A Discourse of Western Planting, by Richard Hakluyt

Chap. XIX.

An aunswer to the Bull of the Donation of all the West Indies graunted to the Kinges of Spaines by Pope Alexander the VIth, whoe was himselfe a Spaniarde borne.

Whereas Fraunces Lopez de Gomera, in the 19. chapiter of his firste booke of his Generall Historie of the Indies, putteth downe that Pope Alexander the VIth, of his proper will and of his owne mere motion, with the consents of his Cardinalls, gave of his free grace to the Kinges of Spaine all the iles and firme landes which they shoulde discover towardes the west, and therewithall alledged the Bull itselfe; I aunswer, that no Pope had any lawfull aucthoritie to give any such donation at all. For proofe whereof, I say that, if he were no more than Christes vycar, as Gomera calleth him in that place, then he must needes graunte that the vicar is no greater then his Master. Nowe, our Saviour Christe, beinge requested and entreated to make a lawfull devision of inheritaunce betwene one and his brother, refused to do that, sayenge, Quis me constituit judicem inter vos? Whoe made me a judge betwene you? What meaneth, then, the Pope, not beinge spoken to nor entreated, of his owne proper will and of his owne mere motion, to meddle in those matters that Christe in no wise, no, not beinge thereunto instantly requested, woulde not have to deale in? Againe, oure Saviour Christe confessed openly to Pilate, that his kingdome was not of this worlde. Why, then, doth the Pope, that woulde be Christes servaunte, take upon him the devision of so many kingdomes of the worlde? If he had but remembred that which he hath inserted in the ende of his owne Bull, to witt, that God is the disposer and distributer of kingdomes and empires, he woulde never have taken upon him the devidinge of them with his line of partition from one ende of the heavens to the other. The historie of the poore boye whome God stirred upp to confounde and deride the Spaniardes and Portingales, when they were devidinge the woride betwene themselves alone, is so well knowen as I nede not stand to repeate it. But it is the Popes manner alwayes to meddle, as in this matter, so in other thinges, where they have nothinge to doe, and to intrude themselves before they be called. They mighte rather call to mynde the counsell of the goodd apostle, who tolde godly Tymothe, the Bisshoppe of Ephesus, that no man that warreth intangleth himself with the affaires of this presente life, because he woulde please Him that hath chosen him to be a souldier; and then they woulde learne to kepe themselves within the lymites of that vocation and ecclesiasticall function whereunto they are called; which ecclestiasticall function hath nothinge to doe with absolute donation and devidinge of mere temporalties and earthly kingdomes. St. Chrisostome, in his dialogue De dignitate sacerdotali, saieth that the mynisterie is a chardge geven by God to teache withoute armes or force, and that the same is no power to give or to take kingdomes, nor to make lawes for the publique governemente. St. Hillary writes as moche to the Emperour Constantine againste Auxentius, Bisshoppe of Milan. Our Saviour Christe himselfe saieth to his desciples, that while they were in the worlde, they shoulde be broughte before kinges and pollitique magistrates for his names sake. So then they shoulde not be judges and magistrates themselves, especially in the devisions of kingdomes; and, to leave all spirituall men an example, he paid tribute and toll for himselfe and Peter, and submitted himselfe and his apostles under the civill magistrate and politique governemente; yet the Pope, whoe saieth that he is Peters successor, will be a disposer of civill causes and temporall domynions. The apostle saieth, Romaines the 13: Let every soule be submitted unto the higher powers. Nowe, if the Popes will not beleve the worde of God withoute the exposition of the Fathers of the Churche, at leaste let them beleve St Chrisostome, and give eare to that which he hath written upon this place: That these thinges be comaunded to all men, saieth he, bothe to prestes and monckes, and not onely to secular or laymen, the Apostle declareth, even in the very begynnynge, when he saieth in this manner: Let every soule be subjecte unto their higher powers, thoughe thou were an apostle, thoughe thou were an evangeliste, thoughe thou were a prophet, or thoughe thou were any other whatsoever. For obedience dothe nothinge hinder godlines.

