Arch, de France.
78. Treaty of Ferdinand and Isabella with Charles VIII.
King Of France.
1. The old alliances between Spain and France are
2. Ferdinand and Isabella bind themselves to assist the
King of France against all his enemies, without exception,
and in particular against the English, who are old foes of the
French, and the King of the Romans and the Archduke
Philip, as long as they shall be at war with the said King
Charles, who, on his part, promises to succour Spain in a
3. Ferdinand and Isabella engage their royal word and
faith as Christians not to conclude, or permit to be concluded,
any marriage of their children with any member of the
Royal family of England, or of the King of the Romans, or in
general with any enemy of France, without previously
obtaining the express permission and consent of the King
4. Charles VIII. restores the counties of Roussillon and
Cerdaña to King Ferdinand.—Narbonne, 8th January 1493.
The treaty is printed in Du Mont, Corps Universel,
&c., III. 297.
Arch, de France.
79. Ferdinand and Isabella.
Ratify the treaty concluded with Charles VIII. of France,
in Narbonne, on the 8th of January 1493. — Barcelona,
19th January 1493.
S. E. C. d. C.
L. 1. & 2.
80. Christopher Columbus to the Escribano De Racion,
Of The Islands In The Indies. (fn. 1)
Praises God for the signal triumph he has vouchsafed to
him in his great enterprise. Has discovered numerous
islands inhabited by people without number. Has taken
possession of them all, with sound of trumpet, and the Royal
banners displayed, without any opposition.
Gave the first island the name of San Salvador, in commemoration
of the mighty Lord who has bestowed all this,
according to His wondrous working. The Indians call this
island Guanabam. Galled the second island Santa Maria de
Concepcion ; the third, Ferdinanda ; the fourth, Isabella ;
the fifth, Juana, &c. Coasted along the island Juana towards
the west. It was so large that he imagined it to be the
main land of Cathay. Did not find cities and towns near the
coast, but only small hamlets, with the inhabitants of which
he could have no intercourse, for they fled as soon as he
approached. Continued his voyage, thinking he would not
miss large towns. At last, after he had sailed a great number
of leagues, found that the coast trended to the north. Did
not wish to go towards the north, because winter was at
hand. Moreover, the wind was contrary. Turned, therefore,
again towards the south, and proceeded to a certain point
where he sent two men ashore in order to find out whether
there was a king or any great towns there. They made a
three days' journey, and found an indescribable number of
hamlets, and multitudes of people, but no government.
They therefore returned. Heard very soon from Indians,
whom he had already taken, that the land before him was
Coasted now one hundred and seven leagues towards
Eighteen leagues distant from the former island there was
another island lying east, and which he called Hispañiola.
Coasted along that island, towards the north, one hundred
and seventy-eight leagues in a direct line.
This and the other islands are all very large, and have a
great number of harbours, which are better than any other
harbours with which he is acquainted in Christendom. There
are such good and large rivers that it is a wonder to see
them. The land is high, and there are many mountains and
high mountain ranges, all veiy beautiful, and of a thousand different
forms, all accessible, and covered with trees of innumerable
different kinds. The trees are so high that they seem to
reach the sky, and it is said that they never lose their leaves.
Believes it is the fact, because he found them as fresh and
green and beautiful as they are during the month of May in
Spain. Some were in flower, some bearing fruit, and some
again in bud, others bearing fruit, as yet unripe, according to
their nature. The nightingale and a thousand other species
of birds were singing in the middle of November. There are
palm trees of six or eight kinds, which are admirable in their
beautiful deformity. There are also pine forests. There were
very large open fields. There are beasts and large birds.
There are fruits and vegetables. There are mines of metals.
The island of Hispañiola, with its mountains and plains and
fields, is perfectly beautiful. The soil is rich, and well adapted
for fruit and vegetables. The timber is excellent for
building houses and towns, and the ports are on such a magnificent
scale as is difficult to believe without seeing them.
There are many rivers of excellent water ; gold is carried
down by most of them. The trees and vegetable and plants
are very different from those on the island of Juana. There
are many rich mines of gold and other metals.
The people of this island, and of all the others which he
has seen and heard of, walk about naked, just as when they
were born. Some of them cover themselves a little with
leaves, or with some cotton. They do not possess any iron
or steel, or any arms ; nor are they well calculated for the use
of arms. Nob that they are badly formed ; on the contrary,
they have fine figures ; but they are very timid. The only
weapons they have are reeds, which are cut when the seed is
ripe. They insert into the end of them a small piece of sharp
wood. But they do not dare to use even these weapons.
