Group Title: The Trinidad Historical Society publication.
Title: Publication
Full Citation
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 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: VID00096
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. 108.
The Cedula of Colonization of 1783.

Source : Histoire de la Trinidad by P. J. L. Horde, Vol. II, p. 382.
1882. Translated from the Spanish.

WHEREAS, by my instructions of the third of September,
one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, to Don Manuel
Falques, Captain of Foot, who was then appointed Governor
of my island of Trinidad to Windward; and by the commission
which I afterwards gave to Don joseph de Abalos, appointing
him Intendant General of the Province of Caracas, I thought
proper to establish regulations, and to grant various privileges
for the population and commerce of the said island ; I have
now resolved on the representation of the said Intendant,
and at the instance of certain colonists already established
in the said island, and others who request permission to
settle therein, to establish complete instructions in the following
articles : -

Article ist.-All foreigners, the subjects of powers and
nations in alliance with me, who are desirous of establishing
themselves, or who are already settled, in the said island
of Trinidad, shall sufficiently prove to the government thereof,
that they are of the Roman Catholic persuasion, without
which they shall not be allowed, on any account, to settle
in the same; but the subjects of these my dominions, or
those of the Indies, shall not be obliged to adduce such
proof, because no doubt can arise as to their religion.

Article 2nd.--All foreigners who shall be admitted, agreeable
to the foregoing article, to reside in the said island, shall
take, before the Governor thereof, the oath of fealty and
submission ; by which they shall promise to obey the laws
and general ordinances to which Spaniards are subject;
and immediately there shall be granted to them, in my
Royal[name, gratuitously for ever, the lands proportionally
mentioned according to the following rule.

Article 3rd. -To each white person, of either sex, four
fanegas and two-sevenths; and the half of that quantity
of land for each negro or coloured slave, which the settlers
shall introduce; the lands to be so distributed, that every
one may participate of the good, middling and bad; the
assignments of lands to be entered in a book of registry, with
insertion of the name of each settler, the day of his or her
admittance, the number of individuals composing his or
her family, their rank, and from whence they came; and
copies of such entries shall he given to them, to serve as titles
to their property.

Article 4t.,.-Free negroes and coloured people, who, as
planters and heads of families, establish themselves hi the
said island, shall have one-half of the quantity of land, as
is above assigned to the whites, and the same portion for
each slave they introduce ; the proper documents to be
given to them, as to the whites.

Article 5th. -When the settlers shall have resided five years
in the said island, and bound themselves to an entire residence
therein, they shall receive all the rights and privileges of
naturalization, as likewise their children, whether brought
by them to the island, or born therein; and, consequently
shall, be admitted to all honourable public employment,
and to posts in the militia according to their respective
capacities and circumstances.

Article 6th.--That no cLpitation money or personal tribute,
however small, shall be imposed upon the inhabitants at any
time, save and except the annual of one dollar for each
negro or coloured slave, to be paid after a ten-years residence
in the said island ; and that the said proportional surm shall
never be augmented.

Article 7th. -During the first five years of residence, the
Spanish and foreign settlers shall have liberty to return to
their countries or former places of abode ; in which case
thay shall be allowed to take from the said island, all the
goods and property by them introduced into the same,
without paying any duties upon exportation ; hut must pay
for all property acquired by them during their residence in
the said island, the sum of ten per cent. It is to be well
understood however, that the lands which shall have been
assigned to such settlers, who afterwards voluntarily quit
the island, shall devolve to nry royal patrinony, to be given
to others, or disposed of as shall appear to me most fit.

Article 8th.-I grant to the former and recent settlers who,
not having necessary heirs, make, by last will and testament
a disposition of their property, the power of bequeathing their
estate to their relations or friends wherever they may be;
and if these choose to settle in the said island, they shall
enjoy the privileges granted to the persons whom they
succeed ; but if they prefer withdrawing the property from
the said island, they may do so, upon paying fifteen per
centum upon the whole by way of duty on exportation;
that is, if the testator has lived more than live years in the
said island ; and if the residence of the testator has been
within that period, they shall only pay ten per cent., as is
provided in the last article. \nd the fathers, brothers and
sisters, or relations, of those who die intestate, shall succeed
without any diminution to their estate, provided that they
are Catholics and domiciled in the said island, even should
they be settled in foreign countries, and if they should not
be able, or do not wish to be enrolled among the inhabitants
of the said island, I do hereby give them permission to dispose
of the property of the successions by sale or cession, according
to the rules laid down in the foregoing article.
Article 9th. I do also give permission to all the settlers,
who, according to the Spanish law, have the disposition by
testament, or otherwise, of their real property, to bequeath
the same, if it does not admit of a convenient division to one
or more of their children, provided the legal portions of the
others, or that of the widow of the testator, be not injured
Article ioth.-Any settler who, by reason of any lawsuit,
or other just and pressing motive, may require to go to Spain,
to any other province of my Indies, or to foreign dominions,
shall request permission from the Governor, and obtain the
same, provided it be not to an enemy's country, or to carry
away property.
Article IIth.-Spanish and Foreign settlers shall be free
from the payment of tithes, or ten per cent. on the produce
of their lands for ten years; and after that period (to be
computed from the first day of January, one thousand seven
hundred and eighty-five) they shall only pay half tithes,
that is five per cent.
Article I2th.-They shall also be free for the first ten years,
from the payment of the royal duty of alcabala on the sales,
of their produce and merchantable effects; and shall after-
wards only pay an equivalent for the said duty of five per cent.;
but whatever shall be embarked for these Kingdoms in
Spanish vessels, shall be for ever exempt from any duty on

