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Toledo, May 13, 1525. The crown reserves the right to appoint persons
to take the place of any officials dying during the expedition. In
case Loaisa should die, his office as governor of the Moluccas is to
be filled in the following order: Pedro de Vera, Rodrigo de Acuña,
Jorge Manrique, Francisco de Hoces. His office as captain-general falls
first to Juan Sebastian del Cano; then to those above named. Further,
the chief treasurer, factor, and accountant are next in succession; and
after them a captain-general and other officers shall be elected by the
remaining captains, treasurers, factors, and accountants. Instructions
are given to Diego de Covarrubias as to his duties as factor-general
of the Moluccas. He is to exercise great care in all matters connected
with trade, selling at as high rates as possible. (Nos. vii, viii,
pp. 218-222.)

A relation by Juan de Areizaga [4] gives the leading events of
Loaisa's voyage until the Strait of Magellan is passed. The fleet
leaves Corunna July 24, 1525, and finishes the passage of the strait
May 26, 1526. On the voyage three ships are lost, the "San Gabriel,"
"Nunciado," and "Santi Spiritus." The "Santiago" puts in "at the coast
discovered and colonized by. . . Cortés at the shoulders of New Spain,"
to reprovision. Loaisa is thus left with only three vessels. (No. ix,
pp. 223-225.)

The deposition of Francisco Dávila - given (June 4, 1527) under oath
before the officials at Corunna, in order to be sent to the king - and
several letters by Rodrigo de Acuña, dated June 15, 1527, and April
30, 1528, give the interesting adventures of the ship "San Gabriel"
and its captain after its separation from Loaisa's fleet. The vessel
after various wanderings in the almost unknown seas near South American
coasts, and exciting adventures with French vessels on the coast of
Brazil, finally reaches Bayona May 28, 1527, in a wretched condition
and very short of provisions. She carried "twenty-seven persons and
twenty-two Indians," and is without her proper captain Acuña, who had
been left in the hands of the French. Abandoned by the latter on the
Brazilian coast, he was rescued by a Portuguese vessel and carried
to Pernambuco "a trading agency of the King of Portugal," where he
was detained as prisoner for over eighteen months. In his letter to
the King of Portugal, Acuña upbraids him for treatment worse than the
Moors might user "but," he adds, "what can we expect when even the sons
of Portuguese are abandoned here to the fare of the savages? There are
more than three hundred Christians, the sons of Christians, abandoned
in this land, who would be more certain of being saved in Turkey than
here.... There is no justice here. Let your majesty take me from this
land, and keep me where I may have the justice I merit." Late in the
year 1528, Acuña is ordered to Portugal, as is learned from another
document, dated November 2 of that year. Before leaving Pernambuco he
desires that a testimony of everything that has happened since his
departure from Spain until his arrival at Pernambuco be taken down
by the notary-public, this testimony being taken from the men who had
come with him, "and the Frenchmen who were present at my undoing, and
others who heard it from persons who were in the ships of the French
who destroyed me." Acuña desires this in case any accident befall him
while on the way to Portugal, and "that the emperor may be informed of
the truth, and that I may give account of myself." This testimony is
much the same as that contained in the other documents. (Nos. xxiii,
pp. 225-241; and no, xv, pp. 313-323.)

