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State Library of NSW
Eighth in the series of fourteen known Quirós' presentation memorials. Quirós wrote about fifty memorials addressed to the King Philip III of Spain describing the wonders of the lands he had discovered and requesting Royal support to organize a new expedition to the Southern hemisphere. The majority of them were manuscripts, but fourteen were printed between 1607 and 1614 at Quirós' expense for presentation at the Council of the Indies. Circulation of all memorials was restricted to the King, ministers and Councils of State, of War and the Indies. When it was learnt in 1610 he was distributing them beyond the court the King ordered all memorials to be recalled. The Eighth Memorial 'escaped' the Spanish borders and was translated into various languages. These so-called "presentation memorials" - to be distinguished from later derivative printings which appeared throughout Europe - are among the most valuable of all printed Australiana. According to Kelly this eight Presentation memorial is: "...Memorial ... pointing out that the cédula for the Viceroy of Peru given him by Gabriel de Hoa on 18 Dec. 1608 is cast only in general terms and lacks the clarity and force necessary to ensure the carrying out of the preparations in Peru. ... For the success of the enterprise he requests a number of cédulas to reinforce his dispatch. He refers to his extreme poverty since he has spent everything in the furtherance of this cause and asks a grant-in-aid to meet his debts."--Kelly.
My Lord I, Captain Pedro Fernández de Quirós, showing the world how Y.M. wishes and tries to honour and glorify God, Our Lord, in the population attempt that Y.M. commands me to do in the Southern territoriesthat I discovered on Y.M.’s orders, to preach the Gospel and to convert all their native gentiles. I consider it a reward for my hard work. Sir, I infinitely thank God, for I can see such a great and pious cause is as free from dangers as I have seen it develop so far, and I thank Y.M. for such a high favour that I accept with as much humility as possible, and going back in time a long way to pursue such an objective, I will do as much as I possibly can to fulfill my duty to God and to Y.M. in response to the trust that was put in me. First, I start with the following. I received Y.M.’s royal letters patent from secretary Gabriel de Hoa on December 18, and in it Y.M. commandsthe Viceroy of Perú to dispatch me. Based on its wording, I alert you on the confusion and danger, and I say that if Y.M. commands the Viceroy to reach an agreement with me on the 500,000 ducat expense, being the Viceroy who releases those funds to be distributed according to my instructions, but without laying my hands on a single peso, I will perform the rough estimates and distributions, look for the commodities, set the prices, send parties where such commodities can be purchased – good quality at a reasonable price – and I will save on freight with the ships under my authority.
In short, I will look for the right men – within and without Lima – and whatever else involved in good management, always sticking to the above mentioned 500,000 ducats and saving a large sum in commodities. With all this, apart from the granted one thousand men, I will take the married men’s wives, whom have not been mentioned and are of high importance to increase population numbers together with their children and servants, as well as all the adventurers. Since I will be properly dispatched in the manner indicated, a million will be a small number and my dispatch will be short. Be aware, Y.M., that I am giving you a range of options and that everything I have requested is to the greater benefit of this mission that I cannot guide or assure from here or there solely on my part, but if the royal letters patent that Y.M. issues – as well as the dispatch in Perú – are at my entire satisfaction, and if Y.M. grants me title that I cannot do without to appoint the necessary officers, the faculty to manage affairs from here and to firmly state any aspect of relevance to all parts – to their convenience as well as Y.M.’s, and all the members of the expedition’s. Considering, Sir, that I do not speak to my advantage – nor do I note it or want to – in exchange for ensuring that this mission is guided as magnificently as it deserves, at least I expect that what I cannot avoid is not denied to me, for it was denied neither to Columbus nor to any of the others who undertook such missions. On the contrary, they received much more than what I request, which is not for me but to serve Y.M. and I do not deserve any less. If I must, I will give examples, not only from the past but also from the present. It is known that officers appointed by a third party receive favours from those in power and go ahead. In those remote places, even around here, there is a risk that it may happen, and it is convenient to prevent those issues from here. The above mentioned 500,000 ducats will be spent in large amounts.
