Zbe Institute of 3amatca.
FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF LITERATURE,
SCIENCE AND ART.
WITH THE SECRETARY'S COMPLIMENTS.
i J /
JAMAICA UNDER THE
ABSTRACTED FROM THE
ARCHIVES OF SEVILLE
FRANK CUNDALL, F.S.A.
ANDO H L. PIEZ-
JOSEPH L. PIETERSZ
INSTITUTE OF JAMAICA
The records available concerning Jamaica under Spanish
rule have hitherto been very scanty, and historians have told us
but little, on the subject. It was believed that the principal source
of historical information on the subject was to be found in Archive
de Indias at Seville; and in 1916 the Board of Governors of the
Institute of Jamaica was fortunate enough to secure the services
of Miss I. A. Wright, the authoress of "The Early History of Cuba,"
to supervise the transcription of the principal documents having
reference to the Spanish occupation of Jamaica in the Archives of
S that city, and thanks are due to her for the care with which she has
performed that duty.
During 1916 and the early half of 1917 a number of documents
of great importance was received; but in July, 1917, Miss Wright
volunteered for war work for the United States Government at
Madrid, and her research work had of necessity to stop for the
duration of the war.
It is not too much to say that the records already received
throw a large amount of valuable information upon the Spanish
occupation of Jamaica. Other records there remain to be copied:
S and the Archives of Simancas (a storehouse of records of State
diplomacy) also call for research when the opportunity arises. At
Madrid there is but little of interest to Jamaica historians.
The documents copied consist of letters from Spanish govern-
Sors of Jamaica; communications from the Crown to Jamaica or is-
sued concerning Jamaica; communications from royal officials, and
Letters from secular individuals and the clergy.
The Board is much indebted to its Chairman, Mr. J. L.
Pietersz, who has kindly translated the documents already re-
ceived, and thus made possible the following brief account of Ja-
S maica under Spanish rule. It is also indebted to those who
contributed to the 'Research Fund, and thereby aided in the work
of transcription and publication.
SThe documents themselves are preserved for the use of
students, in the West India Reference Library of the Institute
of Jamaica. It is hoped that ere long funds may be found to
publish a translation of them in extenso. In the meantime it has
S been thought good to publish the following abstract. It may be
interesting to note that hitherto the names of but three Spanish
S governors of Jamaica have been recorded. To these seventeen
others can now be added, making an almost unbroken chain from
Esquivel to Yeassi. Of the eight manuscript maps of which photo-
graphs have been received, four are here reproduced.
The idea in presenting the following facts was, not so much to
write a chapter on the History of Jamaica under the Spaniards, as to
give some indication of the information contained in the Archives
at Seville, which are rich in all that concerns the early history of
the New World, and to awaken an interest in the island and its
history under Spanish rule.
FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES.
Esquivel: slaves to be christians: Diego Colon: gold: Garay:
provisions for Castilla del Oro: the King's haciendas: Abbacy: Ara-
waks assigned to colonists: Cuba: fort at Seville: Controller: Tor-
ralba: Nunes de Balboa: Darien: Oristan: partnership between King
and Governor: Arrival of Diego Colon in West Indies: gold and
salt duties: Trinidad: Panama: chest with three keys: smelting-of
gold: hospital and church: Ramirez, Bishop of Cuba and Abbot of
Jamaica: property of Garay: "Residencia": Peter Martir's church:
expedition to the Mainland: removal of Seville: horses granted to
Espes: Lawsuit between Diego Colon and the Crown: Rojas, the
new governor. illtreats Mazuelo, the Treasurer: Gudiel: Villalabos,
Abbot, sends description of island: Assistance granted by Crown:
living costly: Melgarejo, governor: Sir Anthony Shirley: migrants
from Puerto Rico: copper: Corsairs: hurricane: Vicar-General:
French slaves sold at auction: church in bad repair: Melgarejo re-
pels English: Bastidas Mountains: Melgarejo's salary increased. 1
FIRST HALF OF SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.
The Cabildo praises Melgarejo: wreck of ship: sentinel at the
Morro: Council praises Melgarejo: Melgarejo beats oft Newport:
Melgarejo's term extended: French beaten off at Oristan: Account
of- Corsairs: suppression of illicit trading: death of Abbot Villalo-
bos: Miranda succeeds Melgarejo as governor: Corsairs: Sentinel
at the Morro: illicit trading: Account by the Abbot: dye-woods:
church: Terril: Arana: pimento: survey to be made: Zegama: fear
of invasion: Caballero: Drought: Caballero's quarrel with the Ab-
bot and Sedeno, the new governor: Caballeristas and Sedenistas:
death of Cabellero: Enquiry: Sedeno and the Abbot arrested by the
officers of the Inquisition: taken to Cartagena and lodged in gaol:
Betancur: Proenza: smallpox: Account of Jamaica by Sedeno. 25
Ramirez's description of the landing of the English: Proenza
Incapacitated: command assumed by Ysassi: letter from the King:
help to be sent from neighboring colonies: Yesasi harries the
English: letter from Alburquerque: letter from Ysassi to Albur-
querque, describing conditions: Rodriguez de Vera: Las Chorreras:
contingent from new Spain: under Raspuru: letter from Ysassi to
Alburquerque: aversion of Bayona, governor of Jamaica, from
Ysassi: Defeat at Las Chorreras: traitor Juan de los Reyes: Yeassi
appeals for help: letter from the governor of Cartagena: letter
from Bayona to Alburquerqub: Alburquerque incites Bayona to
loyal support of Ysassi: Rio Nuevo: letters from Ysassi to Albur-
querque and Bayona: help from Alburquerque: Council of War:
letter from Ysassi to the King: Account of English fortifications by
a Dutchman: description by Francisco de Leyba of the English in-
vasion: letter from Tyson to Spaniards: terms of capitulation asked
for .by Ysassi: letter to Doyley: decision to leave Jamaica: defeat
at Moneague: letter from Ysassi dated from Cuba. 51
SPANISH GOVERNORS OF JAMAICA .... .... 108
MANUSCRIPTS CONSULTED .... .... .... 108
.... ... .... 111
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
Reproduction of Maps in the Archives of Seville.
L The Island of Jamaica with its Ports and Shoals.
By Gerardo Coeny, Cosmographer to the King. Frontispiece
II. South-Eastern Jamaica ... ... ... 82
IIL The Harbour of Caguaya ... ... ... 104
IV. The Harbour of Caguaya ... ... ... 106
FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURIES.
Esquivel: slaves to be Christians: Diego Colon: gold: Garay: provisions
for Castllla del Oro: the King's haciendas: Abbacy: Arawaks assigned to
colonists: Cuba: fort at Seville: Controller: Torralba: Nunes de Balboa:
Darien: Oristan; partnership between the King and Governor: arrival of
Diego Colon in West Indies: gold and salt duties: Trinidad: Panama: chest
with three keys: smelting of gold: hospital and church: Ramirez, bishop of
Cuba and abbot of Jamaica: property of Garay: "Residencia": Peter
Martir's church: expedition to the mainland: removal of Seville: horses
granted to Espes: lawsuit between Diego Colon and the Crqwn: Rojas, the
new Governor, illtreats Mazuelo, the Treasurer: Gudiel: Villalobos: Abbot
sends description of island: assistance granted by Crown: living costly:
Melgarejo, Governor: Sir Anthony Shirley: migrants from Puerto Rico:
copper: corsairs: hurricane: Vicar-General: French slaves sold at auction:
church in bad repair: Melgarejo repels English: Bastidas Mountains: Mel-
garejo's salary increased.
Jamaica, discovered by Columbus on his second voyage in
1494, was the scene of his longest residence in the West
Indies, in 1503-04. Diego Colon, his son, who succeeded on his
father's death in 1506 to his titles, and recovered by means of a
lawsuit some of his rights, was appointed, in 1508, governor of
the Indies, and in the following year went out to Santo Domingo.
accompanied by his wife, who was a cousin of King Ferdinand.
Moved by the fact that Jamaica had been given to Nicuesa and Ojeda
jointly, as a place from which to draw supplies for the main land,
Diego in November, 150.9 appointed Juan de Esquivel, one of the
first settlers, as its first governor.
In 1510 he founded the city of Seville, which for fifteen years
was the chief town of the new colony, until superseded by the Villa
de la Vega-which, it is interesting to observe, is in the records
never alluded to as Santiago de la Vega*
In July, 1511t the king wrote to Diego Colon, "Juan de Es-
quivel and the Christians in Jamaica should endeavour to find
gold. If there is none orders will be given as to how the colonists
might live. In the meantime Esquivel should be very careful to
make the Indians grow as much food as possible."
As early as June 1513 permission was given to Esquivel, or
his wife or daughters, to import to Jamaica three slaves, who had,
however, to be Christians.
*The adoption of the latter form by the English was probably due to
the fact that the Spaniards' name for Jamaica was Santiago. As a matter
of fact there was a Villa Diego (James Town) as well in the island,
though its site can not now be identified.
tThis is the earliest document having reference to Jamaica, found re-
corded at Seville. The earliest colonial paper in the Record Office, London.
Is dated 1574.
SJAAICA UNDER THE SPANIADS. [1512
When it was found, as early as 1512, that there was not much
prospect of getting gold from Jamaica, it was proposed to with-
draw the colonists to Cuba, leaving some caciques on the south
side to carry on cultivatjn. This plan did not find favour; but we
learn from Miss Wright's "Early History of Cuba" that thirty ex-
pert crossbowmen who had served under Esquivel went over to Cuba
and joined Velasquez, the first Governor, at Baracoa.
In December of that year Ferdinand wrote to Diego Colon,
stating that he had been informed "that Juan de Esquivel, whom
you sent as your lieutenant to the Island of Jamaica, had served
me very negligently in the conversion of the Indians and pacifica-
tion of the island as well as in the increase of our royal revenues."
And the king therefore sent an order to "our judges of appeal of
your island to send to take an account (residencia)* from the said
Esquivel, as is done in the case of those who have charge of gov-
ernment in these realms." Which done, Colon was to appoint
The King had previously shown suspicion of Esquivel, for,
writing to Diego Colon in February, 1512, referring to frauds com-
mitted by those sent to the island of Trinidad to prospect for gold,
he says: "Although I consider Juan de Esquivel a good man from
what you have written me about him, yet it might be that he has
some leaning that way."
Diego was also urged to send as many settlers to Jamaica as
possible, "because the more people ilere are in that island the more
will it be possible to increase and make the cultivations that must be
As early as that year it became evident that Jamaica, though
possessing no gold of importance, would prove of value as a food-
producing country, and arrangements were made to send foodstuffs
to the mainland. Two years later, Velasquez, the Governor of Cuba,
sent a caravel to Jamaica for cassava bread as, owing to drought,
the natives in Trinidad (in Cuba) were suffering from famine.t
There is no evidence to show when Esquivel gave up the gov-
ernorship. On the 28th of November, 1514, the King addressed
Francisco de Garay as "Our Colonizer of the Island of Jamaica."
He was the first governor of Jamaica appointed by the King,
Esquivel having, as we have seen, been appointed by Diego Colon.
Garay, with the Treasurer, Pedro de Mazuelo, was sent "principally
to send from it all the provisions and other things that cold be ob-
tained for Castilla del Oro because, as you are aware, many people
had fallen ill and could not at present make use of the people of
the country." A similar request was sent to the officials of Es-
SThe Residenca was the report and accounts which a governor had
to render when called upon to do So.
S"t'Mrly History of Cuba," p. 58.
fL519t' SIXTEENTH CENTURY. 3
panola. On one occasion the King addressed Garay and Mazuelo
ias "our distributors for the island of Santiago."
Garay arrived at the port of Seville, Jamaica, on the 25th May,
1515, six months after Mazuelo. He renprted in June that with
Mazuelo he had taken over the King's properties (haciendas). He
asked that all the business of the island should be entrusted to him,
as Mazuelo was a man of no experience. He also asked that the
'island might enjoy the same franchises and liberties as Espanola.
After the distribution of the Indians was completed he would go
over the whole island "to see the country and the site of the towc
-on the other side."
In January, 1516, soon after the death of Ferdinand, Garay
and Mazuelo sent home a valuation of the cultivation, huts and pigs
-at the King's haciendas at Melilla and Pimienta.* These were
valued respectively at 750 and 640 pesos gold, while the cattle
and sheep sent out by Garay before his arrival were valued at
In January, 1515, the King wrote to the Spanish Ambassador
at Rome, stating that he proposed to found an abbacy in Santiago,
which, "before it was settled was called Jamaica," nominating Dr.
Sancho de Matienzo, the royal chaplain and canon at Seville, for
the office, which he begged the Pope to create.
After taking counsel of learned theologians, canonists and
legists, the King decided that in order to keep the converted Ara-
waks in the paths of Christianity they should be assigned to the
supervision of the colonists; and, as a beginning, 300 were assigned
to the Admiral, Diego Colon.
At about this time Diego Velasquez, who was colonizing Cuba,
-sent home maps of that island and of the island of "Cihao, to which,
he had given the name of Santiago." In reply the King directed
him to select another name, "As we have ordered that the island
which up to the present has been called Jamaica shall henceforth
be named Santiago because the Admiral gave it this name when
he was in the said island, and to have two islands with the same
name will be inconvenient."
The island of Cuba was also for the future to be called
In June, 1519, Francisco de Garay, the Governor, was appoint-
ed alcaide and keeper of the fort which he had built at Seville,
with a salary of 20,000 maravedis a year. Garay was to make the
necessary oath of allegiance to Go [Gonzalo] de Guzman, Treasurer-
of the islands of Yucatan.
In July, 1519, the King gave to Jhoan Lopez de Torralba In-
tRepartidores, or distributors of Indians.
*This cannot be identified.
tA Peso was an ounce of silver. The silver peso of the colonies was
worth 272 maravedis: the peso de oro was worth 450. A maravedi was
equal to half a farthing of that day.
4 JAXAIoA U B T=H SPAUsIAnD. [1519
structions that when he assumed the office of Controller (Contador)
of the Island of Santiago, called Jamaica, he was to audit the ac-
counts of Pedro de Mazuelo, the Treasurer, and to hold him respon-
sible for the due collection of the royal dues from smelting houses,
from ranches and farms or other sources of profit, and of customs
duties. Allusion was made to the probable appointment of a Royal
1Pactor for the island. The Factor, when appointed, was to sign,
Jointly with the Controller, drafts on the Treasurer. He was to re-
port every year as to the gold smelteries.
Torralba received 10,000 maravedis advance of salary on start-
ing to take up his duties, in October, 1519; and, as he was ship-,
wrecked off Mogador on the coast of Barbary on his way out, he
received another 10,000 in April, 1520: The Treasurer was made
Regidor (alderman) of the town of Seville.
In August, 1519,the King thanked Garay for the help he had
sent-bread, cassava, corn, pigs, salted beef and bacon, from the
farms and ranches he held in partnership with the King-to the-
Adelantado Vasco Nunes de Balboa, before he last went to the South
Sea, at Arla, and to the colonists at Darien; and for the care he had
taken in trying to make the native Indians Christians, and to edu-
cate them, and in inducing the colonists to marry. He says in the-
letter, "the removal of the population of the town of Seville from
the site where it was to its present position which you say you have
effected, seems to me very good from all the reasons you state in
your letter. Likewise the decision you had taken to remove the-
other township from Oristan to where its inhabitants were asking
you, has seemed well to me, for, as you say, it will make them con--
tented. As you say it has pleased our Lord to give evidence
of gold mines in the island you will for my service try to discover
them, as you are doing, but taking care always that for this the-
Indians do not receive any illtreatment, and that what work they
should have to do in them be very moderate and as is now per-
formed on the farms in accordance with our ordinances."*
A royal decree of the year 1519 extended for three years the-
contract of partnership made with the late King, under which.
Francisco de Garay was for the period of six years to establish
ranches and farms in the island of Santiago, called Jamaica, so that
it might be settled by Spaniards for the purpose of supplying-
with provisions the Governor and troops stationed in Castilla
del Oro, called the Mainland. When the terms of the contract had
been carried out and the period would shortly expire, Garay stated"
that if the partnership was dissolved, some inconveniences would
follow, mainly because the troops of Castilla del Oro would'
cease to be supplied, which would cause some dangers and dif-
S*The removal of Seville was apparently from one spot in St. Ann to-
anther. There is no evidence to show to what spot the settlement at
Oristan had been removed
1522] SIXTEENTH CO TuarY. ?
faculties to arise among them from want of food, and asked that
the contract should be continued. The King thereupon extended
the agreement for a further period of three years.
In May, 1520, the King, Charles V., wrote to the officials of the
Island of Santiago that Don Diego Colon was going to those parts to
take charge of his office, and that they were to see that "hencefor-
ward past methods shall cease for they have been in great disservice
to us and harm to the island. I therefore command that you will
henceforth act so that there be entire agreement between you and
him, and that for all that may concern our service and the welfare,
.settlement and increase of the island you will conform with him and
he with you so that in this manner the affairs of our service may
be well conducted."
In July, 1521, the King announced that-"considering the loss
and the death rate there has been in the island of Santiago called
Jamaica from the general pestilence there has been this year last
past among the Indians and slaves in that island, and also that it
has now again pleased our Lord that gold has been discovered in the
Island, in order that the colonists and inhabitants residing in the
Island and those who may wish to go there and settle may be more
benefited and privileged and the island be peopled and improved
-and developed, as its conditions are so good by reason of its fer-
tility and abundance,"-colonists should only pay one-tenth
instead of one-fifth of the gold smelted for the next eight years.
In the same month, the King waived his right to duty for salt
taken from.the island salinas by colonists for themselves or for the
hospitals; but they were not to trade in it without paying the usual
tax. At the same time migrants to Jamaica and their families were
to be exempt from customs or other duties.
In December, 1521, a royal decree was issued that the King and
Queen, wishing that the island of Trinidad should be settled, had
-given to Rodrigo de Bastidas,* an inhabitant of Espanola, permis-
sion to take with him for the purpose colonists from that island or
Jamaica to the number of ten.t
In January, 1522, the King wrote to the officials of Santiago:
"With reference to the royal order addressed to Francisco de Garay
directing him to send cattle and cassava-bread to Panama, as Garay
is absent from Jamaica, the officials must carry out the order."
A certified copy was taken in the same month of an amount
.and valuation drawn up in 1516 on the death of the King by Garay
-and Mazuelo, of the cultivations, products and stock on the King's
properties (haciendas), Melilla and Pimienta.
In March, 1522, the King wrote to the Pope "reporting the
*He may have been a relative of Rodrigo de Bastidas, one of the early
navigators of Central America.
fThis is one of the earliest instances of the policy of robbing Peter to
way Paul which te Spanish Governfient' adopted and the Ejigli ffollowed.
In 1526 migration from the islands to the mainland was forbidden.
6 JAMA&ICA UNDiB THE SPANIARDS. [1522~
death of Doctor Don Sancho de Matienzo, Abbot of Jamaica, and
presenting the licentiate Andres Lopez de Frias for appointment";
Father Luis de Figueroa succeeded Matienzo, and was at the same-
time made Bishop of La Concepcion and President of the Royal
Audiencia in Espanola.
In August, 1522, Juan de Tecto and Juan de Arevalo, monks.
of the order of St. Francis, came out to visit the monks in the-
island and were to be accorded all facilities.
In June, 1523, Garay demitted office as Governor of Jamaica to-
take up the governorship of Panuco, but at Xagua (Cientuegos) in.
Cuba he learnt that Cortes was in command at Panuco.*
In 1525, on account of frauds which had been committed in.
the Indies, it was decreed that all royal dues should be placed in a.
chest with three keys, of which the Treasurer should keep one key,
the Controller one, and the Factor one; so that no gold should
be taken out without the joint action of all three.
At Toledo, in December, 1525, a decree was issued appointing;
liuis Sanchez de la Torre to be Supervisor of the smelting and mark-
ing of gold in the Island of Santiago, called Jamaica, in place of
his father, Alonso Sanchez de la Torre, who had resigned. As he-
was not of the required age to exercise the office, Juan de Mende-
guren was ordered to fill the position for two years.
In September, 1526 Mendeguren was given the substantive;
appointment as Luis de la Torre had become a monk in the Fran--
ciscan monastery at St. Domingo. Half the salary of the office was,
however, to be paid to Alonso de la Torre.
In August, 1526, to relieve the needs of the inhabitants of the-
island of Santiago, the Audielcia was directed to authorize some-
trustworthy person, jointly with the officials of the island, to sell
to the inhabitants on credit for short periods the cattle, pigs and;
sheep belonging to His Majesty.
In September, 1526, the King wrote to the Governor and of-
ficials of the island of Santiago.
"You know well or should know that I made a grant and ant
almsgift of one hundred thousand maravedis drawn on you our-
Treasurer to assist in building a hospital in which might be col-
lected the sick there might be in that Island as is more fully
set trth in the decree on the subject that I ordered to be issued
and now on the part of the said Island, a report has been made-
to me that there is no need there for the said hospital because there-
are very few sick and when some come from other parts, the in-
habitants (vecinos) of the Island receive them and keep them
In their houses and give what they require, and that it would be-
more to the- service of our Lord that the said hundred thousands
maravedis be spent and distributed in the work .of the Churchk
**Ealy History of Cuba," p. 95.
1532] SIXTE~ETH CEFvTUY.
of Seville of the said Island, the building and erection of which
in stone has been begun and there is much need that it be com-
pleted, and it has been asked and besought us as a favour that we
command that the said hundred thousand maravedis be spent on the
work of the said Church just as and in the same form as they would
be directed to be paid and spent in the work of the said hospital,
and as some maravedis therefrom may have been spent on the said
hospital, you may therefore spend whatever may be wanting to
make up the said hundred thousand maravedis in the work of the
Church and take your receipt for the said maravedis. Wherefore
by this our royal order and by the decree that we have ordered to
be issued respecting the said hundred thousand maravedis we com-
mand that they be accepted by you and passed in account."
On the same date the King wrote to the Governor and officials
on the representation of Peter Martir, Abbot of the Island, that
Pedro de Mazuelo, Treasurer of the island was making use of the
Indians who by arrangement with a cacique of the Island were
employed to work on the church building at daily wages, half of
which was to be paid by Peter Martir, thus hindering and delaying
the work, and commanding them to observe strictly the royal orders
and decrees on the subject and not permit any interference with
In June, 1527, Antonio de Garay, son of the late Adelantado,
Francisco de Garay, stated that the executors of his father's estate
in Jamaica, namely Martin Pinero, Rodrigo Alonso. Francisco Be-
Jarano, and Juan de Pereda, had-not accounted for the property and
requested that it should be handed over to Juan Mosquera.
In December, 1527, the King wrote to the Governor that
"Francisco Garcia Bermejo has asked for a grant of the valley of
Goayrabo for a pasture ground for his cattle. The King desires
to get full particulars about this place before taking any action."
The valley was called after a cacique of that name.
In March, 1528, the King wrote to the Governor directing that
a property estanciaa) suitable to his rank be given to the venerable
Fray Miguel Ramirez, who had been appointed Bishop of Cuba and
Abbot of Jamaica.
In June, 1528, the King wrote to the officials of Jamaica-with
reference to previous correspondence, and on the recommendation of
Pedro de Espinosa, Treasurer of the province of Santa Marta-au-
thorising the officials to sell what belonged to the King to colonists
at Santa Marta if those of Jamaica would not purchase on the condi-
tions laid down.
In January, 1532, the Lieutenant-Governor of Jamaica reported
to the King that the property left by Francisco de Garay had been
realized, and half had been given to his heirs and the other half
(1,500 pesos gold) had been lent for three years to the inhabitants
on behalf of the Crown.
8 JAMAIA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1533
At the time of his death Garay owned two sugar mills, one of
which "could grind twelve thousand arrobas of sugar every year."
In January, 1533, rules were issued from IMadrid to be ob-
aerved by the licentiate Gil Gonzales de Avila (of the city of Santo
Domingo, of the island of Espanola) in taking the Residencia of the
justices and officials of Jamaica, "with special reference to the
treatment meted out to the native Indians"; and on the 4th of
February in that year the Queen wrote to Avila that he was to en-
quire into the case of the ranches of Indians, cattle and other things
which Pedro de Mazuelo, Treasurer, and Juan Lopez de Torralba,
the Controller, had administered since the death of Francisco de
Garay, whom the Queen had admitted to partnership. The Queen
had been informed by Villalobos, the fiscal of the Council of the
Indies, that "the said officials had held and administered all the said
ranches by themselves, making use of and profiting by them as their
own private property, selling the Indians, slaves, horses, beasts of
burden, cattle, bread and birds, and other things, and making
cargoes thereof; and if the property was sold at high prices they
claimed it as theirs, saying that they had received it previously in
payment of their salary at low rates which they had arranged be-
tween them, enjoying the higher price given them therefore, saying
that they sold it as their own; and if it was sold at low prices they
claimed it as our property, which has been of great injury and pre-
judice to our royal patrimony, because the said officials had no
power to sell anything of the said property except at public auction
to the highest bidder, and he has requested me to command you
to punish the aforesaid and try the said charges and offences, and
take an account from the said officials of everything, and have re-
stored to our royal patrimony all that might be proved against
them, with all the rents and profits, loss and damages thereof, con-
demning the said officials to the penalties they have incurred thereby,
and executing same on their persons and goods, as has all appeared
by a certain information which he has presented to our Council
of the Indies." ,
On the same day the Queen wrote an order that justice should
be done to Antonio de Garay, the son of the late Governor, in respect
to the Indians that were the property of his late father. Antonio
de Garay was then serving in Jamaica in some ofcial position.
On the 4th of February, 1533, a commission was sent to the
licentiate Gil Gonzalez de Avila,* to take a report (residencia) of
the Justices of Jamaica. If at the end of his duties Dona Maria de
Toledo, Vice-reine of the Indies, had not appointed a lieutenant-
governor of the island, Gonzalez was to make the appointment.
*He was a kinsman of Pedrarias Davila, the executioner of Balboa
and founder of Panama. In 1521 he had discovered the lake of Nicaragua.
He may also have been a relative of Juarez de Avila, Governor of Cuba,
who is thought to have died in Jamaica.
1533] SIXTEENTH CENTU.~Y. 9
In 1533 a proclamation was sent by the Queen to the Council
-of Justices and Aldermen, Knights, Esquires, officials and good men
.of the town of Seville.
In view of the accounts given by Sloane and Long of the church
.at Seville, the following document is of interest:
The Licentiate Gil Gonzalez de Avila, our Juez de Resi-
dencia of the Island of Jamaica.
On the part -of the Council of Justices and Alderman
(regidores), knights, esquires, officials and good men of the
town of Seville of the island of Jamaica, a report has been
made to me that in the said town the. foundation of a
stone church was laid by the protonotary, Don Pedro
Martir,* deceased, who was abbot in that island, to which
he gave from his own funds eight hundred pesos and we
from ours, eight hundred pesos, which church has been and
is still building, and there is need of money because the
above amounts are finished and there is very little, and as
it is a matter of the service of God our Lord that there
should be in the said town a stone church and that it be
provided with what is necessary to divine worship, on its
behalf I have been asked to do them the favour to order it
to be supplied as seemed best to us or as it might be my
pleasure. And because I desire to be informed as to how the
said pesos gold have been spent, I command you to take and
receive an account of what the said sixteen hundred pesos
gold that were given by the former Abbot of the Island, as
well as by us, for the erection of the church, have been
spent on, and I command the persons in whose charge they
were to give same to you well and faithfully respecting
what they may have spent the said pesos on. When the
account Is made up and verified, the balance you may find
against such persons you will distrain upon them and upon
their goods, and place the same in the chest of three keys
that thence it may be spent on what may be necessary, and
if there should be nothing left of the said pesos, nor any
balance against those persons, you will arrange that at
the cost of our revenue a chapel be built for the Blessed
Sacrament, and for the rest, touching the erection of the
church, you will have it also built according to the custom
of the country and send me a report of what you will have
done and provided in each case, so that I may order the
same to be examined and decree what is most meet to our
service and therefore I give you full power.
