The principal navigations, voyages, traffiques, and discoveries of the English nation, by Richard Hakluyt



The voyage of Robert Tomson Marchant, into Noua Hispania in the yeere 1555. with diuers obseruations concerning the state of the Countrey: And certaine accidents touching himselfe.

Robert Tomson borne in the towne of Andouer in Hampshire began his trauaile out of England in An. 1553. in the moneth of March: who departing out of the citie of Bristoll in a good ship called The barke yong, in companie of other Marchants of the sayd citie, within 8. dayes after arriued at Lisbone in Portugall, where the sayd Robert Tomson remained 15. dayes, at the end of which he shipped himselfe for Spaine in the sayd shippe, and within 4. dayes arriued in the bay of Cadiz in Andalusia, which is vnder the kingdome of Spaine, and from thence went vp to the citie of Siuil by land, which is 20. leagues, and there hee repaired to one Iohn Fields house an English Marchant, who had dwelt in the said city of Siuil 18. or 20. yeres maried with wife and children: In whose house the said Tomson remained by the space of one whole yeere or thereabout, for two causes: The one to learn the Castillian tongue, the other to see the orders of the countrey, and the customes of the people. At the end of which time hauing seene the fleetes of shippes come out of the Indies to that citie, with such great quantitie, of gold and siluer, pearles, precious stones, suger, hides, ginger, and diuers other rich commodities, he did determine with himselfe to seeke meanes and opportunitie to passe ouer to see that rich countrey from whence such great quantitie of rich commodities came. And it fell out that within short time after, the said Iohn Field (where the sayd Tomson was lodged) did determine to passe ouer into the West Indies, himselfe, with his wife, children, and familie, and at the request of the sayde Tomson, he purchased a licence of the King to passe into the Indies, for himselfe, his wife and children, and among them also for the sayde Tomson to passe with them: so that presently they made preparation of victuall and other necessarie prouision for the voyage. But the shippes which were prepared to perfourme the voyage being all ready to depart, vpon certaine considerations by the kings commandment were stayed and arrested till further should bee knowen of the Kings pleasure. Whereupon the said Iohn Field, with Robert Tomson departed out of Siuil and came down to S. Lucar 15. leagues off, and seeing the stay made vpon the ships of the said fleet, and being not assured when they would depart, determined to ship themselues for the Iles of the Canaries, which are 250. leagues from S. Lucar, and there to stay till the said fleet should come thither: for that is continually their port to make stay at 6. or 8. daies, to take in fresh water, bread, flesh, and other necessaries.

So that in the moneth of February in An. 1555. the sayde Robert Tomson with the said Iohn Field and his companie, shipped themselues out of the towne of S. Lucar in a caruel of the citie of Cadiz, and within 6. dayes they arriued at the port of the Grand Canaria, where at our comming the ships that rode in the said port began to cry out of all measure with loud voyces, in so much that the castle which stood fast by began to shoot at vs, and shot 6. or 7. shot at vs, and strooke downe our maine maste, before we could hoise out our boat to goe on land, to know what the cause of the shooting was, seeing that we were Spanish ships, and were comming into his countrey. So that being on lande, and complaining of the wrong and damage done vnto us; they answered, that they had thought we had bene French rouers, that had come into the said port to do some harme to the ships that were there. For that 8. dayes past there went out of the port a caruell much like vnto ours, laden with sugers and other marchandise for Spaine and on the other side of the point of the sayd Iland, met with a Frenchman of warre, who tooke the said caruell, and vnladed out of her into the said French ship both men and goods. And being demanded of the said Spaniards what other ships remained in the port whence they came, they answered that there remained diuers other ships, and one laden with sugers (as they were) and ready to depart for Spaine: vpon the which newes the Frenchmen put 30. tall men of their ship well appointed into the said caruel which they had taken, and sent her backe againe to the said port from whence she had departed the day before. And somewhat late towards the euening came into the port, not shewing past 3. or 4. men, and so came to an anker hard by the other ships that were in the said port, and being seene by the castle and by the said ships, they made no reconing of her, because they knew her, and thinking that she had found contrary windes at the sea, or had forgot something behinde them, they had returned backe againe for the same, and so made no accompt of her, but let her alone riding quietly among the other ships in the said port: So that about midnight the said caruel with the Frenchmen in her went aboord the other ship that lay hard by laden with sugers, and droue the Spaniards that were in her vnder hatches, and presently let slip her cables and ankers, and set saile and carried her cleane away, and after this sort deceiued them: And they thinking or fearing that we were the like did shoote at vs as they did. English factors in the Grand Canaria. This being past, the next day after our arriuall in the sayd port, wee did vnbarke our selues and went on lande vp to the citie or head towne of the great Canaria, where we remained 18. or 20. dayes: and there found certaine Englishmen marchants servants of one Anthony Hickman and Edward Castelin, marchants of the citie of London that lay there in traffique, of whom wee receiued great courtesie and much good cheere. After the which 20. dayes being past, in the which we had seene the countrey, the people, and the disposition thereof, wee departed from thence, and passed to the next Ile of the Canaries 18. leagues off; called Teneriffe, and being come on land, went vp to the citie called La Laguna, where we remained 7. moneths, attending the comming of the whole fleete, which in the ende came, and there hauing taken that which they had neede of, wee shipped our selues in a ship of Cadiz, being one of the saide fleete, which was belonging to an Englishman maried in the citie of Cadiz in Spaine, whose name was Iohn Sweeting, and there came in the sayd ship for captain also an Englishman maried in Cadiz, and sonne in law to the sayde Iohn Sweeting, whose name was Leonard Chilton: there came also in the said ship another Englishman which had beene a marchant of the citie of Exeter, one of 50. yeeres or thereabout, whose name was Ralph Sarre. So that we departed from the sayd Ilands in the moneth of October the foresayd yeere, 8. ships in our companie, and so directed our course towards the bay of Mexico, and by the way towardes the Iland of S. Domingo, otherwise called Hispaniola. So that within 32. dayes after we departed from the Iles of Canaries wee arriued with our ship at the port of S. Domingo, and went in ouer the barre where our ship knocked her keele at her entrie: and there our ship rid before the towne, where wee went on land, and refreshed our selues 16. dayes, where we found no bread made of wheat, but biscuit brought out of Spaine, and out of the bay of Mexico: for the countrey it selfe doeth yeelde no kinde of bread to make graine withall. But the bread they make there, is certaine cakes made of rootes called Cassaui, which is something substantiall, but it hath but an vnsauorie taste in the eating thereof. Flesh of beefe and mutton they haue great store: for there are men that haue 10000. head of cattell, of oxen, bulles and kine, which they doe keepe onely for the hides; for the quantitie of flesh is so great, that they are not able to spend the hundreth part. Hogs flesh is there good store, very sweete and sauorie, and so holesome, that they giue it to sick folkes to eat in stead of hennes and capons, although they haue good store of poultrie of that sort, as also of Guinycocks and Guinyhens. At the time of our being there, the citie of S. Domingo was not of aboue 500. housholds of Spaniards, but of the Indians dwelling in the suburbs there were more. The countrey is most part of the yere very hot, and very ful of a kind of flies or gnats with long bils, which do pricke and molest the people very much in the night when they are asleepe, in pricking their faces and hands, and other parts of their bodies that lie vncouered, and make them to swel wonderfully. Many of our men died of these wormes at the taking of Puertorico. Also there is another kind of small worme which creepeth into the soles of mens feet and especially of the black Moores and children which vse to go barefoot, and maketh their feet to grow as big as a mans head, and doth so ake that it would make one run mad. They haue no remedy for the same, but to open the flesh sometimes 3. or 4. inches and so dig them out. The countrey yeeldeth great store of suger, hides of oxen, buls and kine, ginger, Cana fistula and Salsa perilla: mines of siluer and gold there are none, but in some riuers there is found some smal quantitie of gold. The principal coine that they do trafique withal in that place, is blacke money made of copper and brasse: and this they say they do vse not for that they lacke money of gold and siluer to trade withall out of the other parts of India, but because if they should haue good money, the marchants that deale with them in trade, would cary away their gold and siluer, and let the countrey commodities lie still. And thus much for S. Domingo. So we were comming from the yles of Canaries to S. Domingo, and there staying vntil the moneth of December, which was 3. moneths. About the beginning of Ianuary we departed thence towards the bay of Mexico and new Spaine, toward which we set our course, and so sailed 24. dayes till we came within 15. leagues of S. Iohn de Vllua, which was the port of Mexico of our right discharge: And being so neere our said port, there rose a storme of Northerly windes, which came off from Terra Florida, which caused vs to cast about into the sea, againe, for feare least that night we should be cast vpon the shoore before day did breake, and so put our selues in danger of casting away: the winde and sea grew so foule and strong, that within two houres after the storme began, eight ships that were together were so dispersed, that we could not see one another. One of the ships of our company being of the burthen of 500. tun called the hulke of Carion, would not cast about to sea as we did, but went that night with the land, thinking in the morning to purchase the port of S. Iohn de Vllua, but missing the port went with the shoare and was cast away. There were drowned of that ship 75. persons, men, women and children, and 64. were saved that could swim, and had meanes to saue themselves: among those that perished in that ship, was a gentlemen who had bene present the yere before in S. Domingo, his wife and 4. daughters with the rest of his seruants and household. We with the other 7. ships cast about into the sea, the storme during 10. dayes with great might, boisterous winds, fogs and raine: our ship being old and weake was so tossed, that she opened at the sterne a fadome vnder water, and the best remedy we had was to stop it with beds and pilobiers, and for feare of sinking we threw and lightned into the sea all the goods we had or could come by: but that would not serue. Then we cut our maine mast, and threw all our Ordinance into the sea sauing one piece, which early in a morning when wee thought wee should haue sunke, we shot off, and as pleased God there was one of the ships of our company neere vnto vs, which we saw not by meanes of the great fogge, which hearing the sound of the piece, and vnderstanding some of the company to be in great extremitie, began to make toward vs, and when they came within hearing of vs, we desired them for the loue of God to helpe to saue vs, for that we were all like to perish. They willed vs to hoise our foresaile as much as we could and make towards them, for they would do their best to saue vs, and so we did. And we had no sooner hoised our foresaile, but there came a gale of winde and a piece of a sea, strooke in the foresaile, and caried saile and maste all ouerboord, so that then we thought there was no hope of life. And then we began to imbrace one another, euery man his friend, euery wife her husband, and the children their fathers and mothers, committing our soules to Almighty God, thinking neuer to escape aliue: yet it pleased God in the time of most need when all hope was past, to aide vs with his helping hand, and caused the winde a little to cease, so that within two houres after, the other ship was able to come aboord vs, and tooke into her with her boat man, woman and child, naked without hose or shoe vpon many of our feete. I do remember that the last person that came out of the ship into the boat was a woman blacke Moore, who leaping out of the ship into the boat with a yong sucking childe in her armes, lept too short and fell into the sea, and was a good while vnder the water before the boat could come to rescue her, and with the spreading of her clothes rose aboue water againe, and was caught by the coat and pulled into the boate hauing still her child vnder her arme, both of them halfe drowned, and yet her natural loue towards her child would not let her let the childe goe. And when she came aboord the boate she helde her childe so fast vnder her arm still, that two men were scant able to get it out. So we departed out of our ship and left it in the sea: it was worth foure hundreth thousand ducats, ship and goods when we left it. And within three dayes after we arriued at our port of S. Iohn de Vllua in New Spaine. I do remember that in the great and boysterous storme of this foule weather, in the night, there came vpon the toppe of our maine yarde and maine maste, a certaine little light, much like vnto the light of a little candle, which the Spaniards called the Cuerpo santo, and saide it was S. Elmo, whom they take to bee the aduocate of Sailers. At the which sight the Spaniards fell downe vpon their knees and worshipped it, praying God and S. Elmo to cease the torment, and saue them from the perill that they were in with promising him that on their comming on land, they would repaire vnto his Chappell, and their cause Masses to be saide, and other ceremonies to be done. The friers cast reliques into the sea, to cause the sea to be still, and likewise said Gospels, with other crossings and ceremonies vpon the sea to make the storme to cease: which (as they said) did much good to weaken the furie of the storme. But I could not perceiue it, nor gaue no credite to it, till it pleased God to send vs the remedie and deliuered vs from the rage of the same, His Name be praised therefore. This light continued aboord our ship about three hours, flying from maste to maste, and from top to top: and sometime it would be in two or three places at once. I informed my selfe of learned men afterward what that light should be, and they said, that it was but a congelation of the winde and vapours of the Sea congealed with the extremitie of the weather, which flying in the winde, many times doeth chance to hit on the masts and shrowds of the ships that are at sea in foule weather. And in trueth I do take it to be so: for that I haue seene the like in other ships at sea, and in sundry ships at once. By this men may see how the Papists are giuen to beleeue and worship such vaine things and toyes, as God, to whom all honour doth appertaine and in their neede and necessities do let to call vpon the liuing God, who is the giuer of all good things.

