Adriano de las Cortes


The Spanish Father Adriano de las Cortes [°1578-†1629], reached the Philippines in 1605, and from then on performed missionary functions in several places around the archipelago, which was in the process of being systematically occupied by the Spanish. He left Manila in 1625 on his way to the Portuguese settlement in Macao where he hoped to resolve some questions of the ecclesiastical court. However a violent storm interrupted the journey which caused the Spanish nao to be shipwrecked off the coast of Guangdong· province. The survivors were imprisoned by the Chinese authorities, the Jesuit priest being one of them, and they spent about a year being transferred from one place to another until they finally arrived in Guangzhou. · Adriano de las Cortes and some of his companions in this unfortunate affair were then freed from captivity through the intervention of the Portuguese from Macao. They reached Macao in February of 1626 and around two months later they set off again back to Manila.

During the overland journey through Chinese territory the Jesuit missionary lived alongside people from many different walks of society at an intimate level and he observed aspects of Chinese life at close quarters. As a result of these experiences, he managed to write down an extensive manuscript where he added to this account of his travels a detailed and well informed description of the Middle Kingdom. The [...] relación que scribe el P. Adriano de las Cortes de la Compañia de Jesús de viaje, naufragio e captiverio, que con otras personas padeció en Chauceo, Reino de la Gran China, con lo demás que vio en lo que della anduvo ([...] Narrative Written by Fr. Adriano de las Cortes of the Society of Jesus, about the Voyage, Shipwreck and Captivity which he Endured with More People in Chaucheo, in the Great Kingdom of China, and all that he Saw from the Places Where he Stayed), apart from containing valuable accounts on numerous aspects of Chinese reality hardly published up until then, contained many original drawings sketched by the author with the help of a Chinese informer. Adriano de las Cortes was to die a few months later in the Philippines, leaving his manuscript unpublished. The work had a limited circulation as it remained housed in the 'Spanish Archives' until it was published in a very recent critical edition.

'Musk' hunt. In: CORTES. Adriano de las, S. J., REBOLLO. Beatriz Moncó, intro. and annot., Viaje de la China, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1991, P.294.



Several events which happened to the prisoners who remained in Chaozhou.· 1 kingdom and the legal efforts which were made in the cities of Zhaoqing• 2and Guangzhou• to secure their release, and how the first twelve captives who went to Guangzhou left for Macao3 already free men.

On the 23rd of July [of 1625] Our Lord comforted us with more news and letters, after those of the 5th of March to which we have already referred to which were received the 3rd of May, written in Canton, and the 6th of June. 4 Among them were two for me, from the procurator priest in Japan, Father João Rodrigues, 5 and from the one in China, Simão da Cunha, 6 members of the Society [of Jesus], who sent some clothing, to myself and father Miguel Matsuda, 7 through the Chinese messengers [of the letters], to aid the hardship we suffered from this aspect of day to day life, and also twenty pesos for our other requirements, and to distribute among the others [prisoners], along with a donation of fourteen pesos, collected among some of the Portuguese merchants who were in Guangzhou city. Although the money from this assistance was little, one way or other, equally for the risk in sending it as for hoping that it would obtain a licence from the tutão • 8 to free us with everything necessary to make the journey, the Chinese who brought it probably kept more than half of it, or even more, with lies and deceit, as if the actual remuneration were more important to them than the good we could have done them later.

It is curious how they cannot manage to keep their hands off the silver they receive, no matter what, as all Chinese become truly blinded by the sight of it, in a way which is not found in any other country. One of the Portuguese among us, 9 asked one of the mandarins if it were true that they had brought us silver from Macao, because (he added) the soldiers who gave them food had told the mandarins in Chaozhou that they had not brought it there; and if we had had it there, we would have eaten from it and advised them that they stop providing for us. He told the Portuguese man that it was true, [that we had silver,] but that it was little for so many, as the Chinese courier had kept most of it. The mandarin replied: "Even I am surprised that they gave you some [silver], because among us rarely do we manage to obtain the silver we have to send from one person to another, even though they have to flee and disappear forever; and this is even if it is between father and son. So if he gave you some it could only have been a Christian Chinese from Macao."