In that way, 150,000 ducats will be used for the sailors’ wages and to aid some distinguished people. One hundred and fifty‐ thousand ducats will be used for ships, riggings and careening; from that sum, 100,000 will be destined for two‐year supplies, arms, munition, sea rooms, tar, oakum, ropes, and other unavoidable gear. Fifty‐thousand ducats will be used for ornaments and all the necessary vestmentsfor divine worship as well as for religious ministers’ garments; for cords, hats, footwear and other military garments; for clothes to dress some Indians and ransom for everybody. The last 50,000 will be employed to purchase iron, steel and tools – three very important waresto build two large ships and to load them with whatever the earth can give; send one of them to Mexico and the other to Lima on Y.M.’s behalf to build other necessary ships for discoveries and transport, and to prepare the ships that I will sail in and the dispatch notes that I will send. If it is convenient, for the discovery of the Anian strait – since it can be done with ease from there; also for the construction of churches, houses and mills; and to cultivate, sow and till the land. In short, Sir, the strength of such a mission lies in good men, steel and iron, and not in the errorsthat I can already see. If Y.M. could arrange the purchase of 600 lbs of iron, the necessary muskets and arquebuses on credit in Seville, Sanlúcar and Cádiz, all the above mentioned goods as well as some others that I will indicate in convenient quantities, that will save at least a third or even more of what merchants in Perú earn, bearing in mind that they will increase the price of iron and of all the remaining necessary supplies, which will result in less goods for me to take, and the life of this cause and its men depend on the surpluses. Apart from this, there will be savings in rights and freight, for Y.M.’s galleons can use the cargo as ballast. From Panamá to Lima, navy ships will take the money to Puerto Bello, and 150 clerics and lay people can be easily accommodated on board with all these savings. Of all these people, some will be experienced in seafaring, campaigning and Indian mountaineering, and some others will be knowledgeable in all matters of spiritual and temporal government.
Some will be knowledgeable in business matters and division of labour, and some others will be knowledgeable in all the necessary trades and crafts for the republic I believe should be settled there. All of them should be known not only for making Y.M.’s part stronger and safer, but also for any of the matters referred to. Should Y.M. so wish, I will reveal their names; given that they are all so well regarded in their trades, I will also reveal all the names of their wives, children and servants. I beg Your Majesty to give me licence, ships and sustenance to sail to Lima in the manner referred to, for such a reasonable mission will be guided thus from here. Behold, Y.M., that the greater good of this mission consists of this decision, as well as the greaterservice to Y.M. Otherwise, there should be cuts in such a way that later on I will not be charged with twice the expenditure, bad dispatch, delayed departure, errors for lack of the required gear and excess of unbalanced people, plus all the ensuing immense and irreparable damages and losses, since I unburden my conscience with Y.M.’s. In your royal letters patent, Y.M. commands the Viceroy of Perú to dispatch me and I see no inconvenience. Even though the Marquis of Montes Claros – being such a good minister and zealous servant of God and of Y.M.’s – will give me dispatch, it must be noted that in such an important mission there is no more notable or pernicious inconvenience than a delay, with the loss of so many souls, still for what can be offered, for the devil will not drop his guard over there, exactly as he did not do it here. I beg Y.M. to efficiently eliminate such an issue, since doing so does not offer a major inconvenience, for it gives me major pain to see that when I went to discover unknown lands, I was given twice as much dispatch as I requested – clear, strong and to my entire satisfaction, devoid of all inconvenience and hindrance. Now, however, being the same man (and probably a bit more) that Y.M. dispatches to populate already discovered lands, I receive conditional permission, without title or faculty, to make arrangements and order whatever I will do on my own, with open doors not only to one but also to several inconveniences, thus making the mission risky. Y.M., far away my life will be wasted on so much work in vain, when it could shine if I were to receive serious help; I have been persisting for fifteen years; Y.M. would have had one or two new cities per year, that is, fifteen or thirty established cities in those lands.
The fruits of such great and good plants would have been reaped and the Indies would have been unburdened of their overpopulation. Furthermore, I beg Y.M. to grant me a second Royal Charter stating that there should be no inconvenience, difficulty or contradiction against the expediency and worthiness of my dispatch. It should state that the above mentioned 500,000 ducats for expenses be disbursed from the City of Kings’ coffers, and it should also rule that I be given the above mentioned one thousand men – many of them married and with supplies, weapons, ships and everything that I have requested and that could be necessary – mentioning the seamen’s and the warriors’ wages, and that each one of the things that will firmly be stated in my dispatch will be clearly and distinctly expressed so as to ensure that Y.M.’s will is done and that I be allowed to take as many people as possible – apart from those previously agreed on – because that would make it possible to perform, once and for all, what otherwise would entail big financial costs and the loss of great assets, without spending more than the 500,000 ducats mentioned before. This declaration as a whole fits its purpose, considering that if in Y.M.’s eyes it has been so difficult, laborious and time‐consuming for me to find out all about this dispatch, had it not been because of my firmness, and even if I went, it still would not cost less, not only as a whole, but also in its smaller parts. Furthermore, a royal letters patent that addresses all the ministers of government, justice and war, both on land and at sea, so that nobody will stand in the way of my decisions, and for the purpose of securing all the help they can give me in this great service to God and Y.M., noting that even with another similar patent that I carried with me on my discovery voyage, I found nobody either here or there willing to help me in the slightest, considering that it is as detailed and tight as it is and it will not be less so now, and I will report the causes if Y.M. so commands it. Furthermore, I request another royal letters patent stating that in the event of my death before arriving at the City of Kings, or before setting off, or while sailing to those lands, or once there, I may appoint the person who will continue this mission with all my dispatches, writings and notifications issued over a period of time, until Y.M. commands otherwise – so that the mission is not lost, for it should be neither lost nor neglected, nor should such a rightful petition be rejected.
