THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 14.
Despatch from Antonio de Berrio to the King of Spain.
Source :-Additional Nss. 36315 f. 251-254, British Museum.
Published by courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
Translated from the Spanish.
27th July, 1592.
In the month of May of this year I wrote to Your Majesty
reporting that which has been done towards carrying out
the exploration with which Your Majesty has charged me
it is clear to me that it is in no way possible to proceed with
that to which I have given so much labour without first
settling Trinidad and people are now there whom I have
collected from all parts to settle this Island ; the record of
this settlement and other pertinent matters I am sending to
Your Majesty immediately ; the people I have so far gathered
are few, as help is little and with the exception of Don Diego
Osorio, Governor of Venecuela which is eighty leagues from
this Island who helped me well, the others have obstructed
me, envious of my discovery and success and hoping to
grasp the results of my severe travails.
God alone knows how urgent it is to settle these large
provinces, may He help me to serve Your Majesty; the
men who I have in the Island of Trinidad have prevented
four English ships from trading with the Indians and from
taking water and other supplies and making lanchas as they
are accustomed to do then going along and raiding Tierra
Firme ; my people made an ambush, killing two and taking
one alive from whom was taken a deposition which with lhe
report of this affair is sent so that Your Majesty may understand
how urgent it is that the Island should be settled.
I have there 85 selected Spaniards and every day I ought
to be sending more but so great is the opposition against me
that I am unable to do that which I wish, since it is necessary
to have many men and I lack money because my estates
in the New Kingdom of Granada are held by my creditors
and are not available to give the necessary help.
I have explained to Your Majesty that this discovery
and settlement is one of the most important in your service
and I beseech Your M ajesty to be pleased to order the small
province of Cumanagoto to send men by land and cattle
and other supplies because it would be much less costly and
less risky to send them by land than by water ; then I shall
be able to complete this important affair which will add so
much to the glory of your realm and to the service of God.
I am awaiting apart from the men which are so necessary,
the pacification of the Indians of the Kingdom of Cumana
and the end of the pretensions and suggestions about the
limits of the governments of Don Pedro de Silva and of
Serpa since the land involved is the same in all three cases
and the land really falls in between the rivers Pauto and
Papamene which I, alone have discovered and explored and
about the character and riches of which I have sent the only
certain and true account in my reports; the Governors
Don Pedro and Serpa died many years ago and their
governments remain undiscovered lands and still in the
hands of Your Majesty.
With me in these extensive wanderings which have been
undertaken in the service of Your Majesty, have been many
noble men of great valour and constancy, among them is
Domingo de Vera y Ybargoyen, a native of San Sebastian
who served in this expedition as Maestro de Campo who is
very deserving and I beg Your Majesty to reward some of
his services and to be pleased to grant him a livery of Santiago
as he has well deserved it as a recognition and an impetus
to greater services for Your Majesty.
May Our Lord preserve Your Majesty as Christianity needs.
Margarita, 27th July, 1592.
I kiss the Royal feet of Your Majesty,
Your humble servant and vassal.
ANTONIO DE BERRIO.