They sent word to me [from Macao] that they had received some letters from me and my companions, after they had lifted the barriers they had on the roads, which served the other intentions of the tutãos and for business they had with certain chincheus10 merchants, but which also delayed the delivery of our letters to Macao and from Macao to us.

It became known, with some regret, that the above mentioned [exchange of letters] had been delayed by the city of Macao being fenced in by land and sea, so that supplies could not enter, and they were very restricted by the tutão and his Chinese aids. After the city had demolished part of the wall which ran inland, complying with orders from the king of China, who had received old accusations, and many lies, against Macao city11 things finally calmed down, establishing a new climate of peace and harmony once again with the Chinese. This happened at the same time as our misfortune, when it came to be known in Guangzhou and Macao.

Immediately after, the above mentioned father João Rodrigues and some gentlemen citizens of Macao were in Guangzhou, en route to the city of Zhaoqing, [where they had been] summoned by the tutão to sign a peace agreement and greet the said tutão in the name of His Majesty and the city of Macao. They still intended obtaining a licence, which they would then send to us, authorising that we be freed from the kingdom12 of Chaozhou and taken to Guangzhou.

The fact is that when the first letter arrived, which Dom Francisco de Castelo-Branco13 wrote to us, eight days after our misfortune in the city of Toio, 14 as mentioned above, it was truly providence of Our Lord that Father João Rodrigues and other gentlemen from Macao, who had business dealings [in that city] with the tutão, to whom they gave the our [letters], arrived in Guangzhou at the same time and on the same day, a little before the siege of Macao. On receiving such news, they then presented an appeal to the tutão, in an attempt to have us saved from the death penalty as we were condemned a thieves, to which those from the kingdom of Chaozhou objected [...].

The extract from Father João Rodrigues' letter which interests us most tells it as follows: "It was providence of Our Lord that we arrived in this city of Guangzhou at the same time as the first letter arrived [from the shipwrecked captives], as it enabled us to present an appeal to the tutão, so that those from this lost ship could be recognised as our people and we could be sent to see them, because those from here [Chaozhou] had decided to kill them as thieves, to hide the stealing [which their treasury had committed]. The tutão promised us that he would speedily have them come here. I pray to God that it will be so, etc."

At this stage, on the other hand, it should be noted here that the quarrel between the Chinese and Macao city, with regard to the walls, caused some damage to our cause or brought about some delay in our freedom being granted. On the other hand, if it were not for that, Father Rodrigues and the other gentlemen in his company would not have reached Guangzhou at such a convenient moment, for no other Portuguese people were there as it was not the time of year for trading. In any case, little would have been the effect of the China man arriving or with [our] communication because if he had gone through Macao, when from there he would have sought a solution to our predicament, already the Viceroy Tavia15 could have negotiated for our death with his evil information in Guangzhou, returning later to the kingdom [of Chaozhou] to carry it out there. Therefore, Father João Rodrigues could well say it was providence of Our Lord that the city of Macao was having a quarrel with the Chinese and that we arrived in Guangzhou in time to have a good effect on the first letter.

Another point in Father Simão da Cunha's letter discreetly mentions the same point. It reads: "The Chinese siege and war carried out against our city of Macao were the motive of the dispute that they had with Your Reverence and all the other shipwrecked men who were mistreated. The principal motive which most acerbated the situation was the silver, which was carried on board the ship16, because once the Chinese see silver, they cling to it like iron striking onto stone, without the possibility of doing anything good, or rather prepared and ready to do any evil to secure the silver."

What happened to us in Panchiuso,17 with the arrival of the China man who was carrying these very letters, was that he did not manage to talk to us without other Chinese observing and watching everything assiduously. Then word broke out that a Chinese foreigner had spoken to us, whereby it alarmed [those in the city] and increased the suspicions they had for us. And later this China man came to us and delivered the clothes [which he had brought for us], and they ended up recognising him and the house and streets started to fill up with agitated Chinese. In the meantime, without my knowing, they beat up the China man who had brought them [the clothing] and then took him to the mandarin's house.