From Madrid the sixteenth of February one thousand
five hundred and thirty-three.
I the Queen.
Countersigned by Samano."
Antonio Garay seems to have told the Queen that the good
people of St. Ann had not repaired, as she had ordered them to do,
the fort at Seville; so in February, 1533, she wrote and told them
to report on the matter.
*It does not mean laid in person; Martir never came to Jamaica.
10 JAMAICA UNDE TH SPANIARDS. [15i3
In 1533 Sanchez de Valtierra, in the name of the council and
Officials and inhabitants of Seville in Jamaica, begged the King that
they might be allowed to arm and go with their caravels and brig-
antines to the coast of the mainland and neighboring islands, in
order to carry Christianity to the idolatrous Indians-by force of
arms if necessary. The King gave authority to the licentiate, Gil
Gonzalez de Avila, and the lieutenant to the Governor of Jamaica,
to control either personally, or by deputy, such an expedition.
In 1533 a lady of Ciudad Rodrigo complained to the Queen
that her husband had deserted her twentyfive years before to go
to the Indies, and that he had married another lady in Jamaica,
where he was settled. The Queen ordered that the Juez de Resi-
dencia at Jamaica should look into the matter and do justice.*
In the same year the King gave leave to Juan de Torralba, the
Controller of Jamaica, to enter into trade, which was against the-
regulations of his office; this being granted on account of the small-
ness of his salary and his difficulty in maintaining himself, his wife,.
and mother and household on it.
In July, 1534, the King wrote to Gonzales de Avila: "Know
ye that on the part of Pedro de Mazuelo our Treasurer of that
island a report has been made to us stating that when the general
distribution was made in the island, eighty citizens (vecinos) were.
established in the town of Seville, and that it turned out so badly
that since then no citizen has prospered nor kept his health for a
day, and of the said eighty citizens only twenty have remained, as
the others have died of diseases and pestilences caused by reason
of the site of the town, because it is close to the port and [in] the-
town there are swamps and creeks, and the air that comes from
the sea before touching the said town passes over the swamps, and
when it reaches the town comes infected and corrupted with a bad
odour, and from that as well as from there being some very high
ranges of mountains where the winds strike back and return to
the town impure, much illness has arisen and is arising. That it-
was found that in twenty years they had not reared ten infants,
children of Christians, although many have been born, for they die
five or six months after their birth, without any remedy for them,
and that the town is for many-leagues around so bare of food that
the people cannot maintain themselves with cassava, except by-
working to death, and they experience much suffering. That as.
Francisco de Garay built in the town a stone house in the style of
a fort, he has moved the town for us to the south side of the island,
because there is great disposition to settle there as the land is plen-
tiful in bread and beef, and is healthy and that all who reside there-
have a healthy and easy life because it is a land of very good water,
without mountains or ranges of hills, and has very good ports suit-
*If an emigrant left his wife at home he had to have her witten con-
sent and give security that he would return for her within three years.
1535] SIXTEENTH CENTURY. 11
able for navigation 'to the provinces of Santa Marta, Cartagena,
the mainland and P4ru and Honduras, because no ship in this trade
comes to the north coast but all load on the south because all the
inhabitants of the said town are beginning to cultivate on the south
coast, and that he has built a mill and they think of going there
to live so as to have some comfort and be certain of food. For
which reason and others that he has stated he has requested and.
begged us for the favour to order a license to be issued that the-
said town may be built close to a sugar mill which has been com-
menced where there may be thirty or forty inhabitants to settle.
and that the thirty should be married Portuguese farmers and.
labouring people so that cultivation and stock rearing may be more
quickly done for the use and advantage of the persons who might
go to settle and live in the said town that may be so built close
to the said mill or that we decree thereon as it may be our pleasure.
Which having been seen and discussed in our Council of the Indies,
it was agreed that we should order this our letter to be issued to.
you in that sense."*
At the same time the King issued a decree by which the
Justices of the Island of Jamaica were commanded to meet the
citizens (vecinos) of the town of Seville to discuss the removal of
the said town to the sea on the south near to the sugar mill that
Pedro de Mazuelo, the Treasurer of the island, had built, and to
arrange what the majority of the citizens of the town might
agree on, and to allot to the inhabitants land on which to erect their
houses and do their cultivations; and a license was granted to allow
thirty Portuguese citizens, married farmers and labourers, to proceed
to the island to colonize and settle in the town. They were to have
a free passage and be exempt from import duty.
In 1535 the Queen decreed that in future the native Indians
in Cuba and Jamaica who were unemployed and were to be allotted
were to be given to those persons "natives of these our Kingdoms
and lordships, who henceforward may go to any of the above men-
tioned islands with their wives and families in preference to those
who are not married so that they may keep them and teach and
instruct them in the matters of our holy faith and deal with and
make use of them as ordered and commanded by our ordinances
and decrees"; as experience had shown that those who went with-
out their wives did not settle in the Indies, thus frustrating the
royal intention that the Indies should be settled in perpetuity.
In March 1535 the King wrote to the Spanish ambassador at
the Court of Rome that the Abbacy of Jamaica was vacant through
the death of Fray Miguel Ramirez, Bishop of Cuba and Abbot of
Jamaica, and asking him to get the Pope to bestow the office on
-i m i, r r -- .
*From this it is evident that the year 1534, and not 1520 usually given.
Is the date of the founding of the town now called Spanish Town.
12 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDs. [1535
Father Amador de Samano; but Charles V. went on with the ar-
rangements, not waiting for the Papal bull. The emoluments that
accrued between the death of Ramirez and the sailing of Samano,
were to be spent on the building and furnishing of the church.t
Samano received, in 1535, a loan of fifty thousand maravedis
"to assist him with the expenses of his voyage" and permission to
have Indians allotted to him as servants; but the letters patent,
appointing him, were not issued until May, 1539.
Soon after his arrival the King wrote and expressed his dis-
pleasure because Cano, the Lieutenant-Governor had, "in disservice
of God our Lord and of us and in disrespect of our royal decrees,"
gone to the house of the Abbot and presented to him certain sum-
monses to shew the bulls he held for the Abbacy and "that if
he did not shew them to you he should not exercise the ecclesiasti.
cal jurisdiction, that as such Abbot he could exercise by virtue
of the provisions he had from us, and in connection therewith
you used many disrespectful words to him and did other things
worthy of censure and punishment." Cano was ordered to at
once proceed to Espanola and purge his offence before the Royal
In March, 1536, the Queen made a grant of twenty-five horses
and twenty mares from those belonging to the Crown in the island
of Jamaica to Juan de Espes in connection with the conquest and
colonization of the province of New Andalusia. The officials were
to deliver the animals if they had them and take a receipt.
The parties to the law suit between the Crown and Dona Maria
de Toledo, widow of Diego Colon, on behalf of her son Luis Colon
having agreed to come to a compromise, on the 21st of August,
1536, the Queen wrote to the Lieutenant-Governor to say that as
a result His Majesty had conferred on the Admiral, Don Luis
Colon, Jamaica "with its civil and criminal jurisdiction mero mirte
imperio with all the taxes and profits, mines and mining, gold and
silver, lands and pastures and other things whatsoever that we may
have and may belong to us in the said island, supreme jurisdiction
remaining to us and nothing else. Therefore I command you that
from the day you may be notified with this my royal order you will
no longer exercise your office and will deliver that island to the
person or persons that the said Dona Maria de Toledo, vice-reine
of the Indies, in the name of the said Don Luis Colon shall send
or appoint." The King made the grant on the 8th of September,
Pedro de Mazuelo, Royal Treasurer of Jamaica, wrote to the
King on 10th December, 1536, stating as follows:-
That in September, 1533 the Licentiate Gil Gonzales de Avila
tHurtado. the Treasurer-General of Cuba, says that Ramires was "a
great scandal-maker." "Early Histgry of Cuba," p. 132.
came to Jamaica to examine the accounts of the justices and officials.
He came for a term of eight months. Mazuelo's accounts were not
completed when Gonzalez de Avila died in June, 1534. The Law
Officers took all the accounts and books of the royal revenues and'
deposited them with two persons. On the 25th of July 1534,
Manuel de Rojas* came out with a royal decree to complete the
taking of the accounts and to sue for any balance shewn by them.
Mazuelo complains that de Rojas would not allow him to finish
his accounts or to shew what was due to the King in respect of
the partnership between His Majesty and the Adelantado Fran-
cisco de Garay, made on the ninth January, 1514, in Madrid and
which was payable by the heirs of Garay. Rojas took a great enmity
to Mazuelo, seized his property, sold it and treated him like a
criminal. When Francisco de Garay's accounts were taken in 1521
by Pedro de Ysasaga 580 pesos gold were due to the King. These-
were never collected and Rojas passed them in the accounts.
Mazuelo charges Rojas with colluding with Antonio de Garay, son
of Francisco, to defraud the King of his share under the partner-
ship. As he is quite ruined and cannot make a living, he wants
to go to Nombre de Dios, and asks that the King will send out
someone to investigate the frauds he has referred to and he will
come back to Jamaica if necessary to assist in the matter. He con-
cludes his letter by saying that he has heard that His Majesty has
bestowed the island of Jamaica dn the Admiral. This will be a
loss to the Crown because "Jamaica is another Sicily in Italy, for
it provides all the neighboring countries as well as the Main and
New Spain and is in the centre of them all. If times should change
whoever is Lord of Jamaica will be Lord of these places on account
of its situation and the quantity of horses, bread and meat it pos-
sesses. His Majesty should on no account part with it."
In June, 1537, the King wrote to the Alcalde Mayor, and other
Justices of Jamaica, with reference to a former letter that, "as Juan
de Espes fears there might be some difficulty owing to the Island
having been given to the Admiral, Don Luis Colon, the mares and
horses granted to him should be taken from those which the Crown
had at the time when possession was given to the Admiral."
In September 1539 the King issued, at the request of Luis
Colon, an order that the gold and silver extracted in Jamaica should
be marked with "Our Royal Arms of the Crown of Castille and
Leon, namely castles and lions, and around the escutcheon the
word Jamaica, and near the said escutcheon you may place a sign
that you the said Admiral might desire."
In November 1567 the citizens of the Villa de la Vega drew
up a memorial to the Crown stating the services they had rendered
*Manuel de Rojas was Lieutenant-Governor of Cuba and cousin to
Velasquez, the Governor. The Rojas were for years amongst the leading
residents of Cuba.
i4 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1576
against the French and asking for certain concessions. Authority
to present the memorial was given to the "Governor Juan de Gudiel
In 1676 the King, Philip II., issued an order that for six years
-the colonists of Jamaica should have the right of exporting to the
provinces of the mainland "things of their tillage and rearing,"
without paying customs duties there. This order was extended
from time to time till 1602. In this year the Governor of Jamaica
was Hernan Manrique de Rojas, who, in 1564, had gone in charge
of an expedition from Cuba against a French settlement in Florida.
In 1577 he was back in Cuba. His brother, Gomez de Rojas, was
also Governor of Jamaica, where he "handled English visitors
roughly,"t but no mention is made of him in the transcripts sent
In May, 1581, Francisco Marques de Villalobos was made Abbot
of Jamaica. He was to be allowed to take a priest, four servants,
-books for his study to the value of 200 ducats, jewels up to 500
ducats and three black slaves, free of duty.
On the 8th of November, 1582 he sent a long letter to the
TKing to the following effect:-
There had been no Abbot in the island before: and previous
Abbots, most of whom were seculars, had had more concern in
making incomes than in attending to their duties. The Bishop
-of Cuba had visited the island. "Of five or six hundred ducats
-that the whole of the tithes are worth, he made three parts, one
for the Abbot, the other for the Church and the other went to two
canons, a sacristan and choir boys all to the cost of the Abbot.
For such a small town it is sufficient that there be two curates and
the Abbot, because these past years two priests have served it .
"The visit and what he took from the Abbot's revenue here were
worth more than one thousand five hundred ducats to the Bishop
of Cuba as will appear by the reports I shall send to Your Majesty
by the fleet. Not content with this, as soon as he arrived at Cuba,
he sent his vicar general, named Diego de Bivero to again visit.
He took away one thousand ducats, and investigated affairs that
appertained to the Abbot. All were so blinded with greed that they
-did not understand that nobody but the Bishop could come and per-
form pastoral duty as the royal order says, and in everything he
exceeded the commission Your Majesty gave him.
*Gudiel was no doubt on a visit to Jamaica from San DImingo, where,
these archives shew, he was Governor in- 573. From the evidence given
-in support of the memorial we gather the following names of lieutenant-
governors of Jamaica:
In 1555 Juan Gonzales de Hinojosa.
,, 1558 Pero Cano.
S1565 Pedro Martinez Falcon.
S156 Blas de Merlo.
1567 Florentin de Alarcon.
t"Early History of Cuba," p. 302.
As his most mighty Majesty the Emperor Charles the Fifth, of
glorious memory who is with our Lord in heaven, gave this island
to the Admirals of these parts and they are so exhausted by law
Suits and other troubles, they have not improved one inch of land
in it. The Governors have not visited nor governed for the term
that was right and proper, thus helping these poor people and the
* great poverty in which they live, but rather, have called upon them
to attend to their needs and in every way ill-treated the inhabitants.
If the latter wish to go and seek.redress from the Royal Audlencia
of Santo Domingo, they will not give them process or even certified
papers, and if they send letters and other papers they seize them,
:so that no letter goes to Santo Domingo, nor do any come that they
-do not take, and the worst is that they interfere in ecclesiastical
.jurisdiction, abusing the priests and prelates because they reprove
their effrontery. When the Governor has become rich the Admiral
sends another creature as Governor to take the accounts (residen-
eia) from him which he does entirely to the Governor's liking, and
publicly shews himself very friendly to him. Knowing this, the
poor inhabitants do not venture to demand their rights."
He goes on to Impress on the King the value of Jamaica.
'This island is in a position and latitude so convenient that if any
of the enemies who molest your Majesty and are in rebellion against
your Royal Service contrary to all right, should make a settlement
and take possession there, as they have said and boasted of, it
would mean total destruction for the neighboring islands and be
very dangerous to your Majesty's naval and mercantile fleets, for it
has very good and commodious ports, deep and spacious enough to
hold more than two hundred sail, such as the principal port of this
town Caguaya, that of Maymon, Anaya, three leagues below Morante,
the upper coast to the east, Oristan and Negrillo at the western
-end of the island, all on the south side. Saint Ann, where the
first township was, is a fortress that was very strong and in a place
-equally good for defence and offence against any danger or attack
-that enemies could make by sea and land; Port Anton, Alvira, these
-on the north side, in good position . This island is fifty
leagues long and twenty-five wide. It has only one town. It is
-called the town of la Vega. It contains one hundred inhabitants
(vecinos). They live on the products of the land, that is by cul-
-tivating cassava and maize and Castilian vegetables which grow
-in abundance. The same with the fruit trees of the country. Large
zand small stock are raised in abundance. This on the south side.
As it is fatter than the north it is stocked with domestic cattle.
On the north, as it is a broken and mountainous Country: wild cattle
are bred and there is a great quantity of pigs, so much so that very
-often the smaller ones are caught by hand.
-he town lies north to south in level country. -On the eastern
JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS.
side it has the river Caguaya of very excellent water. It runs fronu
north to south and discharges at the chief port of Caguaya which
is not frequented as it used to be because enemies go there. Ships
go three leagues lower to the port of Maymon.* The river can be-
forded at all parts. The houses are of wood and tiles, without
attics on account of the earthquakes and hurricanes there used to-
be; though, by the goodness of God, they have ceased. There is a
church, built low in the old style, of wood and tiles. It is very-
poor. It has no property or income other than what the tithes
yield it each year, which is one-third of the nine parts into which
they are divided. The people of this island live in health from the
good air and site of the town and the good waters that flow in it.
There is a monastery of the order of Preachers where one or two-
monks reside. They live in poverty as they have nothing but the
alms given to them. There are two hermitages, Saint Lucy and
Saint Barbara without any caretaker. Their name-day is observed
and other days of devotion. This place is tw9 leagues from the
chief port Caguaya by a level cart road by which produce and other-
things needed are carried to the ships. There is a fort or stockade
close to the water in front of a tiled wooden house which serves-
as a guard against anything coming from outside. It is surrounded
with lignumvitae, a hard wood, fascine and earth. Though it is not..
very strong yet it is a protection for those who take refuge in the,
house against the balls that enemies discharge. It these wanted to
make a landing, there are many places where they can do it with
There is a high morro of hard stone at the entrance of the port
where is stationed the guard who watches by day for the incoming
ships. When there are enemies in the port watch is kept in all
directions with much diligence by night and by day. Attached
to this morro, a fort is to be built as will be pointed out in the-
description of this island that I am going to make and which I
shall send to your Majesty by the fleet."
From this it is obvious that Caguaya (the English Cagua) was
not, as all historians have stated, Port Royal. but Passage Fort.
If we are to believe Abbot Villalobos, Lucas del Valle, who only
governed about fifteen months, turned things topsy-turvy, for he
left Pedro Lopez, a creole with a lot of relations, in charge of the-
government when there were many other persons of quality in the-
town, just because he had assisted him with some money. "He did
many improper things, one of which was to bring, or order to be-
brought, five hundred pesos in copper coins (cuartos) from Santo
Domingo. There one real is equal to twenty-five cuartos. He-
gave orders that in this town one real should be worth eleven,
nMaymon may have been Old Harbour. It is curious that he does not
1596] SIXTEENTH CENTURY. 17
all with the object of benefiting himself, and placed a certain
mark on the cuartoa. What has seemed the worst to me is
that I informed him that it would be a good thing to advise Your
Majesty and send certain reports as to how'meet it was that Your
Majesty should take this island. He was grieved at it and has toll
some citizens of it in order that he may keep the staff of office.
He is also a very irascible man, who at times quarrels with the
clergy and monks, showing them little respect. His ignorance is
such that he says I cannot impose excommunications because I did
not bring the bulls." In conclusion the abbot says, "By the
fleet I shall send your Majesty a very full account of this island
and of its antiquities, trees, plants, rivers, animals and minerals."
Unfortunately this account is not to be found. The Lieutenant
in Jamaica of Garcia del Valle Alvarado was the bachiller Naveda.
But the governor was wont to visit Jamaica himself "on business
ot law suits in defence of the Admiralty and other matters."
In 1583 or 1584 the office of Governor or Lieutenant-Governor
in Jamaica was held for a time by Miguel Delgado.
In 1583 it was reported to the King that the colonists of
.,Jamaica were suffering much from want, and as the country was
.poor many were abandoning it and going away to other parts, and
"a grant was asked for out of the royal customs duties on the hides,
sugar, cassia and other products of the island. The King, with the
advice of the Council of the Indies, granted to the people of Jamaica
for six years the half of his dues from the products of Jamaica
brought to Seville-i.e. 71%: the royal dues being 15%. This
concession was extended from time to time till 1602.
In 1589, some Frenchmen left. 155 lots of slaves in Oristan.
They were sold at auction, as property of the Admiral of the Indies,
and yielded 31,192 pesos current silver. The collection of the
sums due had been hanging fire till Melgarejo was instructed to
busy himself in the matter. He pleaded press of other business, but
he was told to go on and collect the money and remit it to Carta-
gena to be sent home with the galleons to the Casa de Contratacion
(Chamber of Commerce) at Seville.
On the 16th of October, 1596, the King appointed Fernando
Melgarejo deCordova, governor of the Island of Jamaica in the
state of Veragua for six years "or more it it should be my will,"
but h1e did not land till the August of the following year; succeed-
ing Garcia del Valle. He was allowed to take four servants, jewels
to the value of 200 ducats, a black slave, four swords, four daggers
and four of each kind of other arms. His salary was 300,000
maravedis, and an order was given to the Treasury officials of the
City of Panama to pay such salary. In his letter of instructions it
says: "By this my letter or a copy of it signed by a notary I com-
mand the Council of Justice and Magistracy (Justicia y regimiento)
JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS.
of the said city [sic] of Jamaica that as soon as they are notified
with it, they take and receive from you the said Don Fernando
Melgarejo the oath with the formality required in such case and
which you should observe and having done so, have, receive and
keep you as my Governor of the said Island and allow you freely
to hear, pass sentence and try all the suits and cases both civil
and criminal that there may be in the said island which you could
and should try as such' Governor and to transact all other affairs
that all my other Governors can and ought to do and to take and
receive any enquiries and reports in the cases or matters allowed
by law that you may consider to conduce to my service and the
administration of justice and good government of the said island
and to keep, and you and your lieutenants may keep, the fees
attached to and pertaining to the said office."
Elsewhere we read that his salary was 500 ducats, in addition
to a personal allowance of 2 ducats a day, or 1,230 ducats in all.
Melgarejo asked that he might have a salary equal to that of
Cumana or Veragua-2,000 ducats. In fact he seems to have been
much more exercised about his salary than the welfare of the colony
over which he presided.
The Governor was wont to live most of his time in Santo
Domingo, and govern Jamaica by means of a lieutenant, to whom
he gave 400 ducats a year. At that time, Lucas del Valle, brother
of the then Governor Garcia del Valle Alvarado, said "There are no
funds in Santo Domingo or Jamaica from which the Governor can
be paid his salary because the allotment that those places had from
the royal Treasury of 17,000 ducats a year has been passed over
to the mainland, and the sugar plantations and cattle ranches are
all desolated and destroyed long since so that not a property
remains standing," and that the herds of "cows which His Majesty
had granted to the governor were sold by warrant of His Majesty,
at the petition of the officials of Santo Domingo, to pay the value
of twenty negroes that His Majesty had in the said ranches at the
time that His Majesty gave them to the Admiral;" and that "the
island of Jamaica yields very little because it has no revenue except
duties on merchandise if any ships should go there, but nobody
wishes to go to that island as it is so poor and has no trade and
It cost 200 pesos to charter a frigate from Santo Domingo to
Jamaica. Living was costly in Jamaica, Spanish goods had to be
bought in Cartagena, Habana or Santo Domingo city, and there was
nothing to eat but cassava and beef.
In 1596 the island of Jamaica had one hundred and rent
Spanish inhabitants, "very respectable people."
When Melgarejo arrived, by way of Santo Domingo, at Jamaica
1597] SIXTEENTH CBNTUa Y. 18
on the first of August, 1597, he found that Sir Anthony Shirley*
(Carleyo, he calls him) had recently sacked the Villa de la Vega,
guided thereto by a native Indian. Soon after his arrival Melgarejo
went to the port "la Guaya,"t taking with him the Abbot and prior
of St. Dominic and four sea captains and others, and decided to make
four bastions and to trench the whole shore. He says "this port is
so shallow that in no manner can a large vessel enter, and even
in the case of a small one, a pilot is necessary." He points out
to the King that "this place has been so many years without an
owner nor had a governor for Your Majesty who could ask for what
it needs," that it was badly in need of arms and ammunition. He
suggests the building of a little galleot, with which, with two cul-
verins and thirty musketeers, he could capture "many galleys."
He then says "From this island Habana, Nombre de Dios, Carta-
gena, the galleons and galleys that are here, are supplied with pro-
visions and as this is so much to the service of Your Majesty it
would be well not to forget it, especially as if the enemy should
take possession of it for want of arms, as I have said, two injuries
would follow, the one being the loss of supplies for your royal fleets
(Armadas), the other the equipping by the corsairs of theirs. I point
this out in order that Your Majesty may arrange that there be no
delay, particularly as this Captain Carleyo [Shirley] has the design
to return about the month of February next for the sole purpose of
provisioning his fleet as he did on this occasion, but I trust in God
that-what he will carry away will be bullets and arrows because the
people are very excited, and I chiefly with a greater desire to serve
Your Majesty as I ought." One of four companies of soldiers was
made up of Indians and free mulattoes. He made a special inquiry
into the nature of the native woods of which he reported highly
"the cedars are exceedingly good and no worm bores them at all
nor have they any gum, and for greater satisfaction I send a piece
In'this packet so that it may be tested over there, as well as roble
(?oak) for timbers and for hulls and for anything else that it may
be desired to make with it. It is very good and light and holds
nails and does not split. There is a quantity of it for ships' ribs
and Maria trees, for yard-arms, and for everything else necessary.
Apart from that there is the advantage that the country is cheap
in the matter of cassava and beef for the sustenance of the people.
It is notorious that many places are provisioned from this island."
Then, he returns to the old subject of his salary. He says "This
little trip alone from la Yaguanat to this island cost me three
hundred ducats for the hire of a little frigate." He finally says that
*Slnthony Shirley (b 1565, d after 1635) claimed that while he stayed
in Jamaica he was "absolute master of the whole."
tThis was evidently Caguaya, or Passage Fort
SA port in Espanola.
O0 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIADS. [1597
a lieutenant was not necessary for Jamaica as "I live in it for its
defence and to administer justice."
On the 23rd of September Pedro de Acuna wrote to Melgarejo
from Cartagena, saying that it gave him pleasure to have him as a
neighbour. He thought Melgarejo would find the island very
rained. He suggested that he should send him some Jamaica copper-
ore to be tested.
In Melgarejo's time more than four hundred Spaniards, inhabit-
ants, soldiers, women and children from Puerto Rico came to Jamai-
ca, "naked, poor, terrified." He lodged more than fifty in his own
In July, 1597, Garcia del Valle Alvarado wrote to the King
about the expense of living in Jamaica. He speaks of the ranch
(hato) that the Governor had on the river "del Seco" which was
sold by order of the King. While Governor of Jamaica, det
Valle lived in Santo Domingo and had a lieutenant in Jamaica-
Melgarejo had to live in Jamaica, and "has nothing to administer
in this island except the half of a few houses in ~his city that were
called the Admiral's." Melgarejo was also administrator of the
Admiral's estates in Santo Domingo.
In December, 1597, Melgarejo took up the question of a settle-
ment for the few native Indians left in the island. It was objected
S by some that this would leave the hatos without labourers: the
matter was referred to the King in Council.
In May, 1598, Melgarejo wrote home about the copper which.
he was sending to Cartagena for the founding of artillery. He
refers to "mines situated at sea ports" and suggests that the forg-
ing should be done in Jamaica.
On the 12th of July Melgarejo sent home an important des-
When he was preparing to call upon Garcia del Valle, as was.
the custom, to give an account of his stewardship, he learnt that
he had died at La Yaguana, where he had resided for eight years,
and was alguacil.
Melgarejo speaks of the necessity of going to Santo Domingo
for important law suits and other matters and to adjust accounts:
and see the inventory of what was handed over to his predecessor,
but his salary, although increased, was so small that it did not suf-
ice to clothe him and it was not possible to make the journey be-
cause a frigate to cross there and back cost two hundred and ifty-
pesos current silver. Ordinarily there were on the northern coast of
Espanola four or six French ships trading, and many other English
ones that were warships. Further, he found Jamaica sacked and
at his own expense he had bought powder and arms "as the people
are poor and had not any, and I have remained in every respect ut-
;erly ruined through keeping the country in defence and doing my
1598] SrIXEENmm CmNTrBY.
duty as is shewn by testimony I send, and the other precautions I
have taken, which I shall state below."
Of the corsairs he writes: "with regard to the intercourse this
island has with Espanola and its northern coast, it occurred to me
4o warn Your Majesty that in order to entirely eradicate this bad
'business they carry on of illicit trading, it is worth while to send a
teet of large sea-going ships, for galleys are of no use among these
islands on account of the high winds. It will be sufficient if the
Aeet consists of three small galleons of about three hundred tons
and a tender, and this will be enough to assure that there
will be no traders or corsairs in the Indies and that none
return to England or td France if our fleet should meet them,
because these pirates carry little force, and a despicable crew, and
as here there are only trading frigates, they are masters of them all,
and because of this the people of these islands suffer very much.