But the Popes woulde prove that they may give and bestowe kingdomes upon whome they please, by Samuels example that annoynted Hazaell Kinge of Siria insteade of Benhadad, and Jehu Kinge of Israeli insteade of Jehoram; as, also, by the example of Jehoada, the highe preste, that put the Queene Athalia to deathe, and placed Joas, the younge sonne of Ochosias in the kingdome. All those examples make nothinge at all in the worlde for them; for neither Samuell, nor Elias, nor Elizeus did any thinge in that matter withoute an expresse commaundement and all circumstances from the mouthe of God himselfe, as appereth moste evidently by their severall histories in the Bible. Samuell also did his comission full sore againste his will; and Elias and Elizeus, with greate feare of their lyves. As for Athalia, she was an usurper, and had cruelly murdered as many of the lawfull inheritours of the kingdome as she coulde possibly lay handes on; and therefore Jehoiada, the highe preste, not of his owne absolute aucthoritie, but by the helpe of the Kinges officers and joyfull consente of all the people, caused her moste justely to be deposed and put to deathe. He was also uncle to the younge Kinge, by mariage of his wife, Jebosheba, which was sister to Ahasai, the father of the younge kinge, and therefore bounde, in conscience and affinitie, to helpe him to his righte and succour him in his mynoritie. Nowe, when the Popes have the like excellent spirite of prophesie and the like chardges and expresse commaundementes from Gods owne mouthe, in the behalf of some one by name againste some one which God by name woulde have deposed, then they may ymitate them in pronouncinge unto them that God will rente their kingdomes from this or that kinge for his synnes. But none of the Prophetts made bulls or donations in their palaces, under their handes and seales and dates, to bestowe many kingdomes, which they never sawe or knewe, nor what nor howe large they were, or, to say the truthe, whether they were extant in rerum natura, as the Pope hath done in gevinge all the West Indies to the Kinges of Spaine. He shoulde firste have don as the prophetts dyd; that is, he shoulde firste have gon himselfe and preached the worde of God to those idolatrous kinges and their people; and then, if they woulde not, by any meanes, have repented, he mighte have pronounced the severe and heavie judgemente of God againste them, shewinge oute of the worde of God that one kingdome is translated from another for the sinnes of the inhabitantes of the same, and that God in his justice, woulde surely bringe some nation or other upon them, to take vengeaunce of their synnes and wickednes. And thus moche not onely Popes, but also any other godly and zealous bisshope or mynister, may doe, beinge called thereunto by God extraordinarily, or havinge the ordinarye warrante of his worde.

Yea, but the Popes can shewe goodd recordes that they have deposed Emperors, that they have translated empires from one people to another, as that of the Easte unto the Germaines, and that they have taken kingdomes from one nation and geven them to another. In deede, in some respectes, they have done so. But how? They never gave that which was in their actuall possession, yf by any meanes possible they mighte have kepte it themselves. It is an easie matter to cutt large thonges, as wee say, of other men’s hides, and to be liberall of other men’s goodds. Neither ys it any marvaile thoughe (as Gomera saieth) the Pope gave all the West Indies of his free grace to the Kinge of Spaine, for they never coste him a penye. But he that will be in deede and truthe liberall, he muste give of his owne, and not of other mens. For to take from one that which is his, to give it to another to whom it is not due, ys plaine injurie and no liberalitie, thoughe the gifte were bestowed upon him that were in nede. For as one saieth: Eripere alteri fraudulenter quod alteri des misericorditer, iniustitia quidem est et non eleemosyna — to take from one fraudulently to give to another mercifully, is no almes nor charitie, but plaine iniquitie. The Pope shoulde rather have sent into the West Indies store of godly pastors of his owne coste freely, then to have geven them and their gooddes wrongfully to be eaten upp and devoured of such insatiable and gredy wolves. He should have remembred the worde of our Saviour, whoe saieth: Beatius est dare quam accipere — it is a blessed thinge to give rather then to receave. The Popes say they gave Ireland to Kinge Henry the Seconde and his successors; and indeede they have don it in wordes. But when gave they that unto him? Forsoothe after he had faste footinge in it, and when Dermutius, the King of Leynester, had firste offred to make the Kinge his heire. And for all their donation, yf the Kinge had not by his force more then by their gifte holpe himselfe, the Popes donation had stoode him in small stede; neither did the Kinges of Ireland admitt and allowe of the Popes donation. If they had, they woulde never have rebelled so ofte againste the Crowne of England. To conclude this pointe, thoughe wee confesse that the Popes have don this or that, yet yt is no goodd argumente to say that they did it, and therefore it is lawfull, unless they coulde shewe that they did it rightfully. De facto constat, de jure non constat. And they themselves are driven to confess, that their medlinge on this sorte with kingdomes ys not directly, but indirectly. But suche indirecte dealinge is warranted neither by lawe of God nor men.