His arriuall at Vera Cruz. The 16. of April in Anno 1556. we arrived at the port of S. Iohn de Vllua in new Spaine, very naked and distressed, of apparell, and all other things, by meanes of the losse of our foresaid ship and goods, and from thence we went to the new Towne called Vera Cruz, fiue leagues from the said port of S. Iohn de Vllua, marching still by the sea side, where wee found lying vpon the sands great quantitie of mightie great trees with roots and all, some of them of foure, fiue, and sixe cart load by our estimation, which, as the people told vs, were in the great stormy weather, which we endured at sea, Florida 300. leagues from San Iuan de Vllua. rooted out of the ground in Terra Florida, which is three hundredth leagues ouer by Sea, and brought thither. So we came to the saide Towne of Vera cruz, where wee remained a moneth: and there the said Iohn Field chanced to meete with an olde friend of his acquaintance in Spaine, called Gonçalo Ruiz de Cordoua, a very rich man of the saide Towne of Vera cruz: who hearing of his comming thither with his wife and family, and of his misfortune by Sea, came vnto him and receiued him and all his household into his house, and kept vs there a whole moneth, making vs very good cheere, and giuing vs good entertainment, and also gaue vs that were in all eight persons, of the said Iohn Fields house, double apparell new out of the shop of very good cloth, coates, cloakes, hose, shirts, smocks, gownes for the women, hose, shoes, and al other necessary apparel, and for our way vp to the Citie of Mexico, horses, moiles, and men, and money in our purses for the expenses by the way, which by our accompt might amount vnto the summe of 400. Crownes. And after wee were entred two dayes iourney into the Countrey, I the saide Robert Tomson fell so sicke of an ague, that the next day I was not able to sit on my horse, but was faine to be caried vpon Indians backes, from thence to Mexico. And when wee came within halfe a dayes iourney of the Citie of Mexico, the saide Iohn Field also fell sicke, and within three dayes after we arriued at the said Citie, hee died: And presently sickened one of his children, and two more of his houshold people, and within eight days died. So that within tenne dayes after we arriued at the Citie of Mexico, of eight persons that were of vs of the saide company, there remained but foure aliue, and I the said Tomson was at the point of death of the sicknes that I got vpon the way, which continued with mee the space of sixe moneths. At the end of which time it pleased Almightie God to restore me my health againe, although weake and greatly disabled. And being some thing strong, I procured to seeke meanes to liue, and to seeke a way how to profite my selfe in the Countrey, seeing it had pleased God to sende vs thither in safetie. Then by friendship of one Thomas Blake a Scottishman borne, who had dwelt and had bene married in the said Citie aboue twentie yeeres before I came to the saide Citie, I was preferred to the seruice of a gentleman a Spaniard dwelling there, a man of great wealth, and one of the first conquerours of the said Citie, whose name was Gonçalo Cerezo, with whom I dwelt twelue moneths and a halfe. At the ende of which I was maliciously accused by the Holy house for matters of Religion, and so apprehended and caried to prison, where I lay close prisoner seuen moneths, without speaking to any creature, but to the Iailer that kept the said prison, when he brought me my meat and drinke. In the meane time was brought into the saide prison one Augustin Boacio an Italian of Genoua also for matters of Religion, who was taken at Sacatecas 80. leagues to the Northwest of the Citie of Mexico: At the ende of the said seuen moneths, we were both caried to the high Church of Mexico, to doe open penance upon an high scaffold, made before the high Alter, vpon a Sunday, in presence of a very great number of people, who were at the least fiue or sixe thousand. For there were that came one hundreth mile off, to see the said Auto (as they call it) for that there were neuer none before, that had done the like in the said Countrey, nor could not tell what Lutheranes were, nor what it meant: for they neuer heard of any such thing before. We were brought into the Church, euery one with a S. Benito vpon his backe, which is halfe a yard of yellow cloth, with a hole to put in a mans head in the middest, and cast ouer a mans head: both flaps cast one before, and another behinde, and in the middest of euery flap, a S. Andrewes crosse, made of red cloth, sowed on vpon the same, and that is called S. Benito. The common people before they sawe the penitents come into the Church, were giuen to vnderstand that wee were heretiques, infidels, and people that did despise God, and his workes, and that wee had bene more like deuils than men, and thought wee had had the fauour of some monsters, or heathen people. And when they saw vs come into the Church in our players coates, the women and children beganne to cry out, and made such a noise, that it was strange to see and heare, saying, that they neuer sawe goodlier men in all their liues, and that it was not possible that there could be in vs so much euill as was reported of vs, and that we were more like Angels among men, then such persons of such euill Religion as by the Priestes and friers wee were reported to be, and that it was great pitie that wee should bee so vsed for so small an offence. So that being brought into the said high Church, and set vpon the scaffold which was made before the high Alter, in the presence of all the people, vntil high Masse was done, and the sermon made by a frier, concerning our matter, they did put vs in all the disgrace they could, to cause the people not to take so much compassion vpon vs, for that wee were heretiques, and people that were seduced of the deuill, and had forsaken the faith of the Catholique Church of Rome, with diuers other reprochfull wordes, which were too long to recite in this place. High Masse and Sermon being done, our offences, as they called them, were recited, euery man what he had said and done, and presently was the sentence pronounced against vs. That was that the said Augustine Boacio was condemned to wear his S. Benito all the dayes of his life, and put into perpetuall prison, where hee should fulfill the same, and all his goods confiscated and lost. And I the saide Tomson to weare the S. Benito for three yeeres, and then to be set at libertie. And for the accomplishing of this sentence or condemnation, we must be presently sent downe from Mexico, to Vera Cruz, and from thence to S. Iohn de Vllua, and there to be shipped for Spaine, which was 65. leagues by land, with strait commandement, that vpon paine of 1000. duckets, the Masters euery one should looke straitly vnto vs, and carry vs to Spaine, and deliver vs vnto the Inquisitors of the Holy house of Siuill, that they should put vs in the places, where we should fulfill our penances, that the Archbishop of Mexico had enioyned vnto us, by his sentence there giuen. For performance of the which, we were sent downe from Mexico, to the Sea side, which was 65. leagues, with fetters upon our feete, and there deliuered to the Masters of the ships, to be carried for Spaine, as before is said. And it was so, that the Italian, fearing that if he had presented himselfe in Spaine before the Inquisitors, that they would haue burned him, to preuent that danger when wee were comming homeward, and were arriued at the yland of Terçera, one of the ysles of the Açores, the first night that we came into the said port to an ancker, about midnight he found the meanes to get him naked out of the ship into the sea, and swam naked a shoare, and so presently got him to the further side of the yland, where hee found a little Caruel ready to depart for Portugal, in the which he came to Lisbone, and passed into France, and so into England, where hee ended his life in the Citie of London. And I for my part kept still aboord the ship, and came into Spaine, and was deliuered to the Inquisitors of the Holy house of Siuill, where they kept me in close prison, till I had fulfilled the three years of my penance. Which time being expired, I was freely put out of prison, and set at libertie: and being in the Citie of Siuil a casher of one Hugh Typton, an English marchant of great doing, by the space of one yeere, it fortuned that there came out of the Citie of Mexico, a Spaniard, called Iohn de la Barrera, that had bene long time in the Indies, and had got summes of golde and siluer, and with one onely daughter shipped himselfe for to come for Spaine, and by the way chanced to die, and giue all that hee had vnto his onely daughter, whose name was Marie de la Barrera, and being arriued at the Citie of Siuil, it was my chance to marry with her. The marriage was worth to mee 2500. pounds in barres of golde and siluer, besides iewels of great price. This I thought good to speake of, to shew the goodnes of God to all them that put their trust in him, that I being brought out of the Indies, in such great misery and infamy to the world, should be prouided at Gods hand in one moment, of more then in all my life before I could attaine vnto by my owne labour.

After we departed from Mexico, our S. Benitoes were set vp in the high Church of the said Citie, with our names written in the same, according to there vse and custome, which is and will be a monument and a remembrance of vs, as long as the Romish Church doth raigne in that country. The same haue bene seene since by one Iohn Chilton, and diuers others of our nation, which were left in that countrey long since, by Sir Iohn Hawkins. And because it shalbe knowen wherefore it was that I was so punished by the Clergies hande, as before is mentioned, I will in briefe words declare the same.

It is so, that being in Mexico at the table, among many principall people at dinner, they began to inquire of me being an Englishman, whether it were true, that in England they had ouerthrowen all their Churches and houses of Religion, and that all the images of the Saints of heauen that were in them were throwen downe, broken, and burned, and in some places high wayes stoned with them, and whether the English nation denied their obedience to the Pope of Rome, as they had bene certified out of Spaine by their friends. To whom I made answere, that it was so, that in deed they had in England put downe all the Religious houses of friers and monks that were in England, and the images that were in their Churches and other places were taken away, and vsed there no more: for that (as they say) the making of them, and putting of them where they were adored, was cleane contrary to the expresse commandement of Almighty God, Thou shalt not make to thy selfe any grauen image, &c. and that for that cause they thought it not lawfull that they should stand in the Church, which his the house of adoration. One that was at the declaring of these words who was my master Gonsalo Cereso, answered and said, if it were against the commandement of God to haue images in the Churches, that then he had spent a great deale of money in vaine, for that two yeres past he had made in the monastery of Santo Domingo, in the said citie of Mexico, an image of our Lady of pure siluer and golde, with pearles and precious stones, which cost him 7000. and odde pesos, and euery peso is 4.s. 8.d. of our money: which indeed was true, for that I haue seene it many times my selfe where it stands. At the table was another gentleman, who presuming to defend the cause more then any other that was there, saide, that they knew well ynough that they made but of stockes and stones, and that to them was no worship giuen, but that there was a certaine veneration due vnto them after they were set vp in the Church, and that they were set there to a good intent: the one, for that they were books for the simple people, to make them vnderstand the glory of the saints that were in heauen, and a shape of them to put vs in remembrance to cal vpon them, to be our intercessors vnto God for vs, for that we are such miserable sinners, that we are not worthy to appeare before God, and that vsing deuotion to saints in heauen, they may obtaine at Gods hands the sooner the thing that we demand of him. As for example, said he, imagin that a subiect hath offended his king vpon the earth in any kind of respect, is it for the party to go boldly to the king in person, and to demand pardon for his offences? No, saith he, the presumption were two great, and possibly he might be repulsed, and haue a great rebuke for his labour. Better it is for such a person to seek some priuate man neere the king in his Court, and make him acquainted with his matter, and let him be a mediator to his Maiesty for him, and for the matter he hath to do with him, and so might he the better come to his purpose, and obteine the thing which he doeth demand: euen so saith he, it is with God and his saints in heauen: for we are wretched sinners, and not worthy to appeare nor present our selues before the Maiesty of God to demand of him the thing that we haue need of: therefore thou hast need to be deuout, and have deuotion to the mother of God, and the saints of heauen, to be intercessors to God for thee, and so mayest thou the better obtaine of God the thing that thou dost demand. To this I answered, and said, sir, as touching the comparison you made of the intercessors to the king, how necessary they were, I would but aske you this question. Set the case that this king you speake of, if he be so merciful, as, when he knoweth that one, or any of his subiects hath offended him, he send for him to his owne towne, or to his owne house, or palace, and say unto him, come hither, I know that thou hast offended many lawes, if thou doest know thereof, and doest repent thee of the same, with ful intent to offend no more, I wil forgiue thy trespasse, and remember it no more: said I, if this be done by the kings owne person, what then hath this man need to go seeke friendship at any of the kings priuat seruants hands, but go to the principal, seeing that he is readier to forgive thee, then thou art to demand forgiuenes at his hands? Euen so is it with our gracious God, who calleth and crieth out vnto vs throughout all the world, by the mouth of his Prophets, Apostles, and by his owne mouth, saying, Come vnto me al ye that labour and are ouer laden, and I wil refresh you: besides 1000. other offers and proffers which hee doth make vnto vs in his holy Scriptures. What then haue we need of the saints helpe that are in heauen, whereas the Lord himself doth so freely offer himselfe vnto vs? At which sayings, many of the hearers were astonied, and said, that by that reason, I would giue to vnderstand, that the inuocation of Saints was to be disanulled, and by the Lawes of God not commanded. I answered, that they were not my words but the words of God himselfe: looke into the Scriptures your selfe, and you shall so finde it. The talk was perceiued to be preiudiciall to the Romish doctrine, and therefore it was commanded to be no more entreated of, and all remained vnthought vpon, had it not bene for a villanous Portugal that was in the company, who said, Basta ser Ingles para saber todo esto y mas: who the next day, without imparting any thing to any body, went to the Bishop of Mexico, and his Prouisor, and said, that in a place where he had bene the day before, was an Englishman, who had said, that there was no need of Saints in the Church, nor of any inuocation of Saints, vpon whose denomination I was apprehended for the same words here rehearsed, and none other thing, and thereupon was vsed, as before is written.