Has often sent two or three men to a hamlet, in order to
speak to the inhabitants, who cams out in great multitudes,
but fled in such a way that neither father nor son took heed
of one another, as soon as they saw the white men approaching.
They had not been ill treated ; on the contrary,
had given those whom he could get near, all kinds of things
which he had, clothing as well as other things, without
asking any equivalent from them. They are timid by nature.
It is true that they lose their timorousness as soon as they
become accustomed to the white men. They are not false,
and are very liberal. When asked for anything which
they have, they never say, No ; on the contrary, they offer all
they have, and show so much love that they would willingly
give their hearts. Whether it be a thing of great value or
nothing worth which is given them, they are equally contented.
Had forbidden his men to give them vile things,
such, for instance, as pieces of broken glass, broken needles,
and so on. It is true, if they could get them they would
think they had obtained possession of the finest jewels in the
world. One sailor got gold of the weight of two castillanos
and a half for one needle. Others had given things of even
less worth, and had received in return great quantities of
fruit. For the smallest coin, if it were only new and shining,
they gave all they had, even great quantities of gold. For
broken iron hoops of casks they gave all their property, cattle,
and whatever they possessed. Thought it was wrong to
cheat them. Gave them a hundred different nice things in
order that they might be the more easily disposed to become
good Christians and devoted subjects of the King and Queen
of Spain, and that they might love the whole Castilian nation.
Had done this also that they might give him all that was
necessary for the voyage.
They do not profess any kind of idolatry. They only
believe that "the good, the power, and the might is in
Heaven." They were firmly persuaded that Columbus and
the ships had come from Heaven. Was received as a messenger
from Heaven in all places where they had had any
intercourse with the natives. The reason of their belief
was not because they are stupid ; on the contrary, they
are very subtle ; they navigate all the adjacent seas, and the
information they give is wonderfully exact. The reason of
their belief was simply because they had never before beheld
men who wore clothing. Moreover, they had never seen
ships. Directly after his arrival in the Indies he took some
Indians by force, in order that their fear of them might be
dispelled, and that they might give him information about
the islands. They very soon became able to make themselves
understood, and to understand the Spaniards, by means of
words and of signs. They had been of great advantage to
him. Is still carrying them about with him, and they still
believe that the Spaniards have come from Heaven, in spite
of all the conversations he has had with them. When he
arrived at a new place, the Indians immediately told the
natives that the men from Heaven were there. As soon as
that was known, the people ran from house to house to
announce the news, and they all came skipping and jumping
from all sides to see the men from Heaven. Neither small
nor great remained at home. Every one of them brought
presents of something to eat, and gave them with wonderful
They have, all of them, a great number of canoes, like the
Spanish fustas ; some are larger, and Rome smaller. The largest
are quite equal in size to fustas of eighteen benches. They
would be even larger if they were not all made out of one
piece of timber. They go much quicker than the Spanish
fustas. Has seen canoes with sixty and eighty oarsmen.
Has not observed any great difference in the appearance
and the customs of the natives on the various islands. They
all understand one another ; a circumstance which is very
favourable for their conversion to the Holy Faith, to which
they are much inclined.
The island of Juana seems to be larger than England and
Scotland put together. Has sailed along the coast for sixty
leagues, and yet there remained two large provinces, which
he has not seen, which cannot contain less than fifty or sixty
leagues in length. One of the provinces is called Cavan. Men
having tails are born there. Hispañiola, according to the
reports of the Indians, is larger than the whole of Spain from
Coluga to Fuentarabia. Believes it, because he coasted along
the island for an extent of one hundred and thirty-eight
leagues. It is so beautiful that it is much to be desired, and,
when once seen, never to be left.
Has taken possession of all the islands in the name of
Ferdinand and Isabella, who can dispose of them as absolutely
as of the kingdom of Castile.
Has taken possession of a place in the island of Hispañiola,
which is very well situated for commerce with the continent,
and with the Grand Khan. Has baptized the town Navidad.
Has fortified it. The fortification is being finished at the
present moment. Has left a garrison there, artillery, and
provisions for more than a year, and a boat with sailors.
Has made the King his best friend, so that he is very proud
of the settlement. But even should the natives change their
minds, they would be unable to do any harm to the garrison.
The King and his people walk about naked, and have no
arms. The garrison would suffice to destroy the whole
island. It seems as if all the men were contented with one
wife, but they allow their King to have as many as twenty
wives. The women appear to work more than the men. It
seems that they have no property of their own. What one
possesses they all possess, especially with respect to eatables.
Has not found monstrosities among the men, as many have
reported there were ; on the contrary, they are all very handsome.
They are not negroes, as in Guinea ; nothing but their
hair is black. During the daytime they shut themselves up,
and are not brought up in places exposed to the rays of the
sun, which are here immensely powerful. That the sun is
so powerful is not to be wondered at, as these islands are
only twenty-six degrees distant from the line. In such islands
as have high mountains the winter is rather severe, but the
natives are accustomed to it.
The natives of the second island are believed by the others
to be very ferocious. They eat raw flesh. They possess a
great number of canoes, in which they go to all the other
islands in order to rob and steal whatever they can get.
They are not monsters in appearance ; they only wear long
hair like the women. They use bows and arrows of reeds,
with a little stick inserted in the head. They are both
ferocious and mean when they have to deal with the other
Indians. Thinks no higher of their courage than he does of
that of the others. They contract matrimony with the women
of the first island, in which there is not a single man. These
women do not work, but they use bows and arrows. They
cover themselves with wire [one word unintelligible] of
which they have a great number.
There is another island larger than Hispañiola. The inhabitants
are said to have no hair. There is gold in immense
quantities. Brings some Indians from there, and from other
islands, in order to bear witness.
To judge only from what he has seen in this expedition,
made in great haste, it is clear that he is able to give to the
King and Queen of Spain as much gold as they want, provided
he receives a little assistance, and as much as the ships
can contain of cotton and spice and mastics. Mastics have
hitherto been found only in Greece, in the island of Chios.
The seignoria have sold it at their own prices. Moreover, there
are fine qualities of timber, and in great quantities. Slaves might
be exported to any extent which might be wanted ; that is to
say, from amongst the idolators. Thinks he has also found
rhubarb and cinnamon, and would have found other valuable
things if he had had more time. Had remained nowhere
when the wind was favourable for sailing. Would have done
much more if the ships had been better.
God gives victory to all those who walk in His paths, as
is clear in this case. Has now found and seen the islands
of which so many fables have been told. Next to God, he is
most indebted to the King and Queen of Spain. The discovery
is so great that the whole of Christendom ought to
keep festival and praise the Holy Trinity.
An immense number of people will be converted to the
Christian Faith. Moreover, great material gains will be
On the 2nd, they had frost and hail storms in the Canary
Islands.—Calavera, on the Canary Islands, 15th February.
P.S.—Encountered such a storm on the Spanish seas that he
was obliged to lighten the ships by throwing the cargo overboard.
Had been fortunate enough to gain the port of
Lisbon. Will write to the King and Queen of Castile.—
Indorsed : "This letter was sent by Columbus to the
Escribano de Racion, of the Indies. Another letter
came for the King and the Queen."
Spanish. Contemporaneous copy. pp. 22.
[This letter was discovered by Don Thomas Gonsales in the
attics of the archives of Simancas, on the 12th of
September 1818, when he was occupied in putting
in order the documents returned from France.]
P. R. O.
Sp. Bd. 48.
Articles of the
treaty for the marriage
of the Princess
81. Treaty between Henry VII. and Ferdinand and
Both parties promise to procure that Prince Arthur shall
marry the Princess Katharine of Spain as soon as the Prince
reaches his fourteenth and the Princess her twelfth year.
As soon as the Princess shall have attained her twellth year
and the Prince his fourteenth, the Princess shall be sent to
England at the expense of her parents.
The marriage portion is to be 200,000 scudos, each scudo
worth 4s. 2d. ; of which 100,000 scudos must be paid four
days before or after the solemnization of the marriage, 50,000
within the first year, and 50,000 within the second year after
the marriage. The payments are to be made in coin, gold,
silver, plate, and ornaments of gold and silver.
The dowry of the Princess is to consist of the third part of
the revenues of Wales, Cornwall, and Exeter. She is to be
endowed with it within four days, before or after, the solemnization
of the marriage. In case she become Queen, she is to
have as great a dowry as any other Queen of England has
If the brother and the sisters of the Princess Katharine die
she is to succeed to the inheritance of the Crown of Spain, just
in the same manner as though she had always lived in Spain.
—Given under the great seal in the palace of Westminster,
8th of March 1492.
Latin. Copy. pp. 9.
Fr. R. 8 Hen. VII.
81 a. Henry VII.
The treaty of the 8th March.—Westminster, 8th March.
