I the King
By order of the king our sovereign:
Don Fernando Ruiz de Contreras
LETTERS FROM TAVORA TO FELIPE IV
I sent a despatch by way of India in the month of November of the past year 631, because the flagship which sailed for Nueva Espana sank here in port, and the almiranta put back. A copy of the despatch which they carried goes in the first mail, with this, and I refer to it. Accordingly I shall now begin to give an account to your Majesty of what has happened since then.
The ships which had remained in Nueva Espana last year, reached here during the last part of May after a favorable trip. Therefore I trust that they will depart earlier than in previous years, and that the voyages may become regular. [In the margin: “Seen.”]
The ships brought as a subsidy two hundred and thirty-four thousand pesos for the royal treasury. Two hundred thousand came last year. The viceroy writes that he can do no more. The visitor here will not, I believe, consider it little, since he does not have it in his charge. Certain it is that the last six remittances which the viceroy has made to these islands have all been smaller than those made by the other viceroys. I confess that the times have become hard; but one can but ill sustain a number of men, or take care of the expenses of war, on less than what their pay and salaries amount to. The accounts for the five years which were asked are enclosed, and have been made out with all clearness. For the last three, it will be seen how much smaller have been the receipts and expenses than those of my predecessors. [In the margin: “Seen.”]