishmen
in it; this success emboldens the Moros to ravage the Spanish islands
again. In the following year the king sends 50,000 pesos to Filipinas
for building light vessels to follow up those pirates. The weight
of Anda's official responsibility, and the constant attacks of his
enemies, cause his death, October 30, 1776. He is succeeded by Basco
y Vargas, an energetic, able, and conscientious officer. The auditors
conspire against him, but he arrests them and ships them to Spain; he
then devotes himself to the welfare of the country and the development
of its resources. He makes all possible efforts to promote agriculture,
industries, and commerce; founds the celebrated "Economic Society;"
improves the schools, punishes highwaymen, reorganizes the army,
and repairs the forts; visits the provinces in person, and informs
himself of their condition; places the public revenues on a sound
basis; and checks the Moro piracies for a time. Nevertheless, he is
disliked and opposed by some of the citizens, and resigns his post as
governor (1787); his temporary successor is Pedro Sarrio, who finds
it necessary to allow the regular curas to resume their parish charges.

The next proprietary governor, Félix Berenguer de Marquina, assumes his
office on July 1, 1788. After becoming acquainted with the condition
of the islands, he sends to the home government proposals for the
reforms which seem desirable for Filipinas. Various events in his
term of office are related, but there is little in them of unusual
importance. In 1793 he is succeeded by Aguilar. New alarms of another
English invasion oblige him to give attention first to the defenses
of Manila and the improvement of the army. In the last days of 1796,
a powerful Spanish fleet, commanded by Álava, arrives at Manila, sent
thither for the defense of the islands in the war with Great Britain,
which began in that year. Sailing to attack the English trading-fleet
from China, Álava encounters a fierce hurricane, which drives him
back to Manila. Endeavoring to improve the navy of the islands, and
to reorganize the arsenals, he encounters official corruption and
other difficulties, and is involved in long controversies with Aguilar
and the royal officials at Manila. In 1797, the Acapulco galleon is
wrecked soon after leaving Cavite, through "its commander's complete
ignorance of nautical affairs," occasioning heavy loss to the citizens
of Manila. Álava is compelled, by the continual danger of an attack by
the English, to remain near the city for its defense; but he does all
in his power to protect its commerce and improve the administration
of its navy, and finally returns to Spain in 1803. On August 8, 1806,
Aguilar dies, having held his office longer than any other governor
before or since.

A detailed statement of the financial affairs of the islands in 1766 is
furnished by the royal fiscal at Manila, Francisco Leandro de Viana. He
aims to show how the Philippines can be made self-supporting, and
even more, by proper retrenchments of expense and by increasing the
revenues of government through the abolition of certain privileges
and exemptions, the establishment of various monopolies, and, if
necessary, the increase of the tributes paid by the natives. This
last item produces 250,000 pesos annually; but nearly all of this is
paid out for "the spiritual administration" of the Indians, so that,
according to Viana, "the religious orders profit by and receive almost
all the proceeds from the tributes." Hence the need of the royal
situado each year from Mexico, to pay the civil and military expenses
of the government. Viana enumerates the other profits derived from the
Indians by the religious who are charged with their spiritual care,
and mentions numerous other sources of income which they possess. In
short, "all the profit of the islands accrues to the ecclesiastical
estate;" the royal treasury is heavily indebted, and cannot meet
the enormous expenses; "the provinces are at the mercy of the Moros,
and everything is in danger of total ruin, unless suitable remedies
are applied in time."

For this purpose Viana advocates various retrenchments of expenses,
especially of those now incurred for the support of the ecclesiastical
estate in the islands. He recommends that the exemptions of certain
Indian chiefs and church servants from tribute-paying be abolished;
that the "barangays" be suppressed, and the native villages reduced
to parishes; that changes and reforms be made in the dealings of the
provincial alcaldes with the crown; that offices be not sold, but
granted as rewards of merit; that certain royal imposts be increased;
that some privileges be sold at auction; and that monopolies be
established on playing-cards, cock-fighting, and tobacco, not only in
Manila but throughout the provinces and islands - to all of which the
monopolies on wine and buyo might profitably be extended, which "would
produce for the royal treasury enormous sums." From all these sources,
the royal treasury will obtain enough income "to maintain the islands
with respectable forces, and to make good the expenses hitherto caused
to the royal revenue," without the necessity of increasing the tribute
paid by the natives. But, if this last expedient be deemed necessary,
he shows what will be the proceeds from increasing the tribute from
ten reals to two, three, and four pesos respectively. The fiscal
Viana shows himself to be a capable and honest official; but he
evidently must contend with forces and conditions - greed for gain,
official corruption, fraud, negligence and waste - that cannot be
overcome without entire reform and reorganization of the colonial
administration. With all his ability, he nevertheless regards the
native peoples, as so many other European officials have done, as
legitimate subjects for reckless exploitation; but in the light of
modern thought and investigation his proposed expedients seem both
short-sighted and ruinous. In some cases they would be diabolical,
if their author could have realized what their effects would be,
as with the proposed extension of the vicious monopolies (gambling,
and the use of tobacco and wine) throughout the islands. He himself
says, "Even the boys and girls use the said tobacco before they are
old enough to exercise their reason."