Sant Iuan de Vllua. Now to speake somewhat of the description of the countrey, you shall vnderstand, that the port of S. Iohn de Vllua is a very little Island low by the water side, the broadest or longest part thereof not aboue a bow-shoote ouer, and standeth within two furlongs of the firme land. In my time there was but one house, and a little Chappel to say masse in, in all the Island: the side to the land wards is made by mans handes, with free-stone and grauel, and is 4. fadome deepe downe right, wherefore the great ships that come in there do ride so neere the shoare of the land, that you may come and goe aland vpon their beake noses. They vse to put great chaines of yron in at their halsers, and an ancker to the land ward, and all little ynough to more well their shippes for feare of the Northerly winds, which come of the coast of Florida, that sometimes haue caried ships, and houses, and all away to the shoare. The king was wont to haue 20. great mightie Negroes, who did serue for nothing else, but onely to repaire the said Island, where the foule weather doeth hurt it. The Countrey all thereabout is very plaine ground, and a mile from the sea side a great wildernes, with great quantitie of red Deere in the same, so that when the mariners of the ships are disposed, they go vp into the wildernes, and do kil of the same, and bring them aboard to eate, for their recreation.

The way and distance from San Iuan de Vllua to Vera Cruz, is five leagues. From this port to the next towne, which is called Vera Cruz, are 5. leagues almost by the Sea side, till you come within one league of the place, and then you turne vp towards the land, into a wood, till you come to a litle riuer hard by the said townes side, which sometimes of the yere is dry without water. The towne of Vera Cruz in my time, had not past 300. housholds, and serued out but for the folke of the ships, to buy and bring there goods aland, and deliuer it to their owners, as also the owners and their factors to receiue there goods of the Masters of the ships. This town standeth also in a very plaine on the one side the riuer, and the other side is enuironed with much sande blowen from the sea side with the tempest of weather, many times comming vpon that coast. This town also is subiect to great sicknes, and in my time many of the Mariners and officers of the ships did die with those diseases, there accustomed, and especially those that were not vsed to the countrey, nor knew the danger thereof, but would commonly go in the Sunne in the heat of the day, and did eat fruit of the countrey with much disorder, and especially gaue themselues to womens company at their first comming: whereupon they were cast into a burning ague, of the which few escaped.

Venta de Rinconado. Halfe a dayes iourney from Vera Cruz, towards Mexico, is a lodging of fiue or sixe houses, called the Rinconado, which is a place, where is a great pinacle made of lime and stone, fast by a riuer side, where the Indians were wont to doe their sacrifices vnto their gods, and it is plaine and low ground betwixt that and Vera Cruz, and also subiect to sicknes: but afterward halfe a dayes iourney that you do begin to enter into the high land, you shall find as faire, good, and sweet countrey, as any in the world, and the farther you go, the goodlier and sweeter the countrey is, till you come to Pueblo de los Angeles, which may be some 43 leagues from Vera Cruz, which was in my time a towne of 600. housholds, or thereabout, standing in a goodly soile. Betweene Vera Cruz and that you shall come through many townes of the Indians, and villages, and many goodly fields of medow grounds, Riuers of fresh waters, forrests, and great woods, very pleasant to behold. From Pueblo de los Angeles, to Mexico, is 20 leagues of very faire way and countrey, as before is declared. Mexico was a Citie in my time, of not aboue 1500. housholds of Spaniards inhabiting there, but of Indian people in the suburbs of the said city, dwelt aboue 300000. as it was thought, and many more. This City of Mexico is 65 leagues from the North sea, and 75 leagues from the South sea, so that it standeth in the midst of the maine land, betwixt the one sea and the other. It is situated in the middest of a lake of standing water, and enuironed round about with the same, sauing in many places, going out of the Citie, are many broad wayes through the said lake or water. This lake and Citie is enuironed also with great mountaines round about, which are in compasse aboue thirtie leagues, and the said Citie, and lake of standing water, doeth stand in a great plaine in the middest of it. This lake of standing water doeth proceed from the shedding of the raine, that falleth upon the saide mountaines, and so gather themselues together in this place.

All the whole proportion of this Citie doeth stand in a very plaine ground, and in the middest of the said Citie is a square place of a good bow-shoote ouer from side to side: and in the middest of the said place is the high Church, very faire and well builded all through, at that time not halfe finished, and round about the said place, are many faire houses built: on the one side, are the houses where Mutezuma the great king of Mexico that was, dwelt, and now there lye alwayes the viceroyes that the king of Spaine sendeth thither euery three yeeres. And in my time there was for viceroy a gentleman of Castil, called Don Luis de Velasco. And on the other side of the saide place, ouer against the same, is the Bishops house, very faire built, and many other houses of goodly building. And hard by the same, are also other very faire houses, built by the Marques de Valle, otherwise called Hernando Cortes, who was hee that first conquered the saide Citie and Countrey, who after the said conquest which hee made with great labour and trauaile of his person, and danger of his life, and being growen great in the Countrey, the King of Spaine sent for him, saying that he had some particular matters to impart vnto him. This is to be vnderstood of his second comming into Spaine. And when he came home, he could not bee suffered to returne backe againe, as the King before had promised him. With the which, for sorrow that he tooke, he died; and this he had for the reward of his good seruice.

The said Citie of Mexico hath the streetes made very broad, and right, that a man being in the high place, at the one ende of the street, may see at the least a good mile forward, and in all the one part of the streets of the North part of their Citie, there runneth a pretie lake of very cleare water, that euery man may put into his house as much as he will, without the cost of any thing, but of letting in. Also there is a great caue or ditch of water that commeth through the Citie, euen vnto the high place, where come euery morning at the break of the day twentie or thirtie Canoas, or troughes of the Indians, which bring in them all manner of prouision for the citie, which is made, and groweth in the Countrey, which is a very good commoditie for the inhabitants of that place. And as for victuals in the said Citie, of beefe, mutton, and hennes, capons, quailes, Guiny-cockes, and such like, all are very good cheape: To say, the whole quarter of an oxe, as much as a slaue can carry away from the Butchers, for fiue Tomynes, that is, fiue Royals of plate, which is iust two shillings and sixe pence, and a fat sheepe at the Butchers for three Royals, which is 18. pence and no more. Bread is as good cheape as in Spaine, and all other kinde of fruites, as apples, peares, pomegranats, and quinces, at a reasonable rate. The Citie goeth wonderfully forwards in building of Frieries and Nunneries, and Chappels, and is like in time to come, to be the most populous Citie in the world, as it may be supposed. The weather is there always very temperate, the day differeth but one houre of length all the yere long. The fields and the woods are alwayes greene. The woods full of popinjayes, and many other kinde of birdes, that make such an harmonie of singing, and crying, that any man will reioyce to heare it. In the fields are such odoriferous smels of flowers and hearbs, that it giueth great content to the senses. About the Citie of Mexico two, three, or foure leagues off, are diuers townes of Indians, some of 4000. or 6000. housholds, which doe stand in such a goodly soyle, that if Christians had the inhabitation thereof, it would be put to a further benefite. In my time were dwelling and aliue in Mexico, many ancient men that were of the conquerours at the first conquest with Hernando Cortes: for then it was about 36. yeeres agoe, that the said Countrey was conquered.

About Mexico there are diuers Mines of siluer, and also in other places there about, but the principall Mines that are in all New Spaine are in Sacatecas, 80. leagues from Mexico, and the Mines of S. Martin, thirtie leagues, both to the Westward of Mexico, where is great store of gold and siluer. Also there is a place called the Misteca, fiftie leagues to the Northwest, which doth yeeled great store of very good silke, and Cochinilla. Wine and oyle there is none growing in the Countrey, but what commeth out of Spaine. Also there are many goodly fruits in that Countrey, whereof we haue none such, as Plantanos Guyaues, Lapotes, Tunas, and in the wilderness great store of blacke cheries, and other wholesome fruites. The Cochinilla is not a worme, or a flye, as some say it is, but a berrie that groweth vpon certaine bushes in the wilde field, which is gathered in time of the yeere, when it is ripe. Also the Indico that doeth come from thence to die blew, is a certaine hearbe that groweth in the wilde fieldes, and is gathered at one time of the yeere, and burnt, and of the ashes thereof, with other confections put thereunto, the said Indico is made. Balme, Salsa perilla, Cana fistula, suger, oxe hides, and many other good and seruiceable things the Countrey doeth yeeld, which are yeerely brought into Spaine, and there solde and distributed to many nations.


A voyage made by M. Roger Bodenham to S. Iohn de Vllua in the bay of Mexico, in the yeere 1564.

A new trade begun in the city of Fez by Roger Bodenham. I Rodger Bodenham hauing a long time liued in the city of Siuil in Spaine, being there married, and by occasion thereof vsing trade and traffique to the parts of Barbary, grew at length to great losse and hinderance by that new trade begun by me in the city of Fez: whereupon being returned into Spaine, I began to call my wits about mee, and to consider with my selfe by what meanes I might recover and renew my state; and in conclusion, by the ayde of my friends, I procured a ship called The Barke Fox perteining to London, of the eight or nine score tunnes; and with the same I made a voyage to the West India, hauing obteined good fauour with the Spannish merchants, by reason of my long abode, and marriage of the countrey. My voyage was in the company of the Generall Don Pedro Melendes for Noua Hispania: who being himselfe appointed Generall for Terra Firma and Peru, made his sonne Generall for New Spaine, although Pedro Melendes himselfe was the principall man and director in both fleets. We all departed from Cadiz together the last day of May in the yere 1564: and I with my ship being vnder the conduct of the sonne of Don Pedro aforesayd, arriued with him in Noua Hispania, where immediately I tooke order for the discharge of my merchandise at the port of Vera Cruz, otherwise called Villa Rica, to be transported thence to the city of Mexico, which is sixty and odde leagues distant from the sayd port of Villa Rica. In the way are many good townes, as namely, Pueblo de los Angeles, and another called Tlaxcalan. The city of Mexico hath three great causeyes to bring men to it, compassed with a lake, so that it needeth no walles, being so defended by the water. It is a city plentifull of all necessary things, hauing many faire houses, churches, and monasteries. I hauing continued in the countrey the space of nine moneths, returned againe for Spaine with the Spanish fleet, and deliuered the merchandise and siluer which I had in the ship into the Contratation house, and there receiued my fraight, which amounted outwards and homewards to the value of 13000 ducats and more. I obserued many things in the time of my abode in Noua Hispania, aswell touching the commodities of the countrey as the maners of the people both Spaniards and Indians: but because the Spanish histories are full of these obseruations, I omit them, and referre the readers to the same: onely this I say, that the commodity of Cochinalla groweth in greatest abundance about the towne of Pueblo de los Angeles, and is not there woorth aboue forty pence the pound.

A notable discourse of M. Iohn Chilton, touching the people, maners, mines, cities, riches, forces, and other memorable things of New Spaine, and other prouinces in the West Indies, seene and noted by himselfe in the time of his trauels, continued in those parts, the space of seuenteene or eighteene yeeres.

In the yeere of our Lord 1561, in the moneth of Iuly, I Iohn Chilton went out of this city of London into Spaine, where I remained for the space of seuen yeres, and from thence I sailed into Noua Hispania, and so trauelled there, and by the South sea, vnto Peru, the space of seuenteene or eighteene yeeres: and after that time expired, I returned into Spaine, and so in the yere 1586 in the moneth of Iuly, I arriued at the foresayd city of London: where perusing the notes which I had taken in the time of my trauell in those yeeres, I haue set downe as followeth.

