THE TRINIDAD HISTORICAL SOCIETY,
Publication No. 244.
A Report from the President of the Audiencia of Santa Fe lo ihe King.
Source :-British Museum. Additional Mss. 36322.
Published by the courtesy of the Trustees of the British AMuseum.
Translated from the Spanish.
81h July, 1631.
SIRE-On the loth March of this year, this Audiencia
received letters from the town of San Thome dc la Guayana
and from Don Luis de Monsalves, Governor and Captain
General of this Province, reporting that in the year 1629,
there arrived at this port a fleet of nine ships of English and
Dutch. Many men were landed and the town attacked with
the intention of capture.
The vecinos were few in number, without arms and
practically defenceless, so they set fire to the houses and burnt
them all with the cultivation and having destroyed everything
the vecinos retired to the forest with their families.
After this fleet had gone away, other corsairs came and
settled in the creeks and canos of the River Orinoco and also
in an Island called Tauaco. These people unite with the
Carib Indians who live in these parts and the Caribs report
that they are coming with another fleet again this year to
capture the town and work a mine of quicksilver which they
say is on the bank of the River Orinoco.
In order to prevent this and other damage which will
result if for want of adequate defence, the people leave this
town and the enemy possess themselves of it and of the Indians
now converted and reduced to Our Holy Catholic Faith,
they beg for assistance with men, arms and munitions.
These dispatches were brought by Alonzo de Aguilar
Trujillo, Alcalde Ordinario of the town as Procurator General
Ihercof who makes petition for the same on behalf of the town.
I assembled in normal meeting the Visitador of this
Audieincia, theo R oal Officials and otlier persons of experience
and knowledge. Ji, inc considered the reports and seen
the minute, a nd Ll cr rcc(t t information, all agreed that
it was im portani and jacce ary to assist this town with 50 men,
arquebusiers aid aimn:d ,cfldiers provided with the necessary
arms, munitioins and provisions. It was agreed that the
expenses should l)e advanced from the Royal Treasury.
Tle said Al,,nso de Aguilar who had been sent to the
Audicncia, vwas acquired to guarantee on behalf of the said
town of Saii '1 Them de la Gvay'ana that it would enter into
an agieci(licnt xw]l Your Majesiy o repIay within four years
,he amnoun[t- ad, aiccd i'om the Treasury.
It is rccoLnis'"d tllat tllis anangemcnlt is inadequate
security y( t so inp.ij i nm is ii for the interests of Your Majesty
that lhis a1 sia il .(, uld ( I luhie 1( s t that it would have to be
supplied C\txn x i (h t suilt as was dCne in the year 1618
by Don Juan de Boija, mn) predecessor (and which was
approved as correct by Your Majesty) on the occasion when
the English w\ih Gualter R(al sacked the town and killed
the Go',einor Don Diego Palameque de Acuna.
This expedition clf here in tie month ol May of this year
in the charge of Juan de Campos, a Captain of repute and
experience, to \ hcom I gave instructions as to his proceedings
during the vo)age and the difficulties which may arise and
also as to the existence of mines of quicksilver.
Thlc expe2i s advanced from lth Treasuny of Your
Majesty (which] .\ e been disbursed wivll great care) amount
to 5,628 pesos of 8 reales as is stated in the minutes, certified
copies of1 which go with this report.
May Our Lord preserve Your Royal and Catholic Majesty
as Christianity needs.
1EL MIAROUES DE SOFRAGA.
8th July, 1031.