The Murillo Bulletin Issue No. 12

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The Murillo Bulletin Journal of PHIMCOS The Philippine Map Collectors Society

Issue No. 12

November 2021

In this Issue:  

Addenda on the Mapping of Panay

Vicente de Memije’s Aspecto Symbólico 

Elcano, viaje a la historia

Nicholas Norton Nicols and his maps of Mindanao

3/F Glorietta 4 Artspace, Ayala Center, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines • T (+63 2) 7729-8168 • Fax 8824-3770

The only Gallery in the Philippines exclusively selling antique prints and antiquarian books before 1900.

Asiae Nova Descriptio | Mazza, Giovanni Battista | c 1589 | copper engraving | 33.5 x 46cm. [detail: first appearance of Luzon on a Western map]

The Murillo Bulletin Issue No. 12

November 2021 In this Issue

PHIMCOS News & Events

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Addenda to the Mapping of Panay


The ‘Aspecto Symbólico del Mundo Hispánico’ by Ricardo Padrón


Elcano, viaje a la historia, reviewed by Juan José Morales


A VOC Chart of Mindanao


Nicholas Norton Nicols and his maps of Mindanao by Peter Geldart


PHIMCOS Trustees, Members & Committee Members


About PHIMCOS The Philippine Map Collectors Society (PHIMCOS) was established in 2007 in Manila as the first club for collectors of antique maps and prints in the Philippines. Membership of the Society, which has grown to a current total of 36 individual members, 7 joint members, and 3 corporate members (with two nominees each), is open to anyone interested in collecting, analysing or appreciating historical maps, charts, prints, paintings, photographs, postcards and books of the Philippines. When possible, PHIMCOS holds quarterly general meetings at which members and their guests discuss cartographic news and give after-dinner presentations on topics such as maps of particular interest, famous cartographers, the mapping and history of the Philippines, or the lives of prominent Filipino collectors and artists. The Society also arranges and sponsors regular webinars on these topics. A major focus for PHIMCOS is the sponsorship of exhibitions, lectures and other educational events designed to educate the public about the importance of cartography as a way of learning both the geography and the history of the Philippines. The Murillo Bulletin, the Society’s journal, is normally published twice a year. PHIMCOS welcomes new members. The annual fees, application procedures, and additional information on PHIMCOS are available on our website: Front Cover: Title page of the Décadas or Historia General de los hechos de los castellanos en las Islas i tierra firme del mar oceano by Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas (Madrid, 1601); note the portrait of Ferdinand Magellan at top right (image courtesy of Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.)


PHIMCOS News & Events


OTWITHSTANDING the persistent Covid-19 pandemic, now exacerbated by the spread of the Delta variant, the Society has been able to continue with its programme of Zoom webinars. Our members and their guests have enjoyed regular presentations, both those hosted by PHIMCOS and those arranged by other societies to which our members have been kindly invited.  On 25 May, 2021 the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery invited us to attend a preview of its exhibition ‘1898: The American Imperium’. To be held from April 2023 to February 2024, the exhibition will mark the 125th anniversary of the Spanish-American War of 1898 and, through the lens of portraiture and visual culture, will examine how the United States became an empire with overseas territories including the Philippines.

 On 9 June Dr. Ricardo Padrón, Professor of Spanish at the University of Virginia, presented ‘Memije’s Aspecto Symbólico: Unpacking a Masterpiece of Philippine Cartography’. In his talk and subsequent article for this journal (on page 9), Dr. Padrón explains the symbolism of this exceptional example of early-modern Spanish imperial cartography.  On 16 June the International Map Collectors’ Society (IMCoS) invited PHIMCOS to join a talk by Peter Geldart on ‘Mapping the British Occupation of Manila 1762-64’. He will give this presentation again, to the Philippine British Association, on 1 December. His talk has also been expanded into an article for the IMCoS Journal, which will be circulated to PHIMCOS members after publication.  On 15 July Raphael P.M. ‘Popo’ Lotilla gave us a well-attended presentation on ‘Panay and the Mapping of the Philippine Peripheries’, in which he addressed a number of aspects of the mapping of Panay that were not covered in his articles published in The Murillo Bulletin Issue No. 11 (see page 5), as well as other matters pertaining to early Spanish maps of the Philippines.

 On 18 August Dr. Maricor N. Soriano, from the National Institute of Physics at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, gave a lively talk on ‘Lost Waterways: How Historical Maps Reveal Flooding and Liquefaction Hazards’. Using 19th century Spanish maps and pre-war U.S. maps, Dr. Soriano showed how now-concealed water features in Manila, Tacloban, Cebu City and Iloilo City can be identified on the ground and re-located on modern maps.  On 2 October the Jung Art Collective and the Carl Jung Circle Center invited PHIMCOS to join a talk by Dr. Ricardo Trota Jose on ‘Wartime Postcards: World War II in the Philippines as seen by Japanese artists’.  On 7 October PHIMCOS joined PetroWind Energy Inc. and the Provincial Government of Aklan to sponsor a revised lecture by Popo Lotilla with the title ‘Sinauna nga Isla it Panay: fascinating facts about Northern Panay maps from the 16th to the 19th centuries’. Open to the public, the presentation was held at 9:30 a.m. to encourage attendance by schools and institutions across the province.  On 13 October Dr. Felice Noelle Rodriguez gave PHIMCOS an absorbing presentation on ‘Mapping Zamboanga’, in which she elaborated the fascinating history of this city on the south-western peninsula of Mindanao formed by multiple cultural encounters: first among the local peoples – Lutao (aka Sama Bajau), Kalibugan and Subanun – and then with the Spanish administrators, military troops and missionaries; escaped and redeemed slaves; and foreign merchants from China, elsewhere in Asia, Britain, Europe and America.  On 16 October the Museum Foundation of the Philippines invited PHIMCOS to join ‘Through Casanave's Lens: Photographing Iloilo in the 20th Century’, a lecture on the life and times of Pedro Casanave and the history of Iloilo at the onset of the American Colonial Period given by the author Nereo Cajilig Luján.

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Specialist Antique & Art Dealers

Allain Manesson Mallet, Les Isles Philippines and Manille, Frankfurt 1684 copper engraving, later colour, each 14 cm x 9.8 cm Antique maps, prints, photographs, postcards, paintings & books


Addenda to the Mapping of Panay


N 15 JULY, 2021 Raphael P.M. ‘Popo’ Lotilla gave PHIMCOS a webinar presentation on Panay and the Mapping of the Philippine Peripheries. His talk addressed inter alia a number of aspects of the mapping of Panay that were either not covered or not discussed in full in the articles published in The Murillo Bulletin, Issue No. 11, as follows:

 The manuscript map from the collection of Admiral George Legge, 1st Baron Dartmouth (1647-1691), held at Yale University’s Beinecke Library is catalogued as c.1650 but is probably older, possibly late-16th century. The evidence for an earlier date comes from the description of Panay given by Juan López de Velasco in his work Geografía y descripción universal de las Indias (written in 1572, although published only in 1894). Velasco lists the islands to the north and west of ‘Panae’ as the Isla de Tablas, Cibuyan, Buracay, Caluya, and Caminara, with

the group of small islands named Los Gigantes to the east; on the main island he names the Ybaya, Aclan and Panae rivers, and the port of Maharme. These same islands and toponyms (with variations in the spelling) are those shown on the Dartmouth map, with the addition of the Saro (probably Jaro) river on the east coast.  A major landmark for navigators was the Punta de Naso, a high promontory at the southern tip of Panay, as shown on the Planta delas Islas Filipinas (1659) by Francisco Colin / Marcos de Orozco. This waymark was used, notably, by the Spanish expeditions sailing from Iloilo to the island of Ternate in the Moluccas where the Spanish established an outpost from 1606 to 1663. The settlement was governed from Manila but supplied with provisions from Panay, including beef purchased from Spaniards who owned cattle ranches in Iloilo. …/

Baron Dartmouth’s manuscript map of the Philippines, c.1650 (or earlier) (image courtesy of Yale University Library) 5

One of the many inaccuracies on the 1727 Carta Chorographica del Archipielago de las Islas Philipinas by Francisco Diaz Romero and Antonio de Ghandia [Echeandia] is the ‘Punta de Nazo’ which is shown not in the south but at the northwestern corner of Panay; this error was probably caused by confusion with the Punta Naisog or Nasog shown on later maps.  The Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) holds two examples of the 1734 Murillo Velarde map. One is from the collection of the German polymath and orientalist Julius Klaproth (1783‒ 1835), who may have acquired it from the Academy of Sciences in St. Petersburg (where he was an associate member before he settled in Paris); the other is from the collection of some 10,000 maps assembled by the great French geographer and cartographer JeanBaptiste Bourguignon d'Anville (1697‒1782). The Klaproth chart is the same later state as those held in the Library of Congress (LoC), the British Library, other institutions and private collections, but the d'Anville chart is an earlier state. As illustrated in Issue No. 11, several toponyms on Panay have been changed on the later state of the map, but another noticeable difference between the two is that in the empty space on the d’Anville state between the islands of Guimaras and Negros, the Klaproth / LoC state shows the addition of the islands named ‘Ynalpugan’ and ‘Onisan’.

The d’Anville map may well have been a proof state, one of a small number that were printed and then sent (on the instructions of GovernorGeneral Fernando Valdés Tamón) to the provinces so their accuracy could be checked in situ. Errors and omissions were then corrected by burnishing and/or re-engraving the copper plates as required. This process must have taken place in stages, because although the d’Anville state is earlier than all the other states of the map that have been examined in detail, it does itself show evidence of corrections made to an even earlier proof state of the chart. For example, on the island of Mindanao at least eight toponyms have been largely (but not completely) erased: to the east of Sibuguey, in and around Illana Bay (aka Bongo Bay), and in the northeast portion of the island. These erasures are still visible on the Klaproth / LoC state of the map, together with additional corrections in Mindanao.

Detail from Fr. Juan José Delgado’s Historia general … (image courtesy of Biblioteca Nacional de España)

Detail of ‘Ynalpugan’ and ‘Onisan’ from a later state of the 1734 Murillo Velarde map (image courtesy of the Library of Congress)


 Another interesting manuscript map of Panay that was not included in Issue No. 11 is from the Jesuit Fr. Juan José Delgado’s Historia general sacro-profana, política y natural de las islas del poniente llamadas Filipinas, dated 1751. To the right of the island there is a vignette of a twomasted sailing ship with the name ‘Panay’ and, written on the bottom of the main sail, the words ‘Para todos PAN ‒ AY’ meaning ‘here there is bread for all’. This provides evidence for the theory that the name Panay held another meaning for the Spaniards because of its abundant supplies of rice, which led Miguel López de Legazpi to move his headquarters from Cebu to Panay in 1566 (prior to his subsequent relocation to Manila in 1571) in search of a reliable source of provisions.