But in order that these ships achieve the purpose for which they
Come they ought to sail from the island of Puerto Rico and go to
Sahona* which is to windward of Santo Domingo and come by there
to Ocoa Sepisepi and la Beatat and Lislabaque,t Cape Tiburon and
1a Yaguana and Guanaybes where these thieves are wintering, some
4ioading and others entering, as if into their own port as there is
no one to prevent it, and Port Mosquitos, Bayaha, Montecriste and
Ysabela. All these are on one side or the other of the island of
Espanola and can be gone over in less than a month. Leaving these
clear they can if they wish debouch between Caycos and Mayaguana
and go back to Puerto Rico to return to sail round the island
Espanola. And it when stationed at Cape Tiburon or the north
side of Espanola there should be news of some corsair, they can
run along the coast to Cape Cruz, which is in the island of
Cuba, to the island of Jamaica, the Isle of Pines and Cape Santo
Anton and Habana and debouch through the Bahama channel, re-
turning once more to Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo, and thus
this feet may serve for all the Indies without leaving them because
It has to remain in these parts as there is much to do all the year
He says in the same letter: "The churches are destroyed since
the hurricane, not a tile having been placed on a roof. It is a pity
to see the temples so ill-treated. As I have not looked into the
-establishment of the Church of this island I do not know if it has
a share in the tithes, so as to make a demand of the Abbot, because
he collects them all for himself. The confraternity of the Sacra-
ment has here two thousand penned cows. It could help towards
building if Your Majesty should be so pleased.
*8aona, an Island close to the south-eastern corner of Espanola.
tIale la Vache.
22 JAMAICA UNDEU THE 'SPANIALDS. [1598t
Your Majesty has for a long time recommended to us the
conservation of the natives. Those here are few and have no town,
but serve on 'the ranches and at the hunts for. a trifling amount of
wages each' year. This payment in; my opinion is not satisfactory,
and to obviate this defect I had them all assembled and asked them
if they wished to make a town by themselves and have their cultiva-
tions and products. Most of them were' of opinion that it should
be done but the colonists objected to it, because the ranches-
would be ruined and the stock carried off and other things which
Your Majesty will see from the testimony I send with this and the
documents on the subject."
In 1598, Juan de Cueto, Vicar Genetal of the island Jamaica,.
asked that he might be granted a canonry in Santo Domingo, Car-
tagena, or in any church in Pern. He said that he was the son
of Pedro de Cueto and Magdalena Vasquez his wife, people of
honourable and pure lineage. His maternal grandfather, Martin
Vasquez, was among the first conquistadores and settlers of the
Island and his maternal great-grandfather, Gonzalo Peres, went
from the island with troops to the conquest of Panuco by order
3f the Adelantado Francisco de Garay, where he died in the service
of His Majesty. He had "studied with much virtue and attention,
and was the first man born in the island to be ordained a priest.
He has been,one for many years, leading a very exemplary life and
has filled and is filling the office of Vicar-General with great pru-
dence and efficiency with entire approbation."
On the 22nd of July, 1598, Fray Nicolas de Sant Thomas wrote
home, "Some time ago I advised Your Majesty how after the arrival
in this island of don Fernando Melgarejo de Cordova, your Gov-
ernor, a hurricane occurred which ruined us and almost threw to
the ground this house of St. Dominic and how on account of the
extreme poverty both of the country and of this community it has
not been possible to take steps to repair it for which reason it may
Lave to be deserted. This country receives much fruit and profit
from it as Your Majesty will learn from the letters of the Governor
who, since he came, has done everything that is possible."
In 1601, Melgarejo wrote that the safest and shortest way to
write to him was through Cartagena. He did his best to keep a.
sloop manned for the protection of the coast, but his pay from
Panama was very irregular. In default he manned her with crim-
inals: to others to whom he had no pay to offer he gave right of
plunder. He said that he was informed that in the Bastidas Moun,-
tains,* about twenty-eight leagues from the town de la Vega, there
were Indian settlements and a large amount of gold.
The order, by which the King had granted to the churches
iwo thousand ducats, had. arrived. "For the greater part of the
*Shown on one of the maps to be the eastern part of the Blue Mountains
1601] SIXTEENTH CENTURY. 23
month of October last Mass could not be said in the principal
Church as it was in such bad repair that it leaked all over and the
walls were falling down." In the same year Melgarejo sent home
a statement of his doings, supported by affidavits, as follows:-
"Don Fernando Melgarejo de Cordova, your Governor of the
Island of Jamaica, has served since he has been governing it in
the following instances:-
He has fortified the forts and the roads at his expense
whereby he keeps the country in defence.
On the 3rd March, '98, he armed a boat and went out to
defend a frigate that two English launches had boarded and he
took it away and made them retire.
On the 15th March of the same year, after having driven
from the port a bulk and tender of Corsairs, he had information
that they were three leagues outside the port at a cay called "The
Goats," and the crews from the vessels, on shore cutting Brazil
wood and loading it. He went personally in two boats to dis-
embark in some mangrove thickets and swamps, because the port
was occupied, and so as not to be detected he went at midnight and
supplied the people, at his own expense, with arms and munitions
and provisions; and, in an ambuscade that he made, he captured
and killed many with great risk to his person on account of the
pieces of artillery they discharged. He also defended another
ship that came to the port, in this case entering the sea, the
water being up to his collar, in order to get on board the ship to
At his cost he sent Captain Sebastian Gonzalez with troops
by land to Point Negrillo which is thirty leagues to leeward of this
port to wait until the captain of the English corsair should go
to obtain water and capture him; and they lay in wait for him and
killed those who landed and brought back their ears, broke the jars
to pieces and burnt the boat.
On another occasion he sent Francisco Cartagena with another
squad by land, at his expense, to the same place and to the same
effect with another Corsair that he had information was on shore.
He has reformed the country and put things in order, because
as there was no master so many years to govern it, it was undone.
At the bay of Morante, which is fourteen leagues to windward
of this port, there were three vessels that had come from bartering
at Guanaybes* and Cuba, with Spaniards aboard, who brought them
to cut Brazil wood on that coast, and he went personally with
people equipped at his cost and with much risk waited for then
in an ambuscade and captured and killed twenty-two persons, among
them one Alvaro de Cuenda, who was the leader who went with a
squad of Flemings to capture Dr. Marquecho, your oydor of Sinto-
Domingo, when he was visiting the country at Monte Cristi and
*In the north-west of Espanola.
24 JAMAICA UNDEu THE SPAzBDS. [1601
escaped in his shirt. At the same time he overcame a big launch,
and if there had been wherewith to board the ships, would have
taken them as the Englishmen were dispersed at another point
of the bay.
He armed a ship at his cost to go in pursuit of a French launch
that was at Guayguata* on the north side of this island and sent
troops by land so as to have a chance in both directions.
He sent notices when the garrison of Puerto Rico came to this
island, exiled by Comte Camorlan. On that occasion there were
enemies to windward and to leeward of this island, and, as it was
a matter of so great importance to the service of Your Majesty,
he sen. his nephew at his expense, giving orders that he should
make his way at midnight marking the land, with the danger
which can be plainly seen.
He governs the country with so much approbation that the
people clamour for him. He is generally beloved by all as shewn
by their statements and that of the Audiencia.
He has, at his own expense, sent Francisco de Castro to dis-
cover some Indians who are in the Bastidas Mountains, and with
him miners, having had news that there was much gold there.
If it should be discovered it will be of much importance to Your
He is about to launch a boat supplied at his cost'with twenty-
five muskets, twelve pikes and one piece of artillery, powder, balls
and rope and provisions and sailors for the purpose of going out to
pillage launches of Englishmen on this coast and that of Cuba, by
which very great service will be rendered to Your Majesty.
He has in his house arms and munitions with which he helps
the inhabitants who through their poverty cannot buy same.
He is very poor because he has spent his fortune and his
salary on these occasions. He owes the administration six thou-
sand pesos, spent for these purposes, as shewn by testimony, in
view of which, he humbly prays Your Majesty to do him the favour
to employ him in some other place where his services may shine
more and he may be able to pay his debts. He will thereby receive
a real favour with justice."
In June, 1599, the King gave 2,000 ducats (750,000 mara-
vedis) to the Governor and Abbot of Jamaica for repairing the
churches and providing vestments.
In November of that year the King increased Melgarejo's salary
from 300,000 maravedis to 1,500 ducats (572,500 maravedis) on
the ground expressed by Melgarejo that on his first salary it was
impossible to maintain himself on account of the dearness of the
*Near Buff Bay: marked on Wytflet's map of 159.
FIRST HALF OF SEVENTBENTH CENTURY.
The Cabildo praises Melgarejo: wreck of ship: sentinel at the Morro:
Council praise Melgarejo: Melgarejo beats off Newport: Melgarejo's term
extended: French beaten off at Oristan: Account of Corsairs: suppression
-of illic. trading: death of Abbot Villalobo: Miranda succeeds Melgarejo
as Governor: Corsairs: Sentinel at the Morro: li".cit trading: Account by
the Abbot: dye-woods: church: Terril: Arana: pimento: survey to be made:
eganma: fear of invasion: Caballero: Drought: Caballero's quarrel with the
Abbot and Sedeno the new governor: Caballeristas and Sedenistas: death of
Caballero: Enquiry: Sedeno and the Abbot arrested by the oicers of the In-
quisition: taken to Cartagena and lodged in goal: Betancur: Proensa: small-
pox: Account of Jamaica by Sedeno.
"As soon as Don Francisco Melgarejo, your Governor, arrived
here, he began to take the accounts of Garcia del Valle, his prede-
cessor, who died leaving them very muddled. By the diligence and
co-operation the Governor has used in the matter, they are being
cleared up and we by his direction are keeping the books in better
order than they have been up to this. It has not been possible to
complete these accounts although the Governor keeps working
every day. They are still open because to finish them much time
is necessary and the personal assistance of the Governor who
began them, otherwise there will be much obscurity.
The Governor has three times sent persons to the Island of
Espanola with warrants to sequestrate the goods of Garcia del
Valle for the balance that is being made against him. As it is
some time since there has been a full court, they have not been
presented and so the matter is in abeyance . The prede-
cessors of the present Administrator lived in Santo Domingo, and
although we have requested the Governor to attend to the very
important law suits that are pending, he has not done so." So
wrote the Treasury officials of Jamaica in December, 1601.
In the same month, the Cabildo wrote to the King in praise of
Melgarejo and asked that his term might be extended.
In 1602, the ship which was carrying Fra Alonso de Ortega,
the Commissary, and Monks from Santo Domingo for work in
"ucatan, struck on a reef off Jamaica, breaking to pieces: but no
one perished. "Our Lord using his accustomed mercy, by gret
wonder no one perished, some escaping by swimming, others on
boards and casks, naked and much bruised through the injury done
us by the rocks and stones. Having remained lost for some day&
-with much hardship in the desert and solitude of the shore of this
island, don Fernando Melgarejo deCordova, your Governor, receiv-
ing news of the loss of the ship, showed so much diligence in
searching for us that thereby, after God, he saved our lives and
brought us to this city where at his cost, he clothed, fed and lodged
us with much charity, and according to what we have seen, heard
.and understood, the said Governor. usually behaves thus in similar
cases, accompanied by the rectitude with which he administers
,Justice. He is beloved by the colonists, keeps the country in defence,
JAMAICA UNDER !v!E SPANIARDS.
and finally he is a poor man and has such aptitude that Your
Majesty may entrust him with very important matters of your
In September, 1602, the King approved of Melgarejo appoint-
ing a sentinel to reside at the Morro with a salary of 100 ducats a
year, to be paid from royal funds.
In the same month the Council of the Indies recommended the
King to grant to Melgarejo, who had petitioned for financial help,
an allowance of 1,000 ducats, to be drawn on the revenue of Vera-
gua. It said, "On the part of Don Fernando Melgarejo de Cordova,
Governor of the Island of Jamaica, it has been represented that in
consideration of his father's services in the relief of Perpignan and
in the island Espanola and that he also had served there and in
the royal fleets trading to the Indies, the King, our master (may
he be in glory) appointed him to the said office more than five
years ago. During that period he has made laws, a record office
and a tariff, keeping proper accounts of the property of the govern-
ment and a good police. As he found the island without defence
and plundered by corsairs who usually infest the coast, he made
trenches and fortifications at the principal ports, and in the year
'98, with two hundred musketeers defended from the enemy a
frigate that was loaded with provisions for the fleet going to the
Main. He has done the same against corsair ships that have at-
tempted to sack the island, defending it with much valour and has
kept and maintained muskets, pikes, powder and munitions to arm
special troops when there is an alarm, and has, at his expense,
built a launch armed with one piece of artillery and twenty-live
muskets and the ammunition necessary therefore. On this he has
spent more than six thousand ducats."
On the 24th of January, 1603, a slave of Rodrigo Alonso de
Flores told the Governor that on his way to his master's pen at
\Iorante he had seen off Ayala [Yallahs] eight strange ships "in
quest of the port." Melgarejo at once went with what forces he
could gather together, by the ringing of church bells and the beat
ef:.drum,, to meet the enemy, who had in the meantime landed;
presumably at about Passage Fort. A messenger sent by Mel-
garejo returned with the information that the fleet was English,
the general was don Christoval Naucur, that they demanded provi-
sions, that eight more ships were coming, and that they had fifteen
.hundred men to back their demands. Melgarejo replied that all
the provisions he would give them were bullets, entrenching him-
self a quarter of a league from the town. At daybreak the next
,day he met the enemy.
"When they arrived at the first ambuscades our men began
to attack them and to kill some and then retired to where
the Governor was, so that, with these soldiers and the others
who were with him, there would be in all sixty men with whom
1603] SEVENTEENTHI -CXCTUUY. T
he faced the enemy in the trench, as well .as in ambuscades, placing
himself always in the greatest danger, animating his soldiers in
such a way, that seeing his courage, there were none with him.
who did not fight like lions, and the English having reached this
ambuscade and trench, many of them were killed. Whereupon,
ahd with the Governor's beginning to raise the cry of victory, it
pleased God that the enemy retired very shamefully, carrying off
those that had been killed and many wounded. The Governor sent
about thirty soldiers to follow them until they made them embark,
aid remained in his trench strengthening it as best he could, giving
thanks to God and to the blessed Saint James (Diego) whom he
has taken as patron and defender of the land against these enemies,
in whose clemency he and all his troops have confidence because
this victory cannot be attributed so much to power and strength
as to a miracle."
On Monday the 27th, a herdsman whom the Englishman
seized, came to this town after he had set sail with all his fleet
and said that the General of the English sent him to say that the
Governor had fought like a good knight and that he should reward
his troops well, who had fought well, that he would do the same
to his, and to expect him within twenty days when he promised he
would deal with him and that he would take his person or his head
to England to his lady the Queen. The Governor continues, with
this news, acting as always, although with little powder and muni-
tions, trusting only in the favour of heaven to protect us."
The Christoval Naucur was Christopher Newport who, born
about 1565, sailed from London in 1591-2 as captain of the "Golden
Dragon" with three other ships for the West Indies. On the
coasts of Espanola, Cuba, Honduras and Florida, they racked four-
Spanish towns and captured or destroyed twenty Spanish vessels.
He later was associated with Somers in the rediscovery of the-
Bermudas. A full account of the action was sent home by the
Melgarejo seems to have been justly popular with a section
of the community. At this time the Provincial Vicar, Manuel
Botello, wrote home: "Don Fernando Melgarejo, your Governor, has
provided some munitions up to the present with much liberality,
spending his fortune, especially on a naval brigantine which he-
maintains and which keeps him very poor. He governs with muck
satisfaction, doing justice, protecting the colonists, and he well de-
serves whatever favour Your Majesty may do him." On the other
hand he earned enmity by the strict manner in which he put down
illicit traders-to such an extent that some advised him to employ-
a bodyguard. He was threatened, not only by discontented colonists,
but by the French, especially by a brother of a Captain Olibosv
whom he had killed; and he asked that he might be relieved of his
28 JAMAICA UDBw THrB SPAWBDs. [1603
At the time (1603) the Cabildo consisted of the Lieutenant-
,General of the Governor, the Alcaldes, the Treasurer and the Con-
troller. The Treasurer was Francisco Arnaldo, probably a relation
of Arnaldo Ysassi, the last Spanish Governor of Jamaica.
In May, 1603. Captain Juan de Castaneda Bnstillo, who went
with an armed-guard to Santana, on the north side, to report on
-eight French and English ships "in the port of la Maguana," re-
ported that they were too numerous and well armed to make it
wise to attack them: and that they meant to take the "port of
aGuabayara" of this town and hang and impale the person of the
-governor in revenge for the death of Captain Olibos. Other wit-
messes gave evidence to the same effect-both from the north coast
and from Oristan, which was also visited by the hostile fleet.
In June, 1603, the King extended the governorship of Mel-
garejo. It "caused general contentment in the country because of
the great satisfaction and rectitude with which he governs, pro-
tecting the inhabitants and defending them from the many'corsairs
-who commonly frequent it, as he did on the 25th January last,
when sixteen ships that arrived at the port landed five hundred
-musketeers." In August of that year, the King-at the request of
Columbus's family, who were dissatisfied with the Governor's ap-
-pointments-appointed Francisco de Barahona, who had there filled
*the offices of Chief Alguacil, Royal Standard Bearer and Alderman
"'with much care and diligence," to be Receiver of the Revenues
of the Colony with a salary of 200 ducats (75,000 maravedis) and
-with a voice and vote in the Council.
In November, 1603, news came to the town de la Vega that
-persons on their way from Matabano in Cuba had seen "on the
coast of this said island in the port of Sabana-de-la-Mar, which is
in Oristan twenty leagues to Leeward of the port of this town, a
*good sized vessel of Frenchmen at anchor, of which news had
:already been had that it was going about doing damage on the
coast and in the maritime ranches (hatos) and immediately as this
Information was given to the said don Fernando Melgarejo de Cor-
-dova, Governor, he ordered the drums to be beat, and instructed Cap-
tain Juan de Castaneda Bustillo to get sailors and soldiers ready and
that he would give the money and provisions, munitions and arms
at his cost, as he did, and directed the said Captain to embark in
the naval launch which the said Governor keeps and maintains at
his expense for these purposes and that he should go out at once
in search of the enemy, and as it was understood that the latter
'brought great force he was given faculty to take from each of the
Trigates and boats in this port one or two men and the pieces of
artillery that might be necessary, and the said governor gave him a
-commission in due form in virtue of which he went out with two
*vessels besides the launch supplied with everything necessary at
the cost of the said governor. By this means and the diligence the
1604] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 2
governor has applied and is applying to injure the enemy, the said
Captain Juan de Castaneda ran along the coast with the naval
launch and other vessels and cleaned it of the said enemies and of
others which were on the coast, and made safe the ports, and bin
dered barterers and other inconvenient persons that could be in such
remote ranches, and returned to the port from which he sailed."
In June, 1604, Melgarejo wrote that the principal church was
being repaired,- but that it still needed vestments, and that 600
ducats should be spent on the monastery of St. Dominic.
In the same month he collected 5,406 pesos, 3 reales, of cur-
rent money "in products of the country, and other resources of
the inhabitants, as coin is not current in this island,"in respect or
the sale of the cast away slaves, a part of which he expended on
fortifications and artillery. A detailed account is given. Charges
occur as follows against the gross amount of 31,192 pesos due from'
the Governor, the inhabitants and the royal officials at Cartagena:
for slaves that have died, stationery, account books, etc. There-
then remained-as the auditor pointed out-'thirty-seven pesos
and one real which, with the great confusion there was in these
accounts in the matters therein set out, could not be adjusted any
more, and I understand that they must have been given to notaries
and law officers for the auctions and other further proceedings."
The accounts of the sale of these slaves seem to have been in-
the greatest confusion, due in part to the burning of the papers
concerned both in Santo Domingo and at the sacking by the English
of the town de la Vega.
In the same month, Melgarejo sent home to the King an account
of the corsairs who infested the coasts of Cuba "on the 18th Janu-
ary last a Frenchman kidnapped in this island, Antonio Manuel,
an inhabitant of this island, a seaman. They took him with
them to the port of Manzanilla in Cuba, and on the 16th March
he arrived in this island. He and others have informed me that
in that port of Manzanilla there are trading illegally nine ships of
Flemings, Frenchmen and Englishmen, and that in Guanaybes,
in the island of Espanola, there are five others, and that the
French act with both hands. They rob and they trade. And the
mouth of the Canto river in Bayamo is occupied in a way that no
ship leaves without safe conduct from these traders. Among
these is one Pompilio, a Genoese, a very rich man, who last year
had despatched eight ships loaded with hides, and there is one
Olibos, a Frenchman, recruiting people to take this town and avenge
the death of a brother of his whom I killed here last year, 1603,
when they put ashore five hundred musketeers and I drove them off
with the loss of many. In the following May, there arrived at this
port a launch from Cuba, and the owner of it, Pedro de la Nuez,
confirmed as a fact what I have stated above, and he says further-
30 JAMAI A UNDER THE SPANIADS. [1604
that in that port of Manzanilla these enemies have artillery on
shore and are making a guard corps. They have put up shops there,
:and games of bowls, and the people of the country go there to be
cured, and even women, from want of a doctor; and that those who
remain more permanently are Pompilio the Genoese, Cavaleon, a
Frenchman, and Captain Arcio, a Frenchman, Abraham, a Fleming,
Jaques, a Fleming, and a Captain Lombardo and one Mota, a Por-
tuguese who is married in Puerto del Principe, who goes hiddenly
with Frenchmen and robs, and two others, Englishmen who are
trading the cloth they robbed from the ships that were coming
from Spain bound for Habana, and that they live so much at ease
that they sometimes leave the ships high and dry. They have
launches scattered all over the sea fetching and carrying cloth'in
exchange for hides with as much liberty and shamelessness as if
they were in their own country."
He then suggests that if the King would let him have three
galleons from the guard fleet "no sea-going ship would escape from
me, as I would wish to be very zealous in the affairs of your royal
service, and am grieved to see that Your Majesty is not feared on
sea or on land in these parts. I offer myself for this purpose,
confident that I have well tested my intention, for last year with
sixty men I drove off five hundred musketeers that were put on
shore with much loss to them, and I observe to Your Majesty that
to take them unawares in the ports is the best method of all, and
that the leader should be a pilot for these coasts, and although
don Pedro de Valdes, your Governor, does what is possible to
remedy matters he cannot and will not be able to do more as he is
so far away both by sea and land."
The Council after considering the statement, in November,
1605, recommended the fitting out and despatching of the windward
fleet which had been decided on.
In July, 1604, Melgarejo wrote to complain that he had re-
ceived less than three thousand ducats of the twelve thousand due
to him for the last eight years' service, and that he could get no
redress from the officials of Panama.
In December, 1601, the Cabildo of la Vega had written in
praise of Don Fernando Melgarejo and asked that his term be ex-
tended. On the other hand, on the 1st of June, 1604, six colonists
addressed the King, making charges against Melgarejo of corrupt
practices, and praying that he might be re-called.
In May, 1605, he wrote home saying that his suppression of
illicit trading had made him disliked. "Lampoons are insolently
made on me, saying that I should let them live and not oppress
them, that they will some night send one hundred Englishmen to
kill me or take me prisoner. Your Royal Council as well as the
pretenders to this island and state have also been written to against
me, a thing that has never been done in the nine years that I have
1605] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 31
been Governor. But as it is true, as will appear by the reports
and the law proceedings I have taken, that all these enmities
towards me arise from my defending Your Majesty's reputation and
commands, I hope to be rewarded for punishing these people, and I
would do so very severely in the case of all barterers if the law had
any force in this island, but there is no prison or strong jail, nor
is there anybody of whom I could ask a favour or assistance except
from the delinquents themselves and their relatives, for they are
all over the country. I humbly pray Your Majesty to do me the
favour of sending someone to govern this island, for I am very
much in danger that these people may take my life and honour on
account of maintaining that of Your Majesty whom may our Lord
preserve for long and happy years as Christianity has need."
On this orders were sent to the Governor of Santo Domingo to
render aid to Melgarejo should he ask for it.
In May, 1605, he wrote home that the traders, having been
chased away from Cuba, infested the north coast of Jamaica, "where
there is no town or roads by which to pass thereto from this
coast." He was much troubled about finance, and the officials
of the island. He says, "Your Majesty ordered me to collect the
proceeds of some negroes as referred to in a previous paragraph.
This matter is in the same position as I have stated. I also inform
Your Majesty that I took the two thousand ducats for fortification
and sent explanations that they were in the Chest of this island as
Your Majesty orders, from which the fortification of the island is
going on. I wrote to the Royal Officials at Cartagena to collect
them from the Chest of Panama, where Your Majesty pays them,
and I sent an authority therefore and that they should transmit
them to the Casa de Contratacion so that from there they might
be taken to the Receiver of the Council. They have not attended
to this, and the money is detained without Your Majesty's will
being complied with, unless orders are sent them to do what is
most suitable in the matter; all of which is proved by testimony.
Your Majesty sent here a Receiver for the property of the
Admiral. This island yields for some years little more than the
salary of the said officer and one hundred ducats are paid to the
keeper of the Morro and a little more than one hundred to the
Controller who keeps the accounts of what is due to the Admiral
as well as of other matters that are of separate account to which
Tour Majesty's Exchequer is entitled and despatches the ships,
gives certificates and other things incumbent on his office. Other
salaries are also paid which, owing to that of the Receiver, have
been suspended, and every one wants to give up his duties.
Although it is .evident that this position was obtained by a dis-
-bonest statement, and that if this country had an owner he would
be pained that in respect of such a great innovation he had from
the first to be informed through me and the Cabildo here of the
32 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [160&
difficulties that were ensuing, I have passed over everything, even the
informing of Your Majesty, to whom I would remark in discharge-
of my conscience, that. now that difficulties may follow from my
appointing them in terms of your patent, as a reward for eight
years that I have served this Government, Your Majesty might ap-
point a Treasurer and Controller with the salary of the said
Receiver alone, which Is the ordinary one they have always had,
so that there may be clearness and that nothing may be usurped
and disturbed. There are two* leading colonists, sons of Conquis-
tadores, who sustain, protect and defend the State, and who are
among those who have served, and are capable for the said offices,
namely Alonso de Castillo Hurtado, who at present serves in the-
accountancy, Francisco de Fuentes, who was for many years Treas-
urer, Don Inigo de Fuentes y Leyba, who has also been a Royal
Official, and Cristobal Sanchez de Ysassi, or whoever Your Majesty
might be pleased, because in times of such confusion and suspicion
on account of the things that are being attempted to be smuggled
into this island two Royal Officials are of permanent necessity to-
despatch, appraise and search ships, to prevent the frauds and trick-
ery there might be when things pass through the hands of only
one man, and as in other letters, I offer to go personally to-
inform Your Majesty of matters of much importance to the Royal
renown and for the extirpation and remedy of the insolence that
goes on in these islands with these fleets of hulks that for so many
years have been carrying off their produce."
The Ysassi mentioned was evidently some relation of Arnaldo
Ysassi, of whom we shall read in connection with the capture of
the island by the English.
Don Francisco Marquez de Villalobos, Abbot of Jamaica, died
on the 3rd August, 1606. He had lived many years in the town of la.
Vega; he was buried close to the high altar of the principal church-
There were eight candidates for the vacant abbacy, of whom
one was the Dean of Honduras, and two were approved by the-
Viceroy and Audiencia of Mexico.