Chinese having a meal. In: CORTES, Adriano de las, S. J., REBOLLO, Beatriz Moncó, intro. and annot., Viaje de la China, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1991, p.202.

I, in order to appease the alarm in my street, took the measure of immediately dressing in these new garments in the Chinese style18 and then made for the mandarin's house, so that he could tell me what had happened. Arriving at the door of his house, I found the China man there already, who came up to me saying that the mandarin was a relative and that he had made efforts to forestall the situation. The mandarin showed us to his sitting room to hear the Chinese who were accusing us. We also spoke in our own defence. However he began to admonish the China man in such a way that I could see that, in spite of the warning, there was no way of him escaping from being whipped. Then they brought in the whip, something which made me more cautious, and I understood that [the mandarin] wished to send [the China man] to Chaozhou city for more investigations. And any kind of indication or suspicion would prove that it had also been he who had taken the first letter to Guangzhou, delivering it with great haste between March 5th and the 10th, as mentioned, being repeated again with other [letters]. In this case, [the China man] had much to fear and a lot to suffer and endure.

I threw myself at the mandarin's feet several times, even kissing them in the end, begging him to pardon him [the China man]. But he made a sign to me with his hand as if to say there was no way of pardoning him and continuing to reprimand him, said that he should have come to him first, to notify him of what he was bringing for me, for he already knew who I was and that I was a good Father, and he would not have stopped him taking me the parcel. But he had done wrong by speaking to me first and by delivering what he had brought to me without his authorisation. Finally, being satisfied with this reprimand, stopping short at only words and threats, he ordered us to leave.

The following day, the China man told me that he had given the mandarin ten pesos and a length of silk. In my opinion this was more corruption that kinship, but the China man thereby managed to save his life and escape punishment by caning and the risk of death as with the arrival of our first letter in Guangzhou, he managed in the meantime to have us excused from the judgment hall in Chaozhou, as one can see what had happened as mentioned above. From then on the China man visited us without fear on several occasions, something which I told him not to do. I asked and pleaded with him to stay far away from where we were, for fear that something would happen to him again, now that all the Chinese in the town were suspicious of us and watched us, as if they all had the job of the two soldiers who guarded us.

These people are a strange nation, as we were known by respectable people in Macao and Manila, places where they went with their merchandise and where thousands of them lived with their homes and businesses there. However they had no compassion whatsoever for us, nor showed any signs of it, in spite of knowing that we could hardly be accused of having got lost and having suffered the hardships and grievances I have related, rather they carefully guarded us without showing any discretion. All in all, they behaved like Chinese, or Indians in a barbarian manner without any justification.

The China man ended up being accused again and taken before the mandarin for the second time, saying that he had a vessel prepared to take us all to Macao. The mandarin sent the prisoner away with a cord around his neck, and we understood he was taken to the prison in Chaozhou, something which we greatly feared and it made us very sorry for him. Nevertheless [the China man] sent us a message the other day saying that the mandarin had asked him for more silver to free him. In effect he ended up being set free and we have not spoken to him any more.

This incident made our captivity become more rigorous, guarding us and keeping watch over us with great care from then on, for they said we intended escaping, they being on the contrary quite certain of our imprisonment and us very resigned to it. However the rumour became widespread, causing them to keep careful watch over us, and they stopped us and our other companions from exchanging letters with one another, opening the letters beforehand and giving them to the mandarins, which caused great distress for everyone as we hardly knew if our companions, who were spread out in other towns, were dead or alive.

After this, a China man from Guangzhou who entered into conversation with one of us in the city of Chaozhou, was then taken prisoner and spent a night in prison, for them to try to establish if it was he who had brought us the articles of clothing. The next day they took him to an audience before the mandarins, but a relative and inhabitant of the city with whom he had had dealings, vouched for him, along with the minor mandarin and guaranteed that the fanes, •19 - which is the name given to foreigners - were not trying to escape, and that if they did he would be held responsible, whereby they ended up freeing this China man.

