THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 98.
Sir Thomas Rue to the Earl of Salisbury, Lord High Treasurer,
28th February, 161 i, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.
Source : Public Record Office. State Papers Colonial, C.O. 25.
Published by the courtesy of the Master of the Rolls and the
Deputy Keeper of the Public Records.
If I should trouble Your Lordship with a Lardge relation
of my poore discoveries, they would be as paynfull to you
as they have been to mee : I have left them now behind
me and I will doe so here too, least they offend your patience
more than they have benefitted mee.
Your Honor shall fynd nothing new nor strange here,
though it comes from the newest and strangest land for it
beres no other fruit but my respect and service to Your
Lordship, for which interruption I must also ask perdon :
when I shall come home 1 hope to give Your Lordship
account that I have not Ibcene idle and I will not become
so by strange reports of this place, when I shall answer for it
at Your Lordship's commandment.
Yet I may with an humble bouldness presume to say
I have scene more of this coast, rivers and inland from the
Great River of the Amazones under the line to Orenoque
in 8 degrees then any Englishman now alive, and of this
I hope to give a reason. I am now past the Wild Coast and
arrived at Port d'espagne in the Island of Trinidad where
are 15 sayle of ships freighting smoke; English, French
and Dutch; and of these parts if Your Honor will give
me leave to relate the little news and my opinion I will
venture them both.
The Spaniards here are equally proud, insolent yet
needy and weake ; theyr force is reputation and theyr safety
opinion ; yet dare they use us whose hands are bound, with
any contumely and treachery ; For me I will resist and
prevent both these and for that end doe rather stay with some
English then for any trade I hope that your Noble disposition
will not take it ill that we defend our selves and the Honor
of our Nation ; I will not exceed your Honorable caution
Your Lordship gave me nor stopped to so wretched an enemy
(for so he is here) nor syncke under the injuries I am able
to repulse. I have had some question with them on land
but it is ended with quiett, concerning the Trade of our
Contrymen whom they used woorse than Moores.
All seamen here bless Your Lordship and wish that the
State would not be offended if they made themselves
recompence and ha\e gotten a rumour, or made one, of
Letters of Mark, because Mr. Hall's prise hath been admitted:
if the example were sure we could second yt but we dare not
handle fyre nor cannot take fast should of ayre.
All the Spanishe newes here is of the kynges purpose to
plant Orenoque and it is a matter of great consequence, for
the River runs into the hart of the mayne and hath much
wealth upon yt. The Justice of the Kynge is dayly expected
to come down and to be received at Snt. Thomas, the
Plantation of Ferd. Bereo in Orenoque; who is received
into the kynge's protection and hath received his grace.
Theyr come dayly from the mayne, cattell and horse which
are to be employed in this woorke, in fortefying the place,
raysing a new Cytty, and in pursuing the Conquest of Guiana
which hath long slept and is now by new and more direct
intelligence opened to him: but it will vanish and he turned
all to smoke for the Governor is lazy and unapt for labor
and hath more skill in planting Tobacco and selling vt then
in erecting Colonycs or marching of armyes.
But the River and Towne is infinite ritch and weake and
may easely be taken away and as casely held. There is in
these parts a Spaniard proscribed that was Governor of
Caracas, for well treating some English fallen into his power ;
his name is Don Juan de Gambo ; he with divers Spaniards
his followers, are fled into the mayne as open enemies to the
kynge's proceedings; I have gotten knowledge by Indians
where he is and have sent my shallop to seeke him and if
I can, to speaker with him. I know if I myself may confer
with him which I will adventure for, he may offer good service
to Your Lordship, for he is a great soldier for these parts
and knows all the secrets, passages, strengths, advantages
and weaknesses of this and all the mayne to the bottom
of the bay ; and I am sure he knows of mynes undiscovered
to the kynge's officers and unable for him and his company
If he fayle me yet I hope it will not be ill received of me,
if I bring one with me home that may doe almost as much
if there be use of him ; he is borne a Venetian but bred in
the New Kyngdome of Granada, a priest here but a soldier
there, one that pretends change in his conscience ; I cannot
see his hart but I know his professions and abilities
here; I will present him to Your Lordship if lie be not
prevented, for he is also one that must runne away when
I give the word.
I am sorry for this presumption but Your Lordship gives
heed to all and I account my selfe tyed by many favors
to your particular service ; if I may presume to add one more
at my humble sute, that Your Honor will favor me in my
last and first request, in advancing my degree to serve
Though Your Lordship's knowledge of me had but
late beginning and meaner descrvings yet you shall ever
fynd that Your Lordship shall command the life of
Your Honor's unworthy servant,
To the Right Hon: the Earl of Salisbury, Lord
High Treasurer of England.
Feb. 28th 161I. Port d'espaigne in the Island of Trinidad.