In the yeere 1568, in the moneth of March, being desirous to see the world, I embarked my selfe in the bay of Cadiz in Andaluzia, in a shippe bound for the Isles of the Canaries, where she tooke in her lading, and set forth from thence for the voyage, in the moneth of Iune, the same yere. Within a moneth after, we fell with the Isle of S. Domingo, and from thence directly to Noua Hispania, and came into the port of S. Iohn de Vllua, which is a little Island standing in the sea, about two miles from the land, where the king mainteineth about 50 souldiers, and captaines, that keepe the forts, and about 150 negroes, who all the yeere long are occupied in carying of stones for building, and other vses, and to helpe to make fast the ships that come in there, with their cables. There are built two bulwarkes at ech ende of a wall, that standeth likewise in the sayde island, where the shippes vse to ride, made fast to the sayd wall with their cables, so neere, that a man may leape ashore. From this port I iourneyd by land to a towne called Vera Cruz, standing by a riuers side, where all the factours of the Spanish merchants dwell, which receiue the goods of such ships as come thither, and also lade the same with such treasure and merchandize as they returne backe into Spaine. They are in number about foure hundred, who onely remaine there during the time that the Spanish fleet dischargeth, and is loden againe, which is from the end of August to the beginning of April following. And then for the vnwholesomnesse of the place they depart thence sixteene leagues further vp within the countrey, to a towne called Xalapa, a very healthfull soile. There is neuer any woman deliuered of childe in this port of Vera Cruz: for so soone as they perceiue themselues conceiued with child, they get them into the countrey, to auoid the perill of the infected aire, although they vse euery morning to driue thorow the towne aboue two thousand head of cattell, to take away the ill vapours of the earth. From Xalapa seuen leagues I came to another place, named Perota, wherein are certaine houses builded of straw, called by the name of ventas, the inhabitants whereof are Spaniards, who accustome to harbour such trauellers as are occasioned to iourney that way vp into the land. It standeth in a great wood of Pine and Cedar trees, the soile being very colde, by reason of store of snow which lieth on the mountaines there all the yere long. There are in that place an infinite number of deere, of bignesse like vnto great mules, hauing also hornes of great length. From Perota nine leagues, I came to the Fuentes of Ozumba, which fuentes are springs of water issuing out of certeine rocks into the midst of the high wayes, where likewise are certaine ranges, and houses, for the vses before mentioned. Pueblo de los Angeles eight leagues. Eight leagues off from this place I came to the city of the Angels, so called by that name of the Spanyards, which inhabit there to the number of a thousand, besides a great number of Indians. This city standeth in very plaine fields, hauing neere adioyning to it many sumptuous cities, as namely the city of Tlaxcalla, a city of two hundred thousand Indians, tributaries to the king, although he exacteth no other tribute of them then a handfull of wheat a piece, which amounteth to thirteene thousand hanneges yeerely as hath appeared by the kings books of account. And the reason why he contenteth himselfe with this tribute, onely for them, is, because they were the occasion that he tooke the city of Mexico, with whom the Tlaxcallians had warre at the same time when the Spanyards came into the countrey. The gouernour of this city is a Spanyard, called among them the Alcade mayor, who administreth chiefest causes of iustice both vnto the Christians and Indians, referring smaller and lighter vices, as drunkennesse and such like to the iudgement and discretion of such of the Indians as are chosen euery yeere to rule amongst them, called by the name of Alcades. These Indians from fourteene yeeres olde vpwards, pay vnto the king for their yerely tribute one ounce of siluer, and an hannege of maiz, which is valued among them commonly at twelue reals of plate. The widowes among them pay halfe of this. The Indians both of this city, and of the rest, lying about Mexico, goe clothed with mantles of linnen cloth made of cotton wooll, painted thorowout with works of diuers and fine colours. Tlaxcalla foure leagues northward from los Angeles. It is distant from the city of the Angels foure leagues to the Northward, and fourteene from Mexico. There is another city a league from it, called Chetula, consisting of more then sixty thousand Indians, tributaries, and there dwell not aboue twelue Spanyards there. Vulcan is a hill that continually burneth with fire. From it, about two leagues, there is another, called Acassingo, of aboue fifty thousand Indians, and about eight or twelue Spanyards, which standeth at the foot of the Vulcan of Mexico, on the East side. There are besides these, three other great cities, the one named Tapiaca, a very famous city, Waxazingo, and Tichamachalcho: all these in times past belonged to the kingdome of Tlaxcalla: and from these cities they bring most of their Cochinilla into Spaine. Pueblo de los Angeles 20. leagues from Mexico. The distance from the city of the Angels, to the city of Mexico is twenty leagues. The city of Mexico is the city of greatest fame in all the Indies, hauing goodly and costly houses in it, builded all of lime and stone, and seuen streets in length, and seuen in breadth, with riuers running thorow euery second street, by which they bring their prouision in canoas. It is situated at the foot of certaine hilles, which conteine in compasse by estimation aboue twenty leagues, compassing the sayd city on the one side, and a lake which is fourteene leagues about on the other side. Vpon which lake there are built many notable and sumptuous cities, as the city of Tescuco, where the Spanyards built sixe frigats, at that time when they conquered Mexico, and where also Fernando Cortes made his abode fiue or six moneths in curing of the sicknesse of his people, which they had taken at their comming into the countrey. There dwell in this city about sixty thousand Indians, which pay tribute to the king. In this city the sayd Fernando built the finest church that euer was built in the Indies, the name whereof is S. Peters.

The voyage from Mexico to Nueua Biscaia. After I had continued two yeeres in this city, being desirous to see further the countreys, I imployed that which I had, and tooke my voyage towards the prouinces of California, in the which was discouered a certeine countrey by a Biscaine, whose name was Diego de Guiara, and called it after the name of his countrey, New Biscay, where I solde my merchandise for exchange of siluer, for there were there certaine rich mines discouered by the aforesayd Biskaine. The Siluer mines of Tamascaltepec. Going from Mexico I directed my voyage somewhat toward the Southwest, to certaine mines, called Tamascaltepec, and so trauelled forward the space of twenty dayes thorow desert places vnhabited, till I came to the valley of S. Bartholomew, which ioyneth to the prouince of New Biscay. In all these places, the Indians for the most part go naked, and are wilde people. Their common armour is bowes and arrowes: they vse to eate vp such Christians as they come by. The hauen where the ships of China and the Philippinas arriue. From hence departing, I came to another prouince named Xalisco, and from thence to the port of Nauidad, which is 120 leagues from Mexico, in which port arriue alwayes in the moneth of April, all the ships that come out of the South sea from China, and the Philippinas, and there they lay their merchandise ashore. The most part whereof is mantles, made of Cotton wooll, Waxe, and fine platters gilded, made of earth, and much golde.

The next Summer following, being in the yeere 1570 (which was the first yeere that the Popes Buls were brought into the Indies) I vndertooke another voyage towards the prouince of Sonsonate, which is in the kingdome of Guatimala, whither I caried diuers marchandize of Spaine, all by land on mules backs. The way thitherward from Mexico is to the city of the Angels, and from thence to another city of Christians 80 leagues off, called Guaxaca, in which there dwelt about 50 Spanyards, and many Indians. All the Indians of this prouince pay their tribute in mantles, of Cotton wooll, and Cochinilla, whereof there groweth abundance thorowout this countrey. Neere to this place there lieth a port in the South sea, called Aguatulco, in the which there dwell not aboue three or foure Spanyards, with certaine Negroes, which the king mainteineth there: in which place Sir Francis Drake arriued in the yeere 1579, in the moneth of April, where I lost with his being there aboue a thousand duckets, which he tooke away with much other goods of other merchants of Mexico from one Francisco Gomes Rangifa, factour there for all the Spanish merchants that then traded in the South sea: for from this Port they vse to imbarke all their goods that goe for Peru, and to the kingdome of Honduras. From Guaxaca I came to a towne named Nixapa, which standeth vpon certaine very high hilles in the prouince of Sapotecas, wherein inhabit about the number of twenty Spanyards, by the King of Spaines commandement, to keepe that country in peace: for the Indians are very rebellious: and for this purpose hee bestowed on them the townes and cities that be within that prouince. From hence I went to a city called Tecoantepec, which is the farthest towne to the Eastward in all Noua Hispania, which some time did belong to the Marques de Valle, and because it is a very fit port, standing in the South sea, the king of Spaine, vpon a rebellion made by the sayd Marques against him, tooke it from him, and doth now possesse it as his owne. Heere in the yeere 1572 I saw a piece of ordinance of brasse, called a Demy culuerin, which came out of a ship called the Iesus of Lubeck, which captaine Hawkins left in S. Iohn de Vllua, being in fight with the Spanyards in the yeere 1568; which piece they afterwards carried 100 leagues by land ouer mighty mountaines to the sayd city, to be embarked there for the Philippinas. Leauing Tecoantepec, I went still along by the South sea about 150 leagues in the desolate prouince of Soconusco, in which prouince there groweth cacao, which the Christians cary from thence into Noua Hispania, for that it will not grow in any colde countrey. The Indians of this countrey pay the king their tribute in cacao, giuing him four hundred cargas, and euery carga is 24000 almonds, which carga is worth in Mexico thirty pieces of reals of plate. They are men of great riches, and withall very proud: and in all this prouince thorowout, there dwell not twenty Christians. I trauelled thorow another prouince called Suchetepec; and thence to the prouince of Guasacapan: in both which prouinces are very few people, the biggest towne therein hauing not aboue two hundred Indians. The chiefest merchandise there, is cacao. Hence I went to the city of Guatimala, which is the chiefe city of all this kingdome: in this city doe inhabit about 80 Spanyards: and here the king hath his gouernours, and councell, to whom all the people of the kingdome repaire for iustice. This city standeth from the coast of the South sea 14 leagues within the land, and is very rich, by reason of the golde that they fetch out of the coast of Veragua. From this city to the Eastward 60 leagues lieth the prouince Sonsonate, where I solde the merchandize I caried out of Noua Hispania. The chiefest city of this prouince is called S. Saluador, which lieth 7 leagues from the coast of the South sea, and hath a port lying by the sea coast, called Acaxutla, where the ships arriue with the merchandize they bring from Noua Hispania; and from thence lade backe againe the cacao: there dwell here to the number of threescore Spanyards. Nicoia a port where ye ships which goe to the Philippinas are builded. From Sonsonate I trauelled to Nicoia, which is in the kingdome of Nicaragua, in which port the king buildeth all the shipping that trauell out of the Indies to the Malucos. Puerto de Cauallos a rich place. I went forward from thence to Costa rica, where the Indians both men and women go all naked, and the land lieth betweene Panama, and the kingdome of Guatimala: and for that the Indians there liue as warriers, I durst not passe by land, so that here in a towne called S. Saluador I bestowed that which I caried in annile (which is a kinde of thing to die blew withall) which I caried with me to the port of Cauallos, lying in the kingdome of Honduras, which port is a mighty huge gulfe, and at the comming in on the one side of it there lieth a towne of little force without ordinance or any other strength, hauing in it houses of straw: at which towne the Spanyards vse yeerely in the moneth of August to vnlade foure ships which come out of Spaine laden with rich merchandize, and receiue in heere againe their lading of a kinde of merchandise called Annile and Cochinilla (although it be not of such value as that of Noua Hispania) and siluer of the mines of Tomaangua, and golde of Nicaragua, and hides, and Salsa perilla, the best in all the Indies: all which merchandize, they returne, and depart from thence alwayes in the moneth of April following, taking their course by the Island of Iamaica, in which Island there dwell on the West side of it certeine Spanyards of no great number. The description of Hauana at large. From this place they go to the cape of S. Anthony, which is the vttermost part of the Westward of the Island of Cuba, and from thence to Hauana lying hard by, which is the chiefest port that the king of Spaine hath in all the countreys of the Indies, and of greatest importance: for all the ships, both from Peru, Honduras, Porto rico, S. Domingo, Iamaica, and all other places in his Indies, arriue there in their returne to Spaine, for that in this port they take in victuals and water, and the most part of their lading: here they meet from all the foresayd places alwayes in the beginning of May by the kings commandement: at the entrance of this port it is so narrow, that there can scarse come in two ships together, although it be aboue sixe fadome deepe in the narrowest place of it. In the North side of the comming in there standeth a tower, in which there watcheth euery day a man to descrie the sailes of ships which hee can see on the sea; and as many as he discouereth, so many banners he setteth vpon the tower, that the people of the towne (which standeth within the port about a mile from the tower) may vnderstand thereof. Vnder this tower there lieth a sandy shore, where men may easily go aland: and by the tower there runneth a hill along by the waters side, which easily with small store of ordinance subdueth the towne and port. The port within is so large that there may easily ride a thousand saile of ships without anker or cable, for no wind is able to hurt them. The smol force of Hauana. There inhabit within the towne of Hauana about three hundred Spanyards, and about threescore souldiers, which the king mainteineth there for the keeping of a certeine castle which hee hath of late erected, which hath planted in it about twelue pieces of small ordinance, and is compassed round with a small ditch, wherethorow at their pleasure they may let in the sea. About two leagues from Hauana their lieth another towne called Wanabacoa, in which there is dwelling about an hundred Indians, and from this place 60 leagues there lieth another towne named Bahama, situate on the North side of the Island. The chiefest city of this Island of Cuba (which is aboue 600 leagues in length) is also called Sant Iago de Cuba, where dwelleth a bishop and about two hundred Spanyards; which towne standeth on the South side of the Island about 100 leagues from Hauana. The commodities of Cuba. All the trade of this Island is cattell, which they kill onely for the hides that are brought thence into Spaine: for which end the Spanyards mainteine there many negroes to kil their cattell, and foster a great number of hogs, which being killed, and cut into smal pieces, they dry in the Sun, and so make it prouision for the ships which come for Spaine.