June 11, 1528. Hernando de la Torre, captain-general and governor
in the Moluccas, sends the king a log of the fleet up to June 1,
1526, followed by the adventures of the flagship, "Sancta Maria de
la Victoria," after its separation from the rest of the fleet, with a
description of the lands and seas in its course. The log was made by
the pilot of the "Victoria," Martin de Uriarte. De la Torre prefaces
these accounts with a letter in which he asks for aid, "of which we are
in sore need." He says "all the captains of the ships, caravels, and
the tender, seven in number; the treasurer, accountants, and officials,
both general and private, ... are dead or lost, until now only the
treasurer of one of the ships is left" and he [de la Torre] has been
elected captain, "not because they found in me any good qualifications
for the office, but only a willing spirit." He gives account to the
king "of all that has happened, as I am obliged to do, and because
of my office it is more fitting for me than any other to do so." Some
notable events mentioned in the log are: the entrance into the Santa
Cruz River on January 18, 1526; their arrival on the twenty-fourth at
the cape of Las Virgines, near which Juan Sebastian del Cano's ship
founders in a storm; and the passage of the strait, beginning March 29,
by three ships and the tender, the last-named being lost on Easter
Day. A detailed description of the strait follows. On September 4,
"we saw land, and it was one of the islands of the Ladrones which the
other expedition had discovered," where they find a Spaniard who had
fled from the ship of the former expedition. On September 10 they
depart from this island for the Moluccas. October 8 they land at
an island where the friendly advances of the natives are checked by
a native from Malacca, who declares that the Castilians would kill
all the inhabitants. On the tenth, "the eleven slaves we had seized
in the island of the Ladrones fled in the same canoe that we had
seized with them." On the twenty-first they anchor at "Terrenate,
one of the Malucos, and the most northern of them." November 4,
they have news that the Portuguese are fortified in other islands
of the archipelago. Negotiations with the Portuguese are detailed at
some length. "The islands having cloves are these: Terrenate, Tidori,
Motil, Maquian, Bachan." A description of these islands follows, and
then the pilot adds, "All these islands of Maluco and those near by
are ... mountainous." March 30, 1528 a Castilian vessel anchors at
Tidore, one of three sent by Cortes [5] to seek news of Loaisa. The
two others had been blown from their course five or six days before
reaching the Ladrones. This ship, under command of Captain Saavedra
Ceron, had ransomed three men of the caravel "Santa Maria del Parral,"
one of Loaisa's ships, on an island to the north of Tidore. These men
declare that their ship had been captured by the natives, the captain
and most of the crew killed, and the remainder made prisoners. The
accusation is made that these three men, in company with others, had
themselves killed their captain. The document closes with various
observations as to recent events, and states various needs of the
Spaniards. The governor praises Saavedra, declaring that because of
his diligence he is worthy of great rewards. (No. xiv, pp. 241-313.)

Letters and documents follow which give details of the voyage of
Loaisa, and events in the Moluccas until the year 1535. From a letter
written (May 3, 1529) by Hernando de Bustamante and Diego de Salivas
it is learned that Jorge Manrique, captain of the "Santa Maria del
Parral," had been killed by his own men; and that sixty-one of those
sailing in the fleet died a natural death, nine were drowned when the
"Santi Spiritus" was wrecked, nine were killed by the Portuguese,
and four were hanged. A writ handed to the king from the Council of
the Indies says that German factors denied the report of the death
of Loaisa; and it is advised that one or two caravels be sent from
New Spain - from Colima, or Guatemala, or Nicaragua - to find out the
truth of this report.

A letter from Hernando de la Torre states that "Juan Sebastian del
Cano, who was captain of the ship wrecked in the strait," became
captain-general at Loaisa's death and "died a few days afterwards;"
and that of the one hundred and twenty-three men of the "Victoria,"
and twenty-five others who came with Saavedra, only twenty-five men
were left. In an investigation concerning matters connected with
Loaisa's expedition, Juan de Mazuecos declares (September 7, 1534)
that Loaisa had died of sickness, four hundred leagues from the Strait
of Magellan; and that all who ate at his table had died within the
space of forty days. Like depositions concerning this expedition are
taken from several others, among them being Fray Andres Urdaneta. A
document made up from the above investigations says that Loaisa's
death was in the last of July, 1526, and that the Ladrones number
in all thirteen islands, "in which there are no flocks, fowls, or
animals." (Nos. xvi-xxv, pp. 323-400. These documents are much alike.)