Figura dela Fuerza de Capiz (1753) (image courtesy of the Archivo General de Indias)

Plan de la Fuerza de Capiz de la Provincia de Panay, from Plazas, Castillos, Fuerzas, y Presidios …(1739) (image courtesy of Archivo Museo Naval de Madrid)

 As well as the Plan de la Fuerza de Yloylo de la Provincia de Oton featured in Issue No. 11, the book on Plazas, Castillos, Fuerzas, y Presidios … en las Yslas Philipinas commissioned by Valdés Tamón in 1739 also contains a plan of the fort at Capiz titled Plan de la Fuerza de Capiz de la Provincia de Panay. This shows not only the existing fortress with its Casa Real, royal warehouses, dungeon, church, sacristy and monastery, but also the outline of the planned extension of the fort’s old walls: “Fortificacion Nueva Significada por las Lineas amarillas; por la deterioracion de la Antigua d’Estacas, deviendo de ser dha Nueva de Cal y canto, para su mayor duracion y fortaleza y mas Capacidad de los Reales Almacenes. Obra intentada.” A slightly later book of plans of forts and presidios (fortifications) in the Philippines, dated 1753 and held in the Archivo General de Indias in Sevilla, includes a view, Figura dela Fuerza de Capiz, that shows the new building works adjoining the church. The same book also has a plan or top view of the fort in Oton titled Plano de la Fuerza del Precidio [sic] de Oton en Yloylo.

 Although neither the shape nor the size of Panay as depicted on the 1734 Murillo Velarde map is correct, the island is less distorted and closer to its true size than is shown in several much later 18th-century maps of the island, for example those of Santiago de Salaverria produced in 1789 (which purports to shown the island’s fortifications but does not even name Iloilo or show its fort) and, twice, in 1797. This raises the interesting question of why Spanish cartographers were still producing less accurate maps of the Philippines some 60 years after Murillo Velarde. Indeed, a better map of Panay was not produced until the Carta General del Archipiélago De Filipinas, from the surveys made by the pilots of the Malaspina expedition, was published in Madrid in 1808.  However, the Malaspina expedition did not survey the northwest coast of Panay, and the northwestern peninsular remained distorted on the maps published by Yldefonso de Aragon in 1820, H.K.W. Berghaus / Selmar Siebert in 1832, Fr. Emmanuele Blanco in 1834, and Francisco Coello / Antonio Morata in 1852. Only in 1856 did the Spanish Dirección de Hidrografía publish charts of Panay showing accurate details of the northwestern peninsula and the channels between Panay and the Caluya archipelago. These charts were made from the surveys of the Comisión Hidrográfica de Filipinas under Lieutenant Claudio Montero. 7

Plano de la Isla de Panay, Construydo y enmendado por Don Santiago Salaverria, en todos sus Puertos, Sondas, Bajos, y Islas, adyacentes con demostracion, de los Baluartes que defienden las Constas [sic] y Playas de la Provincia de Yloylo, 21 Dec. año de 1797 On Salaverria’s map the sections in green with a grid marking show rice-producing areas, although not all rice fields are indicated on the map. (image © British Library Board, Cartographic Items Additional MS. 17,642.e)


The ‘Aspecto Symbólico del Mundo Hispánico’: A Cartographic Masterpiece by Ricardo Padrón, University of Virginia


HE Aspecto Symbólico del Mundo Hispánico, created in Manila in 1761, is one of the masterpieces not only of Philippine cartography but of early-modern Spanish imperial cartography as well. It depicts the ‘Hispanic World’, as it is called by its author, Vicente Laureano de Memije, as a crowned, standing female figure looking heavenward to receive a flaming sword from a group of cherubs. The genius of the image resides in the fact that the figure is assembled from pieces of nautical, religious and cartographical symbolism. Although the woman seems to tread on the Philippine Islands, suggesting their lack of importance, the image was actually created to support an argument for increased investment in the colony, and for a significant change in its relationship with metropolitan Spain. It might seem strange to call this anthropomorphic image a cartographic masterpiece. While it is undoubtedly an excellent example of the engraver’s art, the Aspecto Symbólico makes no original contributions to the cartographic representation of the world or the science of cartography. It is in fact based on another map by the same author, the Aspecto Geográphico del Mundo Hispánico, that is entirely derivative of the Spanish, French, English and Dutch source materials documented in a lengthy legend that runs the entire edge of the map. The map’s only innovative cartographic feature seems to be its orientation, which is clearly meant to set the stage for the Aspecto Symbólico. The image, by contrast, is extraordinarily creative. It converts the map of the Americas from the Aspecto Geográphico into the shroud of its allegorical figure. It fashions the various routes taken by Spanish ships across the Pacific into the folds of her skirt. It places the equinoctial line from the Aspecto Geográphico in her hand, to serve as a staff from which to fly the royal standard. A crown engraved with the names of Spain’s Iberian kingdoms sits atop her head, while a jewel in the form of a compass rose hangs around her neck from a chain made of treasure galleons.

Outlines of Luzon and Mindanao grace the lady’s slippers, with Luzon on her right foot and Mindanao on her left foot. In between, the Visayan Islands are shown but not named, with Palawan below named as Paragua. In its imagery, Memije’s map attempts to render visible something that a regular map could never depict, the territorial and spiritual integrity of an imperial body politic animated by religious conviction. In this way, the Aspecto Symbólico represents an exceptional experiment in the manipulation of modern cartography to represent political, social, and even theological realities that do not lend themselves easily to cartographic representation. The maps came accompanied by a written text, the Theses Mathematicas de Cosmographia, Geographia y Hydrographia, which can be understood as an extended commentary on the Aspecto Symbólico. Together, the text and the two maps constituted something like a capstone project for Memije’s program of study at the Jesuit Colegio de Manila. The Theses Mathematicas interprets the woman in Memije’s image first as Esther and then as Judith, Biblical heroines of eponymous apocrypha often associated with the triumph of Israel over wicked ‘oriental’ empires. It leaves it to the reader to see in the woman a version of the Immaculate Conception, the patron saint of the Spanish Monarchy by recent royal petition and papal decree. The whole text is a paean to Spanish expansionism that mixes Biblical exegesis with political theology and a bizarre form of cartographically-inspired numerology to construct an image of the Spanish empire as the providential scourge of idolatry and champion of religious truth. It points to the Philippines as the most important theater in the war against the devil and his lies, and argues that by providing muchneeded support to its distant colony, Spain stands to triumph over idolatry in Asia and the elusive Terra Australis, and even to achieve, at long last, the dream of a universal Catholic Monarchy. 9

Detail of the Philippine islands from the Aspecto Symbólico by Vicente Laureano de Memije

As creative as the Aspecto Symbólico most certainly is, the image is not without precedent, nor does it stand apart from the mainstream of Spanish imperial cartography. Western mapmaking had a long history of flirting with anthropomorphism, most notably in medieval mappae mundi that figured the orbis terrarum as the body of Christ. The tendency to make allegorical human bodies out of putative geographical wholes continued even after the so-called cartographic revolution of the European Renaissance consigned the old mappae mundi to the historical dustbin.

Putsch’s map is a testimony to the fact that anthropomorphic allegories can accomplish innovative intellectual and cultural work; they are not just clever ways to represent familiar geographies. Europa Regina was copied by a number of German mapmakers, notably Matthias Quad, Sebastian Münster, and Heinrich Bünting who published it from 1581 onwards in the many editions of his Itinerarium Sacrae Scripturae. Bünting’s theological commentary also included a map of the world depicted as a trefoil cloverleaf, and a map of Asia in the form of the winged horse Pegasus.

An image by the Tyrolean poet and courtier Johannes Putsch known as Europa Regina stands out in this regard. First printed in 1534, with a second edition published in Paris in 1537 and a number of later reproductions, it depicts the continent of Europe as a crowned female figure with Spain as its head and Bohemia as its heart, celebrating the hegemony of the emperor Charles V. In order to properly understand its significance, we must remember that printed maps were still a novelty at the time of the image’s creation, and that maps of the individual continents were only beginning to be imagined and made. Putsch, therefore, did not make an allegory out of a cartographic image of Europe that would have been familiar to all, but rather used anthropomorphic allegory to forge the concept of a unitary physical, cultural, and political geography in the imaginations of readers who were not accustomed to visualizing such things in cartographic terms.

What Putsch did for the idea of a reborn European empire under Hapsburg rule, Memije did for the idea of a Catholic Hispanic world under Bourbon rule, but to understand how he did this we have to go back to the 16th century. Early Spanish attempts to map its overseas empire as a coherent whole were vexed by the convention of centering maps of the world on the Atlantic Ocean, placing the New World to the left and the Old World to the right. This convention, which took hold very early in the history of early-modern cartography, had the effect of isolating the Philippines from what was otherwise an American empire, making it look like a solitary Asian outpost. The Spanish, of course, saw the islands very differently. Having reached the Philippines by crossing the Pacific, they imagined the archipelago as las islas del poniente, the western frontier of an empire that harbored ambitions of continuing its imperial push forward to the continent of Asia.


Aspecto Symbólico del Mundo Hispánico by Vicente Laureano de Memije, 1761 (image © British Library Board, Maps K.Top.118.19) 11

Aspecto Geográphico del Mundo Hispánico by Vicente Laureano de Memije, 1761 (image © British Library Board, Maps K.Top.118.18) 12

Maps made under official Spanish auspices reflected and supported this view. Rather than flatten the globe by cutting through the Pacific Ocean, they cut through the borders established by the Treaty of Tordesillas, as Spain understood it. On Spanish maps, East and Southeast Asia did not appear on the far right, in the east, but on the far left, in the west. In order to make the idea stick, such maps tended to minimize the breadth and emptiness of the Pacific Ocean, converting it from a watery expanse that separated America from Asia into a maritime basin of manageable size that could be easily navigated. The trend reached its culmination in Descripcion de las Yndias Ocidentales [sic], the official map of Spain’s overseas empire, published in Madrid in 1601 in the Historia General de los hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas i tierra firme del mar oceano by the historian Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas. All of this changed during the 18th century. First, the 1750 Treaty of Madrid established that Spain and Portugal would recognize each other’s right to rule over whatever territories they actually possessed at the time, regardless of the position of those territories relative to the Treaty of Tordesillas line. This meant, in effect,

Descripcion de las Yndias Ocidentales by Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, 1601 (image courtesy of the Biblioteca Nacional de España)

that Spain would surrender its claim to those parts of Brazil that were on the Spanish side of the border but had long been occupied by the Portuguese, while Portugal would recognize Spanish sovereignty over the Philippines. The treaty thus ended a long-standing diplomatic dispute, but it also altered the possibilities available for mapping the Spanish empire. One could no longer slice through the globe along the line established by the Treaty of Tordesillas because that treaty was no longer in effect, and the line no longer mattered. The problem was compounded by scientific developments. Advances in geography, geodesy and cartography had completely invalidated the assumptions that had once made it possible to depict the Pacific Ocean as a relatively narrow, manageable oceanic basin. It could no longer be denied that the Pacific was remarkably wide and largely empty, and that therefore the Philippines were very far indeed from Spain’s American possessions.


Europa Regina by Johannes Putsch, 1534 (image courtesy of Museum Retz, Austria)

It was Memije’s mathematics professor, Father Pascual Fernández, who came to the rescue. According to the manuscript Historia de las Filipinas by Don Valero Potto (op cit), it was this Jesuit who noticed that when one mapped the world accurately, the distances that separated the head of the empire (Spain) from its body (America) and its feet (the Philippines) were enormous, but were nevertheless directly proportional to the dimensions of the human body. Suddenly, the scientific advances that seemed to undermine the very possibility of representing Spain’s empire as an organic whole became the basis for doing precisely that. It was left to Memije to develop this insight into a full-blown anthropomorphic allegory that would make visible what was otherwise invisible, and the coherence of the body politic and the religious forces that supposedly animated it. This article is based on the webinar presentation given to PHIMCOS by Dr. Padrón on 9 June, 2021. Bibliography Pedro Luengo Gutiérrez, Manila, Plaza Fuerte, 1762-1788: Ingenieros militares entre Asia, América y Europa, Ministerio de Defensa / Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Madrid, 2013. Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas, Descripcion de las Yndias Ocidentales from Historia General de los hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas i tierra firme del mar oceano, Madrid, 1601. Biblioteca Nacional de España: Vicente de Memije, Theses Mathematicas de Cosmographia, Geographia y Hydrographia en que el Globo Terraqueo se contempla por respecto al Mundo Hispanico …, Imprenta de la Compañia de Jesus, por E. Nicolás de la Cruz Bagay, Manila, 1761. —, Aspecto Geográphico del Mundo Hispanico, Manila, 1761. British Library, Maps K.Top.118.18: image: —, Aspecto Symbólico del Mundo Hispanico ... Manila, 1761. British Library, Maps K.Top.118.19: image: Ricardo Padrón, ‘From Abstraction to Allegory: The Imperial Cartography of Vicente de Memije’, in Early American Cartographies, edited by Martin Brückner, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 2011. Valero Potto, Historia de las islas Filipinas política, natural y cristiana compuesta por el exjesuita don Valero Potto quién del corazón la dedica a su alteza sereníssima el Príncipe de Asturias don Carlos, Rome, 1786; Real Academia de la Historia, ref. 9-4003-4010, Madrid. Johannes Putsch, Königin Europa, Augsburg, 1534; Museum Retz:


Elcano, viaje a la historia reviewed by Juan José Morales Elcano, viaje a la historia by Tomás Mazón Serrano prologue by Braulio Vázquez Campos Madrid: Ediciones Encuentro, S.A., 2020 ISBN 978-84-1339-023-9; paperback 328 pp, 16 pages with coloured maps, 1 folding coloured route map and 12 b&w plates


S THIS issue of The Murillo Bulletin is being published we commemorate the 500th anniversary of a historic event: the first time European explorers reached the Moluccas or Spice Islands by navigating from east to west. On 7 November, 1521 two small vessels, the Trinidad and the Victoria, guided by local pilots taken on board in the Sulu Sea and commanded by Gonzalo Gómez de Espinosa and Juan Sebastián Elcano respectively, sighted the island of Tidore. The mariners would recall how beautiful and fertile the island was at first sight, and they loaded the ships with cloves. At this juncture, Gómez de Espinosa set off eastwards towards the coast of Darien in America, as originally planned, but which he failed to achieve in his badly storm-battered ship; they managed to return to the Moluccas, and were taken prisoners by the Portuguese. Elcano decided to carry on sailing westwards, against the advice of his pilots Francisco Albo and Miguel de Rodas, not via Malacca but further south in the Indian ocean. Following a route unexplored thus far, he looked for favourable winds away from the monsoons and, to avoid being detected, away from the coast of Africa. Although (to quote from the book’s cover) “no one had asked them to go around the world”, Elcano was determined to be the first to circumnavigate the globe. On 20 September, 1519, the expedition had set sail from Sanlúcar de Barrameda, near Cádiz in southern Spain, under the command of Ferdinand Magellan, who could not celebrate the achievement three years later as he had been killed on the island of Mactan on 27 April, 1521. Of the five ships and 247 men who departed, only one ship, the Victoria, and 18 men returned home on 6 September, 1522.

Elcano, viaje a la historia (Elcano, Voyage to History) tells the story of this expedition, which turned into the unexpected circumnavigation of the world as a major achievement and encompassed other historical milestones: discoveries along the southern coasts of America; the ‘Straits of Magellan’ passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific; the first European crossing of this vast ocean; the ‘discovery’ of the Philippines to the western world; and the first attempt to sail eastwards from Asia to America. This is not a biography of Juan Sebastián Elcano, although all relevant details of his life from his birth in c.1486 to his death in the Pacific in 1526 are covered. Nor is the tale told from Elcano’s point of view alone, as very little of what he wrote has survived; rather, the voices of all the protagonists are brought together to tell the story in ways never done before. The title, honouring the man who completed the expedition, is a deliberate statement redressing Elcano’s reputation, which one understands fully by the end of the book. 15

Summing up Elcano in just two notes, this is primarily a comprehensive account of the first circumnavigation of the world, a well-written, lively and fully engaging narrative rooted in the human side of the expedition; could this story be told otherwise? Second, the book is the fruit of thorough and exhaustive research of all known primary sources, related chronicles, and accounts in reference to the expedition. The book itself was born out of a website ‒ ‒ where the author, Tomás Mazón Serrano, has been systematically recording and processing all the scattered information on the topic. From one side, the author’s expert use of quotes from the protagonists to dramatic effect lends a firsthand experience to the story, a primary achievement. Moreover, the sources providing a record of the expedition become the book’s subject matter. Although the book is in Spanish and has not yet been translated, the website is bilingual and makes the author’s research fully available in English. For centuries, the main source for the circumnavigation was De Molucis Insulis, a book by the Flemish courtier Maximilianus Transylvanus published in three editions in 1523. Written in haste after interviewing some of the survivors, this account has been criticised for being unreliable. A first-hand account in Italian by the expedition’s chronicler, Antonio Pigafetta, was published in 1525, but was not well known until it was unearthed, edited and published by Carlo Amoretti in Milan in 1800 (with a French translation produced in Paris the following year). Pigafetta’s work has superseded all others, taken at face value; it has the advantage of being a coherent, self-contained account, yet it is biased ‒ it contains not even a single mention of Elcano or Gómez de Espinosa ‒ and incomplete. Reading Mazón’s book it is striking to realise that the sources on the expedition are many, diverse, and rich in substance, a stark warning to any attempt to simplify one of the most important events in the history of human exploration. As often in relation with studies of Spanish expansion, given the superabundance of written documentation, success rests in exercising good judgment, in selecting the facts that merit attention, in solving doubts and not


infrequent contradictions, and in filling gaps in the record. In his book Mazón succeeds on all counts. The book contains a critical review of all sources, with direct sources listed in an appendix: 16 pages of valuable information for those wanting to carry on their own research. This documentation is kept mainly in the Archivo General de Indias in Sevilla, as it was produced or recorded by its institutional predecessor, the Casa de Contratación de Indias (House of Trade), and to a lesser extent in the Portuguese national archive, the Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo in Lisbon. For their relevance, two documents are included in full as separate appendices: the testimony of the seaman Martín de Ayamonte, taken in Timor, and A Viagem de Fernão de Magalhães, a c.1570 manuscript account of the voyage by the Portuguese historian Fernão de Oliveira, held in the Leiden University Library, which may be familiar to readers in the Philippines as it was published in translation by the National Historical Institute in Manila in 2002. Among other sources listed are the testimonies that Magellan ordered to be taken after the mutiny at Port San Julian in Patagonia in 1520; the Libro de las Paces, a record of the pacts with local kings; the Derrotero (Itinerary) by Francisco Albo, the Greek or Genoese pilot who recorded his bearings daily with surprising accuracy; affidavits on relevant events by Elcano, Albo and the barber/nurse Hernando de Bustamante; and the register of deaths with names and causes. Accounting and expenses records have also survived, while most survivors made declarations or maintained correspondence. Considering Mazón’s mastery of the sources, his insights are illuminating. For example, the author highlights the report by Ginés de Mafra (a mariner on the Trinidad, the first ship to attempt the return to America eastwards), dictated to an anonymous friend once Mafra was liberated from a Lisbon prison, as “one of the main sources of the voyage both for its extension and for its accuracy”. The author also relies on the Roteiro de un piloto genovés (Itinerary of a Genoese pilot) by either Leon Pancaldo or Juan Bautista de Punzorol, both of whom also wrote relevant letters; on Gómez de Espinosa’s moving letter from his prison in

Cochin; and on the latter’s declaration before a notary when he finally arrived back in Spain. The only surviving documents from Elcano himself are his affidavit and his famous letter to King Carlos I, written on the very day of his arrival in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, 6 September, 1522: Your Majesty will know that what we ought to appreciate the most and take in the highest regard is that we have discovered and circumnavigated the roundness of the world, setting off through the west, and coming back through the east.

Cartography aficionados will also be familiar with the Narratione di un Portoghese … (“Account by a Portuguese companion of Duarte Barbosa who was in the Victoria in 1519”), published by Giovanni Battista Ramusio in his book Delle Navigationi e Viaggi (Venice, 155054). According to Mazón, the companion was probably Vasco Gómez Gallego, who had declared to be from Bayona, Galicia, when he embarked. Later chronicles also highlighted as important include those by Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo, Peter Martyr d’Anghiera, Francisco López de Gómara, and Bartolomé de Argensola; and Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas’s Décadas or Historia General de los hechos de los castellanos en las Islas i tierra firme del mar oceano (Madrid, 1601), which for Mazón is

a reliably pertinent source for the voyage. The Portuguese chroniclers João de Barros, Fernão Lopes de Castanheda and Gaspar Correia, who may have had access both to documents and to survivors, are also mentioned. How to deal with the fleet’s route is an area left untouched by other writers. Mazón takes a stance, which he kindly explained to me among other possibilities. It is well known that reaching the Moluccas by sailing west was the project that Magellan offered to the Spanish king at the court in Valladolid. Carlos I instructed that the course be announced to the crew at the time of departure ‒ it was not unusual to keep it secret beforehand ‒ but apparently this was not done. The author believes Magellan kept it secret, thereby disconcerting the crew who expected to take the Portuguese route and turn eastwards around the Cape of Good Hope even though this would be in breach of the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas. Instead, Magellan set his course to the west in search of the passage around South America through the straits that now bear his name. This behaviour sparked a conflict with Juan de Cartagena, the veedor general (inspector-general) of the expedition and captain of the San Antonio (the largest ship of the fleet), which led to a tragic outcome for the Spaniard who was relieved of his command by Magellan and marooned in Patagonia.

by Abraham Ortelius, Amsterdam, (1589) 1609


The Philippines takes centre stage in the narrative. It was the first large, inhabited region (except for Guam) reached after four months of navigation, and each anchorage takes on a heightened significance. Mazón brings new light to some intriguing points. He writes that it was on 16 March, 1521 that the expedition sighted the small island of Suluan (near Samar), the first in the Philippine Archipelago; the date is given by Pigafetta, other sources, and the Philippine Commission for the Commemoration of the Voyage (see: ). Next, they saw the larger island of Homonhon where they anchored for nine days, had a friendly encounter with the inhabitants who brought them food, much welcomed, and exchanged presents. Two days later they set off and reached the land they called Mazaua. Usually given to strictly recording technical data in his log, here the pilot Albo wrote about the inhabitants: “donde la gente es muy buena” (where the people are very kind-hearted). What and where Mazaua was are questions not yet settled; the author speculates that the landmass possibly silted up and is now united with Mindanao. More likely, it was the island of Limasawa; a nautical chart from the pilots of the expedition led by Miguel López de Legazpi some 40 years later shows the coast of Leyte with an island marked Maçaua which corresponds with Limasawa. From whence they went to Cebu, and the much talked-about events here explained through multiple voices. After touching Bohol, Mindanao, Cagayan and Palawan, and back through the Sulu Sea, they reached the Moluccas at last, although the story would not finish there. Elcano is an epic story of courage and comradeship, of mutinies, betrayals, and castaways, of tragedy and cruelty, scurvy, hunger, storms, doldrums and biting the waves, in sum, of human endurance brought to the limit and a triumph of seamanship. Looking back from its quincentennial, this voyage to the unknown brought back new knowledge as the survivors, on arrival under Elcano’s command, delineated the world’s contours and announced the rich diversity of the peoples they encountered. Myth and fable were then left behind, and reflections about the world’s scientific knowledge of the time, mainly in cartography and navigation, are the final major contribution of the book.


