THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 95.
The Treasurer of Cumana, Roque de Montes, to the King.
15th October, 1595. Cumana.
Source : Additional MSS. 36317. British Museum. Published
by courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
Translated from the Spanish.
Summary.-IHe refers to the Pearl Fishery and states that
it is languishing for want of negros for labour as none are
being sent. On 25th July, 1595, two English ships attacked
the Pearl Fishery. He urged the settlement of the Island
Verbatim.-Felipe de Santiago and Captain Andre de
Velasco are the most acquainted with these districts since
they have sailed from the New Kingdom of Granada by the
River Cazanar to enter the Orinoco and by the Orinoco
as far as the Island of Trinidad. They are going to people
this Island by the order of the Governor, Francisco de Bide.
The corsairs have done great harm (of which I have
given account to Your Majesty) in the town of the Island
of Trinidad and having brought the Governor Antonio de
Berrio, prisoner with them to the port of this town, after
we had won the victory over them which God was pleased
to grant us, they landed the Governor, Antonio de Berrio.
Although he is very old and has little wealth, he exerted
himself as best he could and returned to the Island with some
few men as there were none there.
In the same manner the Governor, Francisco de Bide,
wishing to proceed with the agreement which he made with
Your Majesty referring to this Island, he brought together
men, arms, munitions and other supplies necessary for occupying
the Island and for driving away the Governor, Antonio
Antonio de Berrio looks upon the Island as his own and
is not willing to receive the men whom the Governor, Francisco
de Bide sends nor will he give tnem an opportunity for settling
in the Island.
An unhappy result might ensue from this similar to
what happened in the same Island many years ago at the
time when the Island of Cubagua was peopled by Spaniards
and when the Governor Sedeno was in the Island of Trinidad
with his men. The Governor Ordas came to it and entered
on a sharp engagement in which many Spaniards fell on
both sides without either being able to obtain what was
Summrary. He recommends that Antonio de Berrio be
instructed to proceed and explore and conquer Guayana
and that Francisco de Vides be restricted to the conquest
and settlement of rinidad.
He advises that steps he taken to assist settlers in Guayana
and that special advantages be oficred ; that taxation be
only one tenth and not the usual fifth. He states that Guayana
and Caura were excluded from the agreement with Serpa
but included in that with Vides. lic considers that Vides is too
old and with too much to do so that he would not object
to having Guayana and Caura taken away; anyhow he does
not intend to attempt anything there.
He considers that both Eerrio and Vides are beyond
their tasks and suggests that a special Commander should
be sent out with an expedition by the King to conquer and
settle Trinidad and Guayana.
He reports that the salary of the Governor of Margarita
is 2,000 ducats.