Of the great Kingdomes, and large Provinces of Peru.
IN the yeare 1531. a great Helluo and de∣vourer of men went into the Kingdoms of Peru, upon the same pretences, and with the same intention as the rest; and being one of those who had been present at the murders and slaughters committed in o∣ther places, in the year 1510. therefore he proceeded with a greater hardnesse of heart in his outrages and robberies; and being a man of no faith or truth, he laid waste Cities and Villages, slaying all the Inhabi∣tants; and was the cause of all those mis∣chiefes that followed afterward in those Kingdomes; to undertake the Narration of which, and to represent them all to the Reader, is a thing impossible, until they shall perfectly and clearly appear at the day of judgement before all men. And for my selfe, I doe confesse, should I goe about to describe the deformity, the qua∣lity and circumstances of their actions, it would be a task too difficult for me.
Page 111At his first enterance he wasted certain Villages, and plundred the Country of a great quantity of Gold: And one time coming into an Island adjoyning to these Regions, which was known by the name of Pagna, being a fertile Island and full of people: he was receiv'd by the Prince and the inhabitants thereof as if he had been an Angel sent from heaven. But after that six months were past, in which time the Spani∣ards had consum'd all their provision, they then brought forth the corn which they had reserv'd against times of barrennesse for themselves their wives and children, in places under the ground, offering it to them with tears in their eyes, desiring them to do what pleas'd them with it. But they ill re∣warded them in the end, killing a very great number of them with their swords and lances, and those whom they took a∣live they carri'd away into Captivity, emp∣tying and destroying the Country, with many other cruelties.
From thence they went to the Island of Tumbala, which is situated in the Continent, where he kill'd all that fell into his power; and because the people being astonished at their barbarism fled away from them, they accus'd them of Rebellion against the King of Spain. This Tyrant us'd also this kind of subtilty toward the Indians. He comman∣ded those whom he took, and others which Page 112 brought him presents, still to bring him more, till he saw that they were quite de∣stitute; telling them that he recev'd them now as Vassals and Subjects of the king of Spain; flattering them also and telling them that he would neither take them, nor do them any other injury. As though it had been a thing lawful for him to rob & spoile them, and to terrifie them with such kinde of strange news before he had receiv'd them into the protection of the King of Spain; or as if after he had so receiv'd them to pro∣tection, he had never done any injury or laid any oppression upon them. After this the King and Supreame Emperour of all these Regions, Acaliba by name, brought against the Spainards a great power of pit∣tiful naked Creatures, and arm'd with most ridiculous weapons, not knowing the sharp∣nesse of the Spanish Swords and Lances, nor the strength of their Horses; to the place where they lay approach'd the Spaniards, who certainly would rob the devils of Gold if they had it; This King resolv'd to call the Spaniards to an account, for the slaughters of his people, the destruction of his Country, & the robberies which they committed upon his Treasures. But the Spaniards met him, kill'd an infinite number of his people, and seiz'd upon his person, which was carried in a kind of Litter. Now they come to Capi∣tulations about his redemption; He promi∣ses Page 113 ten millions of Crowns, and numbers down fifteen; they promis'd to release him, but never stood to their words, falsify∣ing all the protestations which they made to the King; telling him how that his Subjects were gathered together again by his com∣mand. To whom the King made answer, that there could not be a leafe of a tree moved without his will and authority; but if they were now assembled any where together, it was not by his power; who was now their captive, for they might take away his life if they pleas'd. Notwithstanding all which they consulted whether they should burn him alive or no, which sentence they afterwards passed; but by the intreaty of some, that sentence was mitigated and he was commanded to be strangled. The King understanding that he was to dye, spake to them in these words; Why do you kill me? Did you not promise to set me at liberty, so I would give you Gold? I gave it you, and more then you requir'd; yet if it be your will that I must dye, send to your King of Spain: But ere he could ut∣ter more, the flames prevented him. Con∣sider here the equity of this war, the Cap∣tivity of this Prince, the sentence of his con∣demnation, and the execution of that sen∣tence, the conscience of the Spaniards, which nothing deterr'd them from consuming and taking away by violence the great Trea∣sures Page 114 of this great King and of his Nobles, how they all concur to aggravate their de∣villish iniquity. Concerning the foule and enormous cruelties wherewith they wholly extirpated the people of these Re∣gions, I will here relate a few, seen by a Friar of the Order of St. Francis, and confirm'd and committed to writing under his own hand and seale, and disperc'd not onely in these Provinces, but in the King∣dome of Castile. A copy of which I can produce signed with his own hand, where∣in these things following are contain'd.
I Brother Mark of Cilicia, of the Order of St. Francis, cheif Governour of all the Bro∣therhood of that Order, in the Provinces of Peru, being one of the first religious persons that went into those parts, speak this for a certain truth, testifying those things which I have seen, and which properly concern the inhabitants of these Countries. First I am an eye-witnesse, and do affirme upon my knowledge that the inhabitants of Perue were a Nation very courteous, affable, and loving to the Spaniards; and I have seen Presents of Gold, Silver, and precious Stones, given by those people to the Spani∣ards in great abundance, besides many other offices of service which they daily did for them. Neither did the Indians ever move war till they were forc'd to it by the contumelies and injuries of the Spaniards: Page 115 But on the contrary, the Spaniards being received by them with all the shews of respect and freindship, were continually fur∣nish't both with men and women for their service.
I am also a witnesse, that upon no occa∣sion given them by the Indians the Spani∣ards did enter their Country, and burnt to death their great Emperour call'd Ataliba, after they had receiv'd from him as a ran∣some from his captivity above two millions of Gold; His whole Kingdome having submitted themselves to him without any resistance: With the same cruelty was Cochilimacha his Captain General put to death, who came with other Noble men of the Country to the Spaniards in peace. The same Fate also follow'd another po∣tent Lord of the Province of Quitonia, whom they also burnt without any occa∣sion given, or injury done them: As un∣justly did they burne also Schapera, Prince of the Canaries: They also burnt the feet for Aloides the most potent Lord in all the Provinces of Quitonia, afflicting him with many other torments to make him confesse where the Gold of Ataliba lay, though as afterwards it appear'd, he knew nothing of it. They also kill'd Quitonius Cocopa∣gauga, Governour of all the Provinces of Quitonia, who at the importunities of Se∣bastian Barnaclacanus Captain of the Go∣vernour Page 116 came in peace to the Spaniards, be∣cause he could not give them the sum which they demanded; thus they put to death divers other of the Noblemen of the Coun∣try; and as I understand, it is the intention of the Spaniards not to leave one of the Lords and Noblemen of that place alive.
I do also affirme that I have seen the Spaniards for no other cause, but to satisfie their own wills, dismember the Indians both men and women, cutting off their eares, noses, and hands, and that in so ma∣ny places and regions, that it would be a tedious thing to relate them. I have also seen the Spaniards set their dogs upon the Indians to devour them; and such a num∣ber of houses and villages burnt by them, that it would be over long to rehearse them: This is also a truth, that they would snatch young Infants out of their mothers bellies, and cast them as far as they could throw them; besides many other cruelties which they committed, which did not a little a∣maze me, though they are too many to be numbred.
I do also affirme that the Spaniards got together as many of the Indians as possibly they could croud into three houses, and there, upon no occasion given, burnt them to death. At that time it chanc'd that a cer∣tain Presbyter, by name Ocaena snatch'd an Infant out of the fire, which one of the Page 117Spaniards beholding, immediately took the child out of his hands, and threw it into the fire; which Spaniard, the same day that he did this vile act, as he returned to his Quarters, fell down dead by the way, whom I perswaded the rest to leave un∣buried.
I have also seen them send to the Noble∣men and chief Rulers of the Indians to come to them, engaging to secure them, and to let them return in peace; but when they came, they caused them to be immediately burnt. Two they burnt while I was present, one be∣ing the Lord of Andonia, the other of Tumba∣la; neither could I by any perswasions prevail with them to take them out of the fire; and this I speak in the presence of God, and according to my own conscience, that I never knew of any commotion or rebellion raised by the Indians of Peru a∣gainst them, though it was apparent to all how they did torment and massacre them. Which had they done, considering how the Spaniards broke their faith and promi∣ses to them, how against all Law and Right they practis'd nothing else but their desolation and destruction, certainly they had done well, chusing rather noble a death, then to endure such tedious miseries.
I doe also affirme out of the mouths of the Indians themselves, that greater quan∣tities of Gold lie hid then are yet disco∣vered, Page 118 which because of the cruelties and injustice of the Spaniards, they are loath to reveale, nor will reveale, till the ty∣rannical hand of the Spaniards shall be taken off them, rather chusing to dye, as others have done. Whereby God is offen∣ded, and the Affaires of the King many times impeded: For he hath been defrau∣ded of more then would serve to main∣tain Castile, the recovery of which cannot be performed without much difficulty and large expences.
And thus far I have related the very words of this religious person, confirm'd by the Bishop of Mexico, before whom he justified all that is here written.
Here we must consider these things to be such as this Religious person was an eye∣witnesse of, having traveld long in those parts for the space of above nine or ten yeares, and had compassed above fifty or a hundred miles of that Country, when there were but few Spaniards that liv'd in those parts; though afterwards to the noise of the Gold there flockt thither above five thou∣sand, who scattered themselves through those large Provinces, that contain'd in length above five or 600 miles, which they totally laid waste, committing rather more and greater cruelties then they had done in any other Countries; and to say truth, from that time until this present year, they Page 119 destroy'd a thousand times more persons then he makes mention of, and with lesse feare, either of God, or of the King, and with lesse pity they massacred the greatest part of mankind of those that inhabited those Regions, killing above four millions of people.
A few dayes after, with darts made of reeds, they shot at the most potent Queen, who was the Wife of Elinguus, in whose hands the whole Administration of the Go∣vernment of these Kingdomes remain'd, which occasioned him to rebel against them, and to this day he holds out against them: At length they took his Queen, and contrary to all right and equity, they put her to death, though it was reported that she was great with child, for no other cause but that they might afflict her hus∣band. But if I should goe to particula∣rize the murders and slaughters committed in that Region, the Reader would finde them so horrid and so numerous, that in both respects they would far exceed what hath been said touching the other parts of India.