La nao Vitoria llega a Sevilla Rodeado el mundo: of Décadas by Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas (1601)

Most illustrative of the scientific knowledge of the times are the navigational instruments carried by the expedition: 6 pairs of compasses, 21 quadrants, 7 astrolabes, 35 compass roses, 18 sandglasses, and 23 nautical charts made in parchment by Nuño García, cartographer of the Casa de Contratación, among which Mazón presumes there was a copy of the c.1519 planisphere known as Kunstmann IV attributed to Jorge and Pedro Reynel, Portuguese cartographers also working for Spain. There is a special chapter on the technical knowledge available to those mariners, including separate discussions on critical aspects directly connected with this enterprise: a welcome revision of the mathematics of the day; how latitude was measured according to declination tables prepared carefully in Sevilla by the Casa de Contratación, which the author likens to a Cape Canaveral air force station of the 16th century; and the attempts to measure longitude. For the author, Magellan knew the Pacific was large, but not as large as it would eventually be found out to be. While Mazón acknowledges the Portuguese explorer’s expertise and skills, one must agree with his implicit conclusion that the term usually given to the first circumnavigation in English-language texts is a misnomer that ought to be replaced by a more accurate name: the Magellan Expedition should be known as the Magellan‒Elcano Expedition.

DE HAAN, Gerrit [after], possibly by Wigle SICMA. Untitled Chart of the Celebes Sea. [Batavia, after 1747].

Daniel Crouch Rare Books

London 4 Bury Street, St James’s London SW1Y 6AB +44 (0)20 7042 0240

New York PO Box 329, Larchmont NY 10538-2945, USA +1 (212) 602 1779

A VOC Chart of Mindanao TO THE EAST, a recent catalogue by J OURNEY the London and New York antique map

dealers Daniel Crouch Rare Books, offers several manuscript charts produced by the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), the Dutch East India Company. Of considerable interest to members of PHIMCOS is an untitled chart of the Celebes Sea from southeastern ‘Mindanou’ (Mindanao) to northeastern Celebes (Sulawesi) and western Balacina (Halmahera) (opposite). The chart, which is drawn in pen and black ink with outline colour wash on paper with a c.1733 watermark, measures 99 cm x 68.5 cm. It was probably made in the VOC’s kaartenmakerswinkel (chartmakers’ workshop) in Batavia (Jakarta), either under the supervision of Gerrit de Haan, the baas-kaartenmaker (chief chartmaker) from 1747 to 1769, or by his successor Wigle Sicma.

The coasts of southern and eastern Mindanao are shown, with the cartography similar to that shown on engraved charts of Mindanao by other mapmakers employed by the VOC, notably François Valentijn (De Landvoogdy der Moluccos met de aangrenzende Eylanden, c.1724) and Johannes II van Keulen (Nieuwe Afteekening van de Philippynse Eylenden, 1753). These published charts would have drawn from the VOC’s own extensive archive of manuscript charts and did not reflect third-party sources; notably, the depiction of Mindanao is quite different from that shown in the 1734 Carta Hydrographica y Chorographica delas Yslas Filipinas by Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde.

The manuscript chart shows more toponyms on Mindanao than are on the printed maps. To quote from the catalogue: The fifteen or so place-names supplied for Mindanao are mostly Dutch transliterations of local toponyms, with one or two inventions of their own, and include a number that are not represented on Velarde’s map. Working clockwise round the chart: the peninsula which Velarde names ‘Capo de San. Augustin’ is here ‘Oost Hoek’, now referred to as Parola Lavigan; Velarde’s ‘Punta Agūdat’ is here ‘Hoek Pondagytam’, present-day Pantukan; ‘Rio Tho’ appears as ‘Rievier Jeussi offte Gout Rr’, now Tagum-Libuganon; an unnamed river on Velarde’s map is identified as ‘D. Rievier Dabo’, now the Davao River and site of a major city; Velarde’s unnamed peninsula is shown as ‘Siruganna’, now known as Samal Island; ‘Sanguiti’ on Velarde’s map is identified as ‘Boyang’, now Buayan; ‘Saranga’ island is here called ‘MaLoeLang oud Siruganna’, now Talikud Island; ‘Paigoan’ is ‘Rr Peguan’, now Pagadian Bay; and Velarde’s ‘Simuay’ is here ‘t’Soymay’, now Kumalarang.

The catalogue states that in 1755, two years after the publication of the sixth volume (the ‘secret atlas’) of van Keulen’s De Nieuwe Groote Lichtende Zee-Fakkel, “de Haan felt able to return 1163 parchment charts to Amsterdam from Batavia, having deemed them to be defective; it is highly likely that the current chart is one of these”. (Image courtesy of Daniel Crouch Rare Books Ltd)


Fine & R are Antique Maps, Sea Charts, Town Views & Atlases

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Nicholas Norton Nicols and his maps of Mindanao by Peter Geldart


HE UK Hydrographic Office (UKHO) is a government agency under the Ministry of Defence and “a world-leading centre for hydrography, specialising in marine geospatial data to support safe, secure and thriving oceans”.(1) The UKHO was founded in 1795 by an order in council under the auspices of King George III, with Alexander Dalrymple as the first Hydrographer, based in the Admiralty in London. Today situated in Taunton, Somerset, the UKHO Archive contains hundreds of thousands of hydrographic surveys and navigational documents, dating from the 17th century to the present day.(2) Found in the Archive Looking in the UKHO Archive for charts of the Philippines, I came across intriguing entries for two Spanish manuscript charts dated 1762. The larger chart, Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao (UKHO ref. E1-Bb2), measures 78 cm x 122 cm and is described as: “Creased. Damaged in top right-hand corner. Some tears to edges. Linen backed. Needs repair and cleaning.”

The other chart, Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao (UKHO ref. 954-Bb2), measures 92 cm x 81 cm and is described as: “Linen backed. Edges taped and sewn with red cloth tape (partially missing). Tears and damage to edges. Dirty. Needs cleaning.” With my curiosity piqued, I ordered high-resolution images of the maps and, on receipt, found them to be of considerable interest. The Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao shows the whole of the island of Mindanao, together with its adjacent islands from the Bajo de Tajo (Pearl Bank) and the islands of Jolo and Basilan in the southwest, to the islands of Dinagat and Siargao in the northeast. The Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao shows Illana Bay (3) on the south coast of Mindanao, with two insets: Plan del Puerto de Caldera at top-left and Plan del Puerto de S.ta Maria at top-right. Both maps have baroque title cartouches, surmounted by an elaborate heraldic achievement with the royal crown, the coat of arms of the House of Bourbon, the Pillars of Hercules,

Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao by Nicholas Norton Nicols, 1762 (image courtesy of UKHO Archive, ref. E1-Bb2) 23

Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao by Nicholas Norton Nicols, 1762 (image courtesy of UKHO Archive, ref. 954-Bb2)

the Order of the Golden Fleece, the Order of the Holy Spirit, and symbols of Spain’s global power including flags, cannon, drums, weapons and the two hemispheres. The borders of both cartouches are decorated with foliated scrollwork, garlands and flowers, and the border of the larger map is supported by two flanking quasi-heraldic lions salient (the sinister of which is guardant). The Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao also has a prominent compass rose coloured in yellow and rufous red, and the same colours are used in the scales of longitude and latitude along the borders. Longitude is calibrated to the west from Cadiz at the top of the chart, and to the east from Cadiz at the bottom. Reefs and shallows are highlighted in olive-green. 24

The extended title of the first map, with its acknowledgement of Archbishop Manuel Rojo as its patron and a typically elaborate dedication to King Carlos III, reads as follows: Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao Mandado Formar por el D.or D.n Manuel Antonio Roxo del Rio, y Vieyra Del Consejo de S.M. Arzobispo Metropolitano de Manila, Gov.or y Cap.n General de estas Islas Philipinas, y Presidente dela R.l Aud.a de ellas. &.a [Map of the Island of Mindanao created by command of Dr. Don Manuel Antonio Rojo del Río y Vieyra,(4) of His Majesty’s Council, Metropolitan Archbishop of Manila, Governor and Captain-General of these Philippine Islands, and President of their Real Audiencia (Royal Tribunal), etc.]

true situation is expressed with accuracy, and the number of its rivers, bights and villages etc. An indispensable work for making war against the Moros successfully, for thence they make the main sorties for their raids.] Mandado Formar por el M. in Christo D.or D.n Manuel Antonio Roxo del Rio, y Vieyra del Consejo de S.M. Arz.o Metropolitano de Manila, Gov.or y Cap.n Gen.l delas Yslas Philipinas. [Created by command of the Very Reverend in Christ Dr. Don Manuel Antonio Rojo del Rio y Vieyra, of His Majesty’s Council, Metropolitan Archbishop of Manila, Governor and CaptainGeneral of the Philippine Islands.]

Quien lo Dedica, Consagra, y pone alos R.s P.s dela Magestad del Señor D. CARLOS III. El Justo, y Sabio, REY delas Españas, y Indias. Hecho por D. Nicolas Norton, Comandante delas Espediciones dela Provincia de Caraga sita en la misma Ysla. Año de 1762. [By whom it is Dedicated, Consecrated, and placed at the Royal Feet of His Majesty Sir Don CARLOS III, the Just and Wise, KING of the Spains, and Indies. Made by Don Nicolas Norton, Commander of the expeditions to the Province of Caraga (5) situated in the same Island. Year of 1762.]

Quien lo Dedica, Consagra, y pone alos R.s P.s dela Magestad del Señor D. CARLOS. III. El Justo, y Sabio Rey delas Españas, y Indias, hecho con singular aplicacion por D. Nicolas Norton, Comandante delas espediciones dela Provincia de Caraga sita enla misma Ysla. Año de 1762. [By whom it is Dedicated, Consecrated, and placed at the Royal Feet of His Majesty Sir Don CARLOS III, the Just and Wise King of the Spains, and Indies; made with singular application by Don Nicolas Norton, Commander of the expeditions to the Province of Caraga situated in the same Island. Year of 1762.]

The title of the second map, which has a very similar dedication, emphasises its originality and importance as follows: Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao Situado Ensu dicha Ysla del mismo nombre, y el primero, y unico que se ha sacado, enque se espressa con individualidad la verdadera situacion, y numero desus Rios, recodos, y Pueblos. &.a Obra indispensable para hacer guerra contra los Moros con acierto por ser en donde tienen sus mayores salidas para sus correrias. [Plan of the Bay of Mindanao situated in the said Island of the same name, and the first and only to have been brought back in which the


The two insets on the Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao have undecorated titles, as follows: Plan del Puerto de Caldera en la punta de S.O. dela Isla de Mindanao, su mediania en 7.⁰ y 4.⁰ de latitud N.te seguro las dos monsones de NE. y SO. abundantissima de diferentes calidades de maderas. [Plan of the Port of Caldera on the southwest point of the Island of Mindanao, whose median is 7.⁰ and latitude 4.⁰ North. Secure in the two northeast and southwest monsoons. Extremely abundant in various grades of timber.] Plan del Puerto de S.ta Maria en la costa occidental dela Isla de Mindanao su mediania en 7.⁰ y 54.⁰ de latitud N.te seguro las dos monsones de NE. y SO, abundantissima de maderas, y vejucos, y tiene Buena aguada. [Plan of the Port of Santa Maria on the west coast of the Island of Mindanao, whose median is 7.⁰ and latitude 54.⁰ North. Secure in the two northeast and southwest monsoons. Extremely abundant in timber and vines, and has a good watering station.]