In March, 1606, the Chamber [of the Indies] reported to the
King that Melgarejo's period of Governorship of Jamaica had ex-
pired some time ago, and submitted four names, stating that besides
a knowledge of government, the holder of the office should have
experience and practice in military matters. Of these the King
selected Alonzo de Miranda. He had "served for 20 years as a
favoured soldier with very honourable positions." "He has been
Sergeant and Ensign in Italy and Lisbon, and when the enemy came
off Cadiz he served at his own expense. He afterwards sailed a
long time in the galleys from Spain. When Don Juan de Puertocar-
rero had charge of them, the galley Patrona subdued an English
*Four: it is two in the Spanish manuscript
ship in which action he was the first man to enter the ship and
fought like a brave soldier. In the year 1603 he served in the
fleet of New Spain as an aspirant attached to the person of the
Admiral, and on all these occasions has given very good accounts
Alonzo de Miranda was to have 1,500 ducats a year. He might
take 4 swords and 4 daggers and a black slave free of duty, also
400 ducats worth of jewels.
In July, 1607, the King granted a salary of one hundred thou-
sand maravedis a year to Andres de Segura, curate of the Island
of Jamaica, to be paid from the revenues of the state of Veragua.
Miranda wrote home in July, 1607, that on his arrival to take
up his governorship he found the island much frequented by
enemies, and particularly by a great corsair named Mota, a Por-
tuguese, who "with two launches and a tender was going along the
whole coast sacking and plundering the ranches and seizing the
inhabitants and doing many other injuries, to remedy which I
was obliged to assemble a fleet by sea and go myself by land
with soldiers to defeat the design of the enemies, and they went
away from the coast. With all that I have had information that
in the remote cattle-hunting places they land, and with some of
the cow-catchers who have run away from Espanola, whom they
bring, they dress hides and supply themselves with meat. This
cannot be remedied without much cost and expense, and there are
no surplus funds to draw upon, and, were it desirable to do so at
the cost of the inhabitants, they are so extremely poor that they
cannot assist in the matter. They do enough to be armed at their
own expense for the defence of the island and quite deserve that
Your Majesty make them a grant in terms of what they are
He said he would carry out his instructions to search for the
lost galleons on the shallow cays and coasts of the island in ad-
dition to the search of the ships sent for the purpose by the Gov-
ernors of Havana and Cartagena. He adds, "I despatched from-
here a judge whom I found doing many vexatious and annoying
things to the inhabitants."
In December, 1608, the King extended for four years the grant
to the island of Jamaica of a sentinel at the Morro with a salary
of 100 ducats.
In June, 1610, the King, on the petition of the people of
Jamaica, extended to them the same'pardon which he had given to
the inhabitants of Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico and other places
for illicit trading.
In 1611, the exemption from duties was extended for four
years, and again from time to time till 1638.
In July, 1611, the Abbot of Jamaica wrote to the King:
34 JAMAICA UNDEB THE SPANIARDS. [1611
"When Your Majesty bestowed this Abbacy of Jamaica on me,
and while preparing to come out to serve my church the Count
of Lemos, at that time President of your Royal Council of the
Indies, directed me to observe carefully the things that in this island
appeared to me worthy thereof, and in a faithful and brief report
to give the same to Your Majesty and to your Royal Council. There-
fore, obeying what he ordered me, I say:
That this Island of Jamaica in the Ocean Sea, that now be-
longs to the estate of the Admirals of the Indies, Dukes of Veragua,
is in 17 and a half degrees north latitude. Its temperature is hot
and humid as is general in all the Indies falling within the two
tropics. The longest day there is 13 hours and a half and the
nights accordingly. Although it is a hot country there is less excess
and more mildness than in any of the neighboring islands and
lands. It is abundant and suitable for growing all the seeds and
grains that are cultivated in Spain, but the people are so lazy and
indolent and opposed to work that through this fault it generally
suffers great misery. In the whole island there is only one settled
town called the town (villa) of la Vega, through which a river
of good water passes. Two leagues from the sea in this place is
the Collegiate Church of this Abbacy which is nullius Diocesis.
Its Abbot has episcopal jurisdiction suffragan to the Archbishop of
Santo Domingo in whose district it is, and subject in temporal
matters to the Royal Audiencia. The Admiral of the Indies places
a Governor here and a Lieutenant who holds the courts of first
instance with the ordinary alcaldes. There are some clergy born
in the island with a lot of chaplaincies but these are poor like the
people in general. There are two monasteries, one of Saint Dominic
and one of Saint Francis, and at present three monks in each and
among them two preachers. In the whole island, from the note
of the number of confessions that I ordered to be made this year,
1611, with particular care, there were one thousand five hundred
and ten persons of all classes and conditions, five hundred and
twenty-three Spaniards including men and women, one hundred
and seventy-three children, one hundred and seven free negroes,
seventy-four Indians, natives of the island, five hundred and fifty-
eight slaves and seventy-five foreigners. AU these Spaniards are
from only three parentages and are so mixed with one another by
marriage that they are all related. This causes many and grave
incests to be committed by which this country is remarkably stained.
The remedy is so difficult that it is almost impossible to find as is
being experienced in this general visitation I am making in which
I find this sin so widespread and deep rooted that it keeps me tied
and checked not knowing what to do because except by depopulating
the country and injuring many reputations so great a fire cannot
be put out, for censures and other ecclesiastical means serve more
as hindrances than as a remedy. So much for the population.
The whole of the rest of the island which is about 50 leagues
long and a little more than 15 wide is uncultivated and unin-
habited although there are many hunting grounds of horned
stock in which the colonists have their shares similar to the
ranches they formerly had stocked with tame cattle from which
have sprung those that are now wild in these grounds. Nearly
-the whole year is taken up in killing cows and bulls only to get
the hides and the fat, leaving the meat wasted. There are also
large herds of swine raised in the mountains, which are com-
mon to all who may wish to hunt them as is ordinarily done, ob-
taining therefrom a great quantity of lard and jerked pork. All
-the products of the country are cheap, so that while a silver real
is worth thirteen quartos, they give for one quarto four pounds of
beef at the butchery. The bread eaten here is made from a root
called cassava, and when made is preserved many months. Two
arrobas of it which are called one load (carga) usually cost eight
reales and seldom rise to twelve. The island is surrounded with
ports with very secure harbours and rivers of fresh water that flow
from the mountain ridges, of which there are many, covered with
groves of cedars, brasil trees, mahogany and other woods, very
suitable for ship building and so convenient for this that if Your
Majesty should desire to command some ships or galleons to be
built there, any such works would from the natural fitness of the
country, the great abundance of woods and cheap provisions, as
well as from many other advantages it has, prove much cheaper
and more profitable than those that have been done and are
going on in other parts, for it is known by experience that the
cedar, brasil and other woods of this island are better than
those of other places. Among other trees there is one called
granadillo (red ebony). It is incorruptible and not quite as black
as ebony. It answers just as well for mouldings and ornamenta-
tions and is much esteemed. There is another called thorn,
(espino) of variegated colour with the other properties and lustre
of the granadillo and ebony. There are trees called cinnamon
because the leaf in taste and smell has the same characteristic
as cinnamon and as fruit bear pepper (pimienta) of the taste,
smell and colour of that of India but the grains are larger. There
is a great quantity of brasil wood spread all over the island and
though up to now it- has been used for building houses it has not
SA venture has been made in it and cargoes sent to Spain, but
up to this it is not known how it will turn out as this is the first
year they have dealt with it. Here experiments have been made
with it and it gives three different dyes. all very fie both for wonl
and for silk. If It gives satisfaction over there also it will be a
great wealth for this island through the quantity there is in all
36 JAMAICA UNDEB THE SPANIARDS. [1611
parts of it.
With all these good possessions, the inhabitants, by their
natural laziness are so poor that they hardly manage to feed them-
selves with cassava and beef which are the cheapest commodities
I found the church so poor and ruined and roofless that when
it rains it cannot be entered to say mass, and the people so in-
capable of repairing it with their alms that, although I have taken
all possible steps, going in company with the Governor to beg from.
door to door for such an urgent need, it has not been possible to.
get together anything worth while. I have therefore had to repair
it as best I can at my own expense as I am now doing rather than
tire myself in seeking substance where there is none, notwithstand-
ing that the income of the Abbacy is to small that the year my
predecessor died (in the beginning of August) for the time the
see was vacant, the total of all the tithes for the remaining five
months was leased for one hundred pesos of eight reales and those
for the whole of the following year for six hundred and ten pesos.
Since then no year has it reached this sum as I have sent testimony
to your Majesty in the mail of your Royal Audiencia of Santo.
Domingo. The church is so bare and despoiled of vestments by the
incursion of enemies who have sacked it three times that there is.
hardly enough with which to officiate decently, and though since I
am here I have endeavoured with my feeble powers to improve it,.
making among other things a neat frontal for use on the principal
feasts, I have not had the means to do so as I would like nor even
to finish paying for what I have done.
As soon as I arrived here I began the general visitation of the-
Abbacy and its Church, and in this, and in attending to its necessi-
ties with what my necessities could afford and in holding the synod
with which I am at present occupied-for I found everything so-
confused and out of order that it seems it had never been held-I
have spent all the time since I came. May it please God that with
regard to the future this work may have been of some profit
I am grieved to see the so noticeable need of this Church, and
I have no money or strength to remedy it. I am so anxious about
it and my soul is so full of these cares, that a means has occurred:
to me with which to repair in some way so great a misery and
poverty without Your Majesty, to whom more directly relates and
pertains the remedy, spending anything from your royal patrimony
and revenue. It is this. The copper coin current in the Island of
Santo Domingo is current also in this, where it is brought by special
permission of the Royal Audiencia there, the quartos being marked
here anew with an S. They circulate as money of this Island with
this accretion that in Santo Domingo a real of silver is bought for
fifty-one quartos and here it is bought for only seven. Therefore
If Your Majesty were pleased to give a license for the Collegiate
1611] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 37
church of this town to enable it on its own account to draw from
the Island Espanola and bring to this a thousand ducats in quartos
and that whatever may be accrued on their value should be for its
repair and adornment, entering into the possession of its major
-domo who should spend and account for same, Your Majesty would
do two great benefits and favours to this country, the principal
being to help towards the restoration of this Church which the
heretics have left so ruined, and the other that with this coin
-which will remain in it, the country would obtain some relief be-
-cause the chief cause of its poverty is lack of money and a way of
bringing it in, for the products that leave it for Spain or the
Mainland where it does its trade, return in merchandise and not in
-money. What silver it has had the foreign merchants have been
'bleeding it of little by little, so that now there is not a real in it.
'This copper coin not being of use for any other place, will always
belong to it and be the means of opening the trade of the country.
'The inhabitants will find it a great help to their needs. -I ask
Your Majesty in the name of this poor state to be pleased to
grant this favour as so great a prince and monarch for, although it
is territory of a private owner, in the end Your Majesty is its
.sovereign prince on whom it is more fully incumbent to see to the
*welfare and conservation of your subjects.
Besides this the Abbot Don Francisco Marques de Villalobos
ny predecessor, having collected when he came to this Abbacy on
his own authority and without Your Majesty's order what had
fallen due in the vacancy before his appointment, at the time of
his death ordered eleven hundred pesos to be restored to the Church
,or to the person to whom they might belong. It is five years since
this money was received from his estate and placed on deposit with
'the person who has it still, as he did not give advice thereof to
Your Majesty. Although I agreed to the conditions of this restitu-
-tion I could have made claim to this sum with censures and de-
livered it to the Church. I have thought wiser to inform Your
Majesty of it to see what you may be pleased to do with it. I ask
-Your Majesty to have the matter examined and, if just, that this
-restitution be applied to assisting the necessities of this Church
-which are so great.
Likewise, while this Abbacy was vacant after the death of the
said Abbot Don Francisco until Your Majesty was pleased to be-
stow it on me, some amount though small, for the income is so
meagre as I have said, has come in and is up to this unused, as it
is not known to whom it belongs, and it may have to be used. I
ask Your Majesty, who with your Catholic and royal spirit usually
in such cases grants these rents to the prelates concerned, even to
.those who have very large incomes with which to maintain thein-
-selves, to be pleased to make me a grant of this trifle as an allow-
ance to pay the expenses of my bulls and voyage, for which I am
38 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIABD. [1631
in debt that could not be avoided. I am in great need, as I have-
no income with which to pay and support myself. Your Majesty
will thereby do me a very great favour.
May the Lord preserve Your Majesty's Catholic and royal
person many happy years for the welfare and protection of this
Jamaica, 14th July, 1611.
What became of Miranda, whose name possibly lives In
Miranda Hill, Montego Bay, is not evident; but in February, 1625,
the Duke of Veragua had appointed Francisco Terril to be Governor-
of Jamaica. One can only assume that Miranda held office till.
shortly before that date.
The only reference we find to Terril is that in August, 1626,
the King wrote to him informing,-him that news had been received
by way of Flanders that the Dutch and English intended to take a.
footing on the coast by taking possession of the fort of Point
Araya, and telling him to take necessary precautions.
In June, 1631, the Duke of Veragua appointed Juan Mar-
tines de Arana Governor. In July of the following year the King
notified the President and officials of the Chamber of Commerce of
Seville of the appointment, a-d gave Arana leave to sail in the-
Arana apparently brought with him not only his wife, Dona
Ana de Allende, but Dona Rufina de la Concha, his mother-in-law,
who was a widow.
An early reference to pimento occurs in October, 1635, when
the Council of the Indies ordered "with regard to the pepper, let
it be stated in what other parts it is grown besides the island, and
what quantity there is." The reply was:-The quality and virtue-
of this pepper is considered to be to a gteat extent of less strength
and effect than that from the Portuguese Indies which is used in
It is understood that the quantity must be very large because
there are many mountains covered with the trees on which it grows,
hence up to now there has been no limit to the quantity because-
it only costs the trouble of gathering and everyone manages tor
gather the quantity he wishes according to his labour and industry.
It is gathered from the beginning of May until August.
They say its value is ordinarily twenty-four to twenty-flvt-
reales of the copper coin that circulates in the island for each jar-
full of the pepper, which, as a rule, holds eighteen pounds more
or leAs .4
It is shipped to the Mainland, New Spain and Habana, and
pays on export two and a half per cent. and five on entering the
places where it is consumed.
1635] SEVENTEE1NTH CNTUIY. 39
Pepper is also grown in the Province of Tabasco in New Spain.
It is said that it is not as good as that from Jamaica.
With regard to the question as to whether it can be brought
to these Kingdoms, we say that it will be, in large quantity, it it
is known in the island in time and at convenient season that the
inhabitants will have sale and demand for what they may gather,
because, without this, it often happens that the quantity is not
gathered that can be."
Manuel del Rio, for himself and the colonists and traders in
the islands of Jamaica and Cuba, pointed out that there was no gold
or silver in these islands. "Their products are hides and red ebony.
but for want of ships to transport them, the hides get eaten by in-
sects and the wood is no longer cut. The cost of a cargo of food-
stuffs and other merchandise from Seville is three times more than
the value of a cargo of hides and wood. The country is poor and
the population small, and it ships come often their cargoes cannot
be used up fast enough, and if at long intervals, the foodstuffs
will be spoiled by the heat of the climate. Therefore no one wishes
to bring out a ship."
In order that the inhabitants may not revert to the bad
practice of bartering, he petitioned that they be given leave to take
the surplus foodstuffs to other places for sale. Unfortunately this
despatch is undated.
In September, 1635, the Audiencia of Santo Domingo was in-
structed to "report as concisely as possible and secretly, what
benefits the Duke of Veragua has in the island of Jamaica and what
expenses he has there and if it is advisable for His Majesty to take
it, and if he does so, whether any benefit will be derived and in
what'it will consist." They were also to report on the pimento,
and to get the chief engineer at Puerto Rico to survey the island
and make a plan of it, and "say where some fortifications can be
built and in what part, and design same, stating what the cost will
be, and if the island will remain defended or not. Let everything
be reported very minutely with great secrecy and brevity. Search
for what old papers there may be on this matter and write to Siman-
cas on the subject."
The Audiencia reported in 1638 that the engineer could not at
present make the survey as he was otherwise engaged, that they
were satisfied that there was no artillery or munitions at Jamaica,
and there were about 300 men who could bear arms. "The advan-
tages the Duke of Veragua has are the Office of Chief Alguacil which
yields him yearly about 150 pesos and as many more for the nota-
rial office; from the frigates that enter and leave he must get from
900 to 400 pesos, and the year a registered ship comes in, is worth
1,500 to 1,600 pesos to him.
As to whether it will suit Your Majesty to take the island,
this Audiencia is of opinion that it will, because it is a large island
40 JAMAICA UNDEr THE SPANIARDS. [1644
with a great supply of provisions and is to Windward of the indis-
pensable passage for New Spain. The fleets and other single ships
are bound to sight it and if the enemy get a footing there and take
possession of it and should have vessels, as they usually have, none
of ours will escape from their hands and the fleets will run great
risk. Further, law does not hold the place it should, as will have
been evident to Your Majesty from the dispute about the commis-
sion of Alvaro Paez Maldonado from which resulted deaths and
scandals through the refusal to obey him or the Royal decrees of
this Auaiencia, and there could be no remedy. Again, it is the outlet
for all the ships in distress and negro ships that can reach there
and defraud Your Majesty's Royal Treasury which will not have
any benefit more than what the Duke has, even with the increase
of the magistracy and thevalue of the negro ships that may enter
there, and the excise, which is not paid now, nor any other duty."
In December, 1638, the Governor of Santo Domingo stated that
during his governorship of 2J years only one ship had gone thence
to Jamaica, and no ship had come thither. It was reported that
"from the pepper or clove and its leaves is made a very wholesome
liquor, and more beneficial than brandy."
The records do not state when or in what circumstances Arana
gave up the governorship; nor is there any information about his
successor Juan Sedeno, beyond the fact that he was Governor in
1635. In August 1640 Francisco Ladron de Zegama, "aged thirty-
eight years, of medium build, black hair and wanting an upper
tooth," was appointed Governor.
He "died a prisoner without guards in his own house about the
month of October, sixteen hundred and forty-three. By his death
the ordinary alcaldes are governing and the Sargento Mayor is in
charge of military affairs until a governor comes, appointed by the
Duke with Your Majesty's approval or until the President and
Audiencia of Santo Domingo send someone to govern in the interim.''
In April 1644 the Licenciate Juan de Retuerta, oydor of the
city of Santo Domingo, reported as Commissioner appointed to in-
vestigate the "grave affairs" that had arisen in Jamaica*
Some of the information he gives is a repetition of that sent by
the Audiencia. There were six pieces of artillery. They were placed
a quarter of a league from the town: there were not more than 300
muskets and arquebuses and very little powder.
The Duke of Veragua had an income of about six hundred
pesos from Jamaica. But he was not in a position to either develop
it or defend it. "All the people living in the Island are so nervous
and terrified that If two ships are seen off the port, without waiting
to know where they are from, they remove the women and their
effects to the mountains. The time they waste in doing this gives
the enemy the opportunity to return and occupy the town without
*The "grave affairs" were probably the disorders in Zegama's time.
1644] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 41
resistance. I saw this on two occasions; once when three ships and
-two long boats passed without stopping, and again in the case of
-eight, of which news was received that they were in the port of
Negrillo, thirty leagues to leeward of the town. Therefore, it is
very advisable that Your Majesty take it for yourself on account of
the notable risk the people run, and as the Duke can neither defend
the island nor maintain Justice nor due obedience, because, although
,on his part he does what he can and by his letters that I have seen
*admonishes and directs the observance of law and order, he has
neither money nor property in the island with which to uphold same,
:and is too far away to redress the harm done by the officers of
justice and war, whom he sends to govern, and to whom he only
pays a salary of five hundred ducats of Quartos which equals two
hundred and fifty of silver, so that, in order to increase their in-
..comes they commit many vexatious and troublesome acts to the poor
citizens, depriving them of recourse to the Royal Audiencia.
........ The principal Church is in very bad repair and little
used, a monastery of the order of St. Dominic with four monks and
another of St. Francis with three who live very poorly on alms so
*that they cannot comply as they should with the duties of the com-
munity and the religious life.......... In the island there are
-more than sixteen thousand pesos of copper coin which have come
in from different places where it is current. As the quantity is so
'large and the country small; it has very little value and this is not
fixed nor certain so that goods are at such high prices that a yard
of common linen (ruan) was worth ten pesos when I was there, and
an arroba of wine sixty. It will therefore be right that your Majesty
-command that a careful account be taken of what there is and half
be melted and made use of for cauldrons, sugar boilers and other
things ..... Ecclesiastical affairs are in no better condition. With
two petitions, without further evidence and with much facility, mar-
Sriages are declared void. There are some married men with another
wife living, (perhaps married to another man), by whom they had
many children. Every day the bells are rung and without trial or
other proceedings the abbot, without cause (or with very light
ones), declares ex-communications and penalties under the Bull and
Srevokes them with the same ease causing the excommunications to
-be treated with contempt and not feared. He is over eighty years
of age and does not perform minor rites although he has been
serving more than twenty years. If he were as learned in grammar
as he is virtuous so many absurdities would not be done. Every-
thing is in confusion. No lawyer or man familiar with documents
can unravel them.......... The colonists are waiting for your
-Majesty to become their master in every respect, with much eager-
mess to defend the island and assist with their persons and fortunes.
Having regard to the greater convenience of the Royal Service, the
defence and security of all the windward islands and provinces of
42 JAMAICA UNDEB THE SPANIARBD. [1649
the Mainland, and what I have stated in this Teport and in those t
have made in the Audiencia as an Offcer thereof, this is my opinion
and what I feel in the matter. May it be carried out as soon as.
In August 1646 Pedro Caballero, "aged twenty-eight years, of
medium build, black beard and hair, and slightly freckled face," was
appointed Governor of Jamaica by the Duke of Veragua.
In 1648 there was in June, July and Auguqa a great drought
and wint of rain "by which cause the starvation among the people-
and the herds is so great that they are perishing rapidly."
"Fray Pedro de Valbuena, a Franciscan preacher, preached on
the occasion and drew attention especially te the ,in of card playing-
in high places." On the following day the gover.ior called him "a
liar and a dissolute monk." The complaint of the Abbot was referred
to the Fiscal of Santo Domingo, Francisco de Alarnon Coronado. and
that official in April, 1649, recommended that Captain Jacinto Sedeno
de Albornoz, who was going to govern Jamaica, should hold an en-
quiry and if he found the charges correct he should arrest his pre--
decessor, Caballero, and confiscate his property.
In January 1649 the Abbot of Jamaica, Matheo de Medina.
Moreno, complained to the King that the Governor, Caballero,
usurped his ecclesiastical Jurisdiction.
Jacinto Sedeno y Albornoz, who had been resident in Jamaica
before then, reached Jamaica on the 2nd of May, 1649. When he
began to act as Commissioner of Accounts he found the opposition
to him by the governor (Caballero) and the Treasurer, "being as
he was his compadre"-so great that he produced his patent as.
Governor. He goes on to say "I was received with general applausA
and good feeling by these men and those of their suite who for-
many years are ruining the island, such as Adrian Cazetas Bayants,
a perverse man, Duarte de Acosta Noguera, Lucas Borrero Bardezi,
Pedro Peres de Leon, Christobal Bejarano and his sons, one of them
being the Commissary of the Holy Offiee, Juan do Chabs Bejarano,
Don Francisco de Naveda Alvarado, Antonio Ponse Milanes, Juan de-
Aranziba, Juan Francisco Reduto, Francisco Rodriquer de la Cueba,
Juan Martin Borandel, Ygnacio Rames and Roque Martinez de
Munera. The Cabildo received me on the 26th May--Diego Nunez
Roza also is one of the number."
When he gave fidelity bonds his sureties were "the Sargento
Mayor don Francisco de Proenza, don Francisco de Leyba y Espinosa,
whom I appointed Controller, and the Captains don Juan de Figue-
redo y Fuentes and don Fernando de Castaneda from among the-
most respectable and wealthiest persons in the Island."
He found quarrels existing between the late governor and the-,
Abbot, over the question of a hanging bed in the church for the bap- -
tism of one of the governor's sons, which the Abbot objected to having -
next to the high altar. The Governor had called the Abbot "a garlic--
1650] SEENTENTH CENTURY. 43
Sedeno recognized that the Governor was "a great disturbance
to the peace of the island." He fined him fifty pesos silver, and
ordered him to return certain documents. He was disobedient.
Writs and penalties brought the fine up to 1050 pesos silver. The
Abbot declared the Governor excommunicated for having laid violent
hands on his Vicar-General.
The Abbot, and his Vicar-General and others reported to the
Audiencia that Caballero was stirring up strife against Sedeno, the
new Governor, and that the Colonists were divided into hostile fac-
tions, Caballeristas and Sedenistaa.
On New Year's Day 1650, a negro came crying to the governor
that Pedro Caballero (the late Governor) had gone to kill the
Abbot. his master. The Governor went at once to the Abbot's house
where he found Caballero. A personal encounter followed, Cabal-
lero drawing his sword; the Governor hitting him twice with his
cane. Caballero asked for confession. The Abbot, who was locked
up in his oratory, came and absolved him, and within a short space
he died. The Governor caused an enquiry to be held by Geronimo
de Fuentes, ordinary Alcalde. Witnesses were examined. "Twelve
witnesses who corroborate each other, without counting others who
do not agree in everything, say that on the day the death occurred
the Governor was at the Cabildo and that a page of the Abbot came
and told him that don Pedro Caballero was at his master's house
and wanted to kill him; whereupon, the Governor, in company of
six other persons, went there and on entering saw don Pedro Cabal-
lero seated on a chair. Upon asking him why he was going about
creating a disturbance, he remained seated and covered, without
shewing any courtesy, and said to the Governor. 'How dare yot
speak to me in that manner?' Saying this he got up and with a
crutch that he had struck a blow at the Governor who warded it off
. ith the cane he was carrying. The crutch was broken to pieces
and the Governor made to seize him. Don Pedro then put his hand
to his sword and it fell from him to the ground, the trappings first,
although he had not fully drawn it, and shortly after that he ask-
ed for confession, and at the noise the Abbot came out and absolved
All the witnesses say that neither the Governor nor any of
those who were in his company put hand upon or drew any arms
whatever except a slave of the deceased, and it is certain that the
wound of which don Pedro died was inflicted with his own sword
because when they saw the trappings on the ground, the point war
near to the left nipple and the wound was in an upward direction
and. was that of a broad sword, and -that don Pedro's sword was a
broad one, according to the wound, and the Doctor declares the
In 1650 Caballero's widow, Dona Teresa de Guzman, asked
JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS.
that an enquiry should be held into the "murder" of her husband,
and the complaints of the Abbot, ani in April 1650 an enquiry was
'ordered at Santo Domingo to be held by the licenciate Fernando de
.Zepeda, oydor and Court Alcalde of the Royal Audiencia.
As a result of the enquiry "the Royal Andiencia agreed to
Issue a provision that one of the three judges appointed for the
Commission to Jamaica, who may accept, shall govern the island
'for the duration of the Commission and on leaving place a trust-
-worthy person in charge pending an appointment in due form by
Pedro Caballero was "Maestro titular of the Holy Office of the
Supreme Council of the Holy General Inquisition, Secretary and
Alcaide in proprietorship of the prisons of the holy office of the
Inquisition of Cartagena."
On the 8th of June, 1650 three agents of the Holy Inquisition
arrived at Jamaica on an inspection. They asked and obtained
assistance from the Cabildo.
In the same month Sedeno learnt that an expedition of Portu-
Tuese and French was fitting out in Brazil to attack Cuba. He
Immediately set about preparing the defences of the island. "I col-
lected and seized at once a quantity of munitions and issued a pro-
-clamation that the next day the troops should assemble under their
-flags to do the needful in the service of his Majesty and of your Ex-
cellency and to expel from the island more than forty Englishmen
and Frenchmen whom I found in it and who were very experienced
'by a residence of six and eight years and could in an emergency be
mischievous. I should have done this before if I had had vessels
In which to do it."
Alas! in the next sentence all is changed.
