It has long been axiomatic that as Spain rose or fell, in terms of wealth, morale, and power, so did her Empire. Nonetheless, some students of the Empire’s history have recently questioned such a close correlation between the dynamics of mother country and colonies. The decline of Spain in the seventeenth century was not mirrored by developments in her colonies. Indeed, it has been postulated that there was no decline for the Empire as a whole in the seventeenth century, but simply a shift in the locus of its strength from Spain to her New World colonies.1 Furthermore, as the prosperity of the colonies rose in the seventeenth century and Spain gradually receded as a potent naval and maritime power, the colonials were forced to become increasingly self-reliant in the face of foreign threats. The colonies along the Pacific coast, isolated by geography from the vital Atlantic basin which supported Spain’s primary connection with her American possessions, tended to be left to their own defensive devices, even more so than the Atlantic and Caribbean colonies. Metropolitan negligence and colonial growth contributed to the appearance of certain trends in regard to the defense of the Viceroyalty of Peru that bear witness to the development of colonial self-reliance, even if under the most adverse of circumstances.

Peru was assaulted by two distinct waves of invaders dining the course of the seventeenth century. In the first half of the century the cresting Dutch commercial and colonizing empire found attractive targets in the viceroyalty. Peru was subjected to three major assaults in 1615, 1624, and 1643, launched by the States General in league with the ambitious Dutch East India Company.2 Buccaneers formed the second wave and spilled over into the Pacific in the last three decades of the century after Henry Morgan’s spectacular sack of Panama in 1670.3 Both groups of invaders triggered defensive responses from the Spanish. Most of the early efforts at defense were sponsored and financed by the State, while later ones tended to originate in the private sector. The gradual abdication by the Crown of its obligation to provide peace and protection for its citizens forced this responsibility upon those citizens and fostered the development of private investment in the naval defenses of the viceroyalty.

The geographical configuration of the viceroyalty encouraged even further the trend toward self-reliance in defense. Due to the vice-royalty’s extended coastline, it was difficult to coordinate any defensive tactics with efficacy. Each community was largely left to cope with potential and real threats as best it could, drawing primarily upon its own resources and securing only slender assistance from the financially hard-pressed viceroys and the royal treasury in Lima. The Crown did maintain a squadron in the viceroyalty, the Armada del Mar del Sur, that formed a part of the overall viceregal defenses on all the occasions that foreigners struck at Peru. It played an important but diminishing role in the protection of such communities as the city of Guayaquil. This city, the chief producer of ships for the viceroyalty and the major port for Quito and the rest of the Ecuadorian highlands, was twice attacked by the Dutch and twice by buccaneers. This article will examine the relationship between Guayaquil and the armada in times of stress in order to reveal how strategic priorities were established, defenses organized, and how in the 1680s the viceroyalty’s citizens developed an independent, dynamic response to the bucccaneers in the face of the State’s paralysis.

The Dutch Period

The first serious threat posed to Guayaquil and the armada was the result of Dutch ambitions in the Pacific. An uneasy truce had been signed between Spain and the Lowlands in 1609 to remain in effect for twelve years. Nevertheless, truce, or passive belligerency in and about Europe, did not preclude war or adventure in the colonies. Two interrelated legal doctrines justified Dutch activity in Spain’s overseas possessions. Most maritime nations had traditionally subscribed to the principle that the seas were free for all to use. This freedom-of-the-seas axiom was then interpreted to mean freedom to deal and trade with foreign possessions, often regardless of the wish of the mother countries. A second doctrine, which received more specific form in the latter half of the seventeenth century but had evolved during the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, postulated that there existed an imaginary line which followed a longitude in the mid-Atlantic somewhere west of the Azores. On the eastern side of this line relations were governed by the European state of affairs. But most powers came to accept the fact that war, peace, or trade “beyond the line” existed independently of European affairs, although they could be influenced by the state of peace, war, or truce in the mother country’s relations to other European nations. Naturally enough, this distinction received the most support from the aggrandizing Dutch, while the Spanish saw it only as a threat to their empire. Thus, in 1615 when Joris van Speilbergen entered the Eastern Pacific, Spain’s mare nostrum, he was met not by remonstrances for violations of the letter and spirit of the Twelve Years’ Truce, but by a hostile viceroy intent on the preservation of complete Spanish hegemony in the area.