Nowe to the donation itselfe, wee are firste to consider, whoe it was that was the author thereof; secondly, unto whome it was made; thirdly, what were the causes and inducementes that moved the Pope thereunto; fourthly, the fourme and manner of donation; fyftly, the inhibition of all other Christian Princes, and the penaltie of all them that shoulde doe the contrarye; lastly, the recompence of the Kinges of Spaine to the Sea of Rome for so greate a gifte.

1. Touchinge the firste, the author hereof was Pope Alexander the vith whoe, as Platina and Onuphrius and Bale doe write, was himselfe a Spaniarde, and borne in Valencia, of the familie called Borgia, and therefore no marvell thoughe he were ledd by parcialitie to favour the Spanishe nation, thoughe yt were to the prejudice and domage of all others; whiche foule faulte of his may hereby appeare, that havinge in all the tyme of his Popedome created sixe and thirtie Cardinalles, of those xxxvj. he made xviij. to witt the one halfe, Spaniardes, as Bale dothe testifie, writinge of his life. Nowe let any man be judge, whether that were extreame parcialitie and ambition, to make Spaine equal in that pointe with all the rest of Christendome. No marvaile therefore, thoughe as in this, so in his donation, he was beyonde all reason caried away with blynde affection to his nation; which faulte of his had bene more to be borne withall, yf it had bene in a private or small matter. But in this so generall and comon cause, yt cannot choose but be altogether intollerable. If any man liste to see this man painted oute further in his colours, let him reade John Bale in his Eighte Century, where he shall finde so many of his badd partes, as a man woulde thinke he coulde not be a fitt man to make a goodd and uprighte judge in so weightie a matter as this.

2. The persons to whome he made this donation were Ferdinando and Isabella, Princes of Spaine, to whome, and to their heires and successors for ever, he confirmed the same, excludinge all other Christian princes. These princes, thoughe otherwise very vertuous and commendable, yet at the tyme of the makinge of this donation, were more unable then divers other Kinges of Christendome to accomplishe and bringe the same to effecte, as beinge greately ympoverished with the warres of Granadae, so farr furthe that they were constrained to seke for helpe of Kinge Henry the VIIth. of England, to subdue the Moores in their owne contrie. Yea, Queene Isabella was so poore and bare that she was faine to offer her owne jewells to gage, to borowe money to sett furthe Columbus in his firste voyadge, as it is to be seene in the 14. chapiter of the Historie of Ferdinandus Columbus, his owne sonne, It is also well knowen that the Spaniardes, for wante of people of their owne contrie, have not bene able nowe, in the space of xx’iiii. and xij. yeres, to inhabite a thirde or fourthe parte of those excedinge large and waste contries, which are as greate as all Europe and Africke.