Hauing remained in this Island two moneths, I tooke shipping in a frigat, and went ouer to Nombre de Dios, and from thence by land to Panama, which standeth vpon the South sea. From Nombre de Dios to Panama is 17 leagues distance: from which towne there runneth a riuer which is called the riuer of Chagre, which runneth within 5 leagues of Panama, to a place called Cruzes, thorow which riuer they cary their goods, and disimbarke them at the sayd Cruzes, and from thence they are conueyed on mules backs to Panama by land: where they againe imbarke them in certeine small shippes in the South sea for all the coast of Peru. In one of these ships I went to Potossie, and from thence by land to Cusco, and from thence to Paita.

Here I remained the space of seuen moneths, and then returned into the kingdome of Guatimala, and arriued in the prouince of Nicoia, and Nicaragua. From Nicaragua I trauelled by land to a prouince called Nicamula (which lieth toward the North sea in certaine high mountaines) for that I could not passe thorow the kingdome of Guatimala at that time for waters, wherewith all the Low countreys of the prouince of Soconusco, lying by the South sea, are drowned with the raine that falleth aboue the mountaines, enduring always from April to September: which reason for that they call their Winter. From this prouince I came into another called De Vera Paz, in which the chiefest city is also called after that name, where there dwelleth a bishop and about forty Spanyards. Among the mountaines of this countrey toward the North sea, there is a prouince called La Candona, where are Indian men of war which the king can not subdue, for that they haue townes and forts in a great lake of water aboue the sayd mountaines: the most part of them goe naked, and some weare mantles of cotton wooll. Chiapa 300 leagues from Mexico. Distant from this about 80 leagues, I came into another prouince called the prouince of Chiapa, wherein the chiefest city is called Sacallan, where there dwelleth a bishop and about an hundred Spanyards. In this countrey there is great store of Cotten wooll, whereof the Indians make fine linnen cloth, which the Christians buy and carry into Noua Hispania. The people of this prouince pay their tribute to the king all in Cotton wooll and Feathers. Fourteene leagues from this city there is another called Chiapa, where are the finest gennets in all the Indies, which are carried hence to Mexico, 300 leagues from it. Ecatepec an hill nine leagues high. From this city I trauelled still thorow hilles and mountaines, till I came to the end of this prouince, to a hill called Ecatepec, which in English signifieth The hill of winde: for that they say, it is the highest hill that euer was discouered: for from the top of it may be discovered both the North and the South seas; and it is in height supposed to be nine leagues. They which trauell ouer it, lie alwayes at the foot of it ouer night, and begin their iourney about midnight, to trauell to the top of it before the Sunne rise the next day, because the winde bloweth with such force afterwards, that it is impossible for any man to goe vp: from the foot of this hill to Tecoantepec, the first towne of Noua Hispania, are about fifteene leagues. And so from hence I iourned to Mexico.

By and by after I came to Mexico (which was in the yere 1572) in the company of another Spanyard, which was my companion in this iourney, we went together toward the prouince of Panuco, which lieth vpon the coast of the North sea, and within three dayes iourney we entred a city called Mestitlan, where there dwelt twelue Spanyards: the Indian inhabitants there were about thirty thousand. This city standeth vpon certaine hie mountaines, which are very thicke planted with townes very holesome and fruitfull, hauing plentifull fountaines of water running thorow them. The high wayes of these hilles are all set with fruits, and trees of diuers kindes, and most pleasant. In euery towne as we passed thorow, the Indians presented vs with victuals. Within twenty leagues of this place there is another city called Clanchinoltepec, belonging to a gentleman, where there inhabit about fourty thousand Indians; and there are among them eight or nine friers of the order of Saint Augustine, who haue there a Monastery. Within three dayes after we departed from this place, and came to a city called Guaxutla, where there is another Monastery of friers of the same Order: there dwell in this towne about twelue Spanyards. From this place forwards beginneth a prouince called Guastecan, which is all plaine grounds without any hilles. The first towne we came vnto is called Tancuylabo, in which there dwell many Indians, high of stature, hauing all their bodies painted with blew, and weare their haire long downe to their knees, tied as women vse to do with their haire-laces. When they goe out of their doores, they cary with them their bowes and arrowes, being very great archers, going for the most part naked. Salt a principal merchandize. In those countreys they take neither golde nor siluer for exchange of any thing, but only Salt, which they greatly esteeme, and vse it for a principall medicine for certaine wormes which breed in their lips and in their gummes. After nine dayes trauell from this place, we came to a towne called Tampice, which is a port towne vpon the sea, wherein there dwell, I thinke, forty Christians, of which number whilest wee abode there, the Indians killed foureteene, as they were gathering of Salt, which is all the trade that they haue in this place: it standeth vpon the entrie of the riuer of Panuco, which is a mighty great riuer; and were it not for a sand that lieth at the mouth of it, ships of fiue hundred tonne might goe vp into it aboue three score leagues. From hence we went to Panuco, foureteen leagues from Tampice, which in times past had bene a goodly city, where the king of Spaine had his gouernour: but by reason that the Indians there destroyed the Christians, it lieth in a maner waste, conteining in it not aboue tenne Christians with a priest. In this towne I fell sicke, where I lay one and forty dayes, hauing no other sustenance then fruit and water, which water I sent for aboue sixe leagues off within the countrey. Here I remained till my companion came to me, which had departed from me another way, reteining in my company onely a slaue, which I brought with me from Mexico. And the last day in Easter weeke my companion came to me, finding me in a very weake state, by reason of the vnholesomenesse of the place. Notwithstanding my weakenesse, I being set on an horse, and an Indian behinde mee to holde mee, we went forward on our voyage all that day till night. The next day in the morning we passed ouer the riuer in a canoa; and being on the other side, I went my selfe before alone: and by reason there met many wayes traled by the wilde beasts, I lost my way, and so trauelled thorow a great wood about two leagues: and at length fell into the hands of certaine wilde Indians, which were there in certaine cottages made of straw; who seeing me, came out to the number of twenty of them, with their bowes and arrowes, and spake vnto mee in their language, which I vnderstood not: and so I made signes vnto them to helpe mee from my horse; which they did by commandement of their lord, which was there with them: and lighted downe. They caried me vnder one of their cottages, and layed me vpon a mat on the ground: and perceiuing that I could not vnderstand them, they brought vnto mee a little Indian wench of Mexico, of fifteene or sixteene yeeres of age, whom they commanded to aske me in her language from whence I came, and for what intent I was come among them: for (sayth she) doest thou not know Christian, how that these people will kill and eat thee? To whom I answered, let them doe with me what they will; heere now I am. Shee replied, saying, thou mayest thank God thou art leane; for they feare thou hast the pocks: otherwise they would eate thee. So I presented to the king a little wine which I had with me in a bottle; which he esteemed aboue any treasure: for wine they will sell their wiues and children. Afterwards the wench asked me what I would haue, and whether I would eat any thing. I answered that I desired a little water to drinke, for that the countrey is very hote: and shee brought me a great Venice glasse, gilded, full of water. And maruelling at the glasse, I demanded how they came by it. She tolde me that the Casique brought it from Shallapa, a great towne distant 30 leagues from this place on the hilles, whereas dwelt certeine Christians, and certeine friers of the Order of S. Augustine, which this Casique with his people on a night slew: and burning the friers monasterie, among other things reserued this glasse: and from thence also brought me. Hauing now bene conuersant with them about three or four houres, they bid her aske me if I would goe my way. I answered her, that I desired nothing els. So the Casique caused two of his Indians to leade me forward in my way; going before me with their bowes and arrowes, naked, the space of three leagues, till they brought me into an high way: and then making a signe vnto me, they signified that in short time I should come to a towne where Christians inhabited, which was called S. Iago de los valles, standing in plaine fields, walled about with a mud wall: the number of the Christians that dwelt therein, were not aboue foure or fiue and twenty, vnto which the king of Spaine giueth Indians and townes, to keepe the countreys subiect vnto him. Here the Christians haue their mighty mules, which they cary for all the parts of the Indies, and into Peru, for that all their merchandize are carried by this meanes by land. In this towne aforesayd, I found my company which I had lost before, who made no other account of me but that I had beene slaine: and the Christians there likewise maruelled to heare that I came from those kinde of Indians aliue, which was a thing neuer seene nor heard of before: for they take a great pride in killing a Christian, and to weare any part of him where he hath any haire growing, hanging it about their necks, and so are accounted for valiant men. Don Henrico Manriques viceroy of Mexico. In this towne I remained eighteene dayes, till I recouered my health, and in the meane space there came one Don Francisco de Pago, whom the viceroy Don Henrico Manriques had sent for captaine generall, to open and discouer a certeine way from the sea side to the mines of Sacatecas, which were from this place 160 leagues, for to transport their merchandize by that way, leauing the way by Mexico, which is seuen or eight weeks trauell. So this captaine tooke me and my company, with the rest of his souldiers, to the number of forty, which he had brought with him, and fiue hundred Indians, which we tooke out of two towns in this prouince called Tanchipa, and Tamaclipa, all good archers and naked men, and went thence to the riuer de las Palmas, which is of great bignesse, parting the kingdome of Noua Hispania and Florida: and going still along by this riuer the space of three dayes, seeking passage to passe ouer; and finding none, we were at length inforced to cut timber to make a balsa or raft, which when we had made, we sate on it, the Indians swimming in the water, and thrusting it before them to the other side. Within thirty dayes after, trauelling thorow woods, hiles, and mountaines, we came to the mines of Sacatecas, which are the richest mines in all the Indies, and from thence they fetch most siluer: at which mines there dwelt aboue three hundred Christians: and there our Captaine gaue vs leaue to depart. So we came to the valley of S. Michael toward Mexico; and from thence to Pueblo nouo; and from that place to the prouince of Mechuacan, after which name the chiefest city of that place is called; where there dwelles a bishop, and aboue an hundred Spanyards in it: it aboundeth with all kind of Spanish fruits, and hath woods full of nut trees, and wild vines. Heere are many mines of copper, and great store of cattell. It lieth 60 leagues from Mexico, whither we came within foure dayes after. The Indians of this countrey are very mighty and big men.

Afterwards I returned another way to the prouince of Sonsonate by Vera Cruz, and so to Rio Aluarado, and from thence to the prouince of Campeche, which lieth on the South side of the bay of Mexico; the chiefe towne of this prouince is called Merida, in which is a bishop and almost 100 Spanyards. The Indians of this prouince pay all their tribute in mantles of cotton wooll and cacao. There is no port in all this prouince for a ship of 100 tun to ride in, but onely in the riuer of Tabasco, by which riuer this city of Merida standeth. The chiefest merchandize which they lade there in small frigats, is a certeine wood called campeche, (wherewith they vse to die) as also hides and annile. By this there lieth the prouince of Iucatan, nere the Honduras by the North sea coast, where there is also another bishop, and a towne likewise named Iucatan, where there dwell a few Spanyards. They haue no force at all in all this coast to defend themselues withall, saue only that the land is low, and there is no port to receiue any shipping, vnlesse they be frigats, which cary from thence to the port of S. Iohn de Vllua, waxe, cacao, hony, and also mantles of cotton wool, whereof they make there great store, and of which kind of merchandize there is great trade thence to Mexico: of the same also they pay their tribute to the king.

