Group Title: The Trinidad Historical Society publication.
Title: Publication
Full Citation
Permanent Link:
 Material Information
Title: Publication
Physical Description: no. : ; 26 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Historical Society of Trinidad and Tobago
Publisher: s.n.
Place of Publication: Port-of-Spain
Publication Date: 1932?-52?
Frequency: irregular
completely irregular
Subject: History -- Periodicals -- Trinidad   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Trinidad and Tobago -- Trinidad
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1-1042.
Numbering Peculiarities: Ceased publication.
Issuing Body: Issued 1932-35 by the society under its earlier name: Trinidad Historical Society.
General Note: Reprints of documents relating to the history of Trinidad.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080962
Volume ID: VID00269
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 45882505

Full Text


Publication No. 281.
1700. Despatch from the Governor of the Island of Trinidad,
Don Francisco Ruiz de Aguirre, to His Majesty, stressing the
deficiency of Capuchin monks for those missions, etc.
Source :-General Archives of the Indies, Seville ; Audience of
Santo Domingo, Sect. 6, p. 582.

DECEMBER 20TH, 1700.
On August 3oth, 1700, in accordance with Your Royal
Instructions, I placed before your Majesty notification of my
having entered into possession of the government and
captaincy-general of this island of Trinidad and of Guiana,
and also an account of my succession on the lamented death
of my predecessor, Colonel Don Joseph de Leozy Echalar,
with many other Officials and four monks, three of the minor
orders of our Franciscan Order of Capuchins, and one of the
Order of St. Dominic, as is all testified in the formal edicts in
this town and island, of the Alcaldes in ordinary who were
governing at the end and after the death of the said governor,
which have been sent to the Council and placed before
Your Majesty.
From the first of September until this date I have been
visiting the whole island, village by village, with forty men-at-
arms, of whom twenty were Spanish and inhabitants of this
town and Port-of-Spain, and the other twenty Indians from
the three commands in the vicinity of this town; mustering
and enrolling all persons, whether citizens or Indians, beginning
with the inhabitants of this town, and then those of Port-of-
Spain, and ending with the Holy Missions of Naparima : all
of which appears in those selfsame muster-rolls, regarding
which I have given testimony before the Council and your
Majesty, in memorials in which I begged for a permanent
establishment; and as soon as Your Majesty decides, I will
contrive henceforth that it shall be carried out for the service
of God and of Your Majesty.

The Missions of the Naparimas are three, with three
Catalan Capuchin monks, aged from fifty to seventy years,
who for forty years have been labouring very fruitfully and
to the advancement of our Holy Catholic Faith ; and (this)
by the onerous labours which they have undertaken in the
development of those Missions, in forming townships and
(establishing) political government in them, without
violence, but through an exemplary life and love. And if
Your Majesty should not send more brothers of this same
Order and Province, this holy work, now so advanced in the
service of God and of Your Majesty as can be seen from the
personal inspections I have made of them, will cease ; and
because of the shortage of monks, three other Missions which
had already been founded in the Province of Guayana for the
great comfort of the infantry of the guard and the defence
have been lost.
In this chief town ot the Island there are no priests other
than the cure, the internal ecclesiastical judge, and the chief
sacristan, also local ; in the Port there is another priest, from
Margarita, through the prayers and entreaties ol the citizens
and the neighboring Indians that they should have spiritual
stood. Twenty-two years have elapsed since they have been
visited by the Bishop of Porto Rico in whose diocese this
island is ; Your Majesty ordered him then to do so.
The political government is reduced to two Alcaldes in
Ordinary, tour Regidors with an Alcalde of the Hermandad, a
Procurator-General and an Alguacil; these were appointed
by a Cedula of Your Majesty of April Ist, 1691. The
citizens, white, coloured and black, of the whole island are
one hundred and twenty (in number) ; of these I have (only)
eighty for service, and defence, as the others are old men,
widows and ineffective.
The military forces in the fort of Guayana and in this
Island consist of a captain of infantry, a standard-bearer,
a sergeant, a drummer and standard-bearer, and a chaplain
who are stationed in the fort and town of San Thome of
Guayana, and thirty soldiers. In addition, in accordance
with Your Majesty's commands I have to keep a hundred men
at the disposal of the Audience of Santa Fe every three or
four years, together with a subvention of 5,000 to 7,000 pieces
of eight; and when notified they come to receive the said
subvention in three or four instalments of three to four years,
in accordance with the recent Despatch of the Audience. In
addition to these I have seven pieces of artillery, badly
mounted, five in the fort of Guayana to guard that and the
river Orinoco, and two in the port of this island, behind a
broken-down wall, which was being built in it; and because

the stones disappeared as opportunity arose, I had no means
ot making more repairs than is necessary. The thirty soldiers
are stationed (thus): ten in the Port as a guard, and tor
carrying out Your Majesty's orders that no foreign ships or
embarkations should be allowed; tour in this town as the
Governor's guard and for the assistance of the Missions, when
there should be twenty-five as Your Majesty ordered in the
Cedula of December 3xst, 1696. In the fort of Guayana
there are sixteen soldiers, a captain, a standard-bearer and a
sergeant and the other officials cf the first grade. These, Sire,
are the military forces, not counting the provision of gun-
powder and shot which I have mentioned in another despatch.
Your Majesty ordered that it should be supplied as soon as
The revenues which enter the Royal Chest for its
maintenance and the manner in which they are employed
through Royal Cedulas, are remitted to the Audit Department
as Your Majesty has ordered and authenticated through the
Auditor of the Royal Household.
Your Majesty has ordered what is most suitable for his
royal service; only I must say that for defence and
observation there is as much need of assistance as there is of
means of defence.
May God guard Your Majesty's sacred and royal personage
for the service of Christianity. From the town of San Jose
de Oruna, Island of Trinidad, on the twentieth of
December, 1700oo.


University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs