The Philippine Islands, 1493-1898/Volume 1/Treaty of Tordesillas

THE TREATY OF TORDESILLAS

[This treaty was signed by the respective representatives of the Spanish and Portuguese monarchs, June 7, 1494, at the city of Tordesillas. Full powers were conferred upon these representatives in special letters, that of the Catholic sovereigns being given June 5 at Tordesillas, and that of King Dom Joan of Portugal, March 8. The former sovereigns, as well as their son Don Juan, signed the treaty in person, at Arevalo, July 2; the King of Portugal, September 5, at Setubal—each ratifying it fully. The letter given by Ferdinand and Isabella to their representatives is as follows:]

Don Fernando and Dona Isabel, by the grace of God, King and Queen of Castilla, Leon, Aragon, Secjlia, Granada, Toledo, Valencia, Galisia, Mallorcas, Sevilla, Cerdeña, Cordova, Corçega, Murçia, Jahan, Algarbe, Algezira, Gibraltar, and the Canary Islands; count and countess of Barçelona; seigniors of Vizcaya and Moljna; duke and duchess of Atenas and Neopatria; count and countess of Rosellon and Cerdanja; marquis and marchioness of Oristan and Goçeano: Inasmuch as the most serene King of Portugal, our very dear and beloved brother, sent hither his ambassadors and representatives [the names and titles follow] for the purpose of conferring and negotiating a treaty and compact with us and with our ambassadors and representatives acting in our name, in regard to the controversy existing between ourselves and the said most serene King of Portugal, our brother, concerning what lands, of all those discovered prior to this date, in the Ocean Sea, belong to ourselves and to him respectively; therefore we, having entire confidence that you Don Enrrique Enrriques, our chief steward, Don Guterre de Cardenas, deputy-in-chief of Leon[1] and our auditor-in-chief, and doctor Rodrigo Maldonado, all members of our council, are persons who will guard our interests, and that you will perform thoroughly and faithfully what we order and recommend, by this present letter delegate to you, specially and fully, all our authority in as definitive a form as possible,[2] and as is requisite in such cases, in order that you may, for us and in our name and in those of our heirs and successors, our kingdoms and seigniories,[3] and the subjects and natives of them, confer concerning, conclude, ratify, and contract and determine with the said ambassadors acting in the name of the most serene King of Portugal, our brother, whatever compact, contract, bound, demarcation, and covenant regarding the above, by whatever bounds of the winds, degrees of north latitude and of the sun, and by whatever parts, divisions, and places of the heavens, sea, and land,[4] may seem best to you. And we delegate our said power to you in such manner that you may leave to the said King of Portugal, and to his kingdoms and successors, all seas, islands, and mainlands that may be and exist within such bound and demarcation, which shall be and remain his.[5] And further, we delegate to you the said power so that in our name, and in those of our heirs and successors, and of our kingdoms and seigniories, and the subjects and natives of them, you may affirm, concur in, approve, and arrange with the said King of Portugal and the said ambassadors and representatives acting in his name, that all seas, islands, and mainlands that may be and exist within the bound and demarcation of the coasts, seas, islands, and mainlands which shall be and remain ours and our successors', may be ours and belong to our seigniory and conquest, and likewise to our kingdoms and the successors to the same, with such limitations and exceptions,[6] and with all other clauses and declarations that you deem best. [Furthermore we delegate the said powers] so that you may negotiate, authorize, contract, compact, approve, and accept in our name, and those of our said heirs and successors, and of all our kingdoms and seigniories, and the subjects and natives of the same, whatever covenants, contracts, and instruments of writing, with whatever bonds, decrees, forms, conditions, obligations, requirements, penalties, submissions, and renunciations you wish, and as may seem best to you, regarding all the aforesaid, and every part and parcel of the same, and every thing pertaining to it, or dependent upon it, or having even the slightest connection with it. And in regard to the foregoing you shall have authority to enact and authorize, and you shall enact and authorize, all and singular, of whatever nature and quality, weight and importance, they may or can be, although they may be such as by their terms should require in addition our signature and especial order, and of which especial and express mention should be made fully, and which we, in our own proper persons, could enact, authorize, and approve. Furthermore, we authorize you fully, to swear, and you shall swear, upon our consciences, that we, our heirs and successors, subjects, natives, and vassals, now and hereafter shall keep, observe, and fulfil, and that they shall keep, observe, and fulfil, really and effectually, all that you thus affirm, covenant, swear, authorize, and asseverate, without any deceit, fraud, duplicity, dissembling, or pretense. And in this manner, you shall, in our name, covenant, asseverate, and promise that we, in our own person, shall asseverate, swear, promise, authorize, and affirm all that you, in our name, asseverate, promise, and covenant in regard to the preceding, within whatever term and space of time you deem best, and that we shall observe and fulfil this, really and effectually, and under the conditions, penalties, and obligations contained in the treaty of peace[7] concluded and ratified between ourselves and the said most serene King, our brother, and under all other conditions whatsoever promised and determined upon by you, for all of which we promise, from this date, to pay the penalty if we violate them. For all the above, and each part and parcel of it, we grant to you the said authority with free and general powers of administration, and we promise and affirm by our kingly faith and word, we, our heirs and successors, to keep, observe, and fulfil everything, concerning all the aforesaid enacted, covenanted, sworn, and promised by you, in whatever form and manner; and we promise faithfully to maintain the same to the uttermost, now and forever, and neither ourselves nor our heirs and successors shall violate this compact, or any part of it, by any act of our own, or our agents, either directly or indirectly, under any pretense or cause, in judgment or out of it, under the express obligation of all our possessions, patrimonial and fiscal, and all other possessions whatsoever of our vassals, subjects, and natives, real and personal, acquired or to be acquired. In affirmation of the above we have caused this our letter of authorization to be given, and we sign the same with our names and order it sealed with our seal. . . . [Signatures of the King, Queen, and Royal Secretary.]

[The letter of authorization granted by the King of Portugal follows. It is couched in much the same terms as the preceding. It opens as follows:]

Don Juan, by the grace of God, King of Portugal and the Algarbes, on either side of the sea in Africa, and Seignior of Guinea: To all who shall see this our letter of authority and powers of attorney, we proclaim: that inasmuch as certain islands were discovered and found by command of the most exalted, excellent, and powerful Princes, King Don Fernando and Queen Doña Ysabel [certain of their dignities follow] our very dear and beloved brother and sister, and other islands and mainlands may in future be discovered and found, regarding certain of which, known already or to be known, there might arise disputes and controversy between ourselves and our kingdoms and seigniories, and the subjects and natives of the same, because of our rights therein—which may our Lord forbid,—it is our desire, because of the great love and friendship between us, and in order to seek, procure, and maintain greater peace, and more enduring concord and tranquillity, that the sea, in which the said islands were and shall be found, be divided and allotted between us in some good, sure, and circumscribed manner; and inasmuch as at present we cannot attend to this in person, and confiding in you, Ruy de Sosa, Seignior of Usagres[8] and Berenguel, and Don Juan de Sosa, our intendant-in-chief, and Arias de Almadana, magistrate of civil cases in our court, and a member of our desenbargo (all members of our council), we grant you by the present letter our full and complete power and authority and our special command, and we appoint and constitute you all jointly, and two of you and one of you yn soljdun,[9] in any manner whatsoever, if the others be prevented, as our ambassadors and representatives; and we do this in the most definitive form[10] possible and generally and specifically as is requisite in such cases,—in such manner that the general is not obscured by the specific nor the specific by the general. This we do so that, in our name, and those of our heirs and successors, and of all our kingdoms and seigniories, and the subjects and natives of the same, you may confer concerning, conclude, and ratify, and contract and determine with the said King and Queen of Castilla, our brother and sister, or with those empowered by the latter, whatever agreement, compact, limitation, demarcation, and contract regarding the Ocean Sea and the islands and mainlands contained therein, by whatever directions of winds and degrees of north latitude, and of the sun, and by whatever parts, divisions, and places of the heavens, land, and sea[11] you may deem best. [From this point the language is almost identical with that in the foregoing letter of authorization. The present letter is signed by the king and his secretary. The treaty proper follows:] Thereupon it was declared by the above-mentioned representatives of the aforesaid King and Queen of Castilla, Leon, Aragon, Seçilia, Granada, etc.; and of the aforesaid King of Portugal and the Algarbes, etc.: That, whereas a certain controversy exists between the said lords, their constituents, as to what lands, of all those discovered in the Ocean Sea up to the present day, the date of this treaty, pertain to each one of the said parts respectively; therefore, for the sake of peace and concord, and for the preservation of the relationship and love of the said King of Portugal for the said King and Queen of Castilla, Aragon, etc., it being the pleasure of their Highnesses, they, their said representatives, acting in their name and by virtue of their powers herein described, covenanted and agreed that a boundary or straight line be determined and drawn north and south, from pole to pole, on the said Ocean Sea—from the Arctic to the Antarctic pole. This boundary, or line[12] shall be drawn straight, as aforesaid, at a distance of three hundred and seventy leagues west of the Cabo Verde islands, being calculated by degrees, or by any other manner, as may be considered the best and readiest, provided the distance shall be no greater than above said. And all lands, both islands and mainlands, found and discovered already, or to be found and discovered hereafter by the said King of Portugal and by his vessels on this side of the said line and bound determined as above, toward the east, in either north or south latitude, on the eastern side of the said bound, provided the said bound is not crossed, shall belong to, and remain in the possession of, and pertain forever to the said King of Portugal and his successors. And all other lands—both islands and mainlands, found or to be found herafter, discovered or to be discovered hereafter, which have been discovered or shall be discovered by the said King and Queen of Castilla, Aragon, etc., and by their vessels, on the western side of the said bound, determined as above, after having passed the said bound toward the west, in either its north or south latitude, shall belong to, and remain in the possession of, and pertain forever to the said King and Queen of Castilla, Leon, etc., and to their successors.

Yten [Item]:[13] the said representatives promise and affirm by virtue of the powers aforesaid, that from this date no ships shall be despatched,—namely as follows: the said King and Queen of Castilla, Leon, Aragon, etc., for this part of the bound, and its eastern side, on this side the said bound, which pertains to the said King of Portugal and the Algarbes, etc.; nor the said King of Portugal to the other part of the said bound which pertains to the said King and Queen of Castilla, Aragon, etc.,—for the purpose of discovering and seeking any mainlands or islands, or for the purpose of trade, barter, or conquest of any kind. But should it come to pass that the said ships of the said King and Queen of Castilla, Leon, Aragon, etc., on sailing thus on this side of the said bound, should discover any mainlands or islands in the region pertaining, as above said, to the said King of Portugal, such mainlands or islands shall pertain to and belong forever to the said King of Portugal and his heirs, and their Highnesses shall order them to be surrendered to him immediately. And if the said ships of the said King of Portugal discover any islands and mainlands in the regions of the said King and Queen of Castilla, Leon, Aragon, etc., all such lands shall belong to and remain forever in the possession of the said King and Queen of Castilla, Leon, Aragon, etc., and their heirs, and the said King of Portugal shall cause such lands to be surrendered immediately.

Yten: In order that the said line or bound of the said division may be made straight and as nearly as possible the said distance of three hundred and seventy leagues west of the Cabo Verde islands, as hereinbefore stated, the said representatives of both the said parties agree and assent that within the ten months immediately following the date of this treaty, their said constituent lords shall despatch two or four caravels, namely, one or two by each one of them, a greater or less number, as they may mutually consider necessary. These vessels shall meet at the island of Grande Canaria [Grand Canary Island] during this time, and each one of the said parties shall send certain persons in them, to wit, pilots, astrologers, sailors, and any others they may deem desirable. But there must be as many on one side as on the other, and certain of the said pilots, astrologers, sailors, and others of those sent by the said King and Queen of Castilla, Aragon, etc., and who are experienced, shall embark in the ships of the said King of Portugal and the Algarbes; in like manner certain of the said persons sent by the said King of Portugal shall embark in the ship or ships of the said King and Queen of Castilla, Aragon, etc.: a like number in each case, so that they may jointly study and examine to better advantage the sea, courses, winds, and the degrees of the sun or of north latitude,[14] and lay out the leagues aforesaid, in order that, in determining the line and boundary, all sent and empowered by both the said parties in the said vessels, shall jointly concur. These said vessels shall continue their course together to the said Cabo Verde islands, from whence they shall lay a direct course to the west, to the distance of the said three hundred and seventy degrees, measured as the said persons shall agree, and measured without prejudice to the said parts. When this point is reached, such point will constitute the place and mark for measuring degrees of the sun or of north latitude either by daily runs measured in leagues, or in any other manner that shall mutually be deemed better. This said line shall be drawn north and south as aforesaid, from the said Arctic pole to the said Antarctic pole. And when this line has been determined as above said, those sent by each of the aforesaid parties, to whom each one of the said parties must delegate his own authority and power, to determine the said mark and bound, shall draw up a writing concerning it and affix thereto their signatures. And when determined by the mutual consent of all of them, this line shall be considered forever as a perpetual mark and bound, in such wise that the said parties, or either of them, or their future successors, shall be unable to deny it, or erase or remove it, at any time or in any manner whatsoever. And should, perchance, the said line and bound from pole to pole, as aforesaid, intersect any island or mainland, at the first point of such intersection of such island or mainland by the said line, some kind of mark or tower shall be erected, and a succession of similar marks shall be erected in a straight line from such mark or tower, in a line identical with the above-mentioned bound. These marks shall separate those portions of such land belonging to each one of the said parties; and the subjects of the said parties shall not dare, on either side, to enter the territory of the other, by crossing the said mark or bound in such island or mainland.

Yten: Inasmuch as the said ships of the said King and Queen of Castilla, Leon, Aragon, etc., sailing as before declared, from their kingdoms and seigniories to their said possessions on the other side of the said line, must cross the seas on this side of the line, pertaining to the said King of Portugal, it is therefore concerted and agreed that the said ships of the said King and Queen of Castilla, Leon, Aragon, etc., shall, at any time and without any hindrance, sail in either direction, freely, securely, and peacefully, over the said seas of the said King of Portugal, and within the said line. And whenever their Highnesses and their successors wish to do so, and deem it expedient, their said ships may take their courses and routes direct from their kingdoms to any region within their line and bound to which they desire to despatch expeditions of discovery, conquest, and trade. They shall take their courses direct to the desired region and for any purpose desired therein, and shall not leave their course, unless compelled to do so by contrary weather. They shall do this provided that, before crossing the said line, they shall not seize or take possession of anything discovered in his said region by the said King of Portugal; and should their said ships find anything before crossing the said line, as aforesaid, it shall belong to the said King of Portugal, and their Highnesses shall order it surrendered immediately. And since it is possible that the ships and subjects of the said King and Queen of Castilla, Leon, etc., or those acting in their name, may discover within the next twenty days of this present month of June following the date of this treaty, some islands and mainlands within the said line, drawn straight from pole to pole, that is to say, inside the said three hundred and seventy leagues west of the Cabo Verde islands, as aforesaid, it is hereby agreed and determined, in order to remove all doubt, that all such islands and mainlands found and discovered in any manner whatsoever up to the said twentieth day of this said month of June, although found by ships and subjects of the said King and Queen of Castylla, Aragon, etc., shall pertain to and remain forever in the possession of the said King of Portugal and the Algarbes, and of his successors and kingdoms, provided that they lie within the first two hundred and fifty leagues of the said three hundred and seventy leagues reckoned west of the Cabo Verde islands to the above-mentioned line,—in whatsoever part, even to the said poles, of the said two hundred and fifty leagues they may be found, determining a boundary or straight line from pole to pole, where the said two hundred and fifty leagues end. Likewise all the islands and mainlands found and discovered up to the said twenty days of this present month of June, by the ships and subjects of the said King and Queen of Castilla, Aragon, etc., or in any other manner, within the other one hundred and twenty leagues that still remain of the said three hundred and seventy leagues where the said bound that is to be drawn from pole to pole, as aforesaid, must be determined, and in whatever part of the said one hundred and twenty leagues, even to the said poles that they are found up to the said day, shall pertain to and remain forever in the possession of the said King and Queen of Castilla, Aragon, etc., and of their successors and kingdoms; just as whatever is or shall be found on the other side of the said three hundred and seventy leagues pertaining to their Highnesses, as aforesaid, is and must be theirs, although the said one hundred and twenty leagues are within the said bound of the said three hundred and seventy leagues pertaining to the said King of Portugal, the Algarbes, etc., as aforesaid.[15]

And if, up to the said twentieth day of this said month of June, no lands are discovered by the said ships of their Highnesses within the said one hundred and twenty leagues, and are discovered after the expiration of that time, then they shall pertain to the said King of Portugal as is set forth in the above.