Speilbergen’s expedition, which consisted of four large warships and two jachts, had been organized by the ambitious Dutch East India Company.4 The expedition was despatched with the announced intention of peaceful trade and commerce. The heavy armament of the vessels, plus the contingency orders in case the Spanish did not consent to trade, belied these allegedly benign motivations.5 The expedition crossed into the Pacific in May 1615 and on July 16-17 the Annada del Mar del Sur engaged the invaders in a sharp battle off Cañete, Peru.6 Spanish losses—two major vessels and four hundred-fifty dead —were catastrophic, considering the few ships and small numbers of men engaged on both sides, and effectively opened the Pacific to the Dutch. Speilbergen moved slowly north along the coast. He raided Paita and burned it to the ground. The next logical stop would have been the Gulf of Guayaquil. Speilbergen knew of the good ship repair services at Puná—at the mouth of the Gulf—and that the armada’s major shipyards were located there and at Guayaquil. However, after Paita, he took a different aim. He hauled off the Peruvian coast and sailed for New Spain and the possibility of a lucrative encounter with the Manila galleons.7

The crushing Spanish defeat at Cañete forced a reevaluation of the overall defensive strategy of the viceroyalty. It was clear that the small armada could not cope adequately with a large, well-armed foreign expedition. To maintain a fleet capable of meeting such threats would have constituted a prohibitive expense on the royal treasury. Nonetheless, up to that time a standing fleet of five vessels had been considered adequate for the regular duties of the armada.8 These included transporting public and private silver remittances from Arica and Callao to Panama, carrying mercury to Arica, keeping the Chilean garrison armed and reinforced, and assembling rapidly to oppose major seaborne invasions.9 The Principe de Esquiladle, who arrived as the new viceroy in 1616, immediately set to work rebuilding the shattered remains of the armada to fulfill at least minimal duties. He oversaw the completion of a galleon, Nuestra Señora de Loreto, of forty-four guns, and the patache San Bartolomé, of eight guns, at Guayaquil between the years 1617-1621.10 Nevertheless, his successor, the Marqués de Guadalcázar, could muster no more than five major vessels for his armada in 1624 when the Dutch reappeared in the Pacific. Under intense pressure and with little time, Guadalcázar shifted his first fine of defense from the sea to coastal fortifications and local militias. The armada was withheld from a direct meeting with the Dutch and thus escaped unscathed. The major confrontation occurred in the ports of Callao and Guayaquil, which were vigorously attacked by the Dutch. These assaults resulted in the first major land battles between Spain and her aggressors in the Viceroyalty of Peru.

This Dutch expedition resulted from the combined efforts of the East India Company, Prince Maurice of Nassau, and the States General. It was representative of the expanding Dutch empire. Commercial growth and capital accumulation had prompted the search for new markets, products, and good ventures, and the Spanish possessions in America as well as the Portuguese-Spanish colonies in the Far East offered an opportunity for expansion and investment. The professed mission of this expedition was to trade with the Spanish, if possible. In case a welcome were not extended (a likely event) the expedition was forcibly to plant a settlement.11

This alternative represented a major break with former Dutch aspirations of merely trading and raiding. The Twelve Years’ Truce had expired in 1621 and, when war between the Lowlands and Spain had been resumed, this expedition was sent to settle and colonize. It thus posed the first direct threat to Spanish territorial and political integrity in the Viceroyalty of Peru. If the Dutch expedition were to fail in the first two missions—trading and colonization—they were enjoined to capture or destroy ports, ships, and any other property, and then sail north and west and intercept the Manila galleons. The fleet of ten ships and a jacht was put under the command of Jacob l’Heremite and entered the Pacific on February 27, 1624.12

Although Viceroy Guadalcázar knew approximately how many ships made up the Dutch expedition and when they had entered the Pacific, he faced a quandary in late April. The armada with the silver has assembled at Callao and awaited the order of the viceroy to sail for Panama. He resolved to take the risk of having his vessels at sea, even with no fresh news of the Dutch whereabouts, rather than allow them to be blockaded and surely captured in Callao’s roadsteads. This small fleet of five vessels, two royal galleons and three private ships, departed the port on May 3.13 Five days later the Dutch learned of the missed opportunity as they sailed north and neared Callao.14 Missing the easy pickings of a treasure fleet in port was only the beginning of a streak of bad luck that plagued the invaders during the next four months.

