THE TRINIDAI) HISTORICAL SOCIETY .
Publication No. 151.
The Casa de Contratacion to the King oj', Sain.
Source : -British Museum. Additional Mss. 36324.
Published by the courtesy of the Trustees of 1th- British Museum.
Translated from the Spanish.
8th 71 nc, 1638.
In a letter from the Secretary, Don Gabriel de Ocana y
Alarcon of the first of this month, he tells us that Your Majesty
by resolution of the Council of War of the Indies has ordered
to be sent direct to the Island of Trinidad in various tenders
and caravels or light craft, 200 men with ammunition and
clothes and some provisions for those in that Island besides
several able soldiers as officers in case the enemy may begin
again their invasions as in the past.
By a subsequent letter of the 28th of last May, it was
resolved that it would be advisable if this assistance which is to
be sent to Trinidad, could be undertaken by private persons
to whom favours could be granted and the Council of War
was ordered to inform us of what Your Majesty had ordered
so that we may immediately put it into execution.
We have given this our customary earnestness and
attention and conferred with those whom we judge best able
to undertake this with the greatest dispatch and convenience
since speed is the chief thing necessary so that this Island
may be succoured and put in a state of defence against any
enemy that may attack. We now give information of what
has been accomplished in this matter with similar dispatch
so that attention may not be diverted from a question of such
importance and the will of Your NMajesty may be carried out.
The greater the necessity of assisting the Island is under-
stood to be, the less hope there is that private people will
be willing to undertake it with no other reward than the
favours and grants which Your Majesty is accustomed to
award on similar occasions and those which the owners of
ships who have had knowledge of this Island and held
commerce there, might be ready to offer.
Not only would the sum of 10,00o ducats be required for
the equipment 'or the two ships but more than another
12,000 ducats for the transport of the 200 men, ammunition
and clothes. The raising of the men will not be the least
difficulty unless Your Majesty orders those who are ready and
serving else her I, to go for this purpose. For this reason
although \we have communicated this matter to persons whom
it appeared might be inclined to undertake it, they were not
disposed to do so in any form or manner or even to render
any service unless Your Majesty equip the ships or give them
leave to take cargoes or to grant them other favors so that
by Your Majest 's order they were to be provided with the
men, provisions and ammunition that they are to carry.
The\ minaintaed this although on our side we suggested that
Your Majest\ wxuld be pleased to grant them the privilege
after landing tie reinforcements in a suitable place, of passing
to a1n part ol' the Indies to sell any cargo tihe (am.i and to
Ireighlt with tlie produce of those parts for Spain.
They all fear tie number of Dutch ships which infest
that coast antd ,others to which they might go and they say
that xxate\cr S hpanish ship may go to those parts and places
of such note, will run great risks.
May Your Majestv order in all this what max be most
suitable for your Royal Service.
May God preserve Your Catholic and Ro\al Person for
8th June, rI(:*8.