In a different hand, below the titles both maps are signed: “Nicholas Norton” on the Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao and “Nicholas Norton Nicols” on the Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao.(6) I believe this may indicate that the maps were created by a draughtsman employed by their sponsor, Archbishop Rojo, and then signed by Norton to confirm his approval. Descriptions of the islands A vertical panel down the left side of the Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao contains descriptions of the islands of Mindanao, Basilan and Jolo, and of their peoples and products. In free translation (by the author) these descriptions read as follows: DESCRIPTION OF MINDANAO

Five nations are named on the island of Mindanao, being the Caragas, Mindanao, Lutnos, Subanos, and Dapitanos. The best known are the Caragas who, albeit the fewest in number, have accomplished the most famous exploits. In times past they were the scourge of the islands, as shown by the destruction they wreaked in the Visayas, 26

notably on the island of Leyte where scarcely a town was left that was not allied with them. A nation brave on land and sea, and on land the first among the islands, with whose help large confederacies have been formed, as shown in the conquest of Lake Malanao. The second in renown are the Mindanao, who include the kingdoms of Buhayan because, in antiquity, they were all one in customs and language despite being governed by different rulers. They are treacherous and of little faith, having long been converted to the sect of Mohamed. Mindanao means man of Laguna; Buhaya means Cayman. Sibuguey, at the limit of Mindanao jurisdiction, has an abundance of sweet potatoes, purple yams, taros and other foods, and of sago, from which a very durable type of hardtack is made; this is easy to take aboard, convenient for navies, and a sturdy food of great sustenance. The third nation are the Lutao, common to the islands of Mindanao, Jolo and Basilan, where the name is retained. Lutao means to swim, and float on the waters, and their character is such that they are so fond of living at sea that even their houses float on water. Those on this island are distributed from Samboanga to the Mindanao River. The fourth nation are the Subana, which means river in their language. Held in high repute, they are a wild nation that live with few neighbours, their houses a league apart. Their poverty is extreme, they are as cowardly as traitors; Subanos are from Samboanga. The Dapitanos are a noble and brave nation, and are now few in number, although in past days they were more numerous and much respected for their power. They descended from Bohol, and their homes are on the north coast, as explained on the map. In general, most of the island is heathen as far as Sanguil; in Samboanga, along the coast they follow the sect of Mohamed.


This island has a full supply of oriental fruits, such as bananas, taros, and lanzones, a fruit that is found everywhere here and in the provinces of the Visayas, where it is called boboa; it is small, like a walnut, and so healthy that no matter how many you eat, they neither trouble your stomach nor irritate your taste-buds. Durian is an exceedingly sweet fruit. There are sugarcanes with the thickness of a thigh and two to three fathoms [12 to 18 feet] long. There is a vast abundance of deer and native pigs; the timber grown there is wonderful for woodworking. There are fastflowing rivers occupied during the day by Joloese and Mindanaos. DESCRIPTION OF JOLO

The people are more bellicose, and noble, than those of Mindanao. There are five nations, all Mohamedans, namely Joloanos, Paranganos, Giumbalanos, Lutaos, and Subanos. The first and second are the noblest, and are much devoted to commerce and trade; they are few in number, but dominate the others. The third are numerous, by nature wild, and courageous; in defence of their land they are the first to advance. Their houses are in the centre of the island, but they are the first to go down to the beaches against any invading enemies; in times of peace they cultivate their land. The last two live along the beaches; they are not numerous but poor, cowards and traitors, and are occupied in fishing, for both fish and pearls. In this island there are elephants, found nowhere else in this archipelago.(7) The deer they breed are special because of the loveliness of their spots; they resemble sables. Among birds, there are many little birds of passage, sought after in these islands, that the locals call salangan. The size of a swallow, they make communal nests on rocks and reefs near the sea; these appear to be made of earth kneaded with their beaks, but they yield such goodness that eaten in soup they are the main support and relief for the old. Abundant in fruit, there is a lack of rice, although in recent years its cultivation has been promoted. There is pepper, and an abundance of herbs, many of them special. One serves as an opiate, with which they give themselves courage when going to war by keeping their flesh numb and wounds almost painless. Another relief-giving herb is applied to the kidneys when marching,


˂ Detail of Mindanao from Carta Hydrographica y Chorographica delas Yslas Filipinas by Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde, 1734 (image courtesy of the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division)

Detail of Mindanao from ˃ Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao by Nicholas Norton Nicols, 1762 (image courtesy of UKHO Archive) so when they have finished crossing the mountains they feel rested even after many journeys. There is another that can be said to cause satiation, because chewing it diverts hunger so much that its effect it not felt for two days. Yet another does the opposite: even when sated with eating, chewing it revives the appetite; the natives call it ubosbanban. In its seas there is a rich harvest of pearls, and nature endows its streams with a wealth of amber. There is an abundance of teak, called yatec, a wonderful wood for building ships.

Coastlines and toponyms Turning to the geography of the maps, since Norton himself could not have surveyed the whole of Mindanao, the Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao must have been copied, in part, from earlier maps. The first detailed 18th century Spanish map of the Philippines, dated 1727, is the Carta Chorographica del Archipielago de las Islas Philipinas by Admiral Francisco Diaz Romero and Sergeant-Major Antonio de Ghandia,(8) but its depiction of Mindanao is quite different from Norton’s map.


Because this map was considered defective by the new Governor-General, Fernando de Valdés y Tamón, who arrived in the Philippines two years later, the Spanish Crown commissioned the Jesuit Fr. Pedro Murillo Velarde to produce a new one. His magnificent Carta Hydrographica y Chorographica delas Yslas Filipinas was published in 1734. Although there are differences in the style of engraving (for example, the width of the rivers) and in the details of the coastlines, it is apparent that the Norton map most probably copied the Murillo Velarde map (or the source maps used by Murillo Velarde) for its general depiction of Mindanao. The different states (9) of the Murillo Velarde map show a total of some 190 toponyms either on the island of Mindanao, or on or for its adjacent islands. Of these, all but 19 (10) also appear on the Norton map, although over onethird of the toponyms that are repeated have variant spellings.(11) Of greater significance are the large number of places, names and features that are not shown on the Murillo Velarde map but have been added on the Norton maps.

 The Puerto de Santa Maria, in the municipality of Siocon on the west coast of the Zamboanga peninsula; the port is marked as an anchorage on the Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao and appears as an inset on the Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao, where it is shown with a line of soundings, a sandbank, and areas of shallow water marked.

Detail of the Enzenada de Panguil from Norton’s Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao

The additions to the Murillo Velarde map shown on Norton’s maps are concentrated in six areas:  The Enzenada de Panguil (Panguil Bay), an arm to the southwest of Iligan Bay; the bay is, curiously, so named on the Murillo Velarde map but is not named on Norton’s map. The fortress of Misamis, built by the Catalan Jesuit missionary Fr. Josep Ducós in 1754-56,(12) is shown at the northwest entrance of the bay, with 23 rivers named around the bay (see Table 1). Lines of soundings in brazas (fathoms) are shown along both sides and in the centre of the bay, with deepwater channels and an anchorage identified. Panguil Bay may well have been surveyed by Norton on his 1762 expedition, but quite possibly he also had the use of (and may, in part, have copied) earlier Spanish charts of the bay.(13) Table 1 Rivers around the Enzenada de Panguil Northwest to South

Northeast to South

Rio Minambay Misamis (Spanish fort) Rio Malaoban Rio Pulut Rio Diguan Rio Marugdu Rio Micanavay Rio Balatacan Rio Sepaña Mipangui Rio Calilangan

Bagonborao Rio Totonod Rio Sibuco Rio Bocas Rio Pulut Rio Baruy Rio Ynunguian Rio Raban Rio Matampy Rio Baca Rio Salug Rio Sudun Rio Lapining

 The islands of Basilan and Jolo to the southwest of Zamboanga, with their many smaller adjacent islands. Norton’s depiction of the islands is quite similar to that on the Murillo Velarde map, with most of the same names albeit with variations in spelling. However, Norton’s map also shows a line of soundings indicating a ship’s track along the west coast of Basilan and to the east of the island of Minisan; and lines of soundings into Jolo Bay on the north coast of the island and around the east coast. Another difference between the two maps is the addition of 25 toponyms on the island of Jolo, including the two Spanish forts at Reyno and Bual,(14) and 14 Pueblos chico delos Moros (small Moro villages)(15) (see Table 2). Table 2 Toponyms on Jolo and adjacent islands Jolo Island clockwise from North Punta Dagmay Taclibi Tahon Bonbō Bual (Spanish fort) Piayayo Balolo Punta de Sancate Mainbōg Bunaybunay Lagasan Tandonpot Parang Rosasari Tanlumbugā Ybunay Batun Cabongan Malinbaya Canya Batobato Mangalis Maranda Punta Bayran Reyno (Spanish fort)

Adjacent Islands clockwise from West Aquit Pangasinan Palingan Pigao Minisan (twice) Pingan Duabulut Bual Capul Bacungan Panganac Cuangan Panan


Table 3 Toponyms around the Enzenada de Mindanao clockwise from the Southwest Punta de Flecha


cove without rivers or water, and the place where the Ylanos shelter with their allies

Rio Dinas

large river with a population of 2 to 3 thousand men at arms subjects of Mindanao

Rio Rubucun

medium-size river, with a small village of 200 men

Rio Labangon

large river with a population of two thousand men subjects of Tubuc

Rio Tucuran

large river where the Ylanos make preparations, and repair their boats


large cove with its streams, and a medium-size village


bight with a medium-size village


bight with a population of 5 thousand men

Rio Corrio

medium-size freshwater river

Rio Bauyan

large river

Rio Corpin

medium-size river

Pueblo de Macasin

village with a large population of 4 thousand men


cove with a population of 2 thousand men; stockade with cannon of 4” and 6” calibre

Rio Liangan

medium-size river, with its stockade, armed with lantacas,(a) and 3 thousand men


large bight with a village

Rio Punon

large river, with a population of 4 to 5 thousand men subjects of Dato Palala

Rio Baraas

medium-size river, with a population of 500 men subjects of Dato D. Duma

Rio Picon

medium-size river; fort with cannon and a thousand men subjects of Sultan Magaran

Matlin Rio Dagun Tuboc

small village in the domain of Tubuc large river into which the sampans from China enter, with a population of 500 men subjects of Tubuc Moro fortress made very famous by the expeditions mounted against it

Rio Lalabuan

large river with a big population, subjects of Tuboc


bight with a medium-size village, subjects of Sultan Rimba


large river with a fortress, 8 to 10 thousand men in population, the Sultan is Rimba

Rio Pagsigan (twice)



large bight with 12 streams called Pagsican, with 500 men whose Dato is Calipapa


Pueblo de Calipapa


major Moro village

Rio Desimoay

large river and realm of Sultan Camsa


Moro fortress

Rio Sambulavan

large river, with a population of 4 to 5 thousand men subjects of the Dato of Knec


Moro fortress


Rio Paygoan ò Silanga Silanga

a major river, which some call Silanga Moro fortress


Tavira (c)

Moro fortress

Ro Vlapis ò Tamontaca

a major river, which some call Tamontaca


Moro fortress


(a) Lantacas are small, swivel-mounted native cannon (b) Shown on Plan de la Enzenada de Mindanao but not on Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao (c) Shown on Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao but not on Plan de la Enzenada de Mindanao


 The Laguna de Mindanao (Lake Buluan)(16), inland to the northeast of the Enzenada de Mindanao; around the lake, the Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao shows 13 Pueblos principal delos Moros (principal Moro villages) (see Table 4). Unlike the Moro fortresses closer to the coast, none of these villages appear on the Murillo Velarde map.(17)

Detail of the islands of Basilan and Jolo from Norton’s Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao

 The south coast of the Zamboanga peninsula, where a ship’s track is indicated by lines of soundings from Batolampon on the west side of the peninsula, past Samboanga (sic), and into and across Sibuguey Bay to the east. An inset on the Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao shows the small Puerto de Caldera to the west of Zamboanga, with two lines of soundings, six sandbanks, and areas of shallow water marked.  The Enzenada de Mindanao (Illana Bay) which, as the title of the Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao spells out, Norton considered to be a pioneering survey and an important contribution to military cartography. The bay is shown in some detail on the Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao and, in greater detail, on the largerscale chart. The two maps show a total of 36 rivers, coves, bights, villages and Moro forts around the bay. Of these, 29 are described in some detail, including population numbers, in a box in the lower-left corner of the Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao (see Table 3).