Article 13th.-As all the inhabitants should he armed
even in time of peace, to keep the slaves in subjection, and
resist any invasion, or the incursion of pirates ; I do hereby
declare, that such obligation is not to render them responsible
to the duties of a regular militia, but they are only to present
their arms for inspection, in review before the Governor,
or some officer appointed by him every two months; but
in time of war, or an insurrection of the slaves, they shall
assemble together for the defence of the island, in such way
as the Commander in Chief thereof may direct.

Article I4th.--All vessels belonging to the former or recent
settlers, whatever may be their tonnage or make, shall be
carried to the said island, and enrolled therein, and the proofs
of the property in them enregistered, upon which they shall
be accounted Spanish vessels ; as also such vessels as may
be acquired from foreigners by purchase, or other legal
title, until the end of the year one thousand seven hundred
and eighty-six ; the said vessels to he free from the duty
paid in qualifying foreign vessels for the Spanish Trade.
And such as wish to build vessels in t.he said island shall
have free access to the woods required by Government, save
and except those which may be destined for the building
of vessels for the Royal Navy.

Article 5Ith.--The commerce and introduction of slaves
into the said island shall be totally free of duties for the term
of ten years, to be reckoned from the beginning of the year
one thousand seven hundred and eighty-five, after which
period the colonists and traders in slaves shall only pay five
per cent. on their current va:le at the time of their importation;
but it shall not be legal to export slaves from the said island
to any other of my Indian dominions, without my royal
permission, and the payment of six per cent. on their
importation into other my dominions as aforesaid.

Article i6th. -The said settlers shall be permitted, having
first obtained a licence from the Government, to go to the
islands in alliance with me, cr the neutral ones to procure
slaves, either in vessels belonging to, or freighted by them,
being Spanish bottoms; and to export for the payment
of the said slaves, the necessary produce, goods, and property,
on payment of five per cent. on exportation ; the said duty
to be paid by the trader in slaves, who, with my permission
import them to the said island, besides the duty on their
entry; from all which I have freed the settlers, in order to
excite agriculture and commerce.

Article 17th. -The intercourse of Spain with the inhabitants
of Trinidad, and the exportation of licensed produce from
the said island to my American islands and dominions shall
be entirely free of all duties for the space of ten years, to be
reckoned from the first day of January, one thousand seven
hundred and eighty-five, at the expiration of which time,
all the articles which are exempted by the last article of
free commerce from payment of duties on entry into these
Kingdoms, shall like-wise be free, nor shall any more
impositions be levied than those which the productions of
my other West India dominions are liable to.

Article 18th. -All Spanish and foreign merchandize, and
the wine, oil, and spirituous liquors, the produce of these
my Kingdoms, which shall be entered and exported to the
said island, shall be free of all duty for the said term of
ten years, and shall also be introduced and circulated therein
free of duty, but are not to be exported therefrom to any
of my other Indian dominions; but if they should be
permitted to be exported therefrom, for any urgent or just
cause, such permission shall only extend to Spanish goods,
and that on payment of the duties fixed by the said article
of free commerce.

Article i/th. -In order to facilitate every means by which
the population and commerce of the said island can be
increased, I do hereby permit, for the said tern of ten )ears
(to be computed from the beginning of the year one thousand
seven hundred and eighty-five), all vessels belonging to the
same, or to my subjects in Spain, to make voyages to the
said island with their cargoes directly from those pcrts of
France where my Consuls are resident, and to return directly
to the said ports with the fruits and produce of the said island,
except money, the exportation whereof by that route
I absolutely prohibit ; subject, however, to the following
obligation, on the part of the said Consuls, which is not to
be dispensed with; that they shall draw up a particular
register of every thing embarked, and sign, seal, and deliver
the same to the captain or master of the vessel, so that he
may present the same to the officer charged with the receipt
of my Royal Revenues in the said island of Trinidad ; and
subject likewise to the payment for the introduction of the
goods and merchandize into the said island, of the sum of
five per cent., and the same amount on such produce as shall
be exported from the same, and carried to France, or to any
foreign port, without touching at any one of the Spanish
ports which are licensed to trade with the Indies.