"That same night the llth of June while at my house undress-
ing to go to bed, a great crowd entered, consisting of more than 250
-men armed with pikes and arquebuses, coming through doors and
-windows and breaking one of them, calling me out by name that I
should be made prisoner by the Holy Inquisition. I tried to stop
-them and appease them by saying that I had not committed any
offence against the holy Catholic faith intimating and protesting
what seemed to me proper as Governor and Captain-General and as
-your Excellency's lieutenant administering in your name the Royal
Jurisdiction and in charge of the defence of the island, and that, at
a time when there were advices that were notorious.
This did not serve me at all, on the contrary, don Francisco de
- Leyba Yzazi* told me some incivilities and that he was going to pre-
-pare the prison with the Commissary Bejarano. These were the two
-*men who convoked the populace, all ignorant and criminal people,
intimidating most of them with threats of excommunication so that
*Probably a relation of Arnaldo Ysassi, who will be mentioned shortly.
1650] SEVENTEENTH. CENTURY. 45
they might follow them. Finally, Sir, with my staff of office in my-
hand, they seized me without letting me put on my sword and took_
me to the house of the Commissary Inspector and there took away
the staff by force, put on a chain and fetters and then carried me
ignominiously in a cart to the port which is two leagues from the-
town, with the same people I have referred to, and put me aboard
the ship of the Treasurer, don Francisco de Leyba, against which r
was proceeding, and there locked me up in a very narrow cabin.
The said don Francisco placed a guard of thirteen men on me with
the corporal, the worst people of the island. There I was with the
distress and anxiety your Excellency can judge of, for as the roof
of the cabin was not caulked and the sun shone through it the heat
was unbearable and when it rained it was the same as being under
the open sky. In this condition I was deprived of communication,..
without any human being or servant of mine seeing me. The night
of my arrest the Controller don Francisco de Leyba y Espinosa
came to see the occurrence and I told him in loud tones so that all
heard it, that he should, as such Controller, protect your Excel.
lency's property and that all that might be found in my house andt
the frigate I had built and the rest that might appear to be my goods-
and which I was administering, all belonged to your Excellency, and
that I so said and declared it publicly. I repeated it when they em-
barked me on the ship.
On the thirteenth or fourteenth of August they removed me-
from the cabin to the little quarter deck of the ship and shortly
after, I saw enter, with many guards and much noise, the abbot
with a soiled habit and clothes, saying, 'blessed be God that at the-
end of 28 years' pastorate Jamaica has given me this reward.' I
assure your Excellency that it broke my heart. His vicar general,
don Duarte Figueredo, and his father, my lieutenant Bias de Figue--
redo, presently followed him. They put a mattress on a box for the-
Abbot and did the same for the others with much discomfort seeing
that there was a cabin and other places to accommodate us which
the servants and the wifet of don Pedro Caballero occupied. Thus
we came to this city surrounded by guards so that we might not
communicate with each other, without removing the fetters except
from the Abbot from whom the chain was removed, he having first
had a pair of fetters as I have learnt here, nor did they remove the-
shackles from the rest of us on the voyage."
He adds "the cause of these arrests is the wickedness andt
malice of don Francisco de Leyba Yzazi over the question of the-
Accounts and the death of don Pedro Caballero. As alguacil of the
holy office in the island, which he is not by right but by appoint-
ment, he and the Commissary Bejarano who is swayed by the same-
improper motives and is the grandson of a man who was quarteredc
46 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPAIARDS. [1650
in the island for attempting to raise a rebellion with the negroes,
made such scandalous reports to the holy tribunal here making
vicious statements about the Abbot and those of us who are prison-
ers, and Pedro de Guzman, barber and surgeon, father-in-law of the
-deceased, having also complained in his daughter's name, it was
obliged to take that step as he said he was or had been an officer
in the holy office here." He and the Abbot were both treated with
"Here I have learnt that all the effects of the Abbot, even his
pectoral cross, were seized and sold at public auction. The same
was done with the others and with my effects including a seal with
your Excellency's arms that I had made. The only thing that re-
-mained was the frigate I had built to go to Puerto Belo with a lot
of wines on my account, to fulfil a contract and afterwards, to
convey my wife to the island. The frigate and-cargo are here, so
-that, without counting what would be hidden, nearly eight thou-
sand pesos will have been confiscated from me and sold at a lower
-value as there is no silver in the island, for I always had to remit
to your Excellency more than five thousand pesos for a long time,
and since this imprisonment I have written to the Marquis de Ma-
zera and don Pedro Zapata on this subject so that they may plead
your Excellency's cause with the Inspecting Inquisitor."
A trunk with a thousand pesos in money and jewels and
all his important papers which he had consigned to a friend, Luis
Justiniano, when he intended to go on a pearl-hunting expedition,
was after his arrest, handed over to de Leyba Yzazi, and de Naveda,
-and false papers, he alleges, were then placed in the trunk. He does
not draw a very pretty picture of the Colonists. "In my imprison-
ment I have learnt that some people are soliciting the office of gov-
ernor. They are all persons who in my opinion will cause trouble
and who do not possess the quality and talents necessary. One
Marcos Gutierres, inhabitant of this city was a surgeon over there
and another the sub-lieutenant Bartolome de Gabiria who has made
use of letters from inhabitants of the Island and of the favour of
-the Governor don Pedro Zapata, began his career in this city by
keeping a little haberdashery shop and at present has another of
dry goods where he packs and measures, and Rengel, his brother-
in-law who, they say, is going to Spain on the like claim is of the
same stamp. Before I was apprehended, I was going to expel him from
-the island for the scandal he was causing with a married woman,
his comadre, and he has enemies. Another, one Pedro de Allende.
owner of a ship he built in Jamaica, also caused scandal with a
married woman dona Catalina de Naveda, sister of don Francisco
-de Naveda, in such a way that there was a divorce and the husband
left her and there were big law suits.
It is also a great joke that of don Francisco de Leyba Yzazi
pretending, as I have been told, to the Office of Governor, availing
1650] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 47
himself of papers and false statements, saying therein that he is a
-rich man and a great manufacturer, benevolent, generally beloved
.and charitable, all so different-as much difference as there is be-
tween heaven and earth-for there is not in the world a more
vicious man or more perverse nature and the ships he has built
were the result of his having been Treasurer. It would have been
better to have served your Excellency and collected your revenues
-than to deal with your property in such a way defrauding and
making use of your Excellency's assets such a long time, without re-
mitting a real in eight years and when I wished to collect it to have
me placed in the position in which I am, and the island at the risk
of some misfortune with my absence at a time when it is so threaten-
ed. He is a man who, though married, has intercourse with a col-
oured woman for more than sixteen years. The hatred he has for
the Abbot and Vicar-general for a long time, was over this. That
and the taking from him of a tannery he has on the river which
caused a lot of sickness being so near the town, putting aside the
question of the Accounts, helped the enmity he has for me. As
lhe has been accustomed to live without law he could not endure my
He goes on to say "The Sargento Mayor don Francisco de
Proensa now governs the military and also civil affairs as the senior
ordinary alcalde in association with Geronimo de Fuentes, also an
alcalde, and in no way affected to the service of your Excellency,
being, as he is, a very partial friend and compare of the Treasurer
Leyba and who has assisted him in his falsehoods and artifices.
The said Sargento Mayor commanded the troops as such
through the death of don Francisco de Zegama. He is capable In
the office, a respectable reliable and trustworthy man although he
does not lack enemies as he is well affected to the service of your
Excellency and is, as I have stated, one of my sureties."
In 1650 Antonio'de Betancur, a lawyer of Santo Domingo city
was sent by the Audiencia there to investigate the charges against
Sedeno in connection with the death of Caballero and to be gov-
Betancur applied to have the prisoners delivered to him so that
'he could take them to Jamaica to be tried. The Holy Office of Car-
tagena referred the matter to the Royal Council of the Indies.
When Betancur reached Jamaica he found that a Commissary of the
Holy Office had enquired into the death of Caballero, and on leaving
had left the government in the hands of the Sargento Mayor don
-Francisco de Proenza, who declined to acknowledge Betancur's au-
In August 1650 Jacinto Sedeno y Albornoz sent home from "the
Common Gaol of the Holy Inquisition of Cartagena a long and
tragic Report on the occurrences in the island of Jamaica."
In September 1650 he wrote again from the same place
48 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1652
to the King, praying for help. On the death of Caballero he-
had been arrested at the instance of Pedro de Guzman, Caballero's
father-in-law who lived at Cartagena.
Mateo de Medina Moreno, who was also imprisoned, had been
Abbot of Jamaica for 28 years. They were arrested without being
given a chance to defend themselves. The Council of Jamaica
wrote to the Holy Tribunal and asked that Sedeno might be return-
ed to Jamaica as the island was in danger from enemies.
In December of the same year there was an outbreak of small-
pox "which is a plague here". It lasted till the end of the following:
May. Nearly fifty Spaniards (most of them children) and about
one hundred slaves died of it.
On looking into the government accounts Sedeno was by no.
means satisfied. He fined the Controller and the Treasurer 7250
dollars silver. He ordered that the cacao trees should remain the
property of the Crown as don Gabriel* had sold them to his
mother-in-law without special permission, and had defrauded.
her. He tride to levy on a ship recently built by Francisco de Leyba
Yzazi, who, however, opposed him: he calling himself the King of
In August 1652, Sedeno, then resident in Santiago de Leon de
Caracas, in Venezuela, petitioned the Crown that he had been kept
a prisoner for more than two years by the Inquisition.
He later in 1655, sent home an interesting account of Jamaica.
From it the following is extracted:-"All the fleets and ships going-
to New Spain are bound to sight this Island, as they do, when on
recognizing Cape Morante, they pass two or three leagues off more
or less in sight of the principal port. The plate galleons also some-
times sight it when going from Cartagena to Habana in order to
give a wide berth to the many dangerous shoals there are about
these parts passing always on all voyages fifteen, twenty or twenty-
five leagues from it.
The same voyage and observation of this island that the fleets
and ships referred to, make, are made by the many Dutchmen who
go to plunder in these regions, as in the gulf of New Spain, the
coast of Campeche, Capes Cruz, Corrientes and San Anton and the
coasts of Habana and Honduras. Also all that are going to pass
through the Bahamas Channel always supply, themselves in Ja-
maica with water, wood, oranges, limes and other wild fruits that
abound and have sometimes got meat which is of much comfort to
Except in the principal one, Caguaya, they anchor in the ports
without being disturbed by anyone and refit and careen their ships
with perfect ease as if in their country. I certify that while a pri-
soner of theirs, I have heard with much concern many conversations
*The surname is not given.
1652] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 49
with regard to colonizing this island and fortifying two ports, one
on the north side and one on the south. I always told them that
there was a garrison of ten companies of infantry stationed by the
King, our master, besides three in the town and two of mounted
mulattos and tree negroes armed with hocking knives and half-
moons, of whom they are much afraid. They did not like that reply,
and though doubtful contradicted me, saying that they knew very
well what was in the island. It is very certain that it is more im-
portant to them than any other as it is better, and more fertile and
abundant than all those they have settled in the Indies; nor is there
another like it in the Indies. Cuba and Espanola are indeed much
larger, but Jamaica in its entirety is more plentiful than these, for it
has much horned stock and herds of tame swine and wild ones in
great numbers from the hunting of which every year is obtained a
quantity of lard that serves instead of oil for cooking.
Likewise there is a large number of good horses, donkeys and
mules, fisheries of turtle and daints fish, a very fine climate from
its healthy airs and waters, many copious rivers, pleasant valleys
and plains, most suitable for plantations of cacao which in any
other part of the Indies would be highly esteemed, a great quantity
of wood for ship-building and of such superior quality that it sur-
passes all that has been seen so far in these regions, good as they
are, for the ship worm (broma) does not injure or enter the woods
of this island, which is a great thing.
There are also many kinds of soil, such as for sugar planta-
tions, cassava, which is the bread of the country, and other vege-
tables. In like manner there are different sorts of woods especially
mahogany, cedar, brasil wood and red ebony which is not found else-
where and all in much abundance, and in the same way lots of
trees of the pepper called Tabasco that is used to put in chocolate.
There are many gold mines although it is not known now where
they are, but it is an accepted fact that when His Excellency the
first Admiral of the Indies discovered this island, he extracted much,
and of high quality, and some old pits of that gold are still there.
The reason why these mines were lost was the lack of the native
Indians who worked them. Their bad treatment by the Conquista-
dores made them drink cassava juice, which is poison, and they all
died. So that now none are to be found though they were an im-
mense number at the discovery. In the island, Espanola, there were
a million and a half; now there is not even one. The same in
Puerto Rico and other neighboring islands, although in Santiago
de Cuba there has remained some, though little remembrance of
them, through the Emperor Charles the Fifth having commanded
that they should not serve anybody. This island had formerly
a large population of Spaniards, so much so that there were
seven towns, namely Saint Ann, La Villa, New Seville, Melilla,
Oristan, La Vega and the Admiral's ranches of Maymon, of
50 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1652
which only one remains which is called the Town (Villa)
of La Vega. The cause of this was the dying out of
the natives, whereupon the Spaniards left for the new con-
quests and settlements. Also, when Honduras and Guatemala were
settled, they left Jamaica to go to their conquest. The first civil
war between Spaniards in the Indies took place in this island, a cer-
tain de Porras, a native of Seville, having originated it. His Excel-
lency the first Admiral gave him battle and took him prisoner.
There are still many traditions existing as to his punishment and
reliable recollections of his sedition and pride. There are now a
little over three hundred colonists, mostly poor people. Nearly
four hundred and fifty men bear arms, including the hunters
and country folks, all of whom are labouring people, strong and
suitable for war by reason of their courageous spirits, it indeed
lacking in military discipline."
Amongst the archives is an interesting copy of a letter-an
account in English by one of the English Captains to a correspon-
dent in London, from which place it is said the copy had come to
Seville. It is not signed, but the writer was a cousin of him* who
had his sword broken over his head for cowardice at Santo Domingo.
Ramirez's description of the landing of the English: Proenza incapaci-
tated: command assumed by Ysassi: letter from the King: help to be sent
from neighboring colonies: Ysassi harries the English: letter from Albur-
querque: letter from Ysassi to Alburquerque, describing conditions: Rodri-
quez de Vera: Las Chorreras: contingent from New Spain: under Raspuru:
letter from Ysassi to Alburquerque: aversion of Bayona, governor of
Cuba, from Ysassi: Defeat at Las Chorreras: traitor Juan de los Reyes:
Ysassi appeals for help: letter from the governor of Cartagena: letter from
Bayona to Alburquerque: Alburquerque incites Bayona to loyal support of
Ysassi: Rio Nuevo: letters from Ysassi to Alburquerque, and Bayona: help
from Alburquerque: Council of War: letter from Ysassi to the King: Account
of English fortifications by a Dutchman: description by Francisco de Leyba
of the English invasion: Letter from Tyson to Spaniards: Terms of capi-
tulation asked for by Ysassi: letter to Doyley: Decision to leave Jamaica:
Defeat at Moneague: Letter from Ysassi dated from Cuba.
The following letter, written on the 24th May, 1655, is of special
Interest, as giving the Spanish version of the capture of Jamaica by
Penn and Venables:
"Sir,-I would not like to give your Majesty bad news, but
as it is a matter of importance to your royal service and the duty
I owe to my position, I must advise your Majesty that on the 20th ot
the present month of May, Robert Buenables (sic) Governor of Ire-
land and general of an English fleet composed of 53 ships of war,
11 small ones and more than 40 pinnaces, with 15,000 seamen and
soldiers came in sight of the port of this island*; the same day he
-entered it, and, although I am crippled in hands and feet, in a bed
I went to the port, which is very defenceless, to see if with the colon-
ists of this island anything could be done, although to such strength
there was no resistance, as I immediately experienced, for the col-
onists abandoned the port and town and went to the mountains
'with their families. Whereupon the enemy took possession of
everything, and now capitulations are 'being drawn up for them to
give us ships to leave the island. I do not know where this will
end; I only know, Sir, that it is a painful thing to have a port in
the Indies that is not your Majesty's. That is felt in what has
happened to this island with more than eight thousand souls scat-
tered about the mountains, children, women and slaves without any
hope of protection except from God, with the enemy's knife every
hour at their throats. What I have managed to learn from the
enemy up to the present is that he left England eight months ago,
and that he comes to settle this island, and from here undertake
greater enterprises such as going to Habana, Cartagena and Santo
Domingo. What is most to be regretted is that there will be no
security for your Majesty's galleons and fleets of merchant ships
if the enemy fortifies himself in this island. Both feets pass in
*The ships really numbered 38, and the soldiers 7,000, with a sea regi-
Sment of 1,000.
52 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIAMDS. [1656
sight of or very close to it. The trading ships of New Spain, Mara-
caybo and Caracas do the same, and there is no defence against such
a powerful fleet except the arm and might of your Majesty. The
island, Sir, is most fertile in every description of provisions and
cattle and tobacco, which is what the enemy wants. I comply with
my duty. Your Majesty will command to ibe done what most suits-
your Royal Service.
God preserve your Majesty's royal person as we your subjects
desire and Christianity has need.
Jamaica, May 24th, 1655.
Your Majesty's humble servant kisses your royal feet.
Don Juan Ramirez."*
After the capitulation to the British forces, Ramires, who was in
ill-health, was sent by the English to Campeche, but died on the
way. Proenza was also incapacitated by tailing sight, and so the
command of the forces fell on Christoval Aranaldo de Ysassi.t
To Don Francisco Arnaldo Ysassi, Bishop of Puerto Rico in.
1656, brother to Christoval, the Secretary Leguia wrote that he
had been much comforted by the name Ysassi which was an honour-
able one in his Basque Province of Guipuzcoa and therefore desired
that greater honours might fall to the Ysassis as he trusted would
be the case from the merits they will acquire in the recovery of
Ysassi, who was not a trained soldier, asked for and ob-
tained from Santiago de Cuba notes on military organization.
On the 25th of October, 1656, the King wrote from San Lorenzo
to Ysassi, stating that he had:
"Received information through a letter you wrote on the third of
April to Don Bias Arnaldo Ysassi, your brother, who resides in the
city of Cuba, a copy of which I send, that you had resolved in order
to aid in the defence of the island, to remain in the mountain-dwell-
ings thereof as you desire to free it from the molestation with
which the English are harassing it, and that the natives who have-
withdrawn to the mountains, moved by the valour with which you
are endeavouring to defend them, have appointed you as their-
chief. Having been considered in my Royal Council of the Indies
and taking into account the services that you state you have ren-
dered in defence of the island, I have named you as Governor-
thereof in the interim till I decide what is most suitable as you will
see by the despatch I send you of this date. I have also decided'
(in order that you may the better attend to my service and attain
the good wishes'and activity you have shown in the defence of the
island and the expulsion of the enemy) that you be sent two or
three hundred armed soldiers and as many firearms in portions of
*Ramirez evidently succeeded Sedeno as governor in 1651; Proenza mere-
ly holding the acting appointment and Betancur not being recognized.
tChristoval had with him a nephew, Christoval de Leyba Ysassi, who was:
1656] SzVmE NTHR CENTUlR. 53
-one-third each of muskets, arquebuses and flint-lock carbines with
their flasks and other accessories and the quantity of leaden balls
-or metal corresponding to this supply and that you be likewise sent
-one hundred quintals of powder and the corresponding cord and
-the largest quantity possible* of salt, corn and cassava and other
-provisions that there is in the islands of Puerto Rico, Santo Do-
-mingo, Habana and Cuba. By despatches of this date I am so or-
-dering the Governors of those places, and especially the President
of Santo Domingo, to send you one hundred and fifty armed in-
-fantrymen and fifty quintals of powder and,fifty more of lead, and
the three hundred fire arms in muskets, arquebuses and flint-lock
carbines in portions of one-third each, with their accessories, to
arm the unarmed people that may be in the said Island, and have
-recourse to them for reinforcements, particularly the two hundred
and ifty colonists who have retired to the city of Cuba
and other places under its government. To the Governor of Puerto
-Rico, that he send you thirty or forty armed infantrymen, and that
-of Habana one hundred and a further fifty quintals of powder to
-complete the hundred referred to. To that of Cuba that he for-
ward to you the greatest number of infantrymen that he can, and
-that they all endeavour that the soldiers they send be old troops
-that are practised in the fields, so that they may be able to stand the
'hardships and discomforts of the food and the mountains and open
-country, and that each of the Governors send the Infantry with
supplies of provisions of local kind for three or four months and
*with at least two months pay in money, and that each of them trans-
-port the infantry, arms and munitions and provisions that concern
,him to the port and city of Cuba, where a store must be made,
-directed to the Governor, Don Pedro de Bayona, in order that he
-may keep sending the same to Jamaica, to the port and safe landing
-places that you point out in your letter. You will at the same
time advise him and take care to appoint a person of integrity, who
-will keep a strict account, to receive in Jamaica all the provisions
-and munitions and distribute them without waste to the best ad-
vantage and care for the sustenance and defence of the infantry
and troops that are holding out and will join in Jamaica with the
reliefs referred to.
I have every assurance and confidence that by means of your
-valour and zeal for my service you will arrange not only to make
a very rigorous diversion against the English to keep them con-
tinually with arms in hand, but will attempt to dislodge them with
-valour and prudence, compelling them to embark on their ships
and leave Jamaica, abandoning the posts they had occupied. I am,
therefore. making you give 'proof personally of the confidence I have
that you will endeavour to prepare for and execute this by entrust-
ing to you the government of the island and the military actions
and enterprise to recover it, hoping that you will carry on this war
JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS.
according to the usages and conditions of the country and the-
ability and valour of its natives, taking as an example what hap-
pened in Santo Domingo last year against a very large fleet of ships
of those same English, and a very formidable army of infantry, cav-
alry and artillery, when the natives (with such a small number as
three hundred lancers) defeated the army with the death of more
than three thousand men,* compelling the rest of the army to with-
draw, which example, I trust, will be of much encouragement not
only to you but to all the natives of the island to whom I shall
do favours corresponding to the valour with which they may carry
out what I expect by expelling the enemy therefrom. I charge and
command you that assembling those natives (who have suffered
and served so much maintaining the Catholic religion without in
any way abandoning the island) you give them many thanks in my
name and draw up a roll of all those who have constantly assisted
and been meritorious, advising me in detail of their qualities and-
services, so that I may do them favour, for if those natives have
(as I hope) the good fortune to restore the island, I shall owe to
them the glory of such a great undertaking and will reward them
with favours and honours corresponding to such merits. I have-
written to the Duke of Alburquerque, my Viceroy of New Spain, in-
forming him of all the above, and I am ordering the President of
Santo Domingo and the Governors of Puerto Rico, Habana and
Cuba to advise him punctually of all the relief they may send you
so that with full knowledge thereof he may supply what he may
consider necessary for the provision and maintenance both of the-
troops who are holding out in Jamaica, as of those I command to
be sent from the places referred to, ordering (as I do order) my
said Viceroy to make the said Governors carry out what is com-
manded of them from this side, and that at least they give him ac-
counts of the quantities and description of reliefs they give to the
island of Jamaica, taking great care that neither there nor in Cuba.
any precaution is wanting to ensure your getting what is sent you."'
The mountain to which Ysassi had retired was called Manatines.
In 1656 Ysassi, who came from the northeide to harry the
English, had a camp at Guatibacoa eight leagues from the town,
with 2,000 head of cattle and a few beasts of burden. He says,
S"every day I capture and kill troops."
In a despatch, written in October 1656 to Zuniga y Avellaneda,.
governor of Espanola, the King says: "The English have a foothold
in Jamaica, obstructing the commerce of all the islands to windward
with the coasts of the mainland and of New Spain. The fleets and
.galleons run great risk in passing by Jamaica."
In March 1657 the Duke of Alburquerque, Viceroy of Mexico,
and the leading Spanish Governor in these pa;ts, wrote to the lead-
*The loss of men in Penn and Venables's unsuccessful attempt alluded
to was about 1,000.
1657] SEVENTEENTH CENTUnR. 55
ers, officials, colonists and natives of Jamaica. He alluded to the
fact that the King had appointed Arnaldo y Ysassi governor; and he
also sent a special letter to Ysassi, congratulating him on his ap-
pointment as governor, and sending him one hundred and twenty
infantrymen, 1,000 quintals of biscuits, 130 quintals of lead and
20,000 pesos of money. "The wickedness of Cromwell has been so
great with conditions never seen nor employed in warfare, that for
this reason he has caught the King our Master unaware of his evil
intents, and also at a time when His Majesty (God preserve him)
has such continuous wars in hand, but notwithstanding this, you
and all the people of the island may be certain that his Majesty
will help you and will dislodge the enemy from the post he occupies,
and whilst his Majesty (God guard him) is arranging the neces-
sary means he has considered it the most proltable expedient that
you maintain a footing for him in the Island."
He pointed out to Ysassi that it was of the greatest importance that
he should maintain a footing in Jamaica. He was to promise free-
dom to runaway slaves who would return ahd help to expel the
Thirty men were sent from Puerto Rico under Captain Juan de los
Reyes, who wrote home from the port of Lamaguana. The Governor
of Cuba, Don Pedro de Bayona Villaneuva, appointed him leader of
the relief ships and sargento mayor of the army of the campaign of
In June 1657 the King again wrote to Ysassi. From this it
would appear that after the arrival of Penn and Venables and the
sending away of Ramirez, Francisco de Proenza as head of the
military forces, took command; but that failing sight and other ill-
nesses compelled him to appoint Ysassi to represent him. The King
says "you will send me a detailed report about all who have served
or are serving in Jamaica with a memorandum of their qualities
and positions and likewise of all those who might have died stating
the special services both the living and the dead might have render-
ed in order that, when I look into it, I may do them the favours cor-
responding to the merits of each one, and you will assure them of
i on my part. so that they may be encouraged to continue their acti-
vity in the defence of the island." A fleet of thirty ships was being
fitted out, which, with God's favour, would sail about September.
On the 9th of July 1657 Ysassi wrote a long letter to Albur-
querque from Jamaica, giving an account of the island.
"The English in this Island number four thousand persons, in-
fantry, women and children. They have in the principal port.
at the point of Cayo de Carena, a fort with thirty iron pieces
and two of bronze which they took at the Castle of Santa
Marta. The calibre of the bronze ones is, one of 25 the
other of eighteen, the rest being artillery of twelve and 10. There
56 JAMAICA UNDEB THE SPANIARDS. [1657
is another bastion at the landing place made like a trench for the
security of their landing place, with twelve pieces of about 8 and 6.
They have not any other fortification, only the square of the town
is enclosed with a stockade with a bronze piece inside of 18 pounds
of ball. The people who have come with the Governor who came
from Nevis* were agriculturists. and have gone six leagues to Wind-
ward of the town to the point called Morante to do their tillage, as
I am so far away and have few troops-those that accompany me
have not exceeded 50 men, black and white included. With them I
have always kept in check those living between the town and point
Negrillo, which is at the western end, for the island lies from east
to west. They have no cultivation or settlement whatever because
those they attempted and made, I have burnt and dislodged them
from, that is from Anaya, Bonducu, Rio Arriva and Yama an&
many other places where they already had strongholds, where, now,
if any squadron enters, I go to await them on the roads and make
attacks on them, killing them and capturing many whom I have sent
to all the the Governors of the Windward Islands with all their de-
signs. I now send a smart English sergeant who will give your Ex-
cellency lengthy news of the whole state of the island; and a Flem-
ing, whom I captured from a French ship, will give an account of a
township they were making on the mainland of Caracas near the
river Orinoco. This is the state of the island. As regards ships
there is no settled port. Sometimes there are 10, at others 4 and at
He then goes on to tell of relief which he had received from Cuba:
"One company that came from the city of Habana-the Cap-
tain of it, Don Christoval de Anues with 95 men with firearms most
of them foreign muskets and arquebuses. From Puerto Rico, Cap-
tain Juan de los Reyes with 23 men with their arms. From Santo
Domingo, Captain Don Domingo de Silva with 83 men with their arms.