Table 4 Moro villages around the Laguna de Mindanao clockwise from Southwest Balooy Ramayan Bantayan Butig Poentan Taraca Cabalocan Yato Didagon Bacayauan Linoc Cuyanan Dibayan

The ‘country trade’ Commerce with the Spanish Empire was strictly regulated, and British traders were effectively banned from doing business in the Philippines. However, the profits to be made from selling British or Indian merchandise for silver from New Spain (18) were such that in the late-17th and 18th centuries a flourishing “country trade” became established between India and the Philippines, conducted by the East India Company (EIC), its servants trading in a private capacity, and freelance Indo-Portuguese, Armenian and (later) English merchants.

A key in the lower-right corner of the map identifies the symbols used for: Fortalezas con Artilleria (fortresses with artillery); Trinchera, ó Estacada, con Artilleria (entrenchment, or stockade, with artillery); Pueblo grande (large village); Pueblo mediano (medium-size village); and Pueblo chico (small village). Lines of soundings in brazas de agua (fathoms) are shown for 15 river-mouths and coves. Detail of the Laguna de Mindanao from ˃ Norton’s Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao 31

Goods from India (19) were transported on “country ships” masquerading as Moorish vessels with Portuguese, Armenian or “Moro” captains and supercargoes. “Vessels destined for the Philippines trade were accustomed to fly the colours of one of the Mohammedan states of India or the islands, although sometimes an Irish flag was used as being politically innocuous and religiously acceptable.”(20) The authorities in Manila could be bribed to turn a blind eye to this “country trade”,(21) and some Spanish officials actively participated in the trade for their own illicit profit. Trader, ‘renegado’ and mapmaker Nicholas Norton Nicols “was an enterprising former free merchant who played a creditable role in the commercial life of Manila”.(22) His first extended visit to the Philippines was during the administration (1750-1754) of GovernorGeneral Francisco José de Ovando, whom he knew personally. Norton was persuaded that, rather than being a burden to the Spanish Crown, the cultivation and export of commodities from the Philippines could become a source of great profit for Spain: He urged that pepper and other spices be cultivated, but most especially cinnamon. He was convinced that he could produce the finest quality of cinnamon in Mindanao, indeed of the same superior quality as Ceylon's. He was speaking from personal experience because, during [his] sojourn in the Philippines … he had analyzed not only the soil but also the leaves and bark of the cinnamon tree from Zamboanga and that from Ceylon and had tasted chocolate flavored with Mindanao cinnamon. Norton topped his development plan with a proposal to establish a direct trade route between Mindanao and Cadiz by way of the Cape of Good Hope.(23)

In the 18th century the principal use of cinnamon was as a flavouring for chocolate, and at the time the colonial government in the Philippines was trying to expand the cultivation of cacao for domestic and foreign consumption. Norton saw the immense consumption of chocolate providing a triad of profits from cacao, cinnamon and sugar although, in the early 1750s, the export of sugar was “rigorously prohibited”. In his project proposal addressed to the king of Spain Norton explained:


Cinnamomum mindanaense (C. Burmannii) from Flora de Filipinas by Fr. Francisco Manuel Blanco OSA, Gran edición, Barcelona, 1877-83 The rule for making chocolate is to take ten libras of cacao, ten of sugar, and eight onzas of cinnamon, or even less. … I ask whether there are not in España, all America, the Philipinas Islands, and, in short, all the so various domains of his Majesty, counting all these together, four millions of persons who drink chocolate sixty-four times in the year, in accordance with the rule of one onza for each time. … If the cinnamon should become cheap, much chocolate would be consumed by the poor, and consequently the duties would amount to much more, to the advantage of his Majesty.(24)

In addition to cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg and cloves, Norton promoted the export of indigo: We succeeded in making indigo so good that it stood every test, the severest and most certain that are known being those of water and of fire. I sent specimens of that quality to China, the Coromandel coast, Persia, and London; in the first three places they were anxious to obtain it, and offered good prices, and in the last-named one the indigo that had cost 500 reals vellón was sold for 2,600 reals.(24)

In 1757 Norton was in Spain, where he filed a petition for naturalisation. In this petition: Norton says of himself that ‘he was born in England of one of its most prominent families’, that he was raised in the Protestant faith, but as a result of the dealings he had with the Spaniards with whom he came into contact as a merchant, he came to know and to embrace the Catholic religion. If we may judge from expressions scattered through his writings, his conversion was sincere.(25)

The documents submitted with the petition included full details of his proposed project, in a memorial titled El comercio de Manila y las conveniencias y beneficio de las islas Filipinas (The commerce of Manila and the advantages and benefits of the Philippine Islands), which was dedicated to King Fernando VI and dated 2 September, 1757. The submission also included a map of Mindanao with the title La Ysla de Mindanao, dedicada al Rey Nuestro Señor Don Fernando VI que Dios guarde, por Don Nicolas Norton Nicols.(26) The map is undated (but presumed to be c1757) and measures 27 cm x 41 cm. It must have been a precursor to Norton’s larger 1762 map as the shape of the island is quite similar,

but is less detailed and has only 49 toponyms. Following the Murillo Velarde map, Illana Bay (which Norton would later call the Enzenada de Mindanao) is named as the Enzenada de San Francisco Xavier.(27) The map is accompanied by a note: The Island of Mindanao, whose inhabitants are the deadly enemies of our holy Catholic faith and who, joining with the Jolo Islanders, cause the horrible ravages, martyrdoms, and thefts in the other islands belonging to his Catholic Majesty, that have cost him such huge sums of money, and so much of the blood of his faithful Indian vassals, although as yet in vain.(28) [A second paragraph describes the location of the island in detail.]

Norton’s petition for naturalisation was granted by a royal cédula (warrant), dated 3 August, 1758, which also gave him permission to return to the Philippines for the purpose of raising cinnamon and other crops in the province of Zamboanga.(29) He appears to have left Spain in December 1758,(30) and in 1759 “he set out for Zamboanga to establish another experimental plantation for cinnamon”.(31) Norton returned to Spain in 1760, to present his “Commerce of the Philippine Islands” memorial to the new king, Carlos III, who had succeeded his half-brother

La Ysla de Mindanao by Nicholas Norton, c 1757 (image courtesy of the Archivo General de Indias)


Fernando VI on 10 August, 1759. Norton then left Spain for the last time at the end of 1760, arriving in the Philippines in July 1761.(32) In Manila, Norton had the support of the acting Governor-General, Archbishop Rojo, who commissioned the maps. In 1763 Rojo wrote a long account of the events surrounding the occupation of Manila by the British, “in which his chief aim is to justify his own conduct”.(33) In the introduction to this narrative, he records that at some point prior to the British attack: Eighty soldiers are sent to the province of Caraga which has been ravaged by the Moros of late. These are in command of Nicolas Norton, an Englishman, who has become a naturalized Spaniard. The latter is commissioned to cultivate spice and cinnamon, the working of which he understands thoroughly. With him goes a Recollect missionary to attend to spiritual matters, and good results are promised to Christianity.(34)

This was the expedition on which Norton gathered the information for his maps of 1762, but I have been unable to find the exact dates or any details of the campaign. However, it was most probably during the dry season from December 1761 to March 1762. In any event, the expedition had returned to Manila and the maps had been completed by the time the British attacked on 24 September, 1762.

us by the English, from whom he expected no favour. It was necessary that a foreigner should accomplish what no Spaniard had done in some two hundred years; he died on account of our misfortunes, and now there will be no one who will devote himself to the same enterprise.(35)

One person with whom Norton had a bad relationship was the explorer and hydrographer Alexander Dalrymple. In October 1761, on his first visit to the Philippines on the schooner Cuddalore, Dalrymple visited Don Manuel Galves, the Governor of Zamboanga, and then returned to Manila with a letter from the Governor to his brother. However, upon arrival in the capital Dalrymple was treated with suspicion by the Spanish authorities, for which he blamed Norton (whom he must have met either in Mindanao or in Manila): Don Manuel Galves, a Native of New Spain, … gave me a letter to his Brother at Manila desiring him to deliver to me several plans he had left there; … but the suspicions of my intentions, raised by the insinuations of Nicholls [sic], an English Renegado, made the Spaniards apprehensive of involving themselves in difficulties, by any liberal communication, and thereby the Publick are for ever deprived of these Plans, as I have reason to believe they are now all lost.(36)

Norton died in 1763, but neither the date nor the circumstances of his death are recorded. Serafin Quiason (op cit) calls his death “untimely”, and Francisco Mallari (op cit) says that “a fatal accident terminated both his life and his project”. The most heartfelt tribute to Norton and his venture came from the royal fiscál (attorney-general of the audiencia) in Manila, Francisco Leandro de Viana: In [1751] came Don Nicolas Norton Nicols, who, it seems, proposed at the court the project for [developing] the cinnamon, and brought a royal order from his Majesty that he should be aided therein. I did so, with the utmost energy and readiness, and this famous and skilful Englishman began to make plantations in Caraga; people assure me that he would have carried this work to completion if God had not taken away his life, through the grief which he experienced at the attack on


Alexander Dalrymple by George Dance, 1794 (image courtesy of National Library of Australia)

