THE TIINIDADI HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 50.
The Alcaldes of Trinidad to the King.
29th December, 1699.
Source :-Additional Mss. 36331. British Museum. Published
by courtesy of the Trustees oj the British Museum.
Translated from the Spanish.
We have to report in compliance with our duty that
we the Alcaldes Ordiinarios of the Island of Trinidad have
taken possession of he (Government ol this Island in
conformity with Law 51, 21nd Vo'lumIne, Folio 152 of the
Nueva Recopilacion of tle Indies, as the Maestro de Campo
Don Joseph de Leon y Eclialez has been killed only six months
after taking over his duties.
Of this unfortunate death ias the attached reports indicate
we have to remark that thle late governor r exhibited great zeal
in all the aftfirs of Your Majesty and tlie interests of the
Island in the exercise of which lie was killed as shown by
We also send the attached (copy of a letter from the
Prefect of the Purissima Concepcion de Naparima Mission of
this Island to a vecino of this town, written without any other
motive tlan to prevent similar atrocities as that committed
upon the said Governor. He records the disobedience of the
Indians ofl these missions to their religiosos and the return to
their old idolatries, showering scorn and abuse upon Our Holy
Faith and ridiculing with jests (lie efforts of the Fathers.
Now there are only left not more than three sick Fathers
in these Missions exposed to deal at any hour. The few
vecinos of this town and Island are in the same danger and
all the people are less than 70 in number.
The fort and town of Guayana has very few soldiers and
are badly armed and short of munitions and we beseech
Your Majesty to send us help with the least delay.
Necessity has caused us to report in these papers the poor
state in which we remain.
W shall pursue the perpetrators of such an atrocious crime
with all the strength our weak forces allow aided by the Indians
of the encomiendas. Those of them who in zeal for the service
would go at once, we have declared free for several years
from the labour due to their encomenderos. This pleased
them and many joined demonstrating a loyalty worthy of this
honour and favour which Your Majesty will be advised
With our men assisted by these Indians in defence and
offence we go forth against the enemies of the Royal Crown
as also the rebellious Indians to punish those who committed
this horrible and sacriligious murder.
In consideration of the above it is very necessary and
important to send out ioo families from the Kingdoms of
Spain to this Island.
May Your Majesty be pleased to order what is necessary
for Your Royal Service and may God preserve Your Catholic
and Royal Person as Christendom needs and as your humble
and loyal vassals desire.
Trinidad, 29th December, 1699.
ANTONIO DE ROBLES.
JUAN MARTINEZ DE BENGOCHEA Y ESPONDA.