Of the people of the Island who were in Cuba, Captain Lucas Borrero
with 99 men armed with guns (bocas de fuego) and lances. Of the
same people, Captain-Francisco Cartagena de Leyba with 85 men in
the same order-in all 385 men. Supplies-832 arrobas of cassava-
sixty tierces of salt-six tierces of biscuits-66 tierces of salted
beef that came from Santo Domingo. This is putrid. 34 barrels with
52 quintals of powder-12 sacks of beans; 60 tierces of cord, 5
cases of balls with 9,200 for arquebuses and muskets, one small case
On the 16th July he wrote again, "giving an account of every-
In the same month Christoval de Leyba Ysassi, a sargento mayor,
nephew of Arnaldo de Ysassi, wrote to Alburquerque referring to the
ship built by his father Don Francisco de Leyba to carry despatches
1657] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 57
.from the island to the mainland and the Windward Islands. He said,
"The English have besieged the island for two years."
In July 1657 the Duke of Alburquerque, Viceroy of Mexico,
wrote to the king that since the English "took a footing" in Jamaica
he had had no news thence. He had therefore sent Captain Domingo
Rodriguez de Vera to ascertain the condition of affairs. Christoval
Arnaldo Ysassl, citizen of Jamaica, had retired with the troops to
Mount Manatines* and "is holding out." The King ordered the Gov-
-ernors of Puerto Rico, Santo Domingo, Cuba and Habana to help
him. The Duke of Alburquerque was to control all undertakings.
He sent four ships with money, provisions and ammunition and
140 infantry, with Don Francisco de Salinas in command. He later
.sent a contingent of 802 effectivee" with provisions and other neces-
There were regrettable rivalries between the Spanish island
governments, and even in Jamaica itself.
On the 24th July, 1657, Domingo Rodriguez de Vera, Captain
or owner of a ship, wrote to Alburquerque: "The ship that
I despatched as soon as I arrived at the port of Santiago de Cuba
*on the 4th May, having come back, it returned on the 10th June to
the Island of Jamaica in compliance with what your Excellency com-
manded me, taking letters from the Governor, Don Pedro de Bayona,
Sand more especially to learn from its governor, Don Christoval de
Ysassi the designs of the enemy, the troops that he has and his forti-
fications and what landmark there are, and where he wished the re-
lief of troops, provisions and munitions that his Majesty has ordered
to be taken to that place, to be landed.
What he wrote with certainty and was known from the state-
ments of two prisoners who were taken for that purpose is, Most Ex-
cellent Sir, the following:-
Sincb the English enemy took possession of the Island Jamaica,
-they have had three governors who are all dead.t The one who is
governing at present is named Duarte Dali.t He drew up a muster
roll about the month of March of this year '57 and held a general
review and found 3,000 infantrymen a large portion of them boys,
and the greater number serving by force.
They have also at the point of Morante, distant 8 leagues from
-the city, 2,000 men, farmers, and nearly 1,000 women. These are
the colonists they brought from the Island of Nieves. They are en-
gaged only in planting all sorts of vegetables and have their gover-
nor separately. The soldiers also who live in Jamaica occupy them-
-selves in planting and for that have two hours in the morning and
two in the evening. On the seashore** there is an enclosure of en-
*This is confirmed by the account which Doyley gave to Cromwell.
tProbably alluding to Fortescue, Sedgwick and Brayne.
**At Passage Fort.
58 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIAEDS. [165T '
trenchments of fascine and earth, eight feet thick with a few loop-
holes and two redoubts for clearing the outlying country. It has
eighteen pieces, five field ones of bronze and the rest of iron, their
calibre from 6 to 12 pounds of ball.
In the middle of this fortification there are three stores. When
there are provisions and munitions in them, a guard of 90 men goes
into this port. Within the city the whole of the square is surround-
ed with another entrenchment of fascines and palisades. In the-
middle is the Church and the houses of the Governor, where is the
principal corps of guards which usually comprises 200 infantrymen.
The entrenchment has two sally ports, and within the square a bronze-
piece of three pounds of ball which is fired to gather the troops-
when there is a call to arms. The distance from this fortification
to the one where the stores are, which is the one of the quay, is two
In the part called Liguani, distant two leagues by sea from the
town, there are 1,000 infantry in some palisades after the fashion
of a camp where they go for change and to double their squadron,
so that, on a call to arms, they can give help where the place or occa-
sion may demand. The rest of the troops are quartered in the
ranches and sugar mills (ingenios) of that vicinity in
companies of 100 to 150 men, with orders to hold their post as a re-
serve until they are ordered to move.
The fortification called Cayo de Carena, which is the
principal and strongest, has 30 pieces with 6 of bronze, among
which is one that discharges 52 pounds of ball, another 48, and two
36 and two that they brought from Santa Marta, the one 34 the other
16: two mortars of bronze that discharge the one 300 pounds of
ball and the other 200. The rest of the Artillery is from 8 to 10.
The plan and make of this fort is that of a star of stone and mortar.
It has an area of 120 feet in width and as many in length with
eight look outs (Caballeros) that face in all directions. In the-
middle there is a high redoubt of stone with six pieces. It has two
sally ports without gates.
In the port there are usually 15 to 20 ships, some entering,
others leaving and among them as reserve eight powerful ships. The
flagship carries 80 pieces. the rest from 30 to 40. The General of
this fleet is named Bren,* an Englishman. He sleeps on board most
nights. They are hourly awaiting their fleet which they say is bring-
ing orders to invade this fortress of Santiago de Cuba. They are-
in want of provisions and give each infantryman 3 pounds of biscuit,
3 of flour 3 of peas for every three weeks.
This, Most Excellent Sir, is what I have been able to learn with
certainty about Jamaica and what the prisoners who have been
taken from the 21st June of last year, up to to-day, confess, whose-
*At that time Admiral Myngs was in charge.
1657] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 59
declarations I forward to your Excellency. I have in my company a
sergeant who was captured in March last of this year. He is one
of those who came in the fleet that invaded the island. Through
him your Excellency will find proof of the truth of what I state
Rodriguez de Vera's ship was part of a relief for Jamaica of 400
infantrymen, 200 of which were citizens of Jamaica. They had good
provisions and munitions. It was received by Ysassi "with the great-
est applause." And those in Jamaica were so much encouraged that
they promised to shed the last drop of blood in the service of God
and their King, and the defence of their country. He was in Ja-
maica from the 5th to the 9th of July.
On the 8th of August 1657 Captain Juan de los Reyes and Cap-
tain Domingo de Silva wrote to Ysassi from "Las Chorreras" (Ocho-
Rios), stating that they had landed five days previously and had
checked the stores there. They had 220 men with them: and ad-
vised Ysassi that he must be economical of provisions. "We have
discussed, Sir, your sojourn in the Camp and at the same time the
trip you are making to Goatibacoa.
There is a lack of food in that district as well as where you or-
dered the Camp to be formed, and as you are in need of the horses-
the enemy took away frdm Oristan so that you find yourself without
any pack animals for the transport of these provisions and muni-
tions we are of opinion, Sir, speaking with the respect and affection
we have in the service of his Majesty, that it is not advisable to re-
main in the Camp of Los Vermejales* at present nor to go to seek the
enemy at Goatibacoa for the risk is well known if you go so short
of provisions and the troops so unskilled in the management of
their arms and the hardships the .weather may cause them. If you
meet with the enemy his numbers may be such that he may repulse
those you have with you and capture someone who, having few
obligations to restrain him, may tell how things are,
and make him understand the necessities you are
suffering, how the forces are divided, the places where they
are, where the munitions are and where the reliefs and despatches
are brought in. In case you desire to persevere in your intention,..
which is fiot advisable, for the reasons stated, please take note that
there are not fifty serviceable men who can lend any assistance in
case you should ask for it and hardly enough troops to garrison the
posts that are occupied as look-outs or on the roads or for special
guards. Two men have died without confession and another is dying
without confessing as he had lost speech before the Chaplain arrived,
So that both Captain Don Domingo de Silva and I are of this opinion
as we have some experience in military matters and it will cost some
trouble to capture any hores from the enemy and with infantry
the risk is manifest. Success must always be considered impos-
*Evidently Vera Ma Holls Savannah in Upper Clarendon.
460 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIAbDS. [1657
sible of achievement in the interior. Allowing for vigilance, good
arrangement and suffcent supplies, not doubting your prudence in
This regard, we are not in favour of your resolution to go, lacking
-what is so necessary. As to this you will determine what you please;
-our business is to obey your orders as subordinates until we lose
the last drop of our blood, and that we may not be blamed at any
time, we give this opinion signed."
The contingent of 570 men from New Spain was under the com-
-mand of Don Alvaro de la Raspurn.
On the 29th August. 1657 Ysassi wrote to Alburquerque, "From
the open country of Jamaica" as follows:-
"To inform your Excellency of the condition in which I am to-
day, 28th August, I despatch this ship which had remained behind
:from among those that came from Ouba in order to comply with
-what his Majesty, God preserve him, and your Excellency command
-me, viz., to give advices every month of the state of the enemy and
of that in which I find myself. I did so last month and now, most
*excellent Sir, I have to say that I am in the principal port* where
the enemy was when I went to the north side to receive the relief
-of infantry and provisions, having sent one of my Captains to the
south side to fetch two hundred pack animals to transport the sup-
plies. The enemy entered the place where they were and carried
-them off making it impossible for me to march with all the infantry
as I was not able to transport the necessary food for their mainten-
ance. I therefore left as a guard for it 130 infantrymen and, with
another 170 the greater part being people of the island who had come
with the relief, I marched to dislodge the enemy from the most im-
portant places in the island 'where they had houses because they are
the most abundant in cattle and of which the enemy made use-
namely the Hato of Pereda, that of la Caoban, Savana de la Mar,
'8antiago el Birica, Yama, el Obispo, Mariguerra, Horcones and Vil-
ladiego where they have houses of which, glory be to God, I am
master as well as of all the cattle.
With these I maintain the troops, and the enemy does not profit
by them as formerly, because those who come to get beet die with-
*out any one being left to carry the news, and from many prisoners
-who have been taken I have learnt that the enemy is in a concen-
trated body consuming his provisions which are scanty, that he has
3,000 men of arms and 2,000 labourers. I have not been able to do
-more as I am looking for a good ground to fortify myself and to
reorganise the infantry after the very painful marches they have
"had ~ to reach this spot and to refurnish myself with horses for a
*company as the enemy has many. So that, I trust in God, I will
make him retire to his forts and prevent him doing any planting
.or benefiting from what planting he has already done.
I report, most excellent sir, that the enemy has not at present
*He must have been somewhere on the harbour of Laguava
1657] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 61
in the port more than five vessels so that if the mouth of the port
be gained from him it wouldbe very easy to make him surrender-
if I press him by land in such a manner as to compel him to. do so-
or be destroyed, and this, most excellent sir, with the local troops r
now have and some of the most competent of the paid ones, for the
rest have remained on the north coast guarding the munitions as:
they are badly clothed and not fit to stand the excessive hardship'
of the marches through rugged mountains, the mosquitoes and the
rains. As it is the beginning of the winter,* it is now raining day-
and night, for which reason, most excellent Sir, I cannot make war
on the enemy just now until the weather improves. At the place-
where I am, in one day's march I can be with him and he with me
in another, and up to now he has not reconnoitred me and he only
has news of the relief that his Majesty (God preserve him) Las
ordered to be landed in the island, though, most excellent Sir, on the
north coast, a sloop of the enemy arriving there, met with a bri-
gantine that the Governor of the City of Cuba, Don Pedro de Bayona
Villanueva despatched with a supply of cassava and biscuit and other-
things and followed it. As the brigantine was inferior to the enemy,
it tied and went into an inlet where small ships used to enter and
hide themselves, as it is a place that was not known to the enemy.
On reaching land the crew abandoned the brigantine and if assis-
tance had not arrived from those who are guarding the supplies,
the enemy would have carried it off with him. The enemy fought
and withdrew and saw many infantry on the shore who went there-
to give assistance as they were bound to do. Some of the enemy's
crew were killed and of that of the brigantine, one man was killed
and another, the gunner of the two little 2 pound bronze pieces-
it carried, was wounded. So that we are now detected by the-
enemy and the greatest harm is their having got to know that inlet
where the little ships that came from Cuba used to shelter. To keep
him watchful and to divert him, I ask your Excellency to order
some supplies of bread, salt and other foodstuffs and especially
cheese, to be placed on the South side. The North side is very ill
supplied, and cannot feed the infantry because the pack animals:
die on the road so that, most excellent Sir, I shall always be hinder-
ed and in want of them for the campaign. I send to your Excel-
lency Captain Juan Baptista Mendez, Captain of infantry of this
company, a person who from the first day that this place was lost,
has assisted me. He is capable, and, as an eye-witness, is experi-
enced in everything that has happened as to the state of the Island
and that of the enemy, his fortifications and ports, both on the South
and on the North side. He is a man who has merited the position
he holds by his valour and by what he has done in the service of His
Majesty. As he is experienced and has seen everything, complying-
with what your Excellency has ordered me, I send him with this
*He presumably meant the beginning of the Autumn "Seasons" rain.
62 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1657
letter so that your Excellency may be informed by word of mouth.
I refer you to his report and he will be able to return if your Excel-
lency is good enough to despatch a vessel, for he knows the whole
Island, both by land and by sea.
I have to inform your Excellency that all the fugitive negroes
are under my obedience. It has been no small success to have re-
duced them, on account of their knowledge of the island, and, if they
wanted to do mischief, could have done us very much harm. I or-
dered a pardon to be published in the name of His Majesty and that
to all who should distinguish themselves in his royal service in the
present juncture, I would give freedom in his name. Your Excel-
lency will be so good as to bestow on me the power to order ana
notify this as a most obedient subordinate. Governor Don Pedro
de Bayona Villaneuva, who has seen to the reliefs for this island as
may be expected from his great zeal in the service of His Majesty
and your Excellency, sent in the brigantine and the pirogue that
came with it, which got separated when it met with the enemy
and up to now'has not been heard of, 293 arrobas of cassava, 186
arrobas of biscuit and some articles for the refitting of a launch that
was damaged by the enemy and which is to be sent to the said Gov-
ernor for the use of the relief forces and for communication; also
100 lance irons, 1 ream of paper, 9 cauldrons and some ointments.
May our Lord preserve your Excellency the years He can and
that this your humble subject and those who accompany him have
On the 13th of September he wrote again. He says that he
learnt the enemy intended to march to discover where he was. "I
sallied out upon the road to encounter them with the few troops I
had, which were about 80 men, because the others are without shoes
and clothes and not accustomed to the discomforts of the open
country. Nevertheless it pleased the divine majesty of God that I
awaited them in an ambuscade and killed them all and took all the
baggage they were carrying, so that now besides those I have killed
he is short of his best troops", but he had not enough men to wanr
rant his attacking the town.
At this time Don Blas Ysassi Arnaldo was lieutenant-general
of the government of Cuba, and as such lieutenant to Bayona. He
wrote a long letter to Alburquerque. In it he says:
"It is impossible for the many reliefs in which your Excellency's
zeal is shewn, to be of any profit if managed by the Governor of
Cuba on account of the opposition and aversion he has for the Gov-
ernor of Jamaica. All his actions are designed to bring failure and
discredit on the latter even though they may be in known disservice
of his Majesty.
Most excellent Sir. with all deliberation as a servant of your
Excellency and vassal of his Majesty and as one interested in Don
1657] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 63
Christoval de Ysassi, I say that the war in Jamaica has not been
made by the enemy there but by Governor Don Pedro de Bayona
Villanueva, as I will prove herein by the evidences I send to your
Excellency. First, as the memorials of the infantry shew,
they suggest among other reasons that they had no provisions as
the tenor of his Majesty's order had not been carried out, namely
that these troops should be supplied for three or four months, and
when their number was increased by two hundred and twelve citizens
of Jamaica, not a pound of beef or cassava wds given for them.
Further, I added thirty men and they were embarked without being
given more than some shoes and fourteen reales. The beef was so
bad, as the Governor informs me by letter of the twenty-first of
-JTne, that it caused the troops to rise against him (those under com-
mand of Captain Don Joseph Reynosso) and compelled him to ship
off some sick. When the Governor could have shipped fifteen hun-
dred arrobas of beef that I had very quickly obtained without cost
to his Majesty in the town of Bayamo with two hundred loads of
cassava and I informed him that they would be transported to him
within fifteen days, he sent me an order that it was not convenient,
and on my replying he again, up to a third time, said that it was
not necessary then. As these orders will shew, he did not send it,
mor the twenty thousand pesos he had in his control that your Excel-
lency (may you live a thousand years), had sent for these reliefs in
addition to twenty-one thousand in the chest out of the sixty
thousand with which this City was assisted. So that through the
infantry not going supplied, and provisions not being sent for those
who were over there with the Governor-for he had to supply all
with rations-and as twelve hundred arrobas of cassava were re-
-quired every month as the Governor of Jamaica advises, as appears
from the letter written to the Governor of Cuba, which I forward,
he gave cause to the infantry to mutiny. The brigantine having
'been delayed forty-five days and the enemy having seen it and
fought with it and at the same time learnt where the relief was in-
-troduced and observed the troops of las Chorreras as they assisted
the brigantine, he also caused the loss of the brigantinee and another
ship Ibelonging to his Majesty as well as the one that left Bayamo
with two hundred loads of cassava and five hundred arrobas of beef
-which the enemy captured, which would not have happened if his
Majesty's orders had been observed.
The second reason, Sir, is that he wishes to govern Jamaica as
well' as Cuba and desires to have the superintendence that your Ex-
cellency has, and to get Captain Juan de los Reyes appointed as
Sargento-Mayor of the Island, knowing that there was one appointed
and approved by his Majesty, also the chief Chaplain and Captains
of the Colonists, when His Majesty (God preserve him), does not
give him the faculty for it in his royal orders. The Governor of
Jamaica tolerated all his doings, and ordered Captain Juan
JAMAICA UNDMn TrMu SPNIURS.
de los Reyes to serve only as a Captain which resulted in his.
making a faction with Captain Don Domingo de Silva and preparing
the. minds of the infantry to feel and speak ill of their Governor and
to.ask for a Council after three days march, in order to return to
the provisions with the pretext that the march was rough, seeking
that they should not follow their Governor, as he suggests in his.
letter, whereupon they returned."
In November 1657 Ysassi wrote to his brother Bias. His troops;
at Las Chorrerast had been sold to the enemy by the traitor Reyes.
Sixteen were taken prisoners and some killed. Of the English he
writes, "Their general for the sea died,* and the president Dalit
governs everything. They know now that their Prince is favoured!
by other Kings to make war on Cromwell."
Ysassi was deserted by many of his men-by Sergeant Vizente
Luis and 36 persons, by Captain Juan de los Reyes and 40 men,
by Christoval de Anuez and 24 men, by Morales and 44 men, and in a
little launch 25 men, and by Capt. Luys Vegerano and 38 men. In all
244 men, soldiers and colonists, fled to Cuba and left Yeassi to his.
Ysassi wrote strongly to de los Reyes, who had been in com-
mand of the troops in question, and blamed him for the disaster.
Bias Ysassi Arnoldo said that it would require a fleet to drive-
the English from Jamaica "as he is so possessed of the island."
In November 1657 Ysassi wrote:-
Through a prisoner I captured in the town, an Ensign, I have
learnt of the misfortune to my infantry and how the enemy went
to las Chorreras with three hundred and thirty-five men and the
provisions were seized. All caused from the disobedience of Captain
Juan de los Reyes. He would not observe the orders I gave him
in writing. Two or three times I had called upon him to leave that
place and go to Baycani where his flanks were secure, and imme-
diately hide the munitions which he had, without my orders, taken
out from the hiding place where I had left them. He replied that
I should send him negroes, when he had the whole of the paid in-
fantry under his command and only to discredit me he took the
pretext that they would be spoiled. From information I have, I am
satisfied that they are in good condition because I had put them
In a cellar that I dug out in a place where it did not rain, and then
I lined it with a thick palisade on account of the dampness of the
ground. The barrels were sheathed with matting and with the
staves of the barrels I had broken to enflask powder. In that way
tDoyley gave a full account of this engagement in "A Narrative of the
great success God hath been pleased to give his Highness' forces in Jamaica,
against the" King of Spain's Forces." (1658)-
*Admiral Goodsonn left Jamaica on 30th January, 1656-7.
1657] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 65
what the Maese de Campo, Don Pedro Zapata, sent me is now quite
good. I gave orders to Captain Juan Rodriguez Pabon, whom I left
in charge until I sent the above named Captain, to hide eight bar-
rels that I left for the infantry in case of emergency, which he did.
Neither the one nor the other wished to leave where he was and
when this thing occurred neither of them would advise me so that
I could help them, as I did, with three packs of hounds, and make
cassava for them at the negro settlement. I had sent a
general pardon to all in His Majesty's name, and though Captain
Juan de los Reyes had a written order that if the enemy were in
great strength he should set fire to the provision store, he did not,
although he had much time in which to do it. The English landed two
leagues to windward and came marching over the mountain. There
was only one ambuscade against them on the road where one man
was wounded in the arm, and no more, until the trench was reached
when they fired two volleys and killed sixteen men and wounded
twenty. They then abandoned the trench and so the enemy gained
it, which he would not have done if they had not abandoned it, and
captured sixteen men alive among whom were the Maese de Campo
and Captains Borrero and Pabon and an Ensign (Alferez). I do
not know if it is the one from Santo Domingo, the rest being soldiers.
A few of our men were killed. The man who sol4 all was a Portu-
guese* they captured in a canoe which Captain Juan de los Reyes had
at his workshop, sleeping at night. From the description, I judge he
is a former servant of Gaspar de Acosta. So, Senor Governor, in His
Majesty's name, please hold Captain Juan de los Reyes a prisoner
until I inform His Majesty or His Excellency the Viceroy of New
Spain, and we will all give our statements. I also ask your honour
not to send me any relief on his Majesty's account on the north
side, but on the south, because it is patrolled by the enemy and I am
quite unable to provide transport. The few soldiers I have are
naked and barefoot and cannot stand the mosquitos. Please help
them. The Englishman's statement goes with this. Captain Juan
de los Reyes must also pay for the launch you sent with provisions.
His Majesty should not pay for it. God preserve you a thousand
From this island of Jamaica the 28th November, 1657.
For want of paper the statement is not sent.
I kiss your hand.
Don Christoval Ysassi Arnaldo."
In December 1657 Don Juan de la Raspuru, whom the Viceroy
Duke of Alburquerque appointed commander and sargento mayor
of the contingent he sent to the relief of Jamaica, reported that the
Governors of Cuba, Habana and Jamaica were opposed to each other.
*This is confirmed by the account which Doyley gave to Cromwell.
JAMAIA uNDEB THE SPANIARDS.
He said that the troops in those islands were divided in factions,
that the Governor changed or took away their offices from those ap-
pointed and sent with the relief by. the Governor of Cuba. He con-
cluded by saying that the greatest help Jamaica needed was a head
who should be a soldier with the faculty of naming a lieutenant Cap-
tain General and of appointing a successor in case of death or ab-
In December 1657 Don Francisco de Leyba, Lieutenant General
of Jamaica, wrote to Bayona:-
"After the affair of las Chorreras, I sent an order to Captain
Don Christoval to transfer all the infantry to me at Baycani. He re-
plied that he would do ho and now some soldiers have come to me
and have told me that he was at the river la Yaguaca with Barto-
lome de Medina and other people of the country and some infantry
for the purpose of embarking in a pirogue they had there. I then
sent to notify him that under penalty of death as a traitor to the
King and loss of property to him and all others who might leave,
he must not abandon the infantry, nor the island, but bring them
to Baycani where I would join them, and, if in spite of all, he
should leave, I sent my negro Juan to bring me the infantry to
Baycani where I would go to maintain them as I have always done,
for if I had not been in the island they would all have perished.
They told me that Captain Juan de los Reyes had sent a plan of the
corral to the King our master and to the Viceroy. Christians have
been martyred, His Majesty's munitions and provisions given up,
the medicine chest, machettes, caldrons all carried off by the en-
emy because he removed them from the place where the Governor
and I kept them concealed, and through that we are all suffering in
this island. The King, our master, and the Viceroy have been told
untruths, as the corral has shewn and has manifested well the
truth about evil designs and ill will, for, from the time Captains
Juan de los Reyes and Don Domingo came here they did not seek
to serve his Majesty but to take away the Governor's reputation and
mine, but God like a merciful father has made clear the truth and
It must always be manifested.
In other letters I have informed your honour of what the corral
was like so that you might advise the King our master and the Vice-
roy. I again do so now and ask you in His Majesty's name to in-
form him accordingly.
The corral Captain Juan de los. Reyes made was a weak stock-
ade where a man could be seen from his feet to his head. There
was no fort inside'or fascine, and at the water's edge, towards the
sea, with two guns not a man would be left alive. The water sup-
ply was outside, and to get it they had to descend a distance equal
to the measurement of three or four men in sight of the enemy on
the seashore. Then at the place he called "the claw", he left two very
1657] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 67
large fig trees which the enemy took advantage of, so that the
enemy had a better entrenchment than the Christians. Again the
corral had a hill which, if the enemy were placed upon it, made the
That was the fort Captain Juan de los Reyes had, and the plan
with which he sent to deceive His Majesty and the Viceroy, who has
given a very good report of the corral.
I also inform your honour that the infantry and the local troops
-who have remained, are suffering double hardships. They have not
clothing enough to cover themselves and are eating beef without
salt and without cassava. I also inform your honour that for the
want of a boat the King, our master, and the Viceroy have not been
-written to, neither your honour as it is a month and a half since the
-arrival of the one in which Captain Juan de los Reyes fled and left
the infantry leaderless. If I had not someone there to feed them,
they would have all died and we have not seen a boat from your
If Captain Don Christoval should go to that city and there
should be with him two corporals from Santo Domingo, namely
Fernando Delgado and Joseph Diaz, I advise your honour to arrest
them and deal with them and with Captain Juan de los Reyes as it
may behove your honour to do in the service of his Majesty. They
are the men with whom Captain Juan de los Reyes conspired and
did his knavish acts. They are the greatest traitors his Majesty has
had in this island.
I also inform your honour that the Governor notified me
from Oristan that he had sent to the town Ensign Christoval
-de Leyba, and Ensign Diego de Medina, and they brought him
an English Ensign who had been at las Chorreras, and stated
that they landed three hundred and thirty men and that in the
first charge they made on him Captain Don Domingo fled and
that when he reached Captain Juan de los Reyes's corral, upon
two charges, all fled and did not do any harm to the English beyond
breaking a man's arm and that they (the English) took eighteen
-prisoners alive whom they have in the town. He says that one is the
Maese de Campo, Don Francisco de Proenza,* whom he knows well.
The others, from the descriptions, are Captain Lucas Borrero, Cap-
-ain Pabon, and the Auditor, Roque Martinez. He could 'give no in-
formation about the others. He says they are expecting twelve
frigates from England with four thousand men. May it please God,
if it be true, that they go to the bottom of the sea. I report this
as Lieutenant General and a loyal vassal of His Majesty and because
the Governor Don Christoval Ysassi has put me in charge of the
north side here so that your honour may advise our lord, the King,
'and his Royal Council and transmit my letters, sending them in
-order that help may be sent at once and His Majesty not put to er-
*Doyley called him Don Francis de Prencia.
68 JAMAICA UNDER THE SLANIABD. [165T-
pense and the Christians who might come allowed to die like martyrs-
tor want of food. I ask this of your honour in His Majesty's name.
I gave a permit to Diego Suarez for the canoe to leave so that
these letters and those of the Governor may reach the hands of your?
honour whom may God preserve in happiness with your wife Don~-
From these mountains the 17th December 1657. I kiss your
hand. The infantry is without arms as the enemy took them.