The noted Augustinian Urdaneta [6] wrote an account of this disastrous
enterprise, and of subsequent events, covering the years 1525-1535;
this relation is the best and most succinct of all the early documents
regarding Loaisa's expedition. It bears date, Valladolid, February 26,
1537; and the original is preserved, as are the majority of the Loaisa
documents, in the Archivo general dé Indias in Seville. Urdaneta,
as befits an actor in the events, uses the first person, and gives a
very readable and interesting account of the expedition. He describes a
Patagonian thus: "He was huge of body, and ugly. He was clad in a zebra
skin, and on his head he bore a plume made of ostrich feathers; [7] he
carried a bow, and on his feet had fastened some bits of leather." He
describes, briefly and graphically, the storms that scattered the
ships and caused the foundering of the "Santi Spiritus." Shortly after
entering the strait, "a pot of pitch took fire on the commander's
ship, and the ship began to burn, and little was lacking that we did
not burn in it, but by God's help, and the great care exercised,
we put out the fire." "We left the strait in the month of May,
five hundred and twenty-six [_sic_] [8] - the commander's ship,
two caravels, and the tender. A few days afterward we had a very
great storm, by the violence of which we were separated from one
another, and we never saw each other again.... In these adversities
died the accountant Tejada and the pilot Rodrigo Bermejo. On the
thirtieth of July died the captain-general Fray Garcia de Loaisa,
and by a secret provision of his majesty, Juan Sebastian del Cano
was sworn in as captain-general ... On the fourth of August ... died
Juan Sebastian del Cano, and the nephew of the commander Loaisa,
[9] who was accountant-general." When they reached the Ladrones "we
found here a Galician ... who was left behind in this island with
two companions from the ship of Espinosa; and, the other two dying,
he was left alive.... The Indians of these islands go about naked,
wearing no garments. They are well built men; they wear their hair
long, and their beards full. They possess no iron tools, performing
their work with stones. They have no other weapons than spears - some
with points hardened with fire, and some having heads made from the
shin bones of dead men, and from fish-bones. In these islands we took
eleven Indians to work the pump, because of the great number of sick
men in the ship." The trouble with the Portuguese in the Moluccas
is well narrated. Of the people of Java, Urdaneta says: "The people
of this island are very warlike and gluttonous. They possess much
bronze artillery, which they themselves cast. They have guns too,
as well as lances like ours, and well made." Others of their weapons
are named. Further details of negotiations with the Portuguese are
narrated, as well as various incidents of Urdaneta's homeward trip in
a Portuguese vessel by way of the Cape of Good Hope. He disembarks at
Lisbon on June 6, 1636, where certain papers and other articles are
taken from him. The relation closes with information regarding various
islands, and the advantages of trading in that region. He mentions
among the islands some of the Philippines: "Northwest of Maluco lies
Bendenao [Mindanao]...in this island there is cinnamon, much gold,
and an extensive pearl-fishery. We were informed that two junks come
from China every year to this island for the purpose of trade. North
of Bendenao is Cebú, and according to the natives it also contains
gold, for which the Chinese come to trade each year." (No. xxvi,
pp. 401-439.)



Voyage of Alvaro de Saavedra
1527-28


[These documents are printed in the latter part of the appendix to
volume v of Navarrete's _Col. de viages_; and although the voyage
of Saavedra is connected so intimately with that of Loaisa, it
is thought better to present it separately therefrom, as a whole,
inasmuch as this was the first expedition fitted out in the New World
for the islands in the far East. It is evident thus early that the
vantage point of New Spain's position as regards these islands was
clearly recognized. The letter from Cortés to the king of Cebú is
given entire, as being somewhat more closely within the scope of this
work than are the other documents.]

Granada, June 20, 1526. By a royal decree Cortés is ordered to despatch
vessels from New Spain to ascertain what has become of the "Trinidad"
[10] and her crew that was left in the Moluccas; to discover news of
the expedition of Loaisa, as well as that under command of Sebastian
Cabot which had sailed also to the same region. [11] He is advised to
provide articles for trade and ransom, and to secure for the expedition
the most experienced men whom he can find - it is especially desirable
that the pilot should be such. The king has written to Ponce de Leon
and other officials to furnish all the help necessary. (No. xxvii,
pp. 440-441.)

