America and West Indies: Addenda 1591

Pages 29-30

Calendar of State Papers Colonial, America and West Indies: Volume 9, 1675-1676 and Addenda 1574-1674. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1893.

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Addenda 1591

Dec. 23.
44. "A Discourse of the Indies." All the mines of India belong to particular merchants, and the King has 15 in the 100 of every one of them at the marking, and it is death and loss of goods to carry gold or silver out of the country unmarked. What is got out of the mines of each Province by public order has to be brought to the Cities where the States are, to be marked, and the 10 in the 100 taken for the King is then supplied to the merchants. There are 4 notable places under the king of Spain in the Indies, viz., Nova Hispania and the Province of Funduras (sic) in one Continent, and Peru and Novo Regno also in another Continent. Nova Hispania has no gold of itself, but has a Haven in the other which has, and the King sends 2 or 3 ships yearly to China who change silver for gold, and it is death for strangers to land in China for trade, but there are Islands appointed for that purpose. The silver of Nova Spania is marked at Mexico, from whence they take it to Vera Cruz and then to St. John del Luva, where it remains until the Fleet is appointed, who load it about 12 days before setting sail. Funduras has two Havens called Trusiglio and Porto de la Vallo, out of which Province there is a great store of money, but the good done is not known. Peru has gold and silver; Lima is the place for making it, and Cagliaco de Lima is the principal Haven, and where the treasure used first to be laden, and then carried to Panama on the coast of Peru, and thence by land to Nombre de Dios, in terra firma dil Peru (sic), and shipped to the Havana. Novo Regno has mines also, but more of gold than silver, the treasure of which Province, when marked, used to be conveyed to Carthagena, where the other ships of Peru used to meet and then go for Havana, but the Discoverer does not know as to the amount of good done. Havana is the key of the Indies, insomuch that he who is Lord of that obtaineth the rest. Understands there is extreme want of money in Spain, and as it is likely they will hasten the treasure left at Havana, "so that without speed there is no hope of the present." Great secrecy is needed, for the Spaniards have often prevented the intentions of the English, having long before been certified of their purposes. Good ships should be prepared, not many in one place, but scattered in the divers ports with orders to meet "at the secret appointment" when prepared "that they may be gone before they seem to have been thought of." 1½ pp. Endorsed as above. [Col. Papers, Vol. 32, No. 1.]