8 Hen. VII.
82. Henry VII.
Commission to [in blank], his ambassadors, to treat with
the ambassadors of the King and Queen of Spain, and to conclude
a treaty of alliance and marriage between Prince Arthur
and the Princess Katharine.—Westminster, 10th March.
Latin, pp. 1½, in print.
Printed in Rymer.
L. 1. f. 342.
83. Luys to the Archbishop Of Toledo.
Had kept Christopher Columbus a long time in his house
when he came from Portugal on his way to the King of
France, in order to ask assistance in his discoveries. Thought
that his enterprise would be advantageous to the King and
Queen of Spain. Informed them, therefore, of the intentions
of Columbus in his letter from Rota. Received the answer
that he should send Columbus to them. Did so.
Wrote to them, saying that he could not undertake the
enterprise at his own expense, but would prepare it in their
name, provided they would give him a share in the profits.
The Queen replied that she had given Don Alonso de
Quintanilla the superintendence of the enterprise, but she
would give him a share in the profits, if there should be any.
Columbus has been perfectly successful. Was the first to
know it, and sent the tidings directly by Juarez to the
Queen. Begged her to give him a share, or to allow him to
send yearly some ships to the Indies. Thinks he is well entitled
to it, as he has kept Columbus two years in his house, and
introduced him to the Queen.—Cogolludo, 19th March.
Addressed : "To the most Reverend Cardinal of Spain
and Archbishop of Toledo."
Spanish, pp. 2.
9 & 10 Hen. VII.
m. 3. (15.)
84. Henry VII. to all Persons'
Letters of protection to Alonusus de Cisneres, merchant,
of Spain, &c., in the service of Wm. Tyler, Knt., Lieutenant
of the castle and town of Berwick.—Westminster,
Latin, p. ¼.
MS. E. 616.
85. Richard, Duke Of York, (Perkin Warbeck,) to
Queen Isabella Of Spain.
His elder brother the Prince of Wales, son of King Edward,
had been assassinated. He had himself been delivered to a
gentleman who had received orders to destroy him, but who,
taking pity on his innocence, had preserved his life, and made
him swear on the sacraments not to divulge, for a certain
number of years, his name, birth, and lineage. That being
done he had sent him away under the care of two persons,
who were at once his jailors and governors. Had led a
wandering life, in the midst of perils and misery, for the period
of nearly eight years, during which time his governors had
kept him in concealment in different parts of the world,
until at last one of them died, and the other returned to his
own country. Was left alone while still almost a child. Passed
some time in Portugal, then went to Ireland, where he was
recognised and joyfully welcomed by the Earl of Ormond
and the Earl of Kildare, his relatives. Was equally well
received by many of the chief men.
The King of France then sent for him, promising him aid
against Henry Richmond, usurper of the Crown of England.
Was shown the greatest honour by the King of France, but
the promised aid was not given. Went, therefore, to the
Duchess of Burgundy, sister to his father, who, moved
by her humanity and virtue, welcomed him with open arms.
The King of the Romans, his son, the Duke of Austria, the
Duke of Saxony, and the Kings of Denmark and Scotland,
received him in the same way, and sent ambassadors to him,
proffering him friendship and brotherhood. Many of the
chief personages in England, whose indignation had been
roused by the iniquitous conduct of the usurper, Henry
Richmond, had done the same in secret. Hopes Queen
Isabella, who is not only his relative, but also the most just
and pious of Princesses, will have pity on him, and intercede
on his behalf with her husband, entreating that assistance
may be given him. Promises that if he regain his kingdom
he will be grateful, and a better ally of theirs than King
Richard had been.
From the town of Andermund, 8th Sept. 1493.
Second son of the late King Edward and Duke of York.
Indorsed in another hand : "From Richard Plantagenet,
called King of England."
Addressed : "To the most serene and excellent Princess,
Isabella Queen of Castile, &c."
Indorsed by Almazan : "To the Queen, our Lady, from
Richard, who styles himself King of England."
Latin, p. 1. Printed in the Archœologia, vol. 27, p. 199.
9 & 10 Hen. VII.
m. 11. (7.)
86. Henry VII. to Ochoe Martyns.
Licence to Ochoe Martyns, of Spain, to export out of
England into Spain 150 broad cloths.—Westminster, 27th
Latin. p. ½.
9 & 10 Hen. VII.
m. 10. (8.)
87. Henry VII. to all Persons.
Letters of protection to Ochoa Martin, John Ruys, and
Domyngo de Vidua, subjects of the King and Queen of
Castile, coming over to trade in England.—Westminster,
28th November, 9 Hen. VII.
Latin. p. ¼.