Don Francisco de Leyba Ysassi."
In February 1658 Ysassi wrote to Bayona:-
I have received your letter and learnt with much pleasure that-
you are enjoying very good health. In it you tell me some things
that I would like to answer verbally and I believe I would leave you.
quite satisfied about many but as I cannot unburden myself I leave-
everything to silence. You can judge as you please, I shall only
speak of what is essential to the service of God and of the King,
our master. I therefore say, Sir, that in view of the Council of War-
and the experienced men you send me, it would be great ignorance
on my part to go against that, knowing that even if I were the
wisest man in the world, ten are more than one. I say, Sir that I
shall positively be found on the north side between the fort and la
Maguana which Is in all a league and a half along the sea, so that
you can forward to me all the troops His Excellency is sending me
and those that left this Island for yours, both paid as well as local
troops, and as many as you can send me by all the vessels there may-
be in your port, and let the ship that I am told is there from Angola
convoy them as it is a strong one, because the enemy keep a ship
with two launches and a pinnace all over the coast. You must send
me, if you have them, two hundred lances, stouter than the hun-
dred you sent me, and thirty firearms for some soldiers who lost
theirs at the defeat at las Chorreras, two hundred suits of burlap,
(canamazo) and two hundred pairs of shoes, a thousand cheeses,
a thousand small boxes, a cane for each soldier for march-
ing, two surgeons, a lot of lint and bandages, twelve axes, eight or-
ten jars of wine, and Diego Rodriguez so that I may have someone
who can do any errand. I trust in God that I shall accomplish what
His Majesty commands. None of those who went away need fear-
to return. You can assure Them that everything is forgiven for
such is my purpose, God helping me, and the evil I wish to those
who calumniate me, may God do to me. I live uprightly and God'
will defend my cause for He alone is the judge of my,feelings and'
On the subject of the mustering of the defeated infantry, I say
ask Captain Don Juan de los Reyes if, while I had him as Com-
mander of all those infantrymen, he of himself or through any other-
1658] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 69
person let me know of the rout of the camp. I think he will tell the
'truth, namely that he did not inform me, but that an Englishman
'who was captured in the town stated it, and I at once advised my
Lieutenant to go and muster them, which he did. I sent him two
hunting parties, otherwise they would have perished. I must also
answer why I was not present at the defeat of las Chorreras. Would
-to God and His holy Mother that I had been there, for although I
-am an ignorant man, there would have been other arrangements.
'There were two leagues of mountain where ten ambuscades could
.have been made and the enemy would not have got there. When
you meet Don Benito and Don Francisco Caravaxal ask them how
they left, whether they fled and, if so, whether from fear of the
enemy. I could not leave the few men I had; all myauthority was
needed to provide food for them so that they might not perish, for
they would not send me provisions from las Chorreras. Kindly do
me the favour, Sir, as soon as my nephew, Captain Don Christoval,
arrives, of sending me this launch with cassava and salt and some
clothing and' shoes for these poor men who have lost their clothes
-in the late defeat, and this as soon as possible for I am leaving for
'a place where I shall be within ten days.
Let the surgeons bring their little boxes with divisions for oint-
,ments to help marching. Send some beef it it can come now in this
launch because it is very hard to get it here. The Companies should
.bring handy caldrons that hold half an arroba of water so that they
can march with them. You inform me, Sir, that you are sending
'Captain Juan de los Reyes a prisoner to Spain. That is not what
I sent to ask you in his Majesty's name, but to hold him prisoner
and well secured until His Majesty (God preserve him) should
hear my statements and Captain Juan de los Reyes give his. I re-
quest you to do this in the name of the King, our master.
His Majesty, whom God preserve, ordered me by royal war-
-rant to name a trustworthy and faithful person to keep account of
the munitions and provisions and, considering the person of Captain
.Juan de los Reyes and that he came as Commander of all the infan-
try by your order, and believing in the correctness of your selection,
I appointed him for the purpose whereby provisions and munitions
-were under his orders and he should give account at the proper time.
,God preserve you many happy years.
From Jamaica 10th February, 1658. I kiss your hand.
Don Christoval de Ysassi Arnaldo."
In March 1658 the Treasurer gave the following certificate:-
"I Francisco Lopez Arias, Treasurer, Royal Official, at present
'holding the office of Auditor in the name of His Majesty from this
city of Santiago de Cuba certify and give faith that by virtue of an
order of the Governor Don Pedro de Bayona Villanueva, I took a
roll on the 6th March one thousand six hundred and fifty-eight of
70 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1658
the Mexican Contingent that came from New Spain for the recovery
of Jamaica, despatched by His Excellency the Duke of Alburquerque,
and there were present thirty-one Captains of infantry, thirty-one-
Ensigns, twenty-eight sergeants and four hundred and sixty--
seven infantrymen among whom were negroes, mulattos and In-
dians, unequipped, who, with the officers above referred to, make five
hundred and fifty-seven units. The Commander of the Contingent.
is the Sargento-Mayor Don Alvaro de la Raspuru. The Contingent-
has two surgeons of the order of St. John of God. It is remarked
that the said thirty-one companies are not provided with grooms,
standard bearers, or drummers, so that five hundred and fifty-
seven units referred to are the sum total.
In testimony whereof I have given this in Cuba the llth March
one thousand six hundred and fifty-eight.
Francisco Lopez Arias."
Don Pedro Zapata, Governor of Cartagena, wrote to the King.
on the 28th February, 1658.
Referring to the despatch, dated the 29th Oct., 1656, which he
received on 3rd January, 1657, Zapata pointed out that
the help he sent to Jamaica in no way deprived Cartagena of any-
thing necessary'tor the safety of that port. His action gave rise to,
the first despatch of assistance through Cuba by the Duke of Albur-
querque, but the Duke was so far off and things had to pass through
so many hands that it would be deceiving oneself to hope for the re-
covery of the island in that way. He continues:-"The Governor of.
Jamaica is a man of courage, his sufferings worthy of reward and
envy, his constancy is great; of this I can assure your Majesty. He
keeps the enemy very disturbed and has done them much injury.
From disease and war they have lost more than eight thousand men.
It costs a lot to feed them but the English have taken such care that
from New England, Barbados and St. Christopher supplies rain down:
on them. The enemy's people now in the Island including soldiers,
negroes and women are from five to six thousand souls. r know -
it because I have prisoners taken at the end of the year. With re-
gard to fortification there is no more than those I have reported to-
your Majesty. As I stated I have the enemy's engineer with me, and
the plans of the fortification went in the despatches. The Governor
of Jamaica writes me that my supplies reach him and have been of
help to him, and that he must die asking for same. I expect this
from his sense of duty and the example he gives. I am sending himn
provisions within four days and I am telling him that I am writing.
to your Majesty and to your Viceroy of New Spain that the ship will,
go to the coast of Habana to take his letters, and I am sending him
an experienced pilot for him to send to Cuba where the relief from.
New Spain must have arrived twenty days ago. It will be just in-
time because the last letter I received in January of this year from-
1658] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 71
the Governor of Cuba tells me that he is anxious as to where he is
to place this relief because the enemy has seized all the smaller
ships and some supplies and defeated the troops that were in St.
Ann, the place where he was introducing it, and that the Governor
of Jamaica himself did not advise him at what locality he was. It
is not possible that your Majesty in the Council can be without some
news that may throw light on this intelligence. I therefore hope that
there may be much profit from two shipments I am making, with
no little difficulty, because as this is done without orders from your
Majesty the royal officials with their fear of the results, I can say,
torment and embarrass me so that one cannot act with the activity
and speed that difficult cases require. The Council will well under-
stand from the despatches themselves that have gone and will go
that this is the condition of Jamaica.. What I regret is that the war
has to be kept up in the Island for if the enemy begin to gather
fruit and to profit by the Island, they will place one hundred thou-
sand souls there as they have in the Windward Islands. With it
Cuba runs great risk and the settlement of the northern part of the
island of Santo Domingo. This will not happen if war is maintained
against them in the interior of the island of Jamaica until the state
of affairs allows of dealing with its recovery. For that a fleet is
always necessary and four months first to provide
means in the Indies, because for matters on land the troops from
Spain cannot stand the hardship and exposure. A good experience
is that of the enemy who without any opposition lost six thousand
men. If this matter is taken up while I am here I will contribute
all the provisions with experienced people and, if necessary, horses,
smaller boats and local weapons. In the meantime unless your
Majesty orders otherwise I shall assist the people of Jamaica as
much as I usefully can at moderate expense so that your Majesty
will always be well served."
On the 8th March, 1658, Bayona Villanueva wrote from San-
tiago de Cuba, and gave his version of the affair to Alburquerque.
The ships that came from Mexico with relief for Jamaica were the
Capitana, the Sevillana, the Caxon de Brea, and the Almiranta. He
said that Ysassi wished that the contingent should be detained for
the moment in Cuba. He complained that Ysassi did not give him
the information he asked for. "But I am not surprised when I re-
cognise clearly that in that island as well as in this city and Habana,
steps are being taken that none of the reliefs your Excellency sends,
may succeed, and to better prove this it is shewn by a declaration
that the two reliefs that have been introduced since the defeat were
delivered to a negro and Don Christoval de Ysassi says in it that he
is the man who conducted the last relief, that having urged his two
uncles to come and receive the relief and prevent the colonists and
infantry taking possession of the ship, they would not do it, and
72 JAMAICA'UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1658
in effect, those who could hold in it, came over to this island so that
the design that the force be dissolved and not have the footing of
an army is clearly seen."
After the defeat at Chorreras Bayona sent the adjutant Azevedo,
who had been present at that and other events, in Jamaica, with
letters to Alburquerque, but the military governor of Habana took
away his letters "giving him many annoyances." The same thing
happened to Captain Francisco de Salinas. "All this originated from
evil designs that are so penetrating that they infect as far as Car-
tagena, Habana and some pretend even Mexico, if your Excellency
were not an antidote for them with your knowledge." He then in-
sists on the desirability of strong measures being taken to recap-
Alburquerque wrote to Bayona from "Mexico" on the 21st
March before he had received his of the 8th of March. He told him
not to be disheartened by the defeat at Chorreras. The Spaniards
owned to losing forty or fifty men. Doyley claimed to have killed
"one hundred and twenty or thereabouts." He tells him not to re-
ceive into Cuba any Colonists from Jamaica, except with a permit
from Ysassi. Any who had come were to be made to return to Ja-
maica, except "as in Captain Juan de los Reyes there is a lack of
obedience and respect and an excess of inquietude, you must not let
him return to Jamaica, but send him to his fortress of Puerto Rico."
He then gave a long homily on loyalty and obedience to the
Crown and to the Colonial Governors. Of Ysassi he writes, "I do
not know this man nor have I ever seen him in my life, but I know
that the King and the Council have appointed and elected him and
all whom the King and Council appoint and elect represent Him in
the place where they are, and subjects have no right to opposition,
competitions or slander but only blind obedience, which is the best
road by which to merit the favour of the King and of his council.
I also find in Don Christoval that, being a native of the island with
experience of the advantages of the land and its quality, means and
difficulties, he must know them better than any other and apart
from these reasons in the service of his Majesty besides being mas-
ter of all there are enough examples of the King having appointed
Governors who are natives of the country, and for his Majesty's ob-
ject, which is to maintain his footing in Jamaica, a Colonist is more
to the purpose, for the reason I give you, than a stranger, besides
which Don Christoval is the first and only one who wrote to the
King and to me and to you, and since the relief arrived he has
fought, and it is not in the hands of men to conquer always nor is
it easy or possible because that, like everything else, depends on the
will of God whose Majesty is the master."
If anything happened to Ysassi, Alvaro de la Raspuru, the Sar-
gento Mayor of the Continent, was to succeed to the governorship.
Jamaica was, if possible, to be recaptured at all hazards, as it was
the King's wish that it should be maintained "till he could make
On the 24th of March 1658 Alburquerque wrote to Ysassi. He
tells him not to be down-hearted on account of the defeat at
Chorreras. He impresses on him the necessity of securing the loyalty
'-of his subordinates but if need be "it is less inconvenient to cut off
the heads of one or two, as is done everywhere, and ought to be
-done to those who fail in the first duty, which is obedience, and to
banish those who are less guilty in this great crime to the farthest
and most uncomfortable place so that they may pay for their crime
and the King's service be benefited." He is to do his utmost to
maintain a footing in Jamaica, as the King desires it.
On the 3rd of April Alburquerque wrote again to Bayona, urging
him to send on the second relief expedition to Jamaica. He approves
of Bayona having sent Captain Juan del Castillo and Diego Terril'
to consult with Ysassi as to the landing of the contingent.
On the 26th May, 1658 Alvaro de la Raspuru wrote to Albur-
-querque from the Camp of the Conception, Rio Nuevo, giving an
account of the expedition under his-charge, which by Ysassi's wish
was detained in Cuba: during which time he himself was almost in-
capacitated by illness. "The affairs of the island of Cuba and of the
town of Bayamo are so bad in the matter of provisions on account
of the increase of people, both of Jamaica and of the infantry, and
there is so much sickness that much activity has been necessary on
the part of the Governor Don Pedro de Bayona.
The efficiency he showed in this despatch to apportion the
cassava and beef, which the Governor Don Christoval asked for, can-
not be surpassed. He spared neither day nor hour in which with all
care he did not endeavour to do all that was possible, and I assure
your Excellency that Cuba and Bayamo remain quite unable to
assist another large relief force."
After the observance of religious services the expedition set
sail from Cuba the 16th May "in the evening and had a prosperous
:and safe voyage without having seen or met any ship whatever. We
Arrived at this port of Rio Nuevo on the northern part on Satur-
day at eleven in the day and as soon as we dropped anchor I des-
patched the launch with three Captains, Don Juan Diaz del Castillo,
Don Juan Francisco de Ynca and Don Francisco Murillo, with infan-
trymen to reconnoitre the land and find out if the Governor, Don
Christoval, was in this spot as he had written that he would await
us in it. These Captains having examined the land and not finding
anybody, only a half covered hut, returned on board to report to
me. I at once sent Juan de Herrera, the best pilot of this island, to
-seek the Governor with all diligence and haste in the places where
he knew he might find him, and in order that the roofing of the hut
*Probably a relative of Francisco Terril who was Governor of Jamaica in 1625.
74 JAMAIcA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1658
which was begun might be completed and other new ones built, for-
I perceived that it was the site the Governor had selected for the-
Camp, I commenced to disembark the infantry as this is an open
port and the enemy is very watchful, as was experienced next day,
Sunday, when at four in the afternoon, a large ship appeared near
this port with every sign of being an enemy. Knowing that it was
a spy and that there are other ports near by where he has vessels, 1
gave orders with every precaution that, while a garrison remained
on the ships, the greater part of the infantry should land and that
the provisions should be put on shore as quickly as possible, as was
done, for which purpose, as it was raining day and night, four huts-
were built on the beach to shelter them, and from there by force of
much labour they are being brought up to this Camp of the Concep-
tion. Although it is true that on Monday at sunset the enemy
vessel disappeared it was again seen on Wednesday, but at a greater
distance, and according to what some scouts have said it is accom-
panied. Therefore we are working incessantly, transporting the provi-
sions, keeping continuous watch, with guards at all the dangerous
posts where it may be feared that this corsair may land people. With
this there is a constant torture from the owners of the ships who
want to leave while, Most Excellent Sir, up to this time, Thursday
the 24th instant, I have not had the slightest account or news of the
Governor, Don Christoval; neither has the pilot returned nor the
other men I despatched, excepting the sub-lieutenant, Don Alonso
Velosso, and a sergeant whom I sent in company of a scout, to a
negro settlement six leagues from here. They found it deserted and
all the huts in which the negroes lived, burnt, and other signs that
appear to indicate a defeat."
He succeeded at last in finding Ysassi, who came eight days
after their arrival. Raspuru himself was so ill, apparently with
rheumatism, that the chief chaplain gave him the viaticum and ex-
On the 28th of May, 1658, Ysassi wrote to Alburquerque, also
from the Camp of the Conception, Rio Nuevo. He says that the first
expedition was a failure owing to the disobedience of de los Reyes,
and to the bad treatment he received at the hands of Bayona, who
prejudiced the soldiers against him, and failed to send him much
needed provisions: and he was reduced to such straits that it was
resolved to send a'despatch boat to the Governor of Cartagena for
assistance. Bayona had appointed, without authority from the King,
Juan de los Reyes as Sargento-Mayor of Jamaica, and when Reyes
by his disobedience had caused the defeat at Chorreras, and had fled
to Cuba, Ysassi asked Bayona to arrest him, he instead entertained
him. From a prisoner he had taken he learnt "they (the English)
had received a reinforcement of 500 men and that there are three
ships in the port as garrison with a few small craft, that one-
-has 60 guns, another 45 and the other 30 through which they are
1658] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 75
masters by sea and land. He also confessed that they are expecting
three thousand men from Barbados and Saint Christopher. I assure
your Excellency that they know the island so well that they make-
war on me all over it which would not give me any anxiety if my
troops were well supplied with provisions, for soldiers will fight
badly if they have nothing to eat and are badly clothed. I assure-
your Excellency that some die reduced to sticks. To disabuse your
Excellency's mind, I also say that so long as ships of force do not
come that can give trouble to the enemy on sea the island cannot
be restored because, although I might press him by land, as master
of the sea he will throw troops on me, as he does, wherever it may
suit him, hindering me from getting the reliefs that can come to-
me by sea for the sustenance of my infantry."
He begs that Ch7istoval de Ysassi, his nephew, who, with the-
approval of the King is Sargento Mayor of the Island, may be made
Sargento Mayor to the Contingent, in place of Raspuru, who is in-
On the 29th of May, 1658. Raspuru also wrote to Alburquerque-
from Rio Nuevo. He alludes to a small naval engagement in that
port on May 26th. "Each little frigate of ours seemed a galleon of
the royal fleet, the way they fought and palpably damaged them..
Although their force was so great they were so discouraged that in:
all haste they left the port and according to the signal lights and.
the noise that went on all night, the injury they received was great,
and, although at the present time they have not been very distant.
from us, they have not attempted to enter again."
He mentions for special recognition Rodrigo Serrano, the Cap-
tain of the Capitana, and also Captain Christoval de Herrera, of the-
Almiranta and Francisco de Leon of the Caxon de brea.
In June 1658, Don Christoval de Ysassi wrote to Don Pedro de-
Bayona as follows:-
"I wrote you giving what accounts I could by Juan Esteves,
owner of the Capitana that brought in the relief. Seeing that no
ship is coming from your City I am kept very worried, for it is a
month since the Contingent arrived in this island, and in that period
you have not even despatched a launch-though the King, our mas-
ter, has one there for the purpose-to learn how this force has
fared. The fact is that the day it left the enemy was in sight of the
Morro of this port, and it is certain that if God had not used His in-
finite mercy and they had met with this Contingent there is no
doubt that to escape them the boats would have been set on
fire, the commanders thus complying with the duty of loyal vassals
of His Majesty, whom God preserve. I have therefore built this
pirogue with only one carpenter whom Don Alvaro brought in his-
service. You did not send me anybody for this purpose although.
I asked you to send me all the people belonging to this island. As
JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDs.
you have done nothing that I requested, though what 'I ask is very
'important to His Majesty's service, you seem unwilling to do any-
'thing but the reverse. It would be very easy for you to send me sup-
plies without costing His Majesty any money at all just as the beet
that I get byrhunting costs him nothing. The little you sent me was
tor the greater part spoilt by the heavy rains we had, and I do not
'know why I would like you to rid me of the doubt that you will not
-deny that I asked you long ago for two hundred lances and you sent
"ne fifty, and provisions for eight months and only enough for two
-came. Of the infantry that came to your City by order of His Ex-
cellency the Duke of Alburquerque for this place, you kept the best,
'for out of one hundred and ten soldiers he sent under charge of Don
Francisco Salinas, Don Francisco Ysquierdo y Vallejo brought forty-
'one. Likewise I asked you to send me all the infantry and colonists,
-who left here for your island and not even one soldier or
colonist came. I also asked that the negro ship that is in your port
should convoy the Contingent and you did not do it but allowed it
'to sail in three cockle shells while the enemy was in sight I asked
you to send me the launch if the Contingent could not come within
-eight days. You say that that would be giving information to the
-enemy, not considering that the Contingent was leaving without
knowing what was on this coast. Well, there were three ships and
four launches waiting, through the intelligence they had, and by
your not sending the launch with supplies many of my men have
.died and others have left me and gone over to the enemy, for all of
-which and for everything that has happened up to this I blame you.
Finally you do not wish to do anything that I ask as it what I do
"beg did not concern His Majesty's service but my own. Take note,
Senor Don Pedro, that the designs that you do not wish to be ac-
'quainted with are becoming troublesome and yours are well known
Kindly supply me with beef for I want that now when I have
-only twenty regiments and the people are many. I will ask for cas-
sava and whatever else may be necessary when I may have need.
The twenty-five yards of coarse brown linen you sent me were of
-no use for the sail as it was too little, you therefore compelled me
-to buy one and the linen 'has been used up for drumheads and car-
-tridges on the three occasions that there has been fighting. I have
also asked you for some rags for lint and dressings and you have
not sent me any. For the love of God, I again ask you to send me
-not linen or a new shirt because I do not make use of it, but some
old cloth and this on His Majesty's account like all other things you
have sent me. What you must be kind enough to send me is con-
tained in the accompanying memorandum, because I have little
powder and ball for on the last three occasions that we fought with
anusketry and artillery much was used, and I remained with very
little, so you will send me ten barrels of powder and all the other
1658] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 7T
things contained in the memorandum. I am sending you forty balls
and one of the barshots the enemy fired at me which do not fit my
artillery, with the warning that I am sending them on His Majesty's
account, because they will be useful for the artillery of the forts.
of your City. I also forward eighty-six firearms for you to have re-
paired because they are of no use to me. You know well that L
have nobody here to repair them and they might well have come in
better condition. Send me an armourer to repair here those the-
infantry have and which are in a rather bad state. You know well
that Governor Don Joseph de Aguirre sent for this place fifty lances
which have remained in the possession of the alcaldes of Bayamo
and you could very well have sent them to me at little cost and
trouble. Do me the favour to ask for them and forward them for me
at the first opportunity with the three hundred that are shewn in
Although by Juan Esteves I reported to you how well we came
out from the fight with the enemy on the three occasions that they
came, I now notify you so that you may be more fully informed. It
was this way. On the twenty-eighth of May a warship arrived to re-
connoitre the port, and as it saw our ships it began to fire on them
and they on her. When she was exhausted she put out to sea and
returned in the evening with two others from the fleet under her
convoy and entered the port with their sprit sails topped to board
our ships. The troops that were on garrison attacked them in such
a way that there is no doubt that many were killed, and as we pressed
them from land with the artillery we obliged them to retire. They
placed themselves in mid channel and cannonaded us until after
prayers, and the following day were in sight without daring to re-
turn. Therefore at night I sent out the ships under pain of death if
they did not go out, and, having gone out without being perceived,
the enemy sent a despatch boat to the town and having received
help one of the ships came back. Seeing that our boats were absent
it gave notice to the others, whereupon five ships came with their
launches astern to land troops. To do this under cover of their
artillery, it was necessary to sweep the whole mountain and
some damage was done them by our artillery, for we gave the lead-
ing ship two very dangerous hits so that it was obliged to cut the-
cable and leave the anchor in the water; whereupon they went away
and up to now have not appeared. God be blessed, none of my men
was wounded in any of the three fights.
In view of the delay of the Contingent and that you were not
despatching any boat to me, I ordered the launch I had here to be
despatched with some very worn out sheets. I have not had any ac-
count of her as it is twenty leagues from here. I therefore-
suppose she has arrived at your City. I at the same time remit to
you a receipt for what you have forwarded to me out of what His
xcellency is sending me and I send a receipt in d'rail for every-
'78 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1658
-thing else so that you may understand and see what little provi-
sions I have, and that His Excellency may supply me. The bearer
of this is Captain Don Alonso Beloso, who goes so that you may send
-me as soon as possible by this same boat all that is contained in
the memorandum within four days, because I am always expecting
the enemy. Please send me six carpenters with their tools for doing
what may be necessary and to build boats to give news of whatever
tmay occur. You will also send me a receipt for the forty balls and
one bar-shot that I send you. Captain Don Alonso Beloso takes a
prisoner who was captured about fifteen days ago. He gives no
;account of anything as he is a labourer. He also takes eight axes to
have new edges made and returned to me sharpened. Kindly send me,
'for the sick I have, four or six arrobas of sugar and a hundred small
boxes, a padlock and other fittings for a chest, four padlocks
with staples and hinges for the gates of the trench. All this and the
other things contained in the memorandum you will forward to me
by Captain Don Alonso to whom you will also deliver twelve quires
,of paper for making lists or anything else. You might have sent
them to me when the Contingent came. You would not have been
sending them blindly for you know that a roll cannot be drawn up
without lists. I think it would be wiser for you to send me the lists
to assign each Captain his seniority, and the arms he must keep in
Order. You will please order fifty two muskets, thirty-seven arque-
buses and thirty-eight large and fifteen small flasks to be cleaned
at once so that they may be brought to me in the same boat.
I have very little beef, so you will supply me for I have not
*enough for six days. If you do not help me, we shall be in a bad
-state for beef is what is needed. Supply me with beef. After
leaving this port the Sargento Mayor Don Alvaro was put ashore
twenty-one leagues from this place because at daybreak the enemy
were in sight. I had him brought to this camp and, when preparing
.o return, God took him yesterday the 20th June. May God have
given him heaven and may He give us grace to serve Him. June
Don Christoval Ysassi Arnaldo."
In July 1658 Alburquerque sent one hundred carbines, and food-
stuffs, to Jamaica.
In August he wrote that Don Juan de Tovar was going as Sar-
gento-Mayor to Jamaica to. serve as military governor "and failing
don Christoval de Ysassi y Arnaldo to remain as absolute Governor."
He was sending 40,000 pesos to purchase beef and salt in Cuba for
In July 1658 Ysassi wrote from Jamaica to the King. The
Mexican re-inforcements had arrived in May: he reports their de-
'feat. "In fine, Sir, on this 26th of June the enemy defeated me with
the loss of 300- men although his loss so far as troops are concerned
1658] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 79
-was greater. In two days I mustered the troops that had gone into
the mountains and divided them into three parts so that they might
the better feed themselves. Seeing the poverty of these mountains
-and the scanty supplies from Governor Don Pedro de Bayona, I am
-obliged in virtue of a Council of War to send the troops to Cuba to
stay there until your Majesty reinforce me with your royal fleet for,
without it, it is impossible even with the greatest means to restore
the island as I have reported to your Majesty (God preserve you),
because the enemy is prospering now, with 5,500 men and more than
600 horses with many pilots so that he knows the whole of the
island. When the fleet comes, it will land our troops near the town,
and the ships will place themselves off the port. Although Governor
Don Pedro de Bayona informed your Majesty that the troops must
be landed along the coast, I say, Sir, that it is impossible to march
-on account of the roughness of the mountains and the necessity to
-carry their arms and food so that it is not possible to do anything
whereas on the South coast the marching is good and the road short.