A month and a half later, I sent some letters to Father Miguel Matsuda, as a mandarin [an acquaintance] gave me one of his slaves as a special favour. He handed the letters over to the Father, but when I received the reply, I heard they had observed this and then they arrested the slave, taking him before the mandarin, who, knowing who he acted for, pretended to take no notice and ended up freeing him. This activity of keeping watch over our every move and stopping us from communicating with one another through letters continued for months.

After these events, there was news from our own mandarin in Panchiuso that Father Miguel Matsuda had suffered from exhaustion. While in the town of Aimanso, ·20 he endured a hurricane which swept over the kingdom of Chaozhou, during which the wind's force ran in all directions of the compass within the space of twenty-four hours. The bad weather continued for three or four more days causing a lot of suffering and left general and lamentable destruction of houses and trees. I myself saw on this occasion that some had their roots in the air. In the end we all suffered in the same way in our terrible little houses. Father Miguel Matsuda and one of his companions quickly left the house where they were with another Portuguese companion, from where if they had not left they would have been buried. Daudot, the Moorish lascar21 on our ship, did not have the same luck for he was buried under the house in the town of Tatapo, breaking a leg which caused his death two days later.

The good Japanese Father was therefore in the wind and rain for several hours on the night of the hurricane, not knowing where to find shelter and being ill, which was made worse when he ended up losing his pulse. The mandarin from this town, a China man of good character, took pity on him. He went to visit him and wrote a letter at his request to my mandarin asking if he would let me visit him. This [mandarin] sent it to me via a friend of his, [giving me the necessary authorisation]. I was accompanied there by two soldiers, walking [part of the way] and sailing and [for the other part] by foot on land, in great haste and with great dread that I was already going to find him dead. However I discovered him rather better, very happy at my arrival, and I no less with his improvement before my eyes. I found him lying on some slats with a straw mattress from a junk and his own clothes as bed covers, suffering just as much as his companions in worn out misery.

After relating our trials and tribulations, which we considered with some other trials Our Lord had sent us, we confessed to each other, as it had been five months since we had seen each other and missed the comfort which the sacrament gave. The Father and another of his companions, both ill, were housed in an excellent and well built pagoda, where the mandarin's horse was also kept, with the respective manger. This did not surprise me, for during the period of the hurricane I had seen how the mandarin's horse in our small town was likewise in a pagoda or temple, there being many other places where it could have been stabled, as it was a town with a population of eight or ten thousand. The mandarins kneel before their pagodas, making a thousand genuflections and placing incense sticks above their heads before offering it to them; then keep their horses in their temples, and there they remain eating and sleeping as if in a stable.

The settlement of the fortified town of Aimanso would have 1,500 to 2,000 inhabitants on their outskirts. It is necessary to travel through the city of Toio to reach there, the place where, as mentioned, we had our first audience. On the way back from Panchiuso I was able to take a look at it more closely than on the previous occasions [when I had passed through]. It had 30, 000 inhabitants within its walls and the surrounding areas, and both the Chinese and ourselves said there would have been several thousand more. It had a lot of well built houses. I went inside some of those which appeared to be the best, to see their layout and construction methods more closely. The main street had some triumphal arches here and there, built very beautifully in their grandeur with lovely stonework, [these arches were] made in one piece, in the style of those in Chaozhou city [...].

Entering the best temple among them, I was astonished to see such a great number of people and above all the number of Chinese women, who filled the altars with sweet fruits, cakes and other edible things, offering them to the altars, before which they made many reverences, asking for health for the ill and for the Buddhist priests or the ministers who helped and guided them, and saying things I did not understand which probably served to revive their false faith. Upon entering, already standing in the middle of the temple, a venerable old China man came towards me saying that I should also kneel down and make similar bows and reverences to the altars and pagodas. I told him I could not, and that under no circumstances [would I], that everything there was very evil, and raising my voice, and making signals with my head and hands at the same time, I went alongside, the altars, among the afore mentioned people saying the same thing. Returning to Panchiuso, as I walked along leaving [the settlement], accompanied by two soldiers, people stared at me.

A few days after arriving there I received letters from Guangzhou and from Macao, from Father João Rodrigues, from our Society, and from other [people], with substantial news written in the months of July and August. Firstly, informing me that there were more than a hundred inhabitants from Macao at the market in Guangzhou, making their purchases for the 'Japan voyage', subject to the innumerable inconveniences and efforts on the part of the Chinese. Secondly, [they told me] they had attempted two agreements for peace concerning the situation in Macao, the tutão had promised to return the crew and the silver on our ship, as he wanted to favour the inhabitants [of Macao], for they had demolished part of the wall in the town, the part which faces inland, intending to still cruelly punish those from Chingaiso, the most guilty of the Chingaiso soldiers along with their mandarin who arrested us, who actual name was Cabanchon, a terrible name just like his face and deeds, so that they would make [our] ship's silver turn up. They had even sent a licence for all that we had lost to immediately be sent to Guangzhou, with a minor mandarin from his house who came accompanied by a Portuguese inhabitant of Macao and an interpreter and taking a licence freeing us from Chauzhou kingdom and taking us to Guangzhou. But after two days journey [they] met twelve of my people who were going there, to whom, with good intentions though with an unfortunate result, they suggested they took the licence and return [to Guangzhou], firstly to render their documents, just as they themselves said when they wrote to me, and that [the said licence] would add that the Chaozhou mandarins would not permit the chance of responding to it, for on the contrary they could argue that they had already freed twelve [prisoners] and that now they intended to wait for new orders from the tutão [...].

In the third place, [they told me] that after they arrived in Guangzhou they learned that a dispatch had arrived from the Court and Chinese monarchy with some reproaches for the tutão and with the name of the person who was to succeed him. So he left the Guangdong kingdom, abandoning ordinary affairs of government, with the exception of very serious matters, while waiting for his successor. This gave rise to rumours in Guangzhou, and elsewhere, that the king had deprived the tutão of his office and ordered him to present himself in Court for serious accusations for things he had done during a previous government. In the fourth instance, [they informed me] that for these reasons the licence from him had lost its power, it being no longer possible to negotiate with him.

The main material referred to above, gathered from several letters, is summed up in a letter written by Father Simão da Cunha in Macao that August. He says: "Peace in Christ Lord Jesus. My Father: We would already have Your Reverence in this city if it were not for the twelve who had come from there, because the tutão's licence which ordered everyone to be brought back reached Guangzhou, so that everyone could come to Macao. The licence arrived when I was still in Guangzhou with Father João Rodrigues, who had business with Zhaoqing city where the tutão was. I then placed great effort in sending off those who had taken [the licence] onto a vessel, with two hundred ducados for the journey's expenses of Your Reverence and the rest of the prisoners. They left and found the twelve, who were not expecting to be found, to whom, upon hearing the good news from Guangzhou and knowing how charitable the tutão had been, made those who had taken the licence go back with orders from the tutão to carry it out. The return was made on their entreaties [the twelve], having all arrived in Guangzhou on June 23rd, with some difficulty, and without Your Reverence nor the other companions. They found the tutão deposed and everything changed with previous facilities cut off. Your Reverence can see how I reacted, seeing that Your Reverence and the others were still there, after having cost us so much to sent the vessel with those who took the licence. So much so that now we are unable to obtain a licence from the aitão ·22 to release Your Reverence and the others from there, for he is a great tyrant and to give it to us he would not stop asking for silver and more silver. Send my best regards to Father Miguel Matsuda. I am very sorry to not be able to send some money to Your Reverence, for cannot give anything to these Chinese, because if we gave it to them it would be the same thing as sending nothing. Entrust me through your prayers Your Reverence, etc."

In the fifth instance, they informed me that those of them who had responsibility had wanted to return the twelve of us to the prison in Chaozhou. But they had resisted, managing to hide in the Portuguese ships which were at the market [of Guangzhou], after negotiating with the mandarin Techesi, who authorised their stay in Guangzhou on the above mentioned ships. One of them who had taken them to Guangzhou, was the mandarin Goucia's servant, who quickly returned to Chaozhou to bring this news; but the mandarin Goucia ordered him whipped for bearing the news he brought, sent him back to Guangzhou with letters for the aitão and for other mandarins, in which he asked them to inform him if we were good or evil people and that they send him back the twelve of us on the Portuguese ships.

When these letters reached Guangzhou, the Chinese merchants had already given information and vouched for the twelve, assuring that they were well known people, inhabitants of Macao city. Whereby [the mandarin] Techesi had them freed, informing of this from Guangzhou, the mandarin Goucia added that if the twelve were freed, they would go to Macao.

In the sixth instance, Father João Rodrigues returned to inform us that the intention of the Viceroy Tavia was to have had them executed and in view of this the question of recuperating [our] silver was not posed anymore but only the simple matter of saving our lives. The chapter of Father João Rodrigues' letter said the following: "This mandarin Tavia, to hide his thieving, wants to make the people of our ship pass as lost Japanese or Dutch so that they can be executed." And further on he added: "The silver which was lost and stolen by them is the cause of this whole predicament, because if one only talked about the people, they would be here already because as the [silver] has already been divided amongst them [the Chinese officers], to not have to return it they say that they are Japanese, Dutch and thieves or bad people, to not have to give the silver and to avoid those people coming here and ending up dying slowly or through a violent death, etc."

Chaozhou's miserable mandarins were greatly blinded by the silver from our vessel though being as clear as day in their kingdom [as we were]. According to the Chinese who acted as interpreters, who did not know any other languages than Castillian, Portuguese and Chinese, and as Chaozhou was fill of other Chinese people who had been in Manila and Macao, it was obvious to everyone that we were citizens on both cities. [Apart from all this] the mandarins Talavia and Tavia were from the Chaozhou kingdom and the father of the later was a merchant and had made his fortune through voyages to Manila; and the mandarins Tavia and Goucia were from Fujian· kingdom, its capital being Zhangzhou, ·both being merchants who had been in Manila and at the markets in Guangzhou with Portuguese from Macao, Therefore, [all of them] needed to have a lot of knowledge and experience of people from both cities. I added that the Viceroy Tavia was so astute that he spoke Castillian, and apart from that, had mixed with whites and many of the prisoners, for twice he dropped his guard with two lascar soldiers on our ship and spoke about some things with them. However they wish to cloud over everything as if were black as night, convincing themselves that they could conceal the silver and who we were, taking our lives for the reasons already mentioned.

Translated from the Portuguese by: Linda Pearce

For the Portuguese translation see:

CORTES, Adriano de las, LOUREIRO, Rui Manuel, intro., Viagem da China, in "Antologia Documental: Visões da China na Literatura Ibérica dos Séculos XVI e XVII", in "Revista de Cultura", Macau, 31 (2) Abril-Junho [April-June] 1997, pp. 161-167 & For the Portuguese modernised translation by the author of the Spanish (Castilian) original text, with words or expressions between square brackets added to clarify the meaning.

For the original source of the Portuguese translation, see:

CORTES, Adriano de las, REBOLLO, Beatriz Moncó, ed., Viage de la China, edition by Rebollo, Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 1991, pp. 270-285 - Partial translation from Spanish.


Numeration without punctuation marks follow that in Adriano de las Cortes's original text selected in Rui Loureiro's edited text in "Revista de Cultura" (Portuguese edition), Macau, 31 (2) Abril-Junho [April-June] 1997, p.167.

The spelling of Rui Loureiro's edited text [Port.] is indicated between quotation marks and in italics <" " > & unless the spelling of the original Spanish [Span.] text is indicated.