[The faithful observance by the respective sovereigns, of every point of this treaty is provided for in the fullest of terms by the commissioners, by virtue of the powers delegated to them; and this is sworn "before God, the Blessed Mary, and on the sign of the Cross." The instrument must receive also the sanction of the Pope, who will be asked to confirm the same by means of a bull in which the agreements of the treaty will be given.[16] The commissioners bind themselves under the foregoing oaths and penalties that, "within the one hundred days immediately following the date of this treaty, they will mutually exchange approbations and ratifications of the said treaty, written on parchment, and signed with the names of their said constituents, and sealed with their seals." Don Juan, heir to the Spanish crown, shall sign the instrument as well as Ferdinand and Isabella, and the whole shall be witnessed in proper manner.]

  1. Our text reads "commissario mayor;" Navarrete reads "Comendador mayor."
  2. Our text reads "vos damos todo nuestro poder conplido en aquella mas abta forma que podemos;" Navarrete reads "vos damosnuestro poder cumplido en aquella manera é forma que podemos."
  3. In Navarrete the words "& subçessores & de todos nuestros reynos & señorios" are omitted.
  4. Our text reads "qualqujer conçierto, asiento, limjtaçion, demarcaçion, & concordia sobre lo que dicho es, por los vientos & grados de norte & del sol, & por aquellas partes divivisiones [sic] & lugares del caelo & de la mar & de la tierra;" Navarrete reads "cualquier concierto é limitacion del mar Océano, ó concordia sobre lo que dicho es, pór los vientos y grados de Norte y Sur, y por aquellas partes, divisiones y lugares de seco y mar y de la tierra."
  5. Our text reads "& asi vos damos el dicho poder pera que podays dexar al dicho Rey de Portugal & a sus reynos & subcesores todos los mares, yslas, & tieras que fueren & estovieren dentro de qualqujer limitaçion & demarcaçion, que con el fincaren & quedaren;" Navarrete reads the same (with allowances for modern typography) up to "demarcaçion," and then adds "de costas, mares, islas y tierras que fincaren y quedaren."
  6. Our text reads "que todos los mares, yslas & tierras, que fueren & escovjeren dentrode la ljmjtaçion & demarcaçion de costas, mares & yslas & tierras, que quedaren & fincaren con nos, & con nuestros subçesores, para que sean nuestros, & de nuestro señorio & conqujsta, & asi de nuestros reynos & subcesores dellos, con aquellas limjtaçiones & exebciones;" Navarrete reads "que todos los mares, islas y tierras que fueren ó estuvieren dentro el límite y demarcacion de las costas, mares y islas y tierras que quedaren por Nos y por nuestros subcesores, y de nuestro Señorio y conquista, sean de nuestros Reinos y subcesores de ellos, con aquellas limitaciones y exenciones."
  7. Our text reads "contrato de las pases;" Navarrete reads "contrato de las partes."
  8. Navarrete reads "Sagres."
  9. Our text reads "& constituymos a todos juntamente & a dos de vos, & a uno yn soljdun;" Navarrete reads "y constituimos á todos juntamente y á cada uno de vos in solidum."
  10. See p. 116 and note 149.
  11. See p. 117, and note 151, where the language is almost identical.
  12. Our text reads "la aual raya olinea se aya;" Navarrete reads "la cual reya o lineo é señal se haya."
  13. This paragraph reads differently in Navarrete, but its sense is the same.
  14. Our text reads "grados del sol e norte;" Navarrete reads "grados de Sur y Norte."
  15. Navarrete is very faulty in this section. He omits entirely the following: "& por sus gentes, o in otra qualqujer manera dentro de las otras ciento y veynte leguas, que quedan para cunplimjento de las trezientas & setenta leguas, en que ha de acabar la dicha raya que se ha de faser de polo a polo, como dicho es, en qualqujer parte de las dichas ciento & veyte [sic] leguas para los dichos polos, que sean alladas fasta el dicho dia, queden, & finquen para los dichos senores Rey & Reyna de Castilla, & de Aragon, etc., &." This omission quite obscures the sense.
  16. This confirmation was given by Pope Julius II in a bull promulgated January 24, 1506. See Alguns documentos, pp. 142-143; and Bourne's Essays in Historical Criticism, p. 203.