May, 1527. Following the custom of the king in fitting out expeditions,
Cortés issues instructions to the various officers of the fleet. Alvaro
de Saavedra, a cousin to Cortés, is appointed to the double office
of inspector-general and captain-general of the fleet. Two sets of
instructions are given him, in each of which appears the following:
"Because as you know you are going to look for the captains Frey
Garcia de Loaisa and Sebastian Caboto, and if it is our Lord's will,
it might happen that they have no ships; and if they have a supply
of spices, you shall observe the following, in order that it may be
carried on these ships. You shall note what they give, and to whom it
is delivered, and you shall have the said captains and the officials
they took with them sign this entry in your book." The first matter
is to look for the above-mentioned captains. If they have discovered
any new lands he must make careful note of that fact, and of their
location and products. He is to go to Cebú to ascertain whether the
pilot Serrano [12] and others made captives there are still alive,
and, if so, to ransom them. He is to use all diligence in seeking
information as to all men of Magalhães's expedition who were left in
those regions. Antonio Guiral is appointed accountant of the fleet; and
the same general injunction contained in the other two instructions
is also specified in his. Cortés writes in an apologetic vein to
those of Cabot's fleet, asking them to inform him fully of events
"in order that he may serve his majesty." He writes also to Cabot
himself informing him of the purpose of Saavedra's expedition, adding,
"because, as his Catholic majesty considers the affairs of that spice
region of so much importance, he has a very special care to provide
everything necessary for it." He mentions the arrival in New Spain of
the tender that had accompanied Loaisa and become separated from him
shortly after leaving the strait. [13] He assures Cabot that Saavedra
goes simply to look for him and the others and will be subservient to
him in all that he may order. A letter is written also to the king
of the land or island at which Saavedra should anchor assuring him
of only good intentions, and asking friendship and trade. Another
letter to the king of Tidore thanks him in the name of the emperor
for his good reception of Magalhães's men who remained in that
island. (Nos. xxix-xxxiii, pp. 443-461; No. xxxv, pp. 463, 464.)

_Letter from Hernán Cortés to the King of Cebú_ To you the honored and
excellent King of Cebú, in the Maluco region: I, Don Hernando Cortés,
Captain-general and governor of this New Spain for the very exalted and
most powerful Emperor, Cæsar Augustus, King of the Spains, our Lord,
send you friendly greeting, as one whom I love and esteem, and to
whom I wish every blessing and good because of the good news I have
heard concerning yourself and your land, and for the kind reception
and treatment that you have given to the Spaniards who have anchored
in your country.

You will already have heard, from the account of the Spaniards whom
you have in your power - certain people sent to those districts by the
great emperor and monarch of the Christians about seven or eight years
ago - of his great power, magnificence, and excellency. Therefore, and
because you may inform yourself of what you most wish to know, through
the captain and people, whom I send now in his powerful name, it is
not needful to write at great length. But it is expedient that you
should know, that this so powerful prince, desiring to have knowledge
of the manner and trade of those districts, sent thither one of his
captains named Hernando de Magallanes with five ships. Of these ships
but one, owing to the said captain's lack of caution and foresight,
returned to his kingdoms; from its people his majesty learned the
reason for the destruction and loss of the rest. Now although he was
sorely afflicted at all this, he grieved most at having a captain who
departed from the royal commands and instructions that he carried,
especially in his having stirred up war or discord with you and
yours. For his majesty sent him with the single desire to regard you
all as his very true friends and servants, and to extend to you every
manner of kindness as regards your honor and your persons. For this
disobedience the Lord and possessor of all things permitted that he
should suffer retribution for his want of reverence, dying as he did
in the evil pretension which he attempted to sustain, contrary to
his prince's will. And God did him not a little good in allowing him
to die as he did there; for had he returned alive, the pay for his
negligence had not been so light. And, in order that you and all the
other kings and seigniors of those districts might have knowledge of
his majesty's wishes, and know how greatly he has grieved over this
captain's conduct, some two years ago he sent two other captains with
people to those districts to give you satisfaction for it. And he gave
orders to me - who, in his powerful name, reside in these his lands,
which lie very near yours - that I too despatch other messengers for
this purpose, in order that he might have greater assurance, and that
you might hold more certain his embassy, ordering and charging me
especially that I do it with much diligence and brevity. Therefore
I am sending three ships with crews, who will give the very full and
true reason of all this; and you may be able to receive satisfaction,
and regard as more certain all that I shall say to you, for I thus
affirm and certify it in the name of this great and powerful lord. And
since we are so near neighbors, and can communicate with each other in
a few days, I shall be much honored, if you will inform me of all the
things of which you wish to be advised, for I know all this will be
greatly to his majesty's service. And over and above his good will,
I shall be most gratified thereat and shall write you my thanks;
and the emperor our lord will be much pleased if you will deliver
to this captain any of the Spaniards who are still alive in your
prison. If you wish a ransom for it, he shall give it you at your
pleasure and to your satisfaction; and in addition you will receive
favors from his majesty, and reciprocal favors from me, since, if you
wish it so, we shall have for many days much intercourse and friendship
together. May twenty-eight, one thousand five hundred and twenty-seven.

_Hernando Cortes_.