The greatnesse of the king of Spaines tribute out of the West Indies. The king hath tribute brought him yerely out of the Indies into Spaine betweene nine and ten millions of gold and siluer: for he receiueth of euery Indian which is subiect vnto him (excepting those which do belong to the Incommenderos, which are the children of those Spanyards, who first conquered the land, to whom the king gaue and granted the gouernment of the cities and townes subdued for three liues) twelue reals of plate, and a hannege of maiz, which is a wheat of the countrey, (fiue of them making a quarter of English measure) and of euery widow woman he hath sixe reals, and halfe a hannege of maiz. And so if any Indian haue twenty children in his house, he payeth for euery one of them, being aboue fifteene yeres old, after that rate. This Wheat being duely brought to the gouernour of euery prouince and city, is sold in Mexico by the kings gouernours there every yeere; so that the money receiued for it, is put into the kings Treasurie there, and is so yeerely caried from thence into Spaine. The quinta. Of the Spanyards which are owners of the mines of gold and siluer, he receiueth the fift part of it, which he calleth his quintas, which being taken out of the heape, there is his armes set on it; for otherwise it may not be brought out of the land into Spaine, vnder paine of death. The marke of siluer, which is eight ounces, when it commeth out of the mines, not hauing the kings seale vpon it, is woorth three and forty reals of plate, and so it is current: and when they will bring it for Spaine, they cary it to the kings Treasure house, where his seale is set vpon it; and so it is raised in value thereby to threescore and foure reals of plate: and so the king hath for his custome of euery marke of plate one and twenty reals.

From the yere of 1570, which was the yeere that the Popes buls came into the Indies, as is afore mentioned, he hath receiued both of the Indians which are tributaries vnto him, and also of all others belonging to the Incommenderos, of euery one being aboue twelue yeeres of age, foure reals of euery bull. Also they cary other pardons with them into the Indies, for such as be dead, although an hundred yeres before the Spanyards came into the countrey: which pardons the friers in their preachings perswaded the poore Indians to take, telling them that with giuing foure reals of plate for a Masse, they would deliuer their soules out of purgatory. Of the Christians likewise dwelling there he hath foureteene reals for euery bull: and there be certeine buls brought thither for the Christians besides the former, which serue for pardoning all such faults wherein they haue trespassed either against the king, by keeping backe his customes, or one against another by any other injury; for euery hundred crownes whereof a mans conscience doth accuse him that he hath deceiued the king or any other, he must giue ten for a bull, and so after that rate for euery hundred which he hath any way stollen, and so is pardoned the fault. The reuenue of the kings buls and pardons came yerely to three millions. The reuenue of his buls after this maner yeeldeth vnto his treasury yeerely aboue three millions of gold, as I haue bene credibly informed, although of late both the Spanyards and Indians do refuse to take the buls; for that they perceiue he doth make a yeerely custome of it: onely ech Indian taketh one pardon for all his householde, (whereas in former time euery Indian vsed to take one for euery person in his house) and teareth the same into small pieces, and giueth to euery one of his householde a little piece, saying thus, they need now no more, seeing in that which they bought the yeere before they had aboue ten thousand yeres pardon. These pieces they sticke vp in the wall of the houses where they lie. Rebellions in Noua Hispania by two great exactions. Both the Christians and Indians are weary with these infinite taxes and customes, which of late he hath imposed vpon them, more than in the yeeres before: so as the people of both sorts did rebell twise in the time that I was among them, and would have set vp another king of themselues: for which cause the king hath commanded vpon paine of death, that they should not plant either oile or wine there, but should alwayes stand in need of them to be brought out of Spaine, although there would more grow there in foure yeeres then there groweth in Spaine in twenty, it is so fertile a countrey.

The reasons which mooue the kings of Spaine to forbid foren traffike in the West Indies. And the king to keepe the countrey alwayes in subiection, and to his owne vse, hath streightly prouided by lawe, vpon paine of death, and losse of goods, that none of these countreys should traffique with any other nation, although the people themselues doe much now desire to trade with any other then with them, and would vndoubtedly doe, if they feared not the perill ensuing thereupon.

About Mexico, and other places in Noua Hispania, there groweth a certaine plant called magueis, which yeeldeth wine, vineger, hony, and blacke sugar, and of the leaues of it dried they make hempe, ropes, shooes which they vse, and tiles for their houses: and at the ende of euery leafe there groweth a sharpe point like an awle, wherewith they vse to bore or pearce thorow any thing.

Thus to make an end, I have heere set downe the summe of all the chiefest things that I haue obserued and noted in my seventeene yeres trauell in those parts.

A relation of the commodities of Noua Hispania, and the maners of the inhabitants, written by Henry Hawkes merchant, which liued fiue yeeres in the sayd countrey, and drew the same at the request of M. Richard Hakluyt Esquire of Eton in the county of Hereford, 1572.

Saint Iohn de Vilua is an Island not high aboue the water, where as now the Spanyards vpon M. Iohn Hawkins being there, are in making a strong fort. In this place all the ships that come out of Spaine with goods for these parts, do vnlade: for they haue none other port so good as this is. The comming into this place hath three chanels, and the best of all is the Northermost, which goeth by the maine land: and on euery side of the chanels there are many small rocks, as big as a small barrell: they wil make men stand in doubt of them, but there is no feare of them. There is another Island there by, called The Island of sacrifices, whereas the Spanyards did in times past vnlade their goods: and for that, they say, there are vpon it spirits or deuils, it is not frequented as it hath bene. In these places the North wind hath so great dominion, that oftentimes it destroyeth many ships and barks. This place is giuen to great sicknesse. These Islands stand in 18 degrees and a halfe, and about the same is great plenty of fish.

Fiue leagues from S. Iohn de Vllua is a faire riuer: it lieth Northwest from the port, and goeth to a little towne of the Spanyards called Vera Cruz, and with small vessels or barks, which they call frigats, they cary all their merchandize which commeth out of Spaine, to the said towne: and in like maner bring all the gold, siluer, cochinilla, hides, and all other things that the shippes cary into Spaine vnto them. And the goods being in Vera Cruz, they carry them to Mexico, and to Pueblo de los Angeles, Sacatecas, and Saint Martin, and diuers other places so farre within the countrey, that some of them are 700 miles off, and some more, and some lesse, all vpon horses, mules, and in waines drawen with oxen, and in carres drawen with mules.

In this towne of Vera Cruz within these twenty yeres, when women were brought to bed, the children new borne incontinently died; which is not now in these dayes, God be thanked.

This towne is inclined to many kinde of diseases, by reason of the great heat, and a certeine gnat or flie which they call a mosquito, which biteth both men and women in their sleepe: and assoone as they are bitten, incontinently the flesh swelleth as though they had bene bitten with some venimous worme. And this musquito or gnat doth most follow such as are newly come into the countrey. Many there are that die of this annoyance.

This towne is situated vpon the riuer aforesayd, and compassed with woods of diuers maners and sorts, and many fruits, as orenges and limons, guiaues, and diuers others, and birds in them, popinjayes both small and great, and some of them as big as a rauen, and their tailes as long as the taile of a fezant. There are also many other kinde of birds of purple colour, and small munkeys, maruellous proper.

This hote or sicke countrey continueth fiue and forty miles towards the city of Mexico; and the fiue and forty miles being passed, then there is a temperate countrey, and full of tillage: but they water all their corn with riuers which they turn in upon it. And they gather their Wheat twise a yere. And if they should not water the ground where as their corne is sowen, the country is so hote it would burne all.

Before you come to Mexico, there is a great towne called Tlaxcalla, which hath in it aboue 16000 households. All the inhabitants thereof are free by the kings of Spaine: for these were the occasion that Mexico was woone in so short time, and with so little losse of men. Wherefore they are all gentlemen, and pay no tribute to the king. In this towne is all the cochinilla growing.

Mexico is a great city; it hath more then fifty thousand households, whereof there are not past fiue or sixe thousand houses of Spanyards: all the other are the people of the countrey, which liue vnder the Spanyards lawes. There are in this city stately buildings, and many monasteries of friers and nunnes, which the Spanyards haue made. And the building of the Indians is somewhat beautifull outwardly, and within full of small chambers, with very small windowes, which is not so comly as the building of the Spanyards. This city standeth in the midst of a great lake, and the water goeth thorow all or the most part of the streets, and there come small boats, which they call canoas, and in them they bring all things necessary, as wood, and coales, and grasse for their horses, stones and lime to build, and corne.

This city is subject to many earthquakes, which oftentimes cast downe houses, and kil people. This city, is very well prouided of water to drinke, and with all maner of victuals, as fruits, flesh and fish, bread, hennes and capons, Guiny cocks and hennes and all other fowle. There are in this city euery weeke three Faires or Markets, which are frequented with many people, aswell Spanyards as the people of the countrey. There are in these Faires or Markets all maner of things that may be inuented, to sell, and in especiall, things of the countrey. The one of these Faires is vpon the Munday; which is called S. Hypolitos faire, and S. Iames his faire is vpon the Thursday, and vpon Saturday is S. Iohns faire. In this city is alwayes the kings gouernour or viceroy, and there are kept the Termes or Parliaments. And although there be other places of iustice, yet this is aboue all: so that all men may appeale vnto this place, and may not appeale from this city, but onely into Spaine before the king: and it must be for a certeine sum: and if it be vnder that summe, then there is no appellation from them. Many riuers fall into this lake which the city standeth in: but there was neuer any place found wither it goeth out.

The Indians know a way to drowne the city, and within these three yeeres they would haue practised the same: but they which should haue bene the doers of it were hanged: and euer since the city hath bene well watched both day and night, for feare lest at some time they might be deceiued: for the Indians loue not the Spanyards. Round about the towne there are very many gardens and orchards of the fruits of the countrey, maruellous faire, where the people haue great recreation. The men of this city are maruellous vicious; and in like maner the women are dishonest of their bodies, more then they are in other cities or townes in this countrey.

There are neere about this city of Mexico many riuers and standing waters, which haue in them a monstrous kinde of fish, which is maruellous rauening, and a great deuourer of men and cattell. He is woont to sleepe vpon the drie land many times, and if there come in the meane time any man or beast and wake or disquiet him, he speedeth well if he get from him. He is like vnto a serpent, sauing that he doth not flie, neither hath he wings.

There is West out of Mexico a port towne which is on the South sea, called Puerto de Acapulco, where as there are shippes which they haue ordinarily for the nauigation of China, which they haue newly found. This port is threescore leagues from Mexico.

There, is another port towne which is called Culiacan, on the South sea, which lieth West and by North out of Mexico, and is 200 leagues from the same: and there the Spanyards made two ships to goe seeke the streight or gulfe, which, as they say, is betweene the Newfoundland and Groenland; and they call it the Englishmens streight: which as yet was neuer fully found. They say, that streight lieth not farre from the maine land of China, which the Spanyards account to be maruellous rich.

Toward the North from Mexico there are great store of siluer mines. There, is greater quantitie of siluer found in these mines toward the North, then there is any other parts: and as the most men of experience sayde alwayes, they finde the richer mines the more Northerly. These mines are commonly vpon great hilles and stony ground, maruellous hard to be laboured and wrought.

Out of some of the mines the Indians finde a certeine kinde of earth of diuers colours, wherewith they paint themselues in times of their dances, and other pastimes which they vse.

In this countrey of Noua Hispania there are also mines of golde, although the golde be commonly found in riuers, or very neere vnto riuers. And nowe in these dayes there is not so much golde found as there hath bene heretofore.

There are many great riuers, and great store of fish in them, not like vnto our kindes of fish. And there are maruellous great woods, and as faire trees as may be seene, of diuers sorts, and especially firre trees, that may mast any shippe that goeth vpon the sea, oakes and pineapples, and another tree which they call Mesquiquez: it beareth a fruit like vnto a peascod, maruellous sweet, which the wilde people gather, and keepe it all the yere, and eat it in stead of bread.

The Spanyards haue notice of seuen cities which old men of the Indians shew them should lie towards the Northwest from Mexico. They haue vsed and vse dayly much diligence in seeking of them, but they cannot find any one of them. They say that the witchcraft of the Indians is such, that when they come by these townes they cast a mist vpon them, so that they cannot see them.