I remain, Sir, with 50 men to make a footing and to know the de-
signs of the enemy in order to report to your Majesty (whom God
preserve) as I have always done in compliancewith your Majesty's
order, but anyhow, Sir. for the sake of advising the truth with all
clearness my letters contain many things that perhaps are behind-
In the same month Ysassi, owing to his recent defeat
at Rio Nuevo, held a council of war at the passage of the river
Cuyaus* to discuss what should next be done. The state of affairs
was as follows:-The English came with ten ships,t six being well
provided with artillery, and three frigates and a hulk and launches
full of infantry. They landed about two thousand men and attacked
the unfinished fortifications. They fought on the 25th and 26th of
June. On the evening of the 26th General Duarte Doyley sent a
letter calling on them to surrender. This was refused. During the
night the ships were brought in close and at daybreak the artillery
opened fire. Many were killed. Captain Marcos de Morales was
wounded and taken prisoner. Fifteen hundred men attacked the
trenches and captured them. The Sargento Mayor of the Island was
killed, also some Captains and other Officers and many soldiers
wounded and three hundred killed. For four or five days the Gov-
ernor, personally, and with guides, was looking for the defeated men
who were suffering from want of food. Two horses were brought
from Rio Viejo where the Lieutenant, Don Francisco de Leyba
Yeassi, was. These provided food for two hundred and thirty per-
sons until the Governor had his hunters assembled., The enemy had
'burnt all the-stores of provisions before they left. The Spaniards
*Possibly Roaring River,
tThere were only seven ships at Jamaica at that time. Doyley, in his ac-
*count, says he had 750 men.
80 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPAn'IARD. [165&
were therefore suffering from hunger and the rains in the moun-
tains. Captain Don Alonso de Lasso, who had gone to Cuba in a.
canoe made in the island, had brought back sixty arrobas of cassava.
and one hundred and seventy arrobas of beef, but this would not last
more than twelve days and it was not possible for the boat to go to
and return from Cuba in that time, and it could only carry provi-
sions for ten or twelve days. Considering this, and that the enemy
had five thousand five hundred armed men and six hundred horses,
as well as guides from the north coast who had surrendered to them,.
and ships to cruise around the island, the Council were of opinion
that the sick and wounded whom the launch could hold, with those.
officers whom the Governor would appoint, should be embarked for
Cuba and sent to the Governor Don Pedro de Bayona to be kept in
On the 16th of August, Ysassi sent an important letter to the-
King. In it he says, after alluding to what a Dutchman, taken pri-
soner from the English, had told him about an Indian cicique who
had gone to England from Florida to see Cromwell, "The statement
of the Dutchman accompanies this, Sir, and I am sending him with
it to Cuba to the Governor, Don Pedro de Moralest in order that he
may detain him until your Majesty sends to recover this island, for
he says he is a pilot and ventures to bring in the fleet although with
much risk because now this prisoner says they have demolished the-
fort they had built and have made it according to the plan I send to-
your Majesty, and, further, placed in the channel itself on Cayo
Blanco which faces the east and west channel, and the
north and south channel, six mounted pieces and four not yet mount-
ed, all of which is shewn with corresponding letters so as to know-
she positions; but my opinion. Sir, is that the war should be made
from that part of the land where a landing can be effected in the
vicinity of the bay of Guaiacanes,* three leagues to leeward of the-
principal port, our fleet forming a support to windward of the port.
The enemy must inevitably gather his troops at his' forts and If I
am advised as to the landing and march skilfully, in less than a day
he will be attacked on the land side and once the channels are held
by the fleet, he will have to surrender. If it is not done with a good
wind it is exposed to be lost and sunk. When an entrance is made-
on the side of the lime kiln of the port, the enemy can always in-
jure our fleet from the fort although it is not built for firing, and if
he places artillery where the lime kiln is, it will receive much dam-
age for having such a large body of troops garrisoning his forts he-
will have enough to double his squadrons in that part and shed a.
great deal of blood. If this port is taken the two forts remain as.
places of safety and stores to muster their troops and reorganise-
them. This can be obtained without these risks and without blood-
tMorales had superseded Bayona as Governor of Cuba.
*Galleon Harbour in Old Harbour Bay.
1658] .:S~VETEENTH. CENTURT. 81
-shed provided that on the attacks our forces are equal or have some
advantages over theirs and hold the open country. I represent this,
Sir, to your Majesty subjecting myself always to the leaders who
may come for the operation and who must have the matter before
them for best arrangement."
Of the Maroons he says, "The negroes Sir, who
have remained fugitives from their masters who have aban-
doned the island and your Majesty's arms, are more than two hun-
dred, but many have died, and I inform your Majesty so that
you may command what is most suitable to your Royal Service to
whoever may come to govern the Island. I have not done a small
-thing in conserving them, keeping them under my obedience, when
they have been sought after with papers from the enemy. I have
promised their Chiefs freedom in your Majesty's name but have not
given it until I receive an order for it."
SThe Dutchman above alluded to gave the following account
-of the English fortifications. "On the point of the Cayo de Carena
-there was a castle with eighteen guns, six of bronze of about fifty-
-our pounds weight of ball and twelve of iron of about twelve to
eighteen calibre, and two mortars of eighty pounds weight of ball.
'that on a cay in front of the fort there were six mounted guns and
four to be mounted of a calibre of twelve and eighteen and that at
the pier there is a walled-in trench with ten or twelve guns that
point in all directions towards the sea as well as the land, all of
-bronze of three to four pounds weight of ball, and that in the town,
in a white house which is a little way out on the Savana, there
was an enclosure of trenches where a thousand men can be muster-
ed and that the Sargento Mayor Thomas Forssas lives in the
Asked what troops formed the garrison In Cayo de Carena and
the fort at the pier and how many were stationed in the town,
he said that in the castle of Cayo de Carena one hundred men
were mustered every night and as many more in the fort at
the point; that a hundred and forty soldiers served in the town
-and sixty cavalry, that every night ten of the cavalry went out with
a' leader to patrol inside and outside of the town.
Asked by the interpreter how many troops were in the island
and what number of ships in the port, he said that in his opinion
there would be about three thousand armed men more or less and
that in the port there were eight vessels of their own merchant
fleet and seven Dutch vessels that had entered the port which they
had seized as wrecks and sent the Captains prisoners to England to
their Protector, but nothing will be settled about them until in-
structions come from England. Their flagship has fifty-four guns, 12
6f bronze and the rest of iron. The bronze ones are twelve calibre
and the iron twenty-four. The two other large ships have from
.. -.. \ . ... .
82 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1659
twenty-two to twenty-four cannons and there is another of fourteen.
The rest are of eight and ten. The Dutch ones were pinks, three
of them had little artillery and four had none ............. Asked.
what fort there is at the point of Morante and how many troops are-
at that point and if they have any sickness, he said that at the point.
itself there were ten pieces of artillery with a palisade in lieu of a-
trench where the guns are and one hundred soldiers stationed with.
their Captain, Ensign and Sergeant and about three hundred farm-
ers. That there is fever among them at the point as well as in the-
One of the plans still preserved at Seville, is evidently
that sent home by Ysassi, and a photographic copy-
is given herewith. Of the Contingent which Yeassi re--
ceived from New pain, 565 in number, not one had ever borne
arms in his life; the greater part being boys, negroes and mulattoes,
After Rio Nuevo he sent most of his troops to Cuba, remaining.
himself. with fifty of the best, to maintain a footing.
In February, 1659, an enquiry was held in Santiago de Cuba.
by Don Pedro de Morales regarding women and children, prisoners.
sent to that City by Doyley for exchange.
A statement was made by Captain Don Juan de Figueredo y
Fuentes who was sent with the prisoners. He was captured at
Oristan. He was five months at Cayo de Carena. He described the-
defences of that place.
In March 1659, Don Pedro de Morales wrote to Secretary Le--
"To drive the enemy from Jamaica a fleet must come out."
In Spain the question was gone into fully, and
the following interesting account was drawn up. "In the-
town of Madrid on the sixth day of the month of June,
one thousand six hundred and fifty-nine, the licentiate Don Fern-
ando Altamirano, a member of His Majesty's Royal Council of the-
Indies, having heard and fully discussed with the Lieutenant-Gener-
ral of the Island of Jamaica, Don Francisco de Leyba, in conformity
with the orders given by the Council in Decree of the twenlty-ninth
of April of the said year, matters concerning the Island of Jamaica.
and having seen and read the letters, proceedings and affidavits re-
mitted by the Secretariat, considering all that is stated in the said'
decree, decided to reduce all that he has learned from the said Don
Francisco de Leyba to a written declaration which the above named
will sign. This is done in extra judicial form for the purpose of
informing the Council by means of the following questions:-
1st. Asked how long he had been in Jamaica and what was-
his occupation before and after the invasion he said:-That he is a
native of that island and that his rank, positions and services are
shown by his record in the office of the Secretary for New Spain,
that after the invasion he was in the mountains of Jamaica morw-
1659] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. 83
than three years as lieutenant of the Governor, doing in military and
political matters whatever offered in the service of His Majesty, and
that the Governor of Jamaica, having heard that Don Pedro de
Morales had arrived in Cuba, sent him to this court with the papers
and instructions, and that he would have come sooner if it had not
been for the obstruction of Don Pedro de Bayona.
2nd. Asked how he was employed when the enemy Pen (sic) occu-
pied the island and in what actions he took part afterwards, of what
kind and with what troops and what training they had, he said:-
that he was with the Governor Don Juan Ramirez, Knight of the
Order of Santiago, who was taken prisoner by the enemy and sent
to Campeche and died on the voyage; that after the invasion a por-
tion of the people of the island retired to the south side and the
greater number to the north; this declarant stayed sometimes on
the south side with the Maestre de Campo, Don Francisco de Proenza,
who had remained in charge of the government, and at others on
the north attending to all matters that arose, and especially with
his hunting slaves helped the people who had left the plains on
the south where they received much injury from the multitude or
the enemy, for the mountains of the north, giving them meat and
wild fruits for their sustenance; this mountainous part was chosen
being better suited for defence and offence and for giving and re-
ceiving advices from Cuba and other places. At this time Don
Christoval de Ysassi was appointed lieutenant to the Maestre de
Campo, Don Francisco de Proenza, because the latter was blind,
lame and very often ill, and Captain Don Christoval de Leyba, son
of this declarant, as Sargento Mayor. The actions in which he was
engaged, in what order,.troops and training are fully set forth in the
record above mentioned. Don Christoval de Ysassi and his Sargento
Mayor with a few slaves afterwards went to the south side to join
the people who had been left unprotected there and carried out
many hostile operations against the enemy, killing many of them,
making prisoners and capturing baggage and burning the strong-
holds they had at Anaya and Guatibacoa. This declarant remained
on the north side giving information to all parts and sending provi-
sions, which were brought from Cuba at his expense to the governor
Don Christoval de Ysassi and the troops with him. That in the
course of the first three years of the siege nearly two thousand five
hundred of the enemy's men were killed while on our side very few
were lost. The enemy also suffered from a pestilence that lasted for
the two first years of their invasion from which more than six thou-
sand died. After this they were reinforced with troops from the
islands of Barbados, Nives, Saint Christopher and from New Eng-
land. Our men caught this infection and many died from it in the
island and in Cuba, whither many sick men, women and children,
Spanish colonists and slaves, embarked in one of His Majesty's
smacks that made several trips by order of the governor,
84 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARDS. [1659.
bon Pedro de Bayona, who charged for each person removed from
Jamaica, even infants, at the rate of ten and twelve pesos. There
was a family that paid him thirty-seven pesos silver for each person,
and he frequently sent the cassava of the Morro and other vegetables
for iale at high prices. This declarant states this under oath, with
great regret at seeing that this governor should derive such wretch-
ed profit from such a sad calamity, thus adding more affliction to
what those poor vassals were suffering.
3rd. Asked what troops the enemy keeps on land, what posts
he occupies there and what fortified ports he has, he said that
they have on land and in their fortifications more than five thou-
sand five hundred men and six hundred horses. The greater portion
of these troops are husbandmen who are cultivating and reaping the
products of the land, namely, tobacco, yuca, maize, millet, plantains,
cacao, sugar, cotton and divers grains, Brazil wood, red ebony,
pepper (pimienta), timber for ship building, cattle and small stock,
a lot of horses and beasts of burden. All these people who are en-
*aged in different kinds of stock-raising and planting are exercised
in the use of arms so as to turn to them when they have to defend
themselves. The enemy are in occupation of the town two leagues
from the port which has about five hundred houses and the posts
of Guanaboa, Maymon and la Puente, los Angeles, Liguani, Ayala
and Morante where they have the chief plantations and pens with
strongholds. They occupy the principal port of the island named
Caguaya, fortified by a royal fort on the Cayo de Carenas at the en-
trance, a plan of which and the number of pieces of artillery and
'the depths of the port is in the papers this declarant brought. There
is also on Cayo Blanco which is at the mouth of this port, a trench
with eight guns, four of which are mounted. At the landing place
there is another- fortification with guns and at the aforesaid Cayo
'de Carenas where the principal fort is, and the anchorage for large
'ships, the English Commander has built a strong house in which he
'lives. Others have been built near to it. Usually there is in this
W'anchoring place a large ship well provided with artillery, loaded
with munitions and warlike stores which does not leave for any
action whatever as it is a store for all these fortifications. This port
has two anchorages one in sight of the fort, the other more inside
in sight of the said fortification. The enemy also occupies the port
of Morante which is in the Eastern cape of the island. At its en-
trance there are four pieces of artillery.
4th. Asked what vessels the enemy have of what burden.
where do they anchor, in what ports, what fortifications these have
and what depths of water, which ports on the North and South do
they occupy, he said:-that the munition ship he has mentioned is
always in the port of Caguaya and that ordinarily there are seven
or eight more frigates of fifteen, thirty and forty pieces of artillery
With soldiers and officers with which they coast the island and that
1659] SEVENTEENTH CENTtRY. 85
of Cuba, robbing what they meet, and they spread out to the whole
of the coast of the Mainland. Besides this many ships of French
and English pirates enter and leave the above port, fetching goods
and carrying away the products of the Island. As masters of those
seas they cast anchor and take water and supplies of beef and fuel
at all the ports that are undefended; that in the preceding reply
he has stated the posts-and ports that are fortified and their depths.
5th. Asked what reliefs have been sent to our men and from
what places, such as troops, provisions, money, stores, arms, muni-
tions, at what places and ports they were received to what town and
by what road they were transported, he said:-that the first reliefs
that came to the island in the first two years of its invasion were
three, at different times, that Don Pedro Zapata, Governor of Carta-
gena, sent with his letters which were of great consolation for our
people because they encouraged us and offered every assistance and
the blood of his arms that we might not abandon the island and that
His Majesty might have ways and means for His Royal arms to enter
it; the first reliefs consisted of powder, balls, cord, lances, hoes,
machettes, spades, salt, cassava, maize, a little wine and vinegar.
On the second and third occasions he sent salt and maize. All three
came in quite safely on the south side by the cove of Pozo Ayron:
the quantity will appear from the receipts that were given. He
does not remember on what dates they were given but it was during
the said two years. Later on eighty men arrived at Cuba, their
captain being Don Miguel Hurtado del Castillo who recruited them
in Habana in the jurisdiction and by order of Governor Aguirrj,
then of that City, at the cost of the Captain who did it because he
is a native of Jamaica. He led them by land so that if they were
needed he could take them over from Cuba to Jamaica. Having
asked Governor Bayona for a ship to transport them he did not
give him one and the men were disbanded.
At this time the Governor Ysassi sent twice to ask the Governor
of Cuba to send him the troops he had transferred there from Ja-
maica, which were almost all he had, because the enemy had met
.with the losses referred to and were left with a small number who
were sick and depressed and desirous of going away, as had been
verified by the prisoners that had been taken and by others who
.voluntarily came over to our men. The first time Governor Bayona
,replied that when he had an opportunity he would send them. The
second time he took as a pretext for not sending them the issue of
a proclamation calling upon those who wished to go to assemble.
)More than thirty men, citizens of Jamaica, having volun-
tarily joined and embarked in a pirogue and a smack that this de-
clarant had built for-fetching and carrying despatches and which
were loaded with provisions on his account and that of some citizens
,who were on board, he stopped them until, with the de-
lay and the rains, all the provisions .were spoiled, and neither these
86 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIARBD. [1659
nor the people were transported. Later, through petitions made to
the said governor, he allowed the smack referred to to be again load-
ed at the cost of this declarant, and when it sailed on its voyage the
enemy captured it. This was the cause of many of those who were
in the besieged island dying of hunger. It was recognized after-
wards that if the troops that had been asked for had been sent,
without any doubt the island would have been recovered without
further cost. After the expiration of the two years, by His Majesty's
order another relief was assembled in Cuba, sent from Santo Dom-
ingo, Puerto Rico, Habana, and New Spain, amounting to about three
'hundred and fifty men which with two hundred and twenty more
gathered from the Jamaicans there make five hundred and seventy.
Only four hundred of these went over to the relief with their arms
and fifty quintals of powder; another fifty were left in Cuba and
the corresponding quantity of balls and cord. Of these men some
returned sick. Except what these troops had brought from their
own countries they did not bring enough food to maintain them-
selves for fifteen days, and it was said that with those who came
from New Spain under the charge of Captain Salinas, namely one
hundred and twenty men, the Viceroy had sent twenty thousand
pesos tTat came by land to Cuba. Governor Bayona sent to ask
the Governor of Jamaica where he should send this relief. He answer-
ed to the south and this declarant was of the same opinion. The
Governor of Cubaa replied that on that side it would be on his account
and not on His Majesty's, that he was of opinion that it should be
sent to the North to which the Governor of Jamaica replied that he
could send it wherever he liked. In the end he sent it in two ships
to the north side, and in these questions and answers much time was
wasted and some soldiers ran away. Governor Bayona appointed
as Commander and Sargento Mayor of this infantry Captain Juan de
los Reyes who had brought thirty soldiers from Puerto Rico, and
would not send the Commander the Viceroy had sent. The relief
arrived at a little port on the north side named La Maguana. The
Governor received the relief there and at once marched with the
commanders and troops for the south side where the enemy could
be attacked. Some troops remained at las Ohorreras near the port
of la Maguana, to guard the provisions. After a few days march,
about eight of ten, what they were carrying was consumed. As the
road was rough and each one carried his arms and munitions they
could not carry forage for a longer period. Captains Reyes and Silva
took occasion of the difficulties experienced on the road and its
roughness to ask that it be resolved by Council of War that they
should return to the place where the supplies had been left (which
was the same as if the relief had not been brought, for from that
place the enemy could not be attacked), and seeing their opposition
to the continuation of the march to the south side and that they
were persuading the other soldiers thereto, notwithstanding the
,Governor's remonatrances, to avoid any mutiny, he ordered them to
-return and named as Commander the said Captain Reyes with or-
-ders that he should remove the provisions and dther stores from
*the place where they were and put them in the port of Baycant as
-it was a more hidden place and better suited for transporting them
to the part of the south where the war was going on. Captain Reyes
-returned with the greater number of the troops and would not re-
move the provisions. Instead, he built a stockade in the same place
where they had been left, and placed in it the powder that was con-
cealed in another more hidden locality. The enemy came with ire
or six ships, landed troops, attacked the stockade, took it; killed
and captured more than fifty men and carried off the powder, muni-
Stions and provisions. Captain Juan de los Reyes embarked and
-went to Cuba with the best soldiers--he does not remember their
*names-although the governor Ysassi had warned him under pain
-of death not to abandon the island and troops. Governor Bayona
received them well, and with Captain Reyes and the other fugitive
,soldiers drew up several reports and gave money to Captain Reyes
-when he sent him a prisoner to Spain, with the object that he should
promote his intention that the restoration of the island should be
-entrusted to him and that he should make it understood that reliefs
must be given on the North, aiming, according to rumour, at perpetu-
a-ting his position in the government of Cuba and making the res-
toration last for ever, and all assistance and supplies for the pur-
-pose pass through his hands. Governor Ysassi, with the few troops
That marched with him to the south side, had several encounters
-with the enemy, and in them killed more than a hundred men and
-captured arms and horses and burnt ten houses they had rebuilt in
Guatfbacoa. These successes would have continued if Captain Reyes
'had not returned with the soldiers who began following the Gover-
nor and the others who became scared by papers and advices the
'Captain gave them and his offers of a ship to go to Cuba, as they
'did. The enemy learning of the trouble that had occurred and that
'the Governor had few troops sallied out with five hundred men to
-seek him. As he was inferior in strength he retired to Oristan. He
says further:-that when Captain Reyes was at la Maguana, Gover-
-or Bayona supplied him alone four times with cassava, biscuit and
"forty-nine arrobas of beef. The number of reliefs Governor Bayona
'says he sent to Jamaica is of this description. The last relief enter-
-ed the island about May, sixteen hundred and fifty-eight. It was
-sent by the Duke, Viceroy of New Spain, and consisted of five hun-
*dred and odd infantrymen with their captains under the charge of
Don Alvaro de la Raspuru and forty thousand pesos for Governor
'Bayona to hold for victuals and supplies and to send some amount
to the Governor of Jamaica to meet any emergency. He knows that
"he only sent him three thousand pesos and that the troops were un-
-trained, some without arms and of the firearms they brought eighty
JAMAICA UNDER THE SPANIADS.
.were returned to Cuba for repairs. It was great carelessness. qt.
to have done.this before in Cuba when the inspections were made.
These troops came with little food because after the Viceroy de-
patched them they were delayed eight months in entering the island
and. therefore the provisions were consumed. They came ragged
and naked, and if the Viceroy in his foresight had not sent fifteen
hundred yards of striped cloth they would not have had wherewith
to cover themselves. These troops were detained three months in
Cuba. Governor Bayona held a meeting with persons of that place
at which it was resolved that this relief force with the supplies-
should enter by the north side. Governor Ysassi accepted this re--
solution, but gave notice that sufficient provisions should be sent
and that if he did not have same His Majesty and the Viceroy should:
be informed for without them the troops could not be fed. After
having given him this notice he'gave him another by a note to the
effect that he should not send the relief force as the enemy had made
an assault on him and captured a captain from whom they could
learn what he had advised and that he would let him know when to-
send it with more safety. When this season passed he sent two cap-
tains to say that it should be despatched to him within eight days.
and that if this could not be done that the smack be sent for him
to give information as to the condition of the enemy. He did not
do this but at the end of fifty days sent the relief force. In the mean--
time the Governor of Jamaica was wandering about the shores of
the coast to see if the relief was appearing or to learn it it had been
captured. It Governor Bayona had sent the smack as he was not
sending the relief within the eight days, the Governor of Jamaica
would have told him where the relief could enter without danger.
However the five hundred men arrived, less a few who had run away
in Cuba to whom Governor Bayona gave employment in Cuba and
.enrolled at the Morro.
They came in by the port of Rio Nuevo on the north side in
three frigates. The Commander landed the ien, ammunition and
provisions. The beef did not last more than a month. The Governor
of the Island received the relief force and while placing it ona.
mountainous height the enemy came with three ships. The Governor
ordered the three frigates that were at. anchor to pay out their
cables and bring the artillery to bear on one side and to put one gun
oan shore. That day one of the enemy ships fought with the frigates
and fired upon the troops on shore. The next.day all three together-
did the same from morning until tour in the afternoon. They re-
.ceiyed great injury.without loss on our side. The Governor ordered
that in the darkness of the night our frigates should depart. They
did so leaving us six small iron guns of about three and four pounds
of ball.. If.they had.been. of heavier calibre they would have been
very useful. The three ships came back to the port in the-morning
and not finding the frigates went to the chief port of Caguaya to
1659] SEVENTEENTH CENTURY. oY
report to their Commander. "The Governor then began to fortify the-
height and while doing so the enemy returned with ten war ships-
and other smaller craft and landed a force. The Governor sent two-
captains with seventy men to meet them and a negro captain with-
fifteen or twenty negroes. In the encounter nearly all died fghting.-
The enemy captured a few, among them a captain whom they took
to London with other prisoners taken in the last assault, where
they likewise have as a prisoner the Maestre de Campo who has the-
fits of illness and infirmities mentioned. Many of the enemy also
died in this encounter. Afterwards they landed more troops and
marched in squadron form attacking our fortification twice. They
were repulsed with loss to their troops and encamped on the sea
beach hill. The ten ships began to batter our fortification and their
fire was so heavy that in one day it levelled the trees with which it
was covered. At the end of three days continuous fighting they
advanced with a thousand men on three sides and killed three hun-
dred of ours with a loss of as many of their own, as was learnt from.
prisoners, and took the fortification and its Contents. The last man to
leave it was the Governor. On this occasion they killed by a gun-
shot the Sargento Mayor Don Christoval de Leyba, only son of this-
declarant. After the enemy left the fortification our men found and
-collected there more. than two hundred of the iron balls they had
6th. Asked what troops have remained and were with the Gov-
ernor when Don Francisco left, from what countries they were, how
and for what reason and with what permission the rest went away,.
and what commanders, captains and officers remained and especially
why Juan de los Reyes left, by what order and how he proceeded.
He said that when he left Jamaica there remained with the Gov-
ernor one hundred and twenty men made up of Spaniards, Negroes,
Indians and Mulattoes, part of them being of the lot the Viceroy-
sent and of the relief from Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico, the-
-greater number being colonists of the island without counting-
this declarant's slaves, whom he left in order that they
might feed these people by their hunting. Of these hundred and
-twenty men, one-half were to go to Cuba by decision of a Council of
War held by the Governor, with the rest that had already gone. over
-by the same arrangement, because there was not wherewith to sus--
-tain so many troops in the Island and they were not enough to fight
with the enemy, nor could they all go Into ambush because the.
enemy, as masters of the island and having- so many troops on foot
and on horseback, penetrate and overrun it all. To keep the footng-
ours have there fifty or sixty men are sufficient for they can better
hide and feed themselves, receive and give information as to what
the enemy are doing., Whenever the Governor may have need .o
more troops he will.ask the Governor of Cuba, Don Pedro de Morales,
for same who will-send them at.-once and provisions as e has shewm
90 JAMAICA UNDER THE SPAM e. [1659
In his good and friendly intercourse. Besides these troops there are
in three settlements about two hundred and fifty black men
:and women who gwbraT themselves although they are obedient
separate themselves from His Majesty's service. This declarant doe
not know if these negroes seeing the English prevail in the Island.
-will subject themselves to their government as they have many times
-solicited. The Governor has impeded it by kind words, offering the
loyal ones freedom and His Majesty's protection. The reason why
-the other troops left was that they could not be maintained and on
account of their sickness and because Governor Bayona in order to
benefit by their fares removed them from the island at-the beginning
sof its invasion. The last troops that left went by virtue of decisions
-of a Council of War. With regard to the departure and by what
'order it was effected, that has already been stated in the reply to
the fifth question and regarding how that individual acted he
-refers to the papers, letters and reports on the subject that have
-come to the Council. The Commanders who remained with the Gov-
-ernor are Captain Cristoval de Proenza, Captain Don Geronimo de
:Fuentes, Captain Antonio de Leon, two Ensigns, Diego de Medina
:and Cristobal de Leyba.
7th. Asked what forces will be required to expel the enemy and
recover the island, of what number of vessels should be composed
-the fleet that might be prepared for this purpose, where they will
'be most convenient, what provisions stores and ammunition it will
be necessary to land, what number of troops should be carried for
'landing and for guarding, managing and defending the ships, at
-what ports the troops should be embarked and if they can be assured
-of casting anchor without the enemy's artillery harming them,
-where will there be most capacity and suitable conditions for hold-
-ng out and taking refuge in case of accident or bad weather, from
-what place will they be supplied with provisions If hostilities be pro-
tracted: he said that he has already stated the number of troops
-the enemy have and the posts and ports they have occupied and
*fortified and he adds that every day more are being fortified. That
-the forces and vessels that will be necessary to expel them and their
-burden, number of troops, provisions, stores and munitions depends
on what the gentlemen of the Council and the Council of War may
decide. What he can say is that the island is capable of sustain-
-ing forty thousand men and It steps are not taken to restore it at
once the undertaking will become more costly and difficult, that
-the injury the trade of those parts is receiving is quite notorious,
-and in the future the merchant fleets and galleons will receive the
same If the enemy remain there and make fresh invasions of the
.other islands occupying the ports of the mainland and holding Ja-
.-maica which is to windward, and near to all as a granary, ware-
9house and military station. It -appears to this declarant that for it