THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Publication No. 217.
A Royal Cedula to Don Fernando de Berrio.
Source :-British Museum. Additional Mss. 36321.
Published by the courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum.
Translated from the Spanish.
12th May, 1620.
THE KING-To Don Fernando de Berrio y Oruna, My
Governor and Captain General of the Island of Trinidad and
the Province of El Dorado.
I have received and transmitted to my Royal Council of
the Indies, the letter which you wrote to me and to the points
which it contained, I give my answer.
You wrote of the provision of men and arms which you
had made in order to go to your province and what you had
spent upon this ; the state of the town of San Thome in
Guayana and the raid of 30 pirogues of Caribs who had done
much damage and killed many friendly Indians ; that
four ships of the enemy were in the River Essequibo in alliance
with the said Caribs and would probably attack the town.
You wrote that although you were ready to come to Spain
to report to me how the people had refused to accept you as
Governor and Captain General in the Island of Trinidad
because the President of the Audiencia of San Domingo had
appointed Don Juan de Viloria y Quinones to that office,
nevertheless you had abandoned that project in order to go
to the chastisement of the said Indians and defend the town.
You have done well in this matter and as regards the
rebellion of the Indians you will proceed as I expect of you
observing the orders that I have given on similar occasions,
endeavouring to punish the principal leaders by suitable
means and admitting the rest to pardon and proceeding with
all possible mildness so that the country may be preserved
and they may experience my clemency.
As to the Island of Trinidad not having received you as
the lawful Governor, I have ordered that a cedula be sent
commanding the people to receive you in accordance with
You wrote that it would be well to construct at the port
of each of those places, a small fort with artillery and a
garrison of 1oo soldiers for the defence to be paid from my
Royal Exchequer in the town of Santa Fe. You also ask that
help be sent in money for the soldiers whom you now have
there since though you have already paid them up to
Christmas, you had promised that if funds were not sent, you
would give them leave to depart. Finally you ask for
permission to leave your government in order to come to Spain.
As to the forts, artillery and new garrisons which ought
to be supplied, this matter is under consideration and I charge
you so to order the affairs of your government as to save any
unnecessary expense. You should have regard to the heavy
expenses which have already to be borne and realise that my
Royal Treasury cannot meet them all. We are in want of
money here and you must endeavour to be as sparing as
in the past.
Permission to leave your government is not granted to
you at present because your presence is very necessary in
your government, the state of which demands your special
care as shown in your own letter.
The powder, gun matches, lead and some muskets for
which you ask, have been ordered and will be sent by the
I have given leave for a register ship to go every year to
the town of San Thome in Guayana as one does to the Island
of Trinidad, in accordance with your request.
I have under further consideration the favour which you
request in consideration of your services and the dire necessity
to which you are reduced by what you have spent in those
services as well as your petition that 4,00ooo pesos of gold be
assigned to you fiom my Royal Treasury at Santa Fe and also
your request for the title of Adelantado in succession to
Don Gonzales Ximines de Quesada.
I, THE KING.
12th May, 1620.
PEDRO DE LEDESMA.