Today in Philippine history, May 16, 1565, Legaspi ordered his men to declare gold taken from burial places of Cebu

Saturday June 16, 2012 () Last updated May 15, 2016 16:02:26

On May 16, 1565, Miguel Lopez de Legazpi, issued an order to his soldiers to declare gold and other jewels taken from burial places of the natives of Cebu. It was learned, according to the order, that soldiers were opening graves and finding gold without reporting these finds to Legaspi or to the majesty's officials.

Gold taken from burial places of Cebu

It was ordered that all gold already in the possession of the soldiers be declared so that "his majesty may receive and take his royal fifths and rights". Furthermore, it was ordered that, from that time forward, no grave or burial-place be opened without the permission of his excellency, in order that there might be present at this opening one of the king's officials, or the government notary, so that no fraud or deceit may occur.

Violators are penalized with five hundred pesos de minas and of returning all that was taken from such grave or burial-place, together with the fifth over and above this for majesty's exchequer and treasury.

The edict were proclaimed, by the voice of Pito Atambor (Ypolito Atanbor), in the presence of Fernando Riquel, the government notary, near the lodging of the said Legaspi, and near the lodging of the master-of-camp, Mateo del Sas, many soldiers being present at each place.

The royal fifth (quinto del rey) is an old royal tax that reserves to the monarch 20% of all precious metals and other commodities, including slaves, acquired by his subjects as war loot, found as treasure or extracted by mining.

Source:
The Philippine Islands 1493 - 1803 Volume II, 1521-1569, pages 172-173 Translated from original document by Blair and Robertson, 1911. Please visit our download page here to read/download some or all the 55 Blair and Robertson volumes.


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