Pedro Morales and Nicolas Burgignon write the like of Copalla. They haue understanding of another city which they call Copalla: and in like maner, at my beeing in the countrey, they haue vsed much labour and diligence in the seeking of it: they haue found the lake on which it should stand, and a canoa, the head whereof was wrought with copper curiously, and could not finde nor see any man nor the towne, which to their vnderstanding should stand on the same water, or very neere the same.

The strange oxen of Cibola. There is a great number of beasts or kine in the countrey of Cibola, which were neuer brought thither by the Spanyards, but breed naturally in the countrey. They are like vnto our oxen, sauing that they haue long haire like a lion, and short hornes, and they haue upon their shoulders a bunch like a camell, which is higher then the rest of their body. They are maruellous wild and swift in running. They call them the beasts or kine of Cibola.

Cibola abandoned. This Cibola is a city which the Spanyards found now of late, without any people in the same, goodly buildings, faire chimneys, windowes made of stone and timber excellently wrought, faire welles with wheeles to draw their water, and a place where they had buried their dead people, with many faire stones vpon the graues. And the captaine would not suffer his souldiers to brake vp any parte of these graues, saying, he would come another time to do it.

A great riuer near Cibola. They asked certeine people which they met, whither the people of this city were gone: and they made answer, they were gone downe a riuer, which was there by, very great, and there builded a city which was more for their commodity.

This captaine lacking things necessary for himselfe and his men, was faine to return backe againe, without finding any treasure according to his expectation: neither found they but fewe people, although they found beaten wayes, which had beene much haunted and frequented. The captaine at his comming backe againe, had a great checke of the gouernour, because he had not gone forwards, and seene the end of that riuer.

They haue in the countrey, farre from the sea side, standing waters, which are salt: and in the moneths of April and May the water of them congealeth into salt, which salt is all taken for the kings vs and profit.

Dogs of India described. Their dogs are all crooked backt, as many are of the countrey breed, and cannot run fast: their faces are like the face of a pig or an hog, with sharpe noses.

In certeine prouinces which are called Guatimala, and Soconusco, there is growing great store of cacao, which is a berry like vnto an almond: it is the best merchandize that is in all the Indies. The Indians make drinke of it, and in like maner meat to eat. It goeth currently for money in any market or faire, and may buy an flesh, fish, bread or cheese, or other things.

There are many kinde of fruits of the countrey, which are very good, as plantans, sapotes, guianes, pinas, aluacatas, tunas, mamios, limons, grapes which the Spanyards brought into the countrey, and also wild grapes, which are of the country, and very small, quinses, peaches, figs, and but few apples, and very small, and no peares: but there are melons and calabaçs or gourds.

There is much hony, both of bees and also of a kind of tree which they call magueiz. This hony of magueiz is not so sweet as the other hony, but it is better to be eaten only with bread, then the other is; and the tree serueth for many things, as the leaves make threed to sowe any kind of bags, and are good to couer and thatch houses, and for diuers other things.

They haue in diuers places of the countrey many hote springs of water: as aboue all other, I haue seen one in the prouince of Mechuacan. In a plaine field without any mountaine, there is a spring which hath much water, and it is so hot, that if a whole quarter of beefe be cast into it, within an halfe houre it will be as well sodden as it will be ouer a fire in halfe a day. I haue seene halfe a sheepe cast in it, and immediately it hath bene sodden, and I haue eaten part of it.

There are many hares, and some conies. There are no partridges, but abundance of quailes.

They haue great store of fish in the South sea, and many oisters, and very great. The people do open the oisters, and take out the meat of them, and dry it as they do any other kinde of fish, and keepe them all the yeere: and when the times serue, they send them abroad into the country to sell, as all other fish. They haue no salmon, nor trowt, nor pele, nor crape, tench, nor pike in all the countrey.

There are in the countrey mighty high mountaines, and hilles, and snow upon them: they commonly burne; and twise every day they cast out much smoke and ashes at certeine open places, which are in the tops of them.

There is among the wilde people much manna. I haue gathered of the same, and haue eaten it, and it is good: for the Apothecaries send their seruants at certeine times, to gather of the same for purgations and other vses.

There are in the mountaines many wilde hogs, which all men kill, and lions and tygres; which tygres do much harm to men that trauell in the wildernesse.

Mines discouered, not found againe. In this countrey, not long since, there were two poore men that found a maruellous rich mine; and when these men went to make a register of the same (according to the law and custom) before the kings officers, they thought this mine not meet for such men as they were: and violently took the sayd mine for the king; and gaue no part thereof vnto the two poore men. And within certaine dayes the kings officers resorted thither to labor in the mine, and they found two great mighty hilles were come together; so they found no place to worke in. The authour fiue yeeres in Nueua Espanna. And in the time while I was among them, which was fiue yeeres, there was a poore shepheard, who keeping his sheepe, happened to finde a well of quicke-siluer; and he went in like maner to manifest the same, as the custome and maner is; the kings officers dealt in like order as they did with the two poore men that found the rich mine, taking it quite from the shepheard: but when they went to fetch home the quicke-siluer, or part thereof, they could neuer finde it againe. So these things haue bene declared vnto the king, who hath giuen commandement, that nothing being found in the fields, as mines, and such like, shall be taken away from any man. And many other things haue bene done in this countrey, which men might count for great maruels.

There is a great abundance of sugar here, and they make diuers conserues, and very good, and send them to Peru, where as they sell them maruellous well, because they make none in those parts.

Description of the Indians person and maner. The people of the countrey are of good stature, tawny coloured, broad faced, flat nosed, and giuen much to drinke both wine of Spaine and also a certeine kind of wine which they make with hony of Maguiez, and roots, and other things which they vse to put into the same. They call the same wine Pulco. They are soone drunke, and giuen to much beastlinesse, and void of all goodnesse. In their drunkennesse, they vse and commit Sodomy; and with their mothers and daughters they haue their pleasures and pastimes. Whereupon they are defended from the drinking of wines, vpon paines of money, aswell he that selleth the wines as the Indian that drinketh the same. And if this commandement were not, all the wine in Spaine and in France were not sufficient for the West Indies onely.

The people of Nueua Espanna great cowards. They are of much simplicity, and great cowards, voide of all valour, and are great witches. They vse diuers times to take with the diuell, to whom they do certaine sacrifices and oblations: many times they haue bene taken with the same, and I haue seene them most cruelly punished for that offence.

The people are giuen to learn all maner of occupations and sciences, which for the most part they learned since the coming of the Spanyards: I say all maner of arts. They are very artificiall in making of images with feathers, or the proportion or figure of any man, in all kind of maner as he is. The finenesse and excellency of this is woonderfull, that a barbarous people as they are, should giue themselues to so fine an arte as this is. They are goldsmiths, blackesmiths, and coppersmiths, carpenters, masons, shoomakers, tailors, sadlers, imbroderers, and of all other kind of sciences: and they will do worke so good cheape, that poore young men that goe out of Spaine to get their liuing, are not set on worke: which is the occasion there are many idle people in the countrey. For the Indian will liue all the weeke with lesse then one groat: which the Spanyard cannot do, nor any man els.

The Indians ignorance from whence they came. They say, that they came of the linage of an olde man which came thither in a boat of wood, which they call a canoa. But they cannot tell whether it were before the flood or after, neither can they giue any reason of the flood, nor from whence they came. And when the Spanyards came first among them, they did certeine sacrifice to an image made in stone, of their owne inuention. The stone was set vpon a great hill, which they made of bricks of earth: they call it their Cowa. And certeine dayes in the yere they did sacrifice, certeine olde men, and yoong children: and onely beleeued in the Sunne and the Moone, saying, that from them they had all things that were needful for them. They haue in these parts great store of cotton wool, with which they make a maner of linen cloth, which the Indians weare, both men and women, and it serueth for shirts and smocks, and all other kind of garments, which they weare vpon their bodies: and the Spanyards vse it to all such purposes, especially such as cannot buy other. And if it were not for this kind of cloth, all maner of cloth that goeth out of Spaine, I say linnen cloth, would be solde out of all measure.

The wilde Indians. The wilde people go naked, without any thing vpon them. The women weare the skinne of a deere before their priuities, and nothing els vpon all their bodies. They haue no care for any thing, but onely from day to day for that which they haue need to eat. They are big men, and likewise the women. They shoot in bowes which they make of a cherry tree, and their arrowes are of cane, with a sharpe flint stone in the end of the same; they will pierce any coat of maile: and they kill deere, and cranes, and wilde geese, ducks, and other fowle, and wormes, and snakes, and diuers other vermin, which they eat. They liue very long: for I haue seene men that haue beene an hundred yeres of age. They haue but very litle haire in their face, nor on their bodies.

The Indians haue the friers in great reuerence: the occasion is, that by them and by there meanes they are free and out of bondage; which was so ordeined by Charles the emperor: which is the occasion that now there is not so much gold and siluer comming into Europe as there was while the Indians were slaues. For when they were in bondage they could not chuse but doe their taske euery day, and bring their master so much metall out of their mines: but now they must be well payed, and much intreated to haue them worke. So it hath bene, and is a great hinderance to the owners of the mines, and to the kings quinto or custome.

There are many mines of copper in great quantity, whereof they spend in the countrey as much as serueth their turnes. There is some golde in it, but not so much as will pay the costs of the fining. The quantity of it is such, and the mines are so farre from the sea, that it will not be worth the fraight to cary it into Spaine. On the other side, the kings officers will giue no licence to make ordinance thereof; whereupon the mines lie vnlaboured, and of no valuation.

There is much lead in the countrey; so that with it they couer churches, and other religious houses: wherefore they shall not need any of our lead, as they haue had need thereof in times past.

The pompe and liberalitie of the owners of the mines is maruellous to beholde: the apparell both of them and of their wiues is more to be compared to the apparell of noble persons then otherwise. If their wiues go out of their houses, as vnto the church, or any other place, they goe out with great maiesty, and with as many men and maids as though she were the wife of some noble man. I will assure you, I haue seene a miners wife goe to the church with an hundred men, and twenty gentlewomen and maids. They keepe open house: who will, may come and eat their meat. They call men with a bell to come to dinner and supper. They are princes in keeping of their houses, and bountifull in all maner of things.

Things necessary to mines of siluer and golde. A good owner of mines must haue at the least an hundred slaues to cary and to stampe his metals; he must haue many mules, and men to keepe the mines; he must haue milles to stampe his metals; he must haue many waines and oxen to bring home wood to fine the oare; he must haue much quicke-siluer, and a maruellous quantity of salt-brine for the metals; and he must be at many other charges. And as for this charge of quicke-siluer, it is a new inuention, which they finde more profitable then to fine their oare with lead. Howbeit the same is very costly: for there is neuer a hundred of quicke-siluer but costeth at the least threescore pounds sterling. And the mines fall dayly in decay, and of lesse value: and the occasion is, the few Indians that men haue to labour their mines.

There is in New Spaine a maruellous increase of cattle, which daily do increase, and they are of a greater growth then ours are. You may haue a great steere that hath an hundred weight of tallow in his belly for sixteene shillings; and some one man hath 2000 head of cattel of his owne. They sell the hides vnto the merchants, who lade into Spaine as many as may be well spared. They spend many in the countrey in shoes and boots, and in the mines: and as the countrey is great, so is the increase of the cattell woonderfull. In the Island of Santo Domingo they commonly kill the beasts for their hides and tallow; and the fowles eat the carkeises: and so they do in Cuba and Porto Rico, whereas there is much sugar, and cana fistula, which dayly they send into Spaine. They have great increase of sheep in like maner, and dayly do intend to increase them. They have much wooll, and as good as the wooll of Spaine. They make cloth as much as serueth the countrey, for the common people, and send much cloth into Peru. I haue seene cloth made in the city of Mexico, which hath beene solde for tenne pezos a vare, which is almost foure pounds English, and the vare is less then our yard. They haue woad growing in the countrey, and allum, and brasill, and diuers other things to die withall, so that they make all colours. In Peru they make no cloth: but heereafter our cloth will be little set by in these parts, vnlesse it be some fine cloth. The wools are commonly foure shillings euery roue, which is fiue and twenty pounds: and in some places of the countrey that are farre from the places where as they make cloth, it is woorth nothing, and doth serue but onely to make beds for men to lie on.

They make hats, as many as do serue the Countrey, very fine and good, and sell them better cheape, then they can be brought out of Spaine, and in like maner send them into Peru.