Article 2oth.-In case of urgent necessity (to be attested
by the Governor), I do hereby grant to the inhabitants
of the said island, the same permission as is contained in
the foregoing article, under the precise condition that the
captains or masters of the vessels, do make accurate invoices
of their cargoes, and deliver the same to the proper officers
in the said island ; so that by comparing the said invoices
with the goods imported, the said duty of five per cent. may
be levied on the then current value of the said goods at the
said island of Trinidad.

Article 21st. In order that the former and recent
inhabitants may be furnished with the most necessary
supplies for their maintenance, their industry and agriculture ;
I have given the most stringent orders to the Commanders-in-
Chief of the provinces of Caracas, to purchase on account
of my royal revenue, and transport to the said island, horned
cattle, mules and horses, to be delivered to the said settlers
at first cost, until such time as they have sufficient stock to
supply themselves.

Article 22nd.-I have likewise given the same order for the
supplying the said island with flour and meal for the term
of ten years ; and that if, by any accident, a scarcity should
take place, the Governor shall permit the inhabitants to go
with their own vessels, or those of others my subjects, to
the foreign islands to purchase what they stand in need of;
and for that purpose to export such produce as may be
necessary, paying on exportation, the sum of five per cent.,
and the same proportion on the flour and meal imported
into the said island.

Article 23rd. -I have likewise ordered that all matters and
things of the manufacture of Biscay and the rest of Spain,
which may be required by the settlers for their agricultural
pursuits, shall be imported into the said island, and given
to the settlers at prime cost for the said term of ten years;
but after that period, each person must provide himself,
and if during that period there be an urgent necessity for
those matters and things, the settlers shall be allowed to
procure them from the foreign islands belonging to Powers
in alliance with me, subject to the same duties as the flour
and meal.

Article 24th. -I have likewise ordered, that two secular
or regular priests, of known erudition and exemplary virtue,
and skilled and versed in foreign languages, shall be appointed

to reside in the said island to serve as new parish priests to the
settlers, and I shall assign to them the necessary stipends, to
enable them to live in the decent manner which their character
requires, without being any charge to their parishioners.

Article 25th.-I permit the former and recent settlers to
propose to me, through the medium of the Governor, such
ordinances as shall be most proper for the regulating the
treatment of their slaves and preventing their flight ; and,
at the same time, to point out such rules as the Governor
shall observe relative to this article, and the reciprocal
restitution of fugitive slaves from other islands belonging to
foreign powers.

Article 26th. -I also enjoin the said Governor to take the
utmost care to prevent the introduction of ants into the said
island, which have done so much injury in the Antilles;
and for that purpose, to cause the equipage and effects of
the settlers arriving at the said island to be severally examined ;
and as the inhabitants are the persons most interested in the
execution of this order, they shall propose to the Government
two of the most active and proper persons to exarrine the
vessels, and zealously watch over the observance of this point.

Article 27th.--When the crops of sugar become abundant
in the said island of Trinidad, I shall allow the settlers to
establish refineries in Spain, with all the privileges and
freedom from duties which I may have granted to any natives
or foreigners who shall have established the same ; and I will
allow in due time the erection of a Consular Tribunal to
increase and protect agriculture, navigation and commerce;
and I have charged the Governor in his private instructions,
and the other judges of the said island, to take care that all
the inhabitants, Spaniards and foreigners, be well and humanely
treated, and justice equitably administered to them ; so that
they may not meet with any rrolestation or prejudice,
which would be greatly to my royal displeasure.

Article 28th.-Lastly, I grant to tl:e former and recent
settlers the privilege, whenever they have questions to ask me
worthy of my royal consideration, of directing their representa-
tions to me through the medium of the Governor and the
Chief Secretary of State for the Indies ; and if the matters
are of that nature that require a person to be sent on their
account, the inhabitants shall request permission to that
effect, and I will grant the same, if just.

And that the articles contained in this Ordinance be duly
carried into effect, I grant a dispensation from all laws and
regulations contrary to them, and I command my Council
of the Indies, and the chanceries and audiences thereof,
Presidents, Captains General and Commander-in-Chief,
Ordinary Judges, Ministers of my Royal revenue, and my
Consuls in the ports of France, to keep, fulfil and execute,
and cause to be kept, fulfilled and executed, all the rules
and regulations contained in this my Cedula.

Given at the Royal Palace of San Lorenzo, on the
twenty-fourth day of November, one thousand seven hundred
and eighty-three, sealed with my privy seal, and countersigned
by my Secretary of State and of the general administration
of the Indies, undersigned.

(Signed) I, THE KING.
(Countersigned) JOSEPH DE GALVEZ.

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