In keeping with the new defense strategy of the viceroyalty, the Dutch discovered that Spanish coastal defenses had been prepared throughout the length of the viceroyalty in anticipation of their arrival. The sea was theirs but all else would be hotly disputed. In Quito and other interior cities of that Presidency arms and power were gathered, troops mustered, and marching orders prepared in the event relief had to be sent to Guayaquil. The port city itself could do little, for proper fortifications were a luxury it could not afford.15 “More or less” three hundred armed men could be expected to muster in defense of the city, and this number included “the country dwellers and up to fifty Negroes and Mulattoes.”16 In addition, reinforcements from the highlands, usually between two- and three-hundred armed men, could reach the city in a twelve- to fifteen-day march.17 As so often proved the case, the number of people present in the event did not quite reach the estimate of those available. When the Dutch first attacked early in June, about 190 men manned the city’s defenses, armed with seventy firelock long guns (escopetas), one small artillery piece, and two small mortars.18

In Callao the viceroy planned a defense based on gunboats and the rapid concentration of troops. Thirteen armed launches were built before and during the seige while all soldiery in the vicinity were summoned to the port.19 L’Heremite meanwhile fell severely ill in late May and died on June 2; command of the expedition devolved on the young and inexperienced vice-admiral, Gheen Huygen Schapenham. Several landings were attempted on or about Callao during May, but these probes proved the strength of the viceroy’s preparations for all were repulsed by rapid concentrations of troops and cannon.20 The Dutch did have command of the sea and on the night of May 12 they burned about thirty or forty merchant vessels lying at anchor. Even this undertaking almost backfired. The burning Spanish vessels were caught by a strong offshore breeze and were blown down onto the Dutch fleet which had to shift about rather rapidly to avoid disaster. By mid-May all plans of invasion and settlement in the Lima area had been dropped, and the Dutch adopted “merely predatory” goals.21 Callao and possibly Lima had been saved. The Dutch also attacked Pisco to the south with a strong contingent detached from Callao but, again, the Spanish frustrated this amphibious assault.22

A similar detachment of two ships under the command of Rear Admiral J. Wilhelm Vershoor was sent to attack Guayaquil. The defense of the city in early June proved uneven, and the Dutch penetrated the outer defenses. Repulsed after some sharp fighting, they left much of the city in flames as they retreated.23 After the attack the city’s defenders complained vociferously that their powder supply had been inadequate, that they had been severely outnumbered, and that Quito’s tardy assistance had been responsible for the Dutch success in overrunning the city’s defenses. Nonetheless, the Dutch lost between thirty-five and fifty-five men and more than thirty wounded, while Spanish casualties numbered no more than ten dead and a few score wounded.24 The damage done to the city was extensive, but the victory belonged to the Spanish who had rallied at the end of the battle and forced the Protestants out of the burning city at swordpoint.

The victory celebration was shortlived. When the Dutch reunited their entire fleet in Callao they turned their full strength on Guayaquil. The city appeared vulnerable and a successful attack might avenge some of the earlier frustrations against the Spanish in land engagements.25 Schapenham weighed anchor on August 16 and headed north for the Gulf of Guayaquil. This second assault on the city occurred on August 27 and was made by over 400 musketeers, swordsmen, and pikemen. It was met by a comparable number of Spaniards including the original defenders reinforced by a strong contingent from the highlands.26 A pitched battle resulted, and the Spanish ultimately carried the day and ejected the Dutch.27 The city again suffered severe physical damage, although the ragtag retreat of the Dutch left no doubt as to the result.