Another document of especial interest is a report by Viana (May 1,
1767) to the king and the Council of the Indias, apparently the final
one sent by him as fiscal. The subjects which it chiefly discusses
are, the necessity of rendering trade free between the Spaniards and
the Indians in the provinces, and that of instructing the natives
in the Spanish language. As it is, the Indians seldom understand
that language, outside of Manila, and dare not use it in presence
of the religious. The latter, Viana says, are absolute despots in
the islands, and, to conceal this from the authorities, they keep
the natives in ignorance of the Spanish language; and they allow no
Spaniard to enter their villages except by special permission of the
cura, and for the time of three days only. He complains of their
insolence, greed for dominion, disregard of all laws that do not
suit their convenience, intrigues to prevent the enforcement of law,
and oppression of the natives. These evils are incurable so long as
the present mode of secular government continues. The interests of
the king and his exchequer, and the government of the provinces, are
shamefully neglected; the governor is indolent and covetous, seeks
his own profit, and leaves business affairs to his secretary - who
in turn neglects those which do not yield him gain. Viana urges that
the superintendency of the exchequer be separated from the governor's
office, as a partial remedy for the disorder and neglect which it has
suffered; also the surrender of civil government in the provinces to
the sole charge of the Audiencia, and the reduction of all the natives
into parishes. He describes the intrigues within the orders which
attend the appointments therein to the parishes under their charge,
and claims that the missions are in consequence rapidly decaying. He
renews his complaint of the despotic rule practiced by the friar curas,
over both natives and alcaldes; and declares that the only cure for
this will be, to subject the curas to episcopal visitation. Viana
closes by urging that better governors be sent to the islands.

Further light on the condition of the islands after the English
invasion is furnished by a notable memorial to the Spanish government,
written by the patriot Anda (April 12, 1768). Far the greater part
of this is devoted to the abuses resulting from the arrogance and
lawlessness of the friars, with Anda's recommendations for measures
to counteract those abuses; and to his text we add the helpful
annotations made thereon by Dr. Pardo de Tavera. The inadequate
and defective education furnished by the Manila universities leads
Anda to recommend that they be abolished, and replaced by a secular
foundation. He complains of the tyranny exerted by the regulars over
the secular clergy and over the Indians, their refusal to acknowledge
the episcopal authority, their defiance of the secular government,
their greed for gain (extorting all they can get from the Indians,
although they receive large stipends and contributions from the
government, and acquiring large estates, besides engaging in a
lucrative trade), their persecutions of any Spaniards who attempt to
visit or trade in the Indian villages, their protection of the infidel
Chinese, their persistent neglect to teach the Spanish language to the
Indians and their holding the latter in ignorance in order to retain
their domination over them. The regulars also neglect their spiritual
work, do nothing to check the vagrant life of many Indians, tyrannize
over the alcaldes, and incite the Indians to hate the Spaniards. Anda
urges that they be compelled to submit to episcopal visitation, to
give up trade, to cease from meddling with all affairs of secular
government, and to teach the Spanish language to the natives; and,
if they prove contumacious, that they be expelled from the islands. At
the end of the memorial, Anda touches on some other abuses which need
correction: the choice of friars as bishops, the mismanagement of
the royal storehouses, the undue expense of the Acapulco galleon, the
failure to tax the production of gold, and the neglect to subdue the
inland tribes of Luzón. He advocates the operation of the Philippine
mines, revision of the commercial regulations, recoinage of money,
reorganization of the colonial government, and more care in selecting
the governors of the islands, with the grant to them of more power
to correct abuses.

