THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 213.
A Report from the Audiencia o'f Santa Fe to the King of Spain.
Source :-British Museum. Additional Mss. 36321.
Published by the courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
Translated from the Spanish.
23rd June, 1619.
The Audiencia by its dispatch of 16th June had reported
that the English had sacked the town of San Thome in the
Province of Guavana.
On the 28th July, Captain Diego Martin de Baena was
sent with 30 soldiers from Santa Fe. They went down the
River Casanare in three pirogues ; by the 2nd of August
they entered the River Meta and by the 8th August were in
the River Orinoco.
They there learnt from the Indians that the English
enemy has come in boats up as far as the rapids of Carichana.
Captain Diego Martin and his soldiers arrived at
San Thome on the I9th August and found Don Geronimo
de Grados acting as Governor as arranged by the Audiencia
of Santa Fe.
The Cabildo of San Thome on the 24th September, 1618,
authorised Don Juan de Lezama to go to Santa Fe as
Procurador where he arrived and appeared before the
Audiencia on the 20th December, 1618.
Don Fernundo de Bcrrio was then at his encomienda at
(':ita and the A(udienuci, ordered him to go at once to his
government i ( riyan ia. This order was repea ted on
17th Januiali. 1hil Be1rri asked for '2 soldiers and was
,gettine2 ioao reId\ at, C( san.ucl where lit -haild tn nolier men.
Berrio was givrcn io men and lent 2,000 ducats. I IUp t he
2oth June nothing more had Iben heard of him.
At San '1 home, Captain Diego Martin examined
6 w5itnessCs on lthe 2a1th A\ugust, 1618. These deposed that
Don Diego Pal incque de Acuna carnut I'L the arrival of the
English ships at i a.m. on the i 2th Januay. 1618. He then
sent men to Polru Ai lamai;: tw lIeagues away to reconnoitre.
These men sas 1Two ships ot ahoutr 10 tons eah,. a caravel,
4 boats and two small canoes.
At one league from the town, the enemy landed some men
while the two ships and the caravel went on and anchored
in front of the town. The Governor placed the two pieces
of artillery which were all they had, on the bank of the river
so as to reply to the ships.
The enen\ killed (;aptain Arias Nielo and Captain Juan
RuKi Monje and wounded two soldiers. After the English
had gone. ithe I:ocies of the (,oveicno and of Captain Monje
were found tied together at head and feet buried in a hole
near the Church. That of the Go\crnor had a sword cut on
the head which split the skull down to the jaw on the left side.
An Indian who had 1been kept prisoner by Ralegh on
hoard his flag ship at the Island of Trinidad, described how
he saws a ho;I 1 r!. ,* w sil news whereupon Ralegh wept
for the loss of his son. 1He also described how pirogucs and
boats arrived wvilh the spoil from Sani Thome. He stated
that the Enullshl had been helped and guicied by the (Chaguanas
Indians who liad taken frImi) San 'Thinle anything that the
English had le(k.
The district of San Thliome pi duess about 250 fanegas
of maize and has .o4,0o head ol cattle and good fisheries.
There are now0 200 men including t11h sOldiers and the place
could support ia-iy more.
Don Diego PalamcquLe d Acuna liad only 36 imen at
San Thome and the fighting lasted from 9.o p.m. to 1.0 a.m.
The Governor and two others were killed and in two graves
in the Church were found five dead of the English forces.
The women, children and sick were retired to a lagoon
at the mouth of the River Caroni where they were guarded
h\ the Alcaldes and 2.1 men under charge of Captain Bernahe
de Brea. After the capture of the town the Alcaldes with
20 men remained on guard trying to prevent free communica-
tion between the enemy and the Indians and on the third day
they managed to burn the houses and gardens around.
Two enemy boats came up the river into a creek, near
where the women were hidden but Captain Bernabe ambushed
the first boat killing all but one man and the boat would
have been taken but for the wind blowing it out where the
other boat caught it and went down stream.
Three days later three more boats came upstream and
while Captain Bernabe and the women retired deep into the
forest 6 miles away, these boats went on right up the River
Orinoco and were away 18 days altogether. Two boats were
also sent down to the mouth of the river.
Captain Juan de Lezama collected 23 Spaniards and
70 Indians with whom to attack the town of San Thome at
night and set fire to the straw thatch. In this they failed and
had to give up the attack and retire. Later he lay in ambush
for the English as they crossed the river to the maize fields
and managed to kill 14 of them.
On leaving, the enemy burnt everything in the town.
Two Spaniards were sent to follow them and see that they
went out to sea. The inhabitants returned to try and
reconstruct the town but were continuously harassed by the
On December 21st, 1618, the Audiencia ordered
Don Fernando de Berrio to go to San Thome at once. Later
the Audiencia received a letter from Don Fernando stating
that he had learnt the news of the destruction of San Thome
in April, 1618 when he was at his hacienda at Pauto and he
left his repartimiento there to collect soldiers and supplies
at his own cost. He had asked for 1oo men and it was agreed
to supply him with 25 at Casanarc. There he had provided
transport for the 25 men and 10 of his own as well as for the
2,000 ducats of goods and food lent them. He considers that
much more help is wanted.
The Audiencia again ordered Don Fernando de Berrio to
go immediately to the town of San Thome to carry out his
duties, on i8th January, 1619.