1 "Chaucheo" ·[original Span.] or "Cauchiu [fu]" [Port.] ("Chaozhou") = Chaozhou [Chin.]: a city on the eastern coast of Guangdong province, which the author, with some exaggeration, calls "reino" ("kingdom"). Perhaps the author's aim was to emphasise China's dimensions and those of its provinces and districts.

2 "Sciauquin" · [original Span.] or "Chao-Ching" [Port.] ("Zhaoqing") = Zhaoqing · [Chin.]: an important city inland in Guangdong province where a Jesuit mission had been established in 1583. The provincial governor often lived there.

3 "Macán" ·[original Span.] or "Macau" [Port.] ("Macao") = Aomen · [Chin.]. The original records consistently use this place name.

4 The Spanish prisoners enjoyed relative freedom once they had managed to communicate with Macao.

5 Fr. João Rodrigues "Tçuzzu" (°1561-†1633), S. J.: a missionary with many years of experience in Japan and China, and Procurator of the Society of Jesus' Japan mission between 1591 and 1626. In 1628 he undertook a visit to the Society of Jesus' China mission residences. He had an in depth knowledge of Japanese and Guanhua · ('Mandarin').

6 Fr. Simão da Cunha (°1589-†1660), S. J.: a missionary with many years of experience in China, and Procurator of the Society of Jesus' China mission for a decade.

7 Fr. Miguel Matsuda (°1577-†1632), S. J.: a Japanese companion of the author's misfortune.

8 "Tutan" · [original Span.] or "tutão" [Port.] ("tutão") =dutang· [Chin.]: Viceroy or governor general of a Chinese province.

9 Some Portuguese man or Luso-Chinese who accompanied the Spanish prisoners acting as interpreter with the mandarins [Chinese government officials].

10 "chincheo[s]" [original Span.] or "chincheu[s]" [Port.] ("chincheu[s]" ): meaning in this context, the inhabitants of "Chincheu " ·, or Fujian· province.

11 Following the heavy disastrous Dutch attack on Macao in 1622, the Portuguese managed to obtain permission from the mandarins from Guangdong to reinforce the city's defences through the building of various stretches of wall. The author is certainly referring here to the part of the wall which faced the so called 'Portas do Cerco' [Port.] ('Border Gate' or 'Barrier Gate').

12 "reino" (kingdom"): the author often uses this term to define provinces or even Chinese districts although it is far from correct. (See: Note 1)

13 The author is certainly referring here to Dom Francisco de Mascarenhas, first Governor of Macao, 1623 to 1626.

14 "Toyo " [original Span.] or "Toio" [Port.] ("Toio"): a small place of the Guangdong coast near Shantou. ·

15 "Tavia" [original Span.] ("Tavia "): the author is probably referring to governor of the city of Chaozhou. ·

16 The ships originating from the Philippines normally came loaded with American silver, this precious metal being greatly appreciated by the Chinese, as the author constantly reiterates.

17 "Panchiuso" [original Span.] ("Panchiuso"): an unidentified place.

18 "[...] chaxa (?) china, [...]" [original Span.] or "charachina" [Port.]: possibly meaning, 'ao modo da China' ("[...] in the Chinese style [...]").

19 "fane[s]" [original Span.] (fane[s])=fangui[zi] · [Chin]: lit.: "foreign devils". A probable transliteration of Chinese.

20 "Aymanso" [original Span.] or "Aimanso" [Port.] ("Aimanso"): an unidentified place in Guangdong province. As one can gather, the Portuguese and Spanish prisoners were spread out among different towns.

21 "[...] lascar moro [...]" [original Span.] or "lascarim" [Port.]("lascar" or 'lashkar'): a term used in the Orient to describe a native soldier.

22 "Aytan" · [original Span.] or "aitão" [Port.] ("aitão") = haidao · [Chinese]: the commander of a Chinese province's coastal defense forces with powers of jurisdiction upon foreigners.

* MS., Manila, 1628.

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