The clear but costly victory nonetheless brought into focus the differences in priorities that existed between vulnerable communities such as Guayaquil and the viceroy in Lima. The citizens of the port demanded adequate fortifications. President Antonio de Morga in Quito added his somewhat qualified support in favor of such measures. But the question involved both strategic values and financial considerations and could not be easily resolved. The city itself could afford nothing in the way of permanent fortifications; the task of mustering and arming its citizens in time of peril exhausted its limited resources. Morga could be vociferous in support of the city’s needs but stopped short of financial support. It was more than either Quito’s treasury or citizens could afford. All but impregnable in the fastness of the Andes, quiteños felt little threat and were disinclined to support Morga on behalf of Guayaquil.28 When the problem eventually reached the viceroy he had to reconcile the state of his treasury with the numerous strategic defensive needs of the greater viceroyalty.

How could the viceroyalty best defend itself? The small standing armada could block large Dutch fleets such as at Cañete only temporarily and ineffectually. However, the frustration of the Nassau fleet’s attempts to take Callao or Guayaquil proved the value of rapid concentration in the immediately threatened area. Masters of the seas the Spanish were not, but they could be formidable adversaries on land. Here lay a strength inadvertently discovered by Guadalcázar that was parlayed into an overall effective defensive strategy by his successor, Viceroy Conde de Chinchón. Part of the strategy was to deprive the enemy of many worthwhile targets. This entailed a policy of “no settlement” along the coasts of the viceroyalty, or at least minimal settlement.29 Not only were potential sites for foreign colonization reduced but the Spanish would restrict the sources for replenishment and repairs so critical to any campaigner in the Pacific far from friendly bases.30 The second part of the defensive policy was properly to prepare those few main settlements along the viceroyalty’s coast to repel attacks. Callao had been fortified and the forces at hand in Lima were easily concentrated and enough to awe the Dutch. Guayaquil and Puná, on the other hand, were not only vital but still vulnerable.

As noted, Morga and the citizens of Guayaquil demanded fortifications as the basic prerequisite for a proper defense establishment. Unwilling to make hasty decisions that involved large expenditures, Viceroy Chinchón sent Captain Miguel de Sese to Guayaquil in 1628 to study the situation. Sese’s report emphasized the importance of the port “because it was the principal shipyard where the galleons of this viceroyalty are manufactured.”31 Furthermore, if Puná or Guayaquil were occupied by the Dutch, the main route of trade in the Eastern Pacific between Lima and Panama would be threatened.32

Chinchón nevertheless decided against fortifications.33 He considered the outlay unnecessary and reasoned that since the city had defended itself successfully during the last attack it needed no added defensive measures. It was a calculated risk based on the premise that the Dutch would not attack again in greater force, and on the knowledge that the city enjoyed the military support of Quito which, when combined with Guayaquil’s forces, would likely be able to repel any attacks. Behind this immediate decision lay the fact that the viceroy was continually pressured by the metropolis to economize and keep remittances to Spain as high as possible. Furthermore, the relative inaccessibility of the Pacific to invaders lessened the risk. To the viceroyalty’s citizens these policies may have appeared to border on neglect, but broad financial and strategic considerations had to be considered by the viceroy. And, after all, a defensive policy that rested on local resources had been tested successfully by fire.

The last Dutch attack on the viceroyalty proved the validity of the viceroy’s decision. Hendrik Brouwer led an expedition into the Pacific in 1643 with the intention of establishing a settlement somewhere along the coast of the viceroyalty.34 He landed at Valdivia and managed to establish a foothold by the time Viceroy Marqués de Mancera knew of the expedition’s presence in the Pacific. Mancera hastily assembled a rather large fleet of twelve vessels, mostly merchantmen armed for the occasion, and dispatched it south. How effective this fleet would have been against crack Dutch warships of the period is a moot question. The inhabitants of Valdivia and the province of Chile, relying on their own resources, ejected the Dutch who turned for the Horn and home before Mancera’s fleet arrived.