3. The inducementes that moved his Holines to graunt these unequall donations unto Spaine were, firste, (as he saieth) his singuler desire and care to have the Christian religion and Catholicque faithe exalted, and to be enlarged and spredd abroade throughoute the worlde, especially in his daies, and that the salvation of soules shoulde be procured of every one, and that the barbarous nations shoulde be subdued and reduced to the faithe, &c. To this I aunswer that, if he had ment as in deede he saieth, he shoulde not have restrayned this so greate and generall a worke, belonginge to the duetie of all other Christian princes, unto the Kinges of Spaine onely, as thoughe God had no servauntes but in Spaine; or as thoughe other Christian kinges then lyvinge had not as greate zeale and meanes to advaunce Gods glory as they; or howe mente he that every one shoulde put their helpinge hande to this worke, when he defended all other Christian Princes, in paine of his heavie curse and excomunication, to meddle in this action, or to employe their subjectes, thoughe yt were to the conversion of the inhabitauntes in those partes. And whereas, to colour this his donation, he addeth, that the Kinges of Spaine had bene at greate chardge in that discoverie in respect whereof he was induced to deale so franckly with them, yt is evident that the Bull was graunted in the yere 1493. the iiij. of the moneth of May, at what time Columbus had made but one voyadge, wherein he was furnished onely with one small shippe and twoo little caravells, and had, in all his companie, but foure score and tenne men, and the whole voyadge stoode the Kinge of Spaine in 2500. crownes only. So these 2500. crownes were the greate chardges that the Pope speaketh of, that induced him to graunte so large a donation; for that was the uttermoste that Columbus desired, as is to be redd in the 14. chapiter of his owne sonnes historie.

Moreover, where the Pope confesseth he was informed, before the donation of his Bull, that the Kinges of Spaine had purposed, by the aide of God, to subdue and reduce unto the faithe all those landes and Ilandes, with their inhabitantes, whiche Columbus had founde in his firste discovery, in comendinge highly of this their intention, he semeth to confesse that they mighte have pursued that godly action very lawfully withoute makinge of him privy to their enterprice, which they did not in their firste sendinge furthe Columbus. And with what righte he builded and lefte men in Hispaniola at the firste, before the Popes donation, with the selfe same righte he mighte have subdued all that he shoulde afterwardes discover. So, then, the Popes gifte was of no more force, then of that which they mighte have chalenged by their former righte and interest of discoverie. And as for their former zeale and resolution to publishe the Christian faithe in those quarters, which the Pope confesseth to have bene in them before his donation, whoe seeth not that he stirres them uppe to nothinge, but to that which he acknowledged to have bene in them already; and so he did nothinge but actum agere.

Againe; in that he saieth, that in no other respecte, but moved onely by his mere and francke liberaltie, and for certeine secrete causes, he gave unto them all the ilandes and firme landes which already have bene founde, and which shoulde afterwardes be founde, which were then discovered or afterwardes to be discovered, towardes the West and the Southe, drawinge a straighte line from the pole articke to the pole antarticke, whether the ilandes or firme landes founde or to be founde were towardes the Indies or towardes any other quarter; intendinge, nevertheles, that this line be distant an hundred leagues towardes the West and the Southe from the iles which are comonly called the Azores, or those of Cape Verd: to this wee aunswer, that here wee are firste to consider that yt was no marvell that his Holines, beinge a Spaniarde borne, sett aparte all other respectes of justice and equitie, and of his mere motion and francke liberalitie was ready to raise and advaunce his owne nation, with doinge secrete wronge and injurie as moche as in him laye, and more, unto all other Princes of Christendome. For what els can those wordes importe, that he did it also for certen secrete causes, but give us juste cause to suspect that there wanted uprighte, indifferent, and sincere dealinges? And surely, if he had meant uprightly, he woulde have delte more plainely; for truths seketh no secrete comers. But if you will have me to reveale those secrete causes, to say as the thinge was, they were nothinge else but the feare and jelousie that he had, that Kinge Henry the vij’th. of England, with whome Bartholmewe Columbus had bene to deale in this enterprice, and even aboute this time had concluded with the Kinge upon all pointers and articles, whoe even nowe was readie to sende him into Spaine to call his brother Christopher into England, shoulde put a foote into this action; which, if he had don, he shoulde bothe have share with the Spaniardes in the profitt, and greatly ecclips their honour and glorie. Also, he coulde not choose but be privie to the longe conference that Christopher Columbus had before time with the Kinge of Portingale, and offer which he made firste of all to the said Kinge of this discovery, whoe thoughe at the firste delte doubly with Columbus, and sent other to finde oute that thinge which Columbus offered, yet, they missinge of their purpose, the Kinge of Portingale woulde have employed Columbus, and delte effectually with him to that ende; but he conceavinge a greate displeasure againste the Kinge and his nation for his secrete seekinge to defraude him of his honour, and benefite of his offer, stole prively oute of his realme into Castile. But the Pope, fearinge that either the Kinge of Portingale mighte be reconciled to Columbus, or that he mighte be drawen into England, by interposinge of his usurped aucthoritie, thoughte secretly, by his unlawfull division, to defraude England and Portingale of that benefite. Loe, these were indeede those secrete causes, sodenly, withoute makinge the other Kinges privie, to make his generall and universall donation of all the West Indies to the Kinges of Spaine, by drawinge a lyne of partition from one pole unto another, passinge a hundred leagues westwarde of the Iies of Azores; which division, howe God caused to be deryded by the mouthe of a poor, simple childe, Fraunces Lopez de Gomera, one of the Spaniardes owne historiographers, dothe specially note in manner followinge: Before I finishe this chapiter (saieth he), I will recite, to recreate the reader, that which happened, upon this partition, to the Portingales. As Fraunces de Melo, Diego Lopes of Sequeria, and others, came to this assembly, and passed the river by Quidiana, a little infant that kepte his mothers clothes, which she had washt and honge abroade to drye, demaunded of them, whether they were those that shoulde come to devide the worlde with the Emperour; and as they answered yea, he tooke up his shirte behinde and shewed them his buttocks, sayenge unto them: Drawe your lyne throughe the middest of this place. This, saieth the author, was published in contempte all abroade, bothe in the towne of Badayos and also in the assemblye of these committies. The Portingales were greately angrie therewithall, but the rest turned yt to a jest and laughed yt oute.

But what wise man seeth not that God by that childe laughed them to scorne, and made them ridicullous and their partition in the eyes of the worlde and in their owne consciences, and caused the childe to reprove them, even as the dombe beaste, speakinge with mans voyce, reproved the foolishnes of Balam the Prophett!

4. The fourthe pointe which I purpose to touche, is the forme and manner of the stile of the donation itselfe, after a large preface and connynge preamble; and that begynneth in this manner: Wee therefore, by the aucthoritie of God Almightie, which is geven to us in the person of Saincte Peter, and which wee enjoye in this worlde as the vicar of Jhesus Christe, give unto you all the ilandes and firme landes, with their seigniories, cities, castells, &c. In which repetition of his donation the seconde time for failinge, he woulde shewe unto the world by what aucthoritie and warrant he gave away from all the Indians their landes, contries, seigniories, cities, castells, places, villages, righte, jurisdictions, and all other appurtenances and thinges belonginge to the same, to the Kinges of Spaine onely, and to their heires and successors for ever. This usurped aucthoritie, as I have plainely confuted and denied in begynnynge, so nowe, in a worde or twoo, I will shewe, that never gave unto the Popes any suche aucthoritie. Math. 16 The chefest and greatest aucthoritie that ever was geven by Christe to Peter, is mentioned in the 16. chapiter of St. Mathewe, where Christe saieth unto him: I will give unto thee the keyes of the Kingdome of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalte binde in earthe shalbe bounde in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalte loose in earthe shalbe loosed in heaven. St. Hierome, expoundinge of this place, saieth, that the priestes or bisshops duetie and aucthoritie of the keyes to binde or loose, is to knowe and declare by the holy Scripture, and by the judgemente of the Catholicque Churche, where and whoe he is that hath offended againste the will of God, and whoe beinge once a Christian is fallen from the societie, or gone astraye oute of the pathe and waye of the Churche. These are the trewe keyes and twoo swordes which God hath put into prestes handes. And Peter Lombard, the Master of the Sentences, one of their owne doctors, is of St. Hieromes opinion. And what aucthoritie in the place above recited Christe comitted unto Peter, the same gave he also unto all the rest of his Apostles, John 20. verse 21. sayenge to them all: Whoesoever synnes yee remitte, they are remitted unto them; and whoesoever synnes yee retaine, they are retained. But that either Peter or any of the Apostles did teache or affirme, that they had aucthoritie to give awaye kingdomes of heathen Princes to those that were so farr from havinge any interest in them, that they knewe not whether there were any suche contries in the worlde or noe, I never reade nor hearde, nor any mane else, as I verely beleve. Which moste injuste and wrongfull dealinge of the Pope was notably confuted by Atabalipa, beinge an infidell. For after Fryer Vincent of Valverde, of the companie and traine of Piçar, had made an oration to him, the some whereof was that he shoulde become a Christyan, and that he shoulde obey the Pope and the Emperor, to whome the Pope had geven his kingdome, Atabalipa, beinge greately insensed, replied, that, seeinge he was nowe free, he woulde not become tributarye, nor thincke that there was any greater lorde then himselfe; but that he was willinge to be the Emperor’s frende and to have his acquaintaunce, for that he muste nedes be some greate lorde that sente so many armies abroade into the worlde. He aunswered, moreover, that he woulde not in any wise obey the Pope, seinge he gave away that which belonged to another, moche lesse that he woulde leave his kingdome, that came unto him by inheritaunce, to one which he had never seene in his life. And whereas Fryer Vincent, beinge displeased at his replye, was gladd to seeke any waye to wreake his anger upon him, insomoche as when Atabalipa lett his portesse fall to the grounde, he was so testye that he sett Piçar and his souldiers forwardes, cryenge, Vengeaunce, Christians, vengeaunce! give the chardge upon them; whereby many Indians, withoute resistaunce, or any stroke stricken on their partes, were moste pitefully murdred and massacred, and Atabalipa himselfe taken, and afterwardes trecherously put to deathe; this Frier himselfe, by Gods juste iudgement, was afterwardes beaten to deathe with clubbes by the inhabitantes of Puna, as he fledd from Don Diego de Almagre, as Fraunces Lopez de Gomera precisely and of purpose noteth, libro 5. cap. 85. of his Generall Historie of the Indies; and, besides him, all the reste of the chefe that were the executioners of his rashe counsell, and of the Popes Donation, came to moste wretched and unfortunate endes, as the aforesaide author there setteth downe in twoo severall chapiters of Considerations, as he calleth them.

Moreover, since the fourme of the donation ronneth not absolutely, but with this condition and chardge moste straightly enjoyned, viz., that the Kinges of Spaine shoulde sende thither sober and godly men, and cause the inhabitantes of those contries discovered or to be discovered to be instructed in the Catholique faithe, and noseled in goodd manners, and that they shoulde carefully applye themselves thereunto; wee answer, that these conditions have bene wonderfully neglected, and that neither the people have bene carefully instructed in relligion nor manners, and consequently that the conditions beinge not perfourmed the donation oughte of righte to be voide. For the Kinges of Spaine have sent suche helhoundes and wolves thither as have not converted, but almoste quite subverted them, and have rooted oute above fiftene millions of reasonable creatures, as Bartholmewe de Casas, the Bisshoppe of Chiapa in the West Indies, a Spaniarde borne, dothe write at large in a whole volume of that argumente. And Gonsalvo de Ouiedo, another of their owne historiographers, and Capitaine of the Castle of Sancto Domingo in Hispaniola, affirmeth the like: For there hath Spaniardes come into these contries, saieth he, which, havinge lefte their consciences and all feare of God and men behinde them, have plaied the partes not of men, but of dragons and infidells, and, havinge no respecte of humanitie, have bene the cause that many Indians, that peradventure mighte have bene converted and saved, are deade by divers and sondrie kindes of deathes. And althoughe those people had not bene converted, yet if they had bene lett to live, they mighte have bene profitable to your Majestie and an aide unto the Christians, and certaine partes of the lande shoulde not wholy have bene disinhabited, which by this occasion are altogether in a manner dispeopled. And they that have bene the cause of suche destruction call this contrie thus dispeopled and wasted, the contrie conquered and pacified; but I call it, quoth Gonsaluo, the contrie which is destroyed and ruyned; yea, so farr have they bene of from drawinge the Indians to the likinge of Christianitie and true Relligion, that the sentence of the Apostle may moste truly be verified of them, whoe saieth: The name of God is blasphemed amonge the Gentiles throughe you; ffor proofe whereof you shall not nede to reade but that which Peter Benzo of Milan hath written, whoe remayned in these Indies, and served in the warres with the Spaniardes againste the Indians for the space of fourtene yeres. This Benzo saieth that the Indians, not havinge studied logicke, concluded very pertinently and categorically, that the Spaniardes, which spoiled their contrie, were more dangerous then wilde beastes, more furious then lyons, more fearefull and terrible then fire and water, or any thinge that is moste outeragious in the worlde. Some also called them the fome of the sea, others gave them names of the beastes which are moste cruell and lyvinge of praye which they have in their contrie. There were some likewise that called them Tuira, as one would say, the Devills goodd grace.

Those thinges beinge thus, whoe seeth not that the Pope is frustrated of the ende which he intended in his Donation, and so the same oughte not to take effecte?

5. Ffiftly, yf yt be true and that the Pope mente goodd earnest, that all Emperours and Kinges which should sende their subjectes or others to discover withoute the Kinge of Spaines leave shoulde be excommunicated by him, why did he not first excommunicate Kinge Henry the Seaventh for sendinge furthe Sebastian Gabota with three hundred Englishemen, whoe by Gomera his owne confession, discovered from 58. degrees in the northe to 38. degrees towardes the equinoctiall? Why did he not the like to Kinge Henry the Eighte for sendinge to discover westwarde, in the xixth. yere of his reigne, while he was yet in obedience to the Churche of Rome? Why was he not offended and incensed againste Queene Mary, whoe suffered her subjectes, in the yere 1556. to seke oute, by the northeaste, the way to Cathaio and China, which are bothe within the pretended lymites of his donation, as John Gaetan and other Spaniardes doe write? Why did he not exercise his censures ecclesiasticall againste the Kinge of Ffraunce, Fraunces the Firste, for sendinge furthe Verarsanus twise or thrise, Iaques Cartier twise, and Robervall once, towardes the southwest and northwest? Why was not Henry the Seconde of Fraunce excomunicated for sendinge Villegagnon to inhabite in Brasill under the tropicke of Capricorne? Or Charles the IXth. for aidinge Ribault firste, and after Ladoniere, and a thirde tyme Ribault, to fortifie and inhabite in Florida? Or why did he not thunder againste Emanuell, Kinge of Portingale, for sufferinge Gasper Corterealis twise to seke to finde oute the northweste passage, and one of his brothers another time afterwarde? Or wherefore did he not openly rebuke the Kinge of Denmarke for sufferinge his subjecte, John Scolno, a Dane, in the yere 1500. to seke the Straighte by the northweste, of whome Gemma Frisius and Hieronymo Giraua, a Spaniarde, make mention? Or what shoulde be the reason, that all these kinges of England, Fraunce, Portingale and Denmarke, beinge otherwise all at these times in obedience of the Churche of Rome, shoulde, withoute consente as yt were, disanull and neuer make accompte of this Bull of the Pope? which thinge doubtles they woulde never have don, yf they had bene fully perswaded in their consciences, that if any Prince or Emperour, of what estate or condition soever, shoulde attempte the contrary, as it is in the conclusion of the said Bull, he shoulde be assured to incurr the indignation of Almightie God and of the Apostles St. Peter and St. Pawle. But nowe, seinge all the kinges aforesaide sente all their subjectes to discover beyonde the Popes partition lyne withoute the leave or permission of the Spaniarde, they seme with one accorde to testifie unto the worlde, that they made no reconynge of the breache of that Bull, as of an acte moste unjuste, moste unreasonable, and moste prejudiciall to all other Christian princes of the worlde.

Againe; yt were small charitie in the Popes to curse those Princes that have bene or are willinge to employe their treasures and people in advauncinge the honour and glory of God, and the lawfull enrichinge and benefite of their people. And whatsoeuer Pope shoulde excommunicate or curse any Christian prince for seekinge to reduce to the knowledge of God and to civill manners those infinite multitudes of infidells and heathen people of the West Indies, which the Spaniardes in all this time have not so moche as discovered, moche less subdued or converted, his curse woulde lighte upon his owne heade, and, to those which he cursed undeservedly, woulde be turned to a blessinge.

To be shorte; thoughe Pope Alexander the vj’th by his unequall division, hath so puffed upp and inflamed with pride his moste ambitious and insatiable contrymen, that they are growen to this high conceite of themselves, that they shall shortly attaine to be lordes and onely seigniors of all the earthe, insomoche as Gonsaluo de Ouiedo sticketh not to write to Charles the Emperour, sayenge: God hath geven you these Indies accio che vostra Maiesta sia universale et unico monarcha del mondo — to the intente that your Majesty shoulde be the universall and onely monarch of the world; yet God that sitteth in heaven laugheth them and their partitions to scorne, and he will abase and bringe downe their proude lookes, and humble ther faces to the duste; yea, he will make them, at his goodd time and pleasure, to confesse that the earthe was not made for them onely; as he hath already shewed unto the Portingales, which, not longe since, takinge upon them to devide the worlde with lynes, doe nowe beholde the line of Gods juste judgmente drawen over themselves and their owne kingdome and possessions. And nowe, no doubte, many of them remember that the threateninge of the prophet hath taken holde upon them, whoe pronounceth an heavie woe againste all suche as spoile, because they themselves shall at length be spoiled.

6. Finally, to come to the sixte and laste pointe, yf you consider what recompense the Kinges of Spaine have made to the Popes for this so greate a benefite bestowed upon them, you shall easely see and acknowledge with me, that they were either moste ungrateful, or, which is moste likely, that they never thoughte that they helde the Indies as the Popes gifte unto them, or that their title unto those regions depended upon his francke almes or liberalitie; ffor, if they had don soe, they coulde have done no lesse but have geven him the presentation of all archebisshopricks and bisshoprickes, and other greate ecclesiastical promotions in recompence of their former and large curtesie, wherein they have don the flatt contrary, reservinge onely unto themselves the presentation and patronage of all the archebisshopricks and bisshopricks that they have erected in the West Indies; ffor, as Gomera saieth in his 6. booke and 23. chapiter of his Generall Historie of the Indies, the Kinge of Spaine is patrone of all the archebisshopricks, bysshoprickes, dignities, and benefices of the West Indies, and so he onely appointeth and presenteth them, so that he is absolute lorde of the Indies.

This argueth that the Kinges of Spaine never made any greate accompte of the Popes Donation, but onely to blinde the eyes of the worlde with the sea of Rome; ffor doubtles, if they had acknowledged their tenure to depende, as I saied, of the Popes mere liberalitie, they woulde have don otherwise, and woulde have requited them farr otherwise then by excludinge them quite oute, and makinge themselves absolute patrones of all ecclesiasticall dignities whatsoever.

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Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:00