Dalrymple presumably chose the Spanish word renegado (36) to describe Norton deliberately, instead of using the English term “renegade”, because, as a good Scottish Protestant, he found Norton’s apostasy and conversion to Catholicism reprehensible. Dalrymple’s distrust of Norton coloured his subsequent use of the latter’s maps. For his part, Norton must have perceived the EIC’s interest in Zamboanga and potential establishment of a trading settlement in Sulu as a threat to his ventures in Mindanao. Salvaged from the sea The Seven Years War between France and Great Britain started in 1756; following the third Pacte de Famille between the Bourbon kings, Spain sided with France and, in January 1762, was at war with Britain. This provided the EIC with an opportunity, supported by the British government, to seize the Philippines from Spain. An invasion fleet from Madras under Admiral Samuel Cornish and Brigadier-General William Draper arrived in Manila Bay on 23 September, 1762; within 10 days Manila had fallen, and on 6 October Archbishop Rojo surrendered. During the investment of the city Cornish obtained news, from letters addressed to Rojo found on a captured boat, that a Spanish galleon from Acapulco, the Filipina, was on her way to Manila. On 4 October he despatched the 60-gun ship of the line HMS Panther (Captain Hyde Parker) and the 28-gun frigate HMS Argo (Captain Richard King) to intercept the galleon. The British ships failed to find the Filipina, but on 29 October Panther and Argo spotted the galleon Santísima Trinidad,(38) which had left Cavite for Acapulco on 1 August but had been driven back when dismasted in a storm near the Marianas. The following day Argo engaged the Santísima Trinidad, but the contest between the British frigate and the huge, heavily-laden Spanish galleon was unequal and after more than two hours Argo broke off the action. The next morning, though, the Panther was able to rejoin her consort, having been prevented the night before by a strong counter-current. Together the two vessels closed in on the plodding galleon, one on either flank. The Spaniards had spent the night hoisting more guns out of their crammed hold, and now mounted thirteen pieces. The

engagement was renewed at nine o'clock in the morning, and lasted almost two hours. Parker … brought his two-decker ‘within half musket shot’ range of the lumbering Santísima Trinidad and crashed heavy broadsides into her [but] the Spanish vessel was able to resist the British shot. However, the galleon's defence depended upon the courage of a few hardy men, principally the segundo piloto. When this individual was severely wounded by a British round, the heart went out of the rest of the crew and passengers. Frightened and confused in their beleaguered ship, the Spaniards decided to haul down their colours, much to the relief of the British, who could plainly see what little effect their fire had had on the enemy's hull. … Still the galleon was theirs.(39)

The Santísima Trinidad, freighted down with trade goods, also carried items considered too valuable to be allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy. In his General Introduction to a Collection of Plans of Ports, &c. in the Indian Navigation, Dalrymple records that: Part of Bongo Bay is taken from Van Keulen, but part of It is from a Spanish MS, sent from Manila on board the Trinidada for Spain by an English Renegado Norton Nicholls [sic], or, as he then was pleased to stile himself, Nicolas Norton; The Spaniards threw it overboard, but it was taken out of the Sea by some of the People belonging to his Majesty's Ship Argo, Capt. Richard King, who was so obliging to give me a copy of it in India.(40)

Chart of Bongo Bay by Alexander Dalrymple, 1774 (author’s collection) 35

Details from (left) Dalrymple’s Chart of Bongo Bay and (right) Norton’s Plan de la Enzenada de Mindanao

The map in question is Chart of Bongo Bay on Mageendanao or Mindanao,(41) which Dalrymple published on 10 August, 1774. A Note reads “NB From Pta de Flechas to Malicho is taken from a Spanish MS. The rest from Van Keulen”. The eastern half of the chart is copied from Joannes Van Keulen’s Kaart van der Baay van Bongo, published in Amsterdam in 1753; the western half of the chart is, as stated in the note, a direct copy of Norton’s Plan dela Enzenada de Mindanao, including the toponyms, soundings and depiction of the villages. On 30 July, 1774 Dalrymple published two charts on a single plate: Plan of Port Sta. Maria on the West Coast of Mageendanao or Mindanao From a Spanish M.S. and Plan of Part of the So. Coast of Mageendanao or Mindanao From a Spanish M.S. of doubtful Authority.(42) The first is an exact copy of Norton’s inset Plan del Puerto de S.ta Maria, which is oriented to the east, but turned through 90 degrees so that Dalrymple’s chart is oriented to the north. Not only the soundings and shallows are replicated, but also Norton’s note, translated as: “NB. This Port is well sheltered from the N.E. and S.W. Winds; and has good water and plenty of Timber & Rattans.” 36

The second chart is copied from Norton’s Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao and shows the coast to the east of Zamboanga, including most of Seebuguey (Sibuguey) Bay. On both charts the northern part of the bay is depicted as an unnamed, inland lake. Again, Dalrymple faithfully copies Norton’s coastlines, soundings, islands and toponyms, although he does not include the portion of the coast to the west of Zamboanga or Norton’s inset chart of the little Caldera Bay. Throughout his career Dalrymple would copy contemporary and older charts that came into his possession. He believed charts could be useful even if “generally erroneous or imperfect”, and he would provide “an exact publication of such pieces as are thought worth engraving, each with its discrete stated authority”.(43) However, Norton’s charts were copied and described only as “from a Spanish manuscript [of doubtful authority]”, with the following comment: … as I knew Nicholls [sic], I know that he was incapable of making a tolerable Draught, but although this [chart of Bongo Bay], and some others, viz St. Maria and Seebuguey, got at the

(Above) Dalrymple’s Plan of Port Sta. Maria (image from the Alberto Montilla collection) and (left) Norton’s inset Plan del Puerto de Sta. Maria

and in particular the master of his ship would have been the man responsible for recording the soundings.(45) An unknown professional draughtsman may have drawn the charts, but they were signed by Norton and he should be given the credit for their realisation. Into the Archive

same time, bear his name, they were not from his Observations: I am ignorant by whom they were made, or whether they are on any better authority than verbal report.(44)

Dalrymple’s harsh verdict, presumably coloured by his personal animosity towards Norton, appears unwarranted. The charts may have built upon earlier Spanish charts of Mindanao, but they contain new cartographic information obtained by Norton during his expedition to Caraga. It is unreasonable to expect Norton himself to have conducted all his own surveys,

Dalrymple records that the Argo’s captain gave him copies of Norton’s maps in India. The UKHO Archive retains one of these traced copies (UKHO ref. 555 Bb2), with the title Mapa de la Isla de Mindanao mandado formar &c. Nicolas Norton, to which Dalrymple has added: “From Capt King of the Argo May 1763”. The manuscript chart has two handwritings, described by Andrew Cook as “first the flowing, ornate hand of King’s shipboard draughtsman, and second Dalrymple’s crabbed hand”, which “suggests King’s copyist put in only the outlines and main names, leaving Dalrymple’s superior knowledge of Spanish toponyms in the Philippines to fill in the rest”.(46) In typical fashion, in the lower-left corner of the traced chart Dalrymple wrote the acerbic comment: "The Sooloo Seas are execrable". 37

We know that Dalrymple was in Madras from March to July 1763, and his additions show that after he received the copies from King he had time to compare them with the original maps. The Argo had left Manila in April, and after her stay in Madras in May she returned to England, presumably with Norton’s maps on board. These would have been sent to the Admiralty and put into storage in what Cook calls a “glory-hole”. By the end of the 18th century the Admiralty had amassed a large number of charts from returning captains and other sources, and Dalrymple was appointed as the first Hydrographer to the Admiralty pursuant to an Order in Council, dated 12 August, 1795, that stated: On a cursory examination of the plans and charts which have from time to time been deposited in the office, we find a considerable mass of information, which, if Judiciously arranged and digested, would be found of the greatest utility to Your Majesty's Service; … [A] proper person should be fixed upon to be appointed Hydrographer to this Board, and to be intrusted with the custody and care of such plans and charts as now are, or may hereafter be, deposited in this office belonging to the public, and to be charged with the duty of selecting and compiling all such information as may appear to be requisite for the purposes of

improving the navigation, and for the guidance and direction of the Commanders of Your Majesty's ships … .(47)

The entries for Norton’s maps in the UKHO Archive’s catalogue specify that each of them “includes / carries Becher’s [red] ‘M’ classification mark”. As explained by Dr. Webb: In April 1823 … Lieutenant A.B. Becher was appointed to catalogue the documents in the Hydrographic Office, which were found ‘in promiscuous heaps … and filthy with dust’.(48) The M given by Becher when he listed the accumulation of surveys is a location identifier. That is, the M stands for Model Room in the Admiralty where they were temporarily stored as the space allocated to the Hydrographical Office was running out.(49)

The extensive archives in Spain contain many excellent 18th century manuscript charts of the Philippines. However, it is surprising to find that two of the finest, made by an English merchant who had become a Spanish trade promoter, were rescued from destruction at sea by the Royal Navy, were copied by the foremost British hydrographer of the day, and are today to be found in the UKHO Archive in Taunton – another small contribution to the rich history of cartography.

Copy of Norton’s Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao by Capt. R. King (image courtesy of UKHO Archive, ref. 555 Bb2)


Details of the reference numbers written on Norton’s maps by Lieutenant A.B. Becher

This article expands the video presentation given by the author to the Cambridge Seminars in the History of Cartography on 4 May, 2021. The author thanks Sarah Bendall for the invitation to speak at the Cambridge Seminars; Andrew S. Cook for identifying and commenting on Dalrymple’s copy of Norton’s chart; Richard Jackson for his suggestion regarding Norton’s names; Raphael P.M. Lotilla for alerting him to the early state of the Murillo Velarde map in the BnF; Felice Noelle Rodriguez for providing the references to elephants in Jolo; Felice Sta. Maria for emphasising the importance of cocoa and cinnamon in the Philippines; and Adrian Webb, Head of Archive at the UKHO, and John F. Williams, Archives Research Manager, for arranging for the maps to be photographed and the images processed during the initial period of Covid-19 lockdown in June 2020, and for their subsequent advice and assistance. Notes and References 1.





In modern Spanish ensenada means a cove, inlet or creek, but in the 18th century enzenada or encenada was used as the term for a bay. Illana Bay was called Baay van Bongo by the Dutch and Bongo Bay by the British, from Bongo (aka Bongor) Island on the eastern side of the bay.


Manuel Antonio Rojo del Río y Vieyra (1708-64) was born in Tula de Allende, Mexico. Appointed Archbishop of Manila in December 1757 and enthroned in July 1759, he was appointed acting GovernorGeneral by royal decree in 1761. A lawyer and a churchman, Rojo had no military experience; caught by surprise when the British attacked and occupied Manila in September / October 1762, he surrendered the city to the British forces. Rojo died in office in January 1764, and the British gave him a solemn funeral with military honours.


The province of Caraga, formed by the Spanish in 1609 with a military garrison to reinforce their invasion of the coastal town of Tandag, covered the northeastern part of Mindanao including the present-day provinces of Surigao and Agusan; see:


For an explanation for why both “Nicholas Norton” and “Nicholas Norton Nicols” are used, Richard Jackson has made the plausible suggestion that in his petition for naturalisation Norton decided to follow the Spanish custom of adding his mother’s maiden name of Nicols (if such it was) as a second surname.


The existence of elephants in Jolo is noted in the c1590 Spanish manuscript now named the Boxer Codex, as follows: “They fashion cuirasses from the skins of buffalo or elephants, of which there are a few on an island called Jolo, though they are not as big as the ones from India.” In a footnote, the editors comment: “Elephants were introduced to Jolo as a gift from the Majapahit, the Hindu rulers of Java, in 1395.” See: The Boxer Codex, Transcription and Translation of an Illustrated Late Sixteenth-Century Spanish Manuscript, edited by George Bryan Souza and Jeffrey S. Turley, Brill, Leiden, 2016. In his Historia de las islas de Mindanao, Iolo, y Adyacentes (Madrid, 1667), Fr. Francisco Combés comments that Jolo “abounds in elephants” but, unlike in Camboya (Cambodia) and Siam, the Joloes do not tame or work the animals. However, in the Historia de las Islas e Indios de Bisayas (Madrid, 1668), Fr. Francisco Ignacio Alzina states that the natives trap the elephants in deep pits, and either take them alive or kill them “to eat the flesh”.


Although the mapmakers are named in the title as Francisco Diaz Romero and Antonio de Ghandia, Dr. Carlos Madrid has pointed out that: “[as the name] Ghandia is virtually unknown as a family name in Spain … we can safely consider that [it] can be regarded as a misspelling [for] Echeandia or Ochandia’; see Carlos Quirino, Philippine Cartography 1320-1899, Fourth Edition, Vibal Foundation, Quezon City, 2018.