Many people are set on worke both in the one and in the other: they spin their wooll as we doe, and in steed of oyle, they haue hogs grease: they twist not their threed so much as wee doe, neither worke so fine a threed. They make kersies, but they make much cloth, which is course, and sell it for lesse than 12. pence the vare. It is called Sayall.

They haue much silke, and make all maner of sorts thereof, as Taffataes, Sattins, Veluets of all colours, and they are as good as the silkes of Spaine, sauing that the colours are not so perfect: but the blackes are better then the blackes that come out of Spaine.

They haue many horses, and mares, and mules, which the Spaniards brought thither. They haue as good Iennets, as any are in Spaine, and better cheape then they bee in Spaine. And with their mules they cary all their goods from place to place.

There is raine vsually in this Countrey, from the moneth of May, to the midst of October, euery day, which time they call their winter, by reason of the said waters. And if it were not for the waters which fall in these hot seasons, their Maiz, which is the greatest part of their sustenance, would be destroyed. This Maiz is the greatest maintenance which the Indian hath, and also all the common people of the Spaniards. And their horses and mules which labour, cannot be without the same. This graine is substantiall, and increaseth much blood. If the Miners should bee without it, they coulde not labour their mines: for all their seruants eate none other bread, but onely of this Maize, and it is made in cakes, as they make oaten cakes, in some places of England.

An Hanega is a bushel and an halfe. The Indians pay tribute, being of the age of 20. yeeres, 4. shillings of money, and an hanege of Maiz, which is worth 4. shillings more vnto the king euery yeere. This is payd in all Noua Hispania, of as many as be of the age of 20. yeeres, sauing the citie of Tlascalla, which was made free because the citizens thereof were the occasion that Cortes tooke Mexico in so little a time.2 And although at the first they were freed from painment of tribute, yet the Spaniards now begin to vsurpe vpon them, and make them to till a great field of Maiz, at their owne costes euery yeere for the King, which is as beneficial vnto him, and as great cost vnto them, as though they paid their tribute, as the others doe.

1 The Republic of Tlascala had at first opposed the Spaniards on their advance to Mexico, but being defeated, became their allies and remained true to them throughout the troublous period of the evacuation and siege of the Capital.

The ships which goe out of Spaine with goods for Peru, goe to Nombre de Dios, and there discharge the said goods: and from thence they be carried ouer the necke of a land, vnto a port towne in the South sea, called Panama, which is 17. leagues distant from Nombre de Dios. And there they doe ship their goods againe and so from thence goe to Peru. They are in going thither three moneths, and they come backe againe in 20. dayes. They haue seldome foule weather, and fewe ships are lost in the South sea. Salomons Islands, sought and found in the South Sea 1588. Foure yeeres past, to wit 1568, there was a ship made out of Peru, to seeke Salomons Islands, and they came somewhat to the South of the Equinoctial, and found an Island with many blacke people, in such number that the Spaniards durst not go on land among them. And because they had bene long vpon the voyage, their people were very weake, and so went not on land, to know what commoditie was vpon it. And for want of victuals, they arriued in Noua Hispania, in a port called Puerto de Nauidad, and thence returned backe againe vnto Peru, whereas they were euil entreated, because they had not knowen more of the same Island.

China found by the West. They haue in this port of Nauidad ordinarily their ships, which goe to the Islands of China,2 which are certaine Islands which they haue found within these 7. yeres. They haue brought from thence gold, and much Cinamon, and dishes of earth, and cups of the same, so fine, that euery man that may haue a piece of them, will giue the weight of siluer for it. There was a Mariner that brought a pearle as big as a doues egge from thence, and a stone, for which the Viceroy would haue giuen 3000 duckets. Many things they bring from thence, most excellent. There are many of these ylands, and the Spaniards haue not many of them as yet: This is to be understood of the time when this discourse was written, Anno 1572. for the Portugals disturbe them much, and combate with them euery day, saying, it is part of their conquest, and to the maine land they cannot come at any hand. There are goodly people in them, and they are great Mariners, richly apparelled in cloth of gold, and siluer, and silke of all sorts, and goe apparelled after the maner of the Turkes. This report make such as come from thence. China ships with one saile. The men of the maine land haue certeine traffique with some of these ylanders, and come thither in a kind of ships, which they haue with one saile, and bring of such marchandize as they haue need of. And of these things there haue bene brought into New Spaine both cloth of gold and siluer, marueilous to be seene. So by their saying, there is not such a countrey in the whole world. The maine land is from the ylands 190. leagues: and the ylands are not farre from the Malucos Northwards. And the people of these ylands, which the Spaniards haue, say, that if they would bring their wiues and children, that then they should haue among them what they would haue. So there goe women dayly, and the king payeth all the charges of the maried men and their wiues, that go to these ylands. And there is no doubt but the trade will be marueilous rich in time to come. It was my fortune to be in company with one Diego Gutieres, who was the first Pilot that euer went to that countrey of the Phillippinas. Hee maketh report of many strange things in that Countrey, as well riches as other, and saith, if there bee any Paradise vpon earth, it is in that countrey: and addeth, that sitting vnder a tree, you shall haue such sweet smels, with such great content and pleasure, that you shall remember nothing, neither wife, nor children, nor haue any kinde of appetite to eate or drinke, the odoriferous smels wil be so sweete. This man hath good liuings in Noua Hispania, notwithstanding hee will returne thither, with his wife and children, and as for treasure there is abundance, as he maketh mention. In this countrey of Noua Hispania there are many buckes and does, but they haue not so long hornes as they haue here in England. The Spaniards kill them with hand guns, and with greyhounds, and the Indians kill them with their bowes and arrowes, and with the skins they make chamoyce, such as we in England make doublets and hose of, as good as the skins that are dressed in Flanders and likewise they make marueilous good Spanish leather of them. Indian Rauens not killed, to deuoure carrion. There is a bird which is like vnto a Rauen, but he hath some of his feathers white: there is such abundance of them, that they eate all the corrupt and dead flesh which is in the countrey. Otherwise the abundance of carren is so much, that it would make a marueilous corrupt aire in all the countrey, and be so noisome, that no man could abide it. Therefore it is commanded there shall none of them be killed. These birds are alwayes about cities and townes, where there is much flesh killed.

2 The Philippines.

Wrong done to the Indians punished. The Indians are much favoured by the Iustices of the Countrey, and they call them their orphanes. And if any Spaniard should happen to doe any of them harme, or to wrong him in taking any thing from him, as many times they doe, or to strike any of them, being in any towne, whereas iustice is, they are as well punished for the same, as if they had done it one Spaniard to another. When a Spaniard is farre from Mexico, or any place of iustice, thinking to doe with the poore Indian what he list, considering he is so farre from any place of remedy, he maketh the Indian do what he commandeth him, and if he will not doe it, hee beateth and misuseth him, according to his owne appetite. The Indian holdeth his peace, vntill he finde an opportunitie, and then taketh a neighbor with him, and goeth to Mexico, although it be 20. leagues off and maketh his complaint. This his complaint is immediately heard, and although it be a knight, or a right good gentleman, he is forthwith sent for, and punished, both by his goods, and also his person is imprisoned, at the pleasure of the Iustice. Iustice the cause of ciuilitie. This is the occasion that the Indians are so tame and ciuil, as they are: and if they should not haue this fauour, the Spaniards would soone dispatch all the Indians, or the Indians would kill them. But they may call them dogs and vse other euil words, as much they will, and the Indian must needes put it vp, and goe his way.

The poore Indians wil go euery day two or three leagues to a faire or market with a childe vpon their necks, with as much fruit or rootes, or some kind of ware, as cotton wooll, or cadis of all colours, as shall be not worth a pennie: and they will mainteine themselues vpon the same. For they liue with a marueillous small matter.

They are in such pouertie, that if you neede to ride into the Countrey, you shall haue an Indian to goe with you all the day with your bed upon his backe, for one royall of plate: and this you shall haue from one towne to another. Here you are to vnderstand, that all men that traueile by the way, are alwayes wont to carry their beds with them. They are great theeues, and wil steale all that they may, and you shall haue no recompence at their hands.

The apparel of the Indians. The garments of the women, are in this maner. The vppermost part is made almost like to a womans smocke, sauing that it is as broade aboue as beneath, and hath no sleeues, but holes on eche side one to put out their armes. It is made of linnen cloth made of cotton wooll, and filled full of flowers, of red cadis and blew, and other colours. This garment commeth downe to the knees, and then they haue cloth made after the same maner, and then they goeth rounde about their waste, and reacheth to their shooes and ouer this a white fine sheet vpon their heads, which goeth downe halfe the legge. Their haire is made vp round with an haire lace about their head. And the men haue a small paire of breaches of the same cotton wooll, and their shirts which hang ouer their breeches, and a broad girdle about their middles, and a sheete with flowers vpon their backes, and with a knot vpon one shoulder and an hat vpon their heads, and a paire of shoes. And this is all their apparell, although it be a Casique, which they vse in all the Countrey.

The wals of the houses of the Indians, are but plaine, but the stones are layd so close, that you shall not well perceiue the ioynts betweene one stone and another, they are so finely cut: and by the meanes that the stones are so workmanly done, and finely ioyned together, there is some beautie in their wals. They are marueilous small and light, as Pumic stones. They make their doores very little, so that there can go in but one man at a time. Their windowes and roomes within their houses are small, and one roome they haue reserued for their friends, when they come to talke one with another, and that is alwayes faire matted, and kept marueilous cleane, and hanged full of images, and their chaires standing there to sit in. They eate their meate vpon the ground, and sleepe on the ground vpon a mat, without any bed, both the gentlemen, and other.

The Indians strike their fire with one sticke in another, aswell the tame people, as the wilde. For they know not how to do it with an yron, and a stone.

Diuers speeches. In Noua Hispania, euery 10. or 12. leagues they haue a contrary speach, sauing onely about Mexico: so there is a number of speeches in the Countrey.

Mutezuma, and his riches. Mutezuma which was the last King of this Countrey, was one of the richest princes which haue bene seene in our time, or long before. He had all kinde of beasts which were then in the countrey, and all maner of birdes, and fishes, and all maner of wormes, which creepe vpon the earth, and all trees, and flowers, and herbes, all fashioned in siluer and golde, which was the greatest part of al his treasure, and in these things had he great ioy, as the old Indians report. And vnto this day, they say that the treasure of Mutezuma is hidden, and that the Spaniards haue it not. This King would giue none of his people freedome, nor forgiue any of them that should pay him tribute, though he were neuer so poore. For if it had bene told him that one of his tributaries was poore, and that he was not able to pay his tribute according to the custome, then he would haue him bound to bring at such times as tributes should be payd, a quill full of Lice, saying, hee would haue none free, but himselfe. He had as many wiues or concubines, as hee would haue, and such as liked him. The Indians wash themselues euery day. Alwayes whensoeuer he went out of his Court to passe the time, he was borne vpon 4 of his noble mens shoulders set vpon a table, some say, of golde, and very richly dressed with feathers of diuers and many colours and flowers. He washed all his body euery day, were it neuer so cold. And vnto this day so do all the Indians, and especially the women.

The Spaniards keepe the Indians in great subjection. They may haue in their houses no sword nor dagger, nor knife with any point, nor may weare vpon them any maner of armes, neither may they ride vpon any horse nor mules, in any sadle nor bridle, neither may they drinke wine, which they take for the greatest paine of all. They haue attempted diuers times to make insurrections, but they haue bene ouerthrowen immediatly by their owne great and beastly cowardlinesse.3

3 This cannot be said of the aboriginal Mexicans, as nothing could have surpassed the determination and courage they showed during the great siege of Mexico.

Cannybals. There remaine some among the wild people, that vnto this day eate one another. I haue seene the bones of a Spaniard that haue been as cleane burnished, as though it had been done by men that had no other occupation. And many times people are caried away by them, but they neuer come againe, whether they be men or women.

They haue in the Sea ylands of red salt in great abundance, whereas they lade it from place to place about the Sea coast: and they spend very much salt with salting their hides and fish: and in their mines they occupie great quantitie. They haue much Alume, and as good as any that is in all the Leuant, so that they neede none of that commoditie. They have also of their owne growing, much Cana fistula, and much Salsa Perilla, which is marueilous good for many kind of diseases.

There are in Florida many Iarrefalcons, and many other kinde of hawkes, which the gentlemen of Noua Hispania send for euery yeere. The Spaniards haue two forts there, chiefly to keepe out the Frenchmen from planting there.

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 19:52