Furthermore, I beg Y.M. to help me with the costs so that I can repay the debts I incurred for this cause and to arrive at the City of Kings a bit more comfortably off, for this mission came close to failure several times because of the poverty I found myself in several times (you can confirm this with Alonso de Sotomayor, who knows how I fared in Panamá) due to extreme poverty, to the scarcity I experienced, to others’ terrible and long‐lasting contradictions, it is alive in Y.M.’s memory on whose account it happened, it must be believed that it has great mysteries. Such a great construction is founded upon the Christian religion, and the firm columns upon which it will be built are God’s ministers, whose lives are as discreet as they are exemplary. Juan de Alarcón is a gentleman that Y.M. can employ as he deserves in that new Church of St. Peter, which is in dire need of such a person to establish its form of government as it should be. Such a consideration should not be disregarded because of the enormity of what is involved and included, and there are also other greatly motivated and zealous priests ready to work in that domain of the Lord. Moreover, I am well aware that the Prior of the St. Francis Capuchins in Valencia offers 24 monks at Y.M.’s written command! Oh Sir, it is so important that the ministers who participate in such a mission be so zealous, transparent and exemplary as we see them.
For this reason I strongly beg Y.M. to appoint such a person from this order who can search for others to your convenience, giving preference to Fr. Lorenço de Pons, Fr. Ioseph de Tarraga, Fr. Lucas de Perpiñan, Fr. Ermenegildo de Monblan, Fr. Domingo de Higueras – all six of them preachers; Fr. Iuã Evangelista, Fr. Pedro de Vargas, Fr. Buenaventura de Barcelona, Fr. Severo de Tovar, who has been the driving force, all four of them priests; Fr. Vidal, Fr. Francisco de Vique, Fr. Pedro de Granolles (laymen), all of them born in these Kingdoms, whose letters I have with me and where they clearly show their fervent, long‐standing wishes. I again beg Y.M. to grant me this favour, for if it is carefully considered, it seems that for such a mission God has saved such workersfor its good fortune and Y.M.’s, in keeping with my wishes. Were it possible, permission should be requested from the Nuncio to administrate the sacraments, or from His Holiness if need be. Moreover, I beg Y.M. to allow Fr. Bernardino’s participation – head nurse from St. Francis’ Convent in this village – who is in the mood to serve God in great things, together with Fr. Andres de Almeyda as his companion and for my solace. Moreover, (I request) six brothers from Iuan de Dios; first, Brs. Sebastian and Ignacio, whose words I have, so that they can found hospitals, cure the natives and our people as well in those lands. Briefly, Sir, the brothersfrom this order, whose profession is charity, serving and suffering the sick, belong in this mission. Moreover, I request Y.M. issue me with a summary certification of the account that Captain Luis Vaez de Torres sent Y.M.’s State Council from the Philippines, reporting all his discoveries when he parted company with me, so that his contribution can be of assistance. Moreover, I request copies of Y.M.’s royal letters patent and second charter by virtue of which I made that discovery, since the Count of Monterrey kept the originals.
They can be found in the State Record dated March 31st, 1603. Moreover, for the greatest favours obtained and as payment for all the services rendered plus those I again offer myself for, I beg Y.M. to read all the documents that accompany this one, and to carefully consider the great importance that I give this mission, as well as the examples and notifications from live witnessesthat I submit. It is my intention that God and Y.M. be truly served in all those places, as well as those peoples be truly taught and guided to the benefits that they do not know nor have, and to truly defend and sustain them in peace and justice, since it is for this end that I suffered and persisted, and I will truly work and persist until I cannot do anymore. Finally, it is befitting to consider how Our Lord and Creator gave the Western Indies to King Ferdinand the Catholic after he expelled the Jews from Spain, and how now that Y.M. has expelled the Moors, God will give Y.M. the whole unknown Southern Hemisphere, where greater extensions of land have been spotted, larger than those in the hands of all Christian Kings and Princes, the Turks and the Moors in Africa. Not only this: He promises to increase twofold all lands, peoples, riches, and comfortsfrom all the provinces where Y.M. rules here and there, as well as the safety of them all.
For all the infinite riches of both kinds, I beg Y.M. to clearly show his greatness of spirit by sending me off, for the greatness of those missions that God puts in your hands, and for other smaller ones there is strength in excess, let there be no less shown for this one; if it is as great as it sounds, it is fair; if it is famous, it is holy; if it is honourable, it is rich; if it has so much and is so convenient, it is strength to be estimated in what it deserves, and that it is worthy of such means that assure the good ends that I desire. Y.M., enjoy your happiness without delay, for you have so much to enjoy. May Y.M. help the cause and the man as much as he can, because searching for a man for a great cause is a necessity and sometimes cannot be found unless a great price is paid in exchange. And since Y.M. entrusts a man with the most, entrust him with the least, for the reasons I give. May Y.M. not allow that this cause become the end of me before I start it. The fleet will soon depart.