There is an early, possibly proof state of the 1734 Murillo Velarde map in the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF), but several erasures of toponyms in Mindanao indicate that this is not the first state of the map. Other copies of the map in libraries and private collections around the world, including the one in the Library of Congress (LoC), are of a later state with further erasures, added toponyms, and other changes. See: and

10. The toponyms on the Murillo Velarde map that do not appear on Norton’s map are: Laguna de Sapongan, Monte Calatan, Cabuntalan, Boca de Buayan*, Sabanilla, Guata, Diragon, Sumalon, Caragao island, Monte de Canela, Punta de Alinpapan, Punta de Olango*, Punta Lubungā* Sibuguey island*, Aguian, Larapan, Talisay, Cagurangan and Tongaton; those marked with an asterisk are on the BnF state of the map but not on the LoC state, implying that if Norton’s mapmaker copied the Murillo Velarde map it was the later state. 11. Variations in spelling include: Higaquet / Ygaquet, Matingub / Mantingub, Bayuyo / Baoyu, Bruxo / Brujo, Banculin / Baculin, Baganga / Banganga, Sancol / Sangcol, Sincaran./ Siucaran, Vitala / Bitala, Paigoan / Paygoan, Sulanga / Silanga, Tabira / Tavira, Simuay / Simvay, Libungan / Libun, Buhayen / Buayan, Iungauan / Longauan, Bitali / Vitali, Masolon / Masoloan, Curuan / Cruan, Poon Bata / Ponbato, Samboangan / Samboanga, Talisayan / Talisain, Siraguay / Sidabay, Mucas / Mocas, Disacan / Disagan, Diporog / Diparog, Ducalin / Ducalim, Layauan / Lavayan, Baloy / Balooy, Sulauan / Salavan, Yponan / Hiponon, Catarman / Catañan, Gonpot / Gompot, Balingoan / Balingan, Hingoog / Hingoob, Masipit / Maysipit, Ohot / Hojot, Talacogon / Talacobon, Tubay / Tubic, Habongan / Abongan, Taytabon / Tabon, Bombon / Bonbon, Dalasaya / Balasaya, Minir / Minisan, Pigan / Pigao, Piga / Pingan, Duabulug / Duabulut, Aquip /Aquit, Capual / Capul, and Paran / Parang. 12. Miguel A. Bernad, “Father Ducós and the Muslim Wars: 1752-1759”, in Philippine Studies, Vol. 16, No. 4, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, 1968; for a manuscript plan of the fort dated 24 July 1765 see: 13. On 10 July, 1774 Alexander Dalrymple published a chart titled Bay of Panguyl on Mindanao or Mageendanao From a Spanish M.S. 1754. The two charts are similar in depicting the bay and its surrounding rivers (although the earlier chart names one more river than does Norton’s, and there are differences in spelling between the two), but the deepwater channels and soundings are different and clearly come from separate surveys. The 1754 chart has numerous notes describing the hydrography of the bay, the local inhabitants, and recent attacks on the Moros. Dalrymple states that he received the Spanish manuscript from Don Manuel Galves, the Governor of Zamboanga, whom he met in October 1761; see Dalrymple, General Introduction, op cit, and . I have not located a copy of the original chart copied by Dalrymple, but a similar manuscript chart dated 12 July 1756 is in the Archivo Cartográfico de Estudios Geográficos del Centro Geográfico del Ejército (ACEGCG); see: 14. The forts are shown on the Murillo Velarde map as Jolo / Paran and Bual. 15. The locations and names of the Moro villages may have been copied from earlier maps of Jolo, perhaps made by the Jesuit missionaries who went to Jolo in 1748, “built a church there, translated a summary of Christian doctrine into Sulu, and freely evangelized the populace”; see Thomas J. O'Shaughnessy, “Philippine Islam and the Society of Jesus”, in Philippine Studies , Vol. 4, No. 2, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, 1956. 16. On Norton’s map, as on the Murillo Velarde map, the Laguna de Mindanao (Lake Buluan) is shown as three to four times larger than the Laguna de Malanao (Lake Lanao) although it is in fact only half the size of the latter. This may be because Lake Buluan also includes the adjoining marshy basins of a number of rivers. 17. The Murillo Velarde map shows Moro fortresses at Cabuntalan (which is not shown on Norton’s map), Libungan, Tabira, Sulanga and Tamontaca. 18. As well as silver from Peru and Mexico, exports from Manila included sugar, sappanwood, brimstone, copper, tobacco, wax, deer nerves, cowries, gold works and leather; see Quiason, op cit. 19. The principal exports from India to Manila (both for domestic use and for re-export to Mexico) were cotton textiles such as calico, chintz, salampores and “paintings”; other Indian exports included silk, blue cloth (for uniforms), carpets, iron, anchors, amber, ivory, jewels, gilded articles, raisins, almonds, and preserved fruit (from Portugal); see Quiason, op cit, and Schurz, op cit.


Details of the south coast of the Zamboanga peninsula from (above) Norton’s Mapa dela Isla de Mindanao and (below) Dalrymple’s Plan of Part of the So. Coast of Mageendanao ... (image from the Alberto Montilla collection) 20. William Lytle Schurz, The Manila Galleon, E.P. Dutton & Company, Inc., New York, 1939. 21. Quiason, op cit, quotes Guillaume Le Gentil de la Galaisière, Voyage dans les mers de l’Inde (Paris 1781): “When the supercargo and the captain come on shore to announce their arrival to the Governor, they bring with them two or three Moors [who] never fail to bring gifts with them, with which they easily persuade the Governor that the vessel is a Moorish vessel, that the cargo belongs to them, and that the white men who accompany them are nothing more than their interpreters.” 22. Serafin D. Quiason, English “Country Trade” with the Philippines 1644-1765, University of the Philippines Press, Quezon City, 1966. 23. Francisco Mallari, S.J., “The Mindanao Cinnamon”, in Philippine Quarterly of Culture and Society , Vol. 2, No. 4, University of San Carlos Publications, Cebu City, 1974. Unfortunately, Norton’s enthusiasm was misplaced; subsequent attempts to grow cinnamon in commercial quantities in the Philippines all ended in failure (cf. Díaz-Trechuelo, op cit), perhaps because Cinnamomum mindanaense Elmer (C. burmannii Blume) is a different and somewhat less-valuable species than the C. verum J. Presl native to South Asia. 24. Don Nicolas Norton Nicols, “Commerce of the Philipinas Islands, and advantages which they can yield to his Majesty Carlos III”, a memorial addressed to King Carlos III c1759, translated by Emma Helen Blair, in The Philippine Islands, 1493-1803, edited and annotated by Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson, The Arthur H. Clark Company, Cleveland, Ohio, 1903-09, Vol. XLVII. 25. Maria Lourdes Díaz-Trechuelo, “Philippine Economic Development Plans, 1746–1779”, translated by Horacio de la Costa, in Philippine Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, 1964. 26. Archivo General de Indias (AGI), Sevilla, ref. no. MP-FILIPINAS,39; see: 27. The Murillo Velarde map does not give a name to Illana Bay, but along the coast states Aqui estuvo San Francisco Xavier (St. Francis Xavier was here). The legend that the saint visited Mindanao is probably untrue; see: 28. La Ysla de Mindanao, cuyos habitantes son los fatales enemigos de nȓa Sta Fee Catholica, y juntandose con los Ysleños de Jolo, haçen los horribles estragos, Martirios, y robos en las demas Yslas de SMC, lo que le ha costado tan immensas cantidades de dinero and tanta sangre de sus fieles Vassallos Indios, aunque hasta ahora infructuosamente.


29. The Carta de Naturaleza a Nicolás Norton dated Aranjuez, 3 August 1758 is held in the AGI, ref. no. FILIPINAS,343,L.12,F.226V-229V. 30. The AGI holds both (a) the request from Norton for a licencia para pasar a Filipinas permitting him to embark at Cádiz for the Philippines with his family, three servants including Antonio de la Cruz, and his mathematical instruments, bundles of clothes, arms and books, and (b) the approval of the licence, dated 11 December, 1758; AGI ref. no. FILIPINAS,199,N.16. 31. Quiason, op cit. 32. Díaz-Trechuelo, op cit; the AGI also holds the licencia de pasajero a Indias, dated 28 October, 1760, that authorises Norton and his companions Andrés de la Cruz and José Santiago de Olazábal Benito to return to the Philippines; AGI ref. no. CONTRATACION,5503,N.2,R.67. 33. Blair & Robertson, op cit, Preface to Vol. XLIX. 34. “Rojo’s Narrative”, Manila, [1763], in Blair & Robertson, op cit, Vol. XLIX. 35. “Viana’s Memorial of 1765”, Manila, 10 February, 1765, in Blair & Robertson, op cit, Vol. XLVIII. The English translation of the full title reads: “Demonstration of the deplorably wretched state of the Philippine Islands; the necessity of [either] abandoning them or maintaining them with respectable forces, with the disadvantages of the first, and the advantages of the second; what the islands can produce for the Royal Exchequer [and] of the navigation, extension and profitability of their Commerce”. 36. Alexander Dalrymple, General Introduction to a Collection of Plans of Ports, &c. in the Indian Navigation, London, 1783, pp. 81-82. 37. Renegado is defined by the Real Academia Española as una persona que ha abandonado voluntariamente su religión o sus creencias (a person who has voluntarily abandoned his religion or beliefs). 38. The 2000-ton Santísima Trinidad y Nuestra Señora del Buen Fin, known as El Poderoso (The Mighty), was built in 1751 at the Bagatao shipyard in Sorsogon, at a cost of 191,000 pesos, and was one of the biggest of the Manila galleons with a beam of 50’ 6” and a depth of hold of 30’ 6”; see Schurz, op cit. 39. David F. Marley, “The Great Galleon: The Santísima Trinidad (1750-65)”, in Philippine Studies, Vol. 41, No. 2, Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City, 1993. 40. Dalrymple, General Introduction, op cit, p. 85. 41. The chart was published as Plate 46 in Dalrymple’s A Collection of Plans of Ports in the East Indies, and the copper plate is still held in the UKHO Archive; see: 42. The chart was published as Plate 45 in Dalrymple’s A Collection of Plans of Ports in the East Indies, and the copper plate is still held in the UKHO Archive; see: 43. Andrew S. Cook, Alexander Dalrymple (1737-1808), Hydrographer to the East India Company and to the Admiralty as Publisher: A Catalogue of Books and Charts, doctoral thesis, University of St. Andrews (1992). 44. Dalrymple, General Introduction, op cit, p. 85. 45. Another map of Mindanao, undated but c1750-65, is titled Plan particular de la Ysla de Mindanao … Delineado por Dn. Candido Dominguez Zamudio Primer Piloto de la Carrera de Acapulco (Delineated by Don Candido Dominguez Zamudio Master on the Acapulco Route); see ACEGCG: 46. From the author’s email correspondence with Andrew S. Cook. 47. Order in Council, 12 August 1795; cited in Vice-Admiral Sir Archibald Day, The Admiralty Hydrographic Service 1795-1919, H.M.S.O., London, 1967. 48. Adrian James Webb, “Who ran the British Admiralty’s Hydrographic Office between 1808 and 1829?”, in Shifting Boundaries: Cartography in the 19th and 20th centuries, Portsmouth University, Portsmouth, 2008. 49. From the author’s email correspondence with Adrian Webb.



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