(No. xxxiv, pp. 461-462.)

A relation of the voyage was written by Saavedra and set down in the
book of the secretary of the fleet. The two ships and one brig set
sail in October, 1527, from the port of "Zaguatenejo, which is in
New Spain, in the province of Zacatala," on the western coast. When
out but a short distance his surgeon dies and is buried at sea. Soon
after this one of the ships begins to take water, and so rapidly
that it is necessary to bring men from the other vessels to keep her
afloat. On December 29 the Ladrones are sighted; and soon afterward
they anchor at an island (not of this group), whose inhabitants show
previous contact with Castilians by crying as a signal "Castilla,
Castilla!" He relates the finding of one of the three men at the island
of Vizaya. This man relates that after a year's captivity his master
had taken him to Cebú, where he learned from the natives that they had
sold to the Chinese the eight companions of Magalhães who were left
on that island. The natives of Cebú "are idolaters, who at certain
times sacrifice human beings to their god, whom they call Amito,
and offer him to eat and to drink. They dwell near the coast and they
often voyage upon the sea in their canoes, going to many islands for
plunder and trade. They are like the Arabs, changing their towns from
one place to another. There are many fine hogs in this island, and
it has gold. They say that people from China come hither, and that
they trade among these islands." Another relation of this voyage
was presented by Vicente de Nápoles in 1634, in an investigation
at Madrid. Early in the voyage the ships become separated, and
Saavedra's vessel never again sees its companions. [14] He tells of
seeing "an island which is called Mondaña, and which the Portuguese
call Mindanao." The finding of the three Castilians is narrated,
also the meeting with the survivors of Loaisa's expedition; their
negotiations with the Portuguese; and their final return to Europe
in a Portuguese vessel are recounted. [15] (No. xxxvii, pp. 476-486.)



Expedition of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos - 1541-46


[Résumé of contemporaneous documents, 1541-48.]


Translated and synopsized, by James A. Robertson, from
_Col. doc. inéd.,_ as follows: _Ultramar_, ii, part i, pp. 1-94;
_Amér. y Oceania,_ pp. 117-209, and xiv, pp. 151-165.



The Expedition of Ruy Lopez de Villalobos - 1541-46


[The expedition of Villalobos, [16] although productive of slight
immediate result, paved the way for the later and permanent
expedition and occupation by Legazpi. For this reason - and, still
more, because this was the first expedition to the Western Islands (in
contradistinction from the Moluccas), which included the Philippine
group, and because these latter islands received from Villalobos
the name by which history was to know them, - these documents, which
for lack of space cannot be here fully presented, deserve a fuller
synopsis than do those pertaining to the preceding expeditions of
Magalhães, Loaisa, and Saavedra. The documents thus abstracted are to
be found in _Col. doc. inéd. Ultramar,_ ii, part 1, pp. 1-94; and in
_Col. doc. inéd. Amér. y Oceanía,_ v, pp. 117-209, xiv, pp. 151-165.]

Jalisco, March 28, 1541. The _adelantado_ of Guatemala, Pedro de
Alvarado, [17] writes the king, Felipe II, regarding his contract
with the viceroy of New Spain, Antonio de Mendoza [18] for expeditions
of discovery along the coast and among the Western Islands. Alvarado
with eleven vessels has called at one of the ports of New Spain, "to
excuse the differences and scandals that were expected between Don
Antonio de Mendoza ... and myself, in regard to the said discovery,
because of his having sent Francisco Vasquez to the said provinces [of
the West] with a fleet." They have agreed to make their discoveries,
both by land and sea, in partnership "in the limits and demarcation,
contained in the agreement that was made with me, considering it as
certain that, because of the many ships and people, and the great
supply of provisions at our command, we shall know and discover
everything that is to be seen in those regions, and bring it to the
knowledge of God our Lord, and to the dominion of your majesty." It
is determined to divide the fleet into two parts, "one to go to the
Western Islands, which should make a hurried trip among them, noting
their products; and the other should coast along Tierra-firme." Three
large ships and a galley, with a crew of three hundred skilled men


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Online LibraryUnknownThe Philippine Islands, 1493-1803 — Volume 02 of 55 1521-1569 Explorations by Early Navigators, Descriptions of the Islands and Their Peoples, Their History and Records of the Catholic Missions, as Re → online text (page 2 of 22)