Of decided importance in this series are the ordinances of good
government of Corcuera and Cruzat (with later additions), and those of
Raón (revising those of Arandía, of 1768), which were intended for the
guidance of alcaldes, corregidors, and other judicial officials. While
in actual use they were never of the transcendental importance in
executive, legislative, and judicial matters that might be imagined
from their context, because they are for the most part merely a
record on paper (especially those of Raón), and were almost entirely
disregarded; yet they are valuable, as they show the Spanish treatment
of natives, and reveal social and economic conditions. Although
the source from which we translate and synopsize presents first the
ordinances of Raón, we have preferred to follow the more chronological
arrangement, and hence begin with those of Corcuera and Cruzat. The
ordinances of Corcuera, which were formulated in 1642, are revised by
Cruzat, because such revision is demanded by the changed conditions
that have come with the lapse of time. The first thirty-eight are the
more valuable portion of these first ordinances, and are the result
of the revision of those of Corcuera. They are much more clear-cut
than most of the remaining twenty-three ordinances, some of which
are vague and full of loopholes. As a whole, these first sixty-one
ordinances regulate the conduct of the alcaldes-mayor in their official
and private life in all lines - moral, religious, judicial, economic,
etc. From them one obtains almost a full glimpse of the life of the
times; he sees the canker of graft which was working in and through
everything; gains a knowledge of the Spanish treatment of their wards,
the natives, from the different standpoints of government paternalism,
and individual rapacity, half-contempt, and cruelty of subordinate
officials and others; notes the corrective measures that were taken,
often halting and inadequate; and above all, is conscious of that
peculiar method of Spanish legislation which, while apparently giving
subordinate officials a free hand, drew them back to the center by
threats of the residencia. The ordinances of Raón are ninety-four in
number, many of which are repetitions of the foregoing, while some
contain amendments and additions, and some again, are new. There
is, for instance, considerably more legislation relating to the
ecclesiastical estate in these later ordinances, which touch upon
certain abuses common among them in their treatment of the natives
and in their relations with the government. Less drastic, in many
ways, than those of Arandía (of which no known copy is extant), they
are more drastic than those of Corcuera and Cruzat, in the treatment
of both religious and natives. The scheme of government outlined in
both sets of ordinances is a simple and in some ways effective one,
but its effects were never fully seen, because of the almost total
disregard of the measures contained therein.

In 1771, Archbishop de Santa Justa issued instructions to the secular
clergy which forcibly indicate the need of many reforms among them,
in both their official and their private conduct.

One of the most important events in the history of Filipinas was the
expulsion of the Jesuit order therefrom in 1768, an account of which
is here presented, prefaced by a brief statement of the expulsion of
that order from Spain and its domains, and the causes of that measure;
it proves to be the final stroke in the long conflict between the
Spanish crown and the popes of Rome over the prerogatives of authority
claimed by the former in ecclesiastical matters. The Jesuits had
always upheld the principle of authority, as exercised by the Holy
See, and were therefore opposed to the claims of the Spanish monarchs;
moreover, the ideas of freedom brought from France in that period were
already fermenting in Spain, and had great influence in the minds of
Carlos III and his ministers; and they saw that the expulsion of the
Jesuits from the Spanish dominions would remove the chief obstacles
to their designs for governmental reforms and independence of papal
interference. In Filipinas this expulsion does not proceed as desired
by the Spanish court, with secrecy and promptness; the venal governor
(Raón) warns the Jesuits of their fate, enabling them to make all
preparations for their departure. Legal proceedings are therefore
brought against Raón and his associates in their residencias, but some
of them die before the suits are ended; and Anda, who instituted these
by royal order, is nevertheless impeded in every way, and afterward
sentenced to heavy fines, through the machinations of his enemies. A
decree by the archbishop (November 1, 1769) censures the officious
proceeding of an auditor, who seized and prohibited certain books
hostile to the Jesuits.

A letter (December 13, 1771) from a Franciscan friar at Manila,
relates various ecclesiastical disputes in connection with the diocesan
council of 1771.

The Editors

April, 1907.

DOCUMENT OF 1764-1800

Events in Filipinas, 1764-1800. Compiled from Montero y Vidal.

Source: Compiled from Montero y Vidal's Historia de Filipinas, ii,
pp. 66-70, 115-140, 229-382.

Translation: This is made by Emma Helen Blair.


Archbishop Rojo, ad interim governor of the islands at the time of
the English attack on Manila, died on January 30, 1764, a prisoner
in the hands of the conquerors. [1] A few days later, Anda received
despatches from Spain notifying him of the treaty of peace made
with England, and he immediately entered into negotiations with the
English for the surrender of Manila, which was accomplished on March 31
following. There was a dispute over the question of who should succeed
Rojo in the government of the islands, an honor which was certainly due
to the patriot Anda, who was, however, opposed by some of the citizens;
but this was settled by the arrival of Colonel Francisco de la Torre,
appointed governor ad interim of the islands, to whom Anda surrendered
his command on March 17. The revolts and other disturbances in the
provinces, consequent on the English occupancy, and their suppression,
are noted in VOL. XLIX; cf. Montero y Vidal, Hist. de Filipinas, ii,
chap. iii, and Ferrando, Hist. PP. dominicos, v, pp. 640-644, 651-740,
for fuller accounts of these, and of the Chinese insurrection which
then occurred. Ferrando makes (p. 739) the following interesting
citation from an unnamed but "reliable" writer: "There died in this
war some seventy Spaniards and two hundred and fifty natives, who,
as good subjects, fought even unto death for their king. Before
the insurrection there were in the province [of Pangasinan] 60,383
souls; and according to the computation which was made on May 13,

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Online LibraryVariousThe Philippine Islands, 1493-1898 — Volume 23 of 55 1629-30 Explorations by early navigators, descriptions of the islands and their peoples, their history and records of the catholic missions, as rela → online text (page 1 of 23)