The Buccaneering Period

There followed a forty-year period of respite from attack which proved a boon to the general maritime community of the viceroyalty but exacted a rather stiff toll in preparedness.35 The armada had slipped into such an advanced state of decay by the early 1680s that it would have necessitated a vast expenditure to successfully reconstitute it.36 Cost-saving practices, such as keeping a small watch section aboard while in port and recruiting a full complement only when sailing, seriously hampered discipline and training.37 Viceroy Duque de la Palata’s attempts in the early 1680s to purchase two large packet ships, navíos de aviso, at Buenos Aires and bring them into the Pacific with one hundred veteran sailors were frustrated by a parsimonious junta de hacienda in Lima.38 The treasury officials sat with and counseled the viceroy on major decisions regarding expenditures and strong objections raised in the junta acted as an effective veto on the viceroy. Major overhauls of the vessels in service were prohibitive in cost and rarely made. The merchants of Lima made a tentative offer in this period to build a vessel for the fleet costing 100,000 pesos, and this suggestion anticipated a later more determined action in the realm of private initiative for public defense on the account of the consulado.39 Nonetheless, few repairs, improvements, or additions were made in the 1670s and early 1680s, and buccaneers who wandered into the viceroyalty’s waters in the 1680s discovered a flaccid defense both at sea and on land.

These buccaneers were a heterogeneous group of cutthroats, poets, adventurers, erstwhile merchants, and diarists bound by the common vocation of preying upon the Spanish colonies. Campaigning in the Pacific still was an arduous adventure, whether one sailed into the South Sea the southern way or crossed over at Panama or Central America in search of Spanish vessels to capture and provide mobility at sea. Forced out of the Caribbean by overcrowded conditions, several buccaneers spilled over into the Pacific in search of new and more lucrative game.

The merchantmen of the viceroyalty were virtually defenseless against the well-armed, determined buccaneers and consequently were ruthlessly victimized.40 Costly depredations and widespread alarm throughout the viceroyalty in early 1684 caused Viceroy Palata to close all ports.41 This drastic action soon had to be reversed for the coastal trade, especially in foodstuffs, was too critical to let lapse for long.

Where was the armada at a time when over two-thirds of the merchantmen were being taken and at least half-a-dozen localities attacked between 1684 and 1686?42 It was tied up at Callao while the merchants and the viceroy argued. Palata was pressed for time. The galleons from Spain were already reported to be at Cartagena and it was imperative to get the Peruvian silver to Panama in time to expedite the Porto Bello Fair.43 The merchants, however, were thoroughly cowed by the piratical activity and would not embark their silver without viceregal assurance of safety. This he could not guarantee, but “to animate the pusillanimous ones” Palata embarked the King’s silver and resolved to send it north with or without the private remittances.44 Some merchants finally decided to take the risk and, as it happened, the fleet reached Panama safely.

A chance to deal a decisive blow to a large portion of the buccaneers campaigning in the Pacific occurred soon thereafter. The armada sent up from Peru included two old galleons that mounted forty guns apiece, two smaller warships that carried forty guns between them and two armed merchant vessels. It formed a respectable fleet on paper and it surprised a rendezvous of buccaneers that included Edward Davis and others just off the coast in the midst of an archipelago.45 The lumbering Spanish vessels never managed to close with the pirates who escaped almost unscathed through the islands. The Spanish claims to victory were hollow, for more excuses were offered than pirate ships sunk, damaged, or captured. There had been an unfortunate change of wind; unheard-of speed demonstrated by the pirate vessels (largely ships captured from the Spanish); there had been much bad luck.46 The final unheroic episode occurred off Paita as the armada returned to Callao. San José, the capitana of forty guns, caught fire, her magazines exploded, and she went down with over 300 souls and all her artillery.47 Buccaneering activity continued unabated and their accomplishments at Guayaquil within a year provided a measure of the Spanish defenses at their seventeeth-century nadir.

An earlier aborted attack had been made on the city in 1684 by a loose alliance of buccaneers under Charles Swan, Edward Davis, and Peter Harris.48 They had been discovered at some distance downriver from the city and their proposed assault sputtered out. Surprise was a key element in most buccaneering successes, and in this instance the pirates backed off in the face of an alert city. Interlopers again approached Guayaquil in 1687 and this time the specter of invasion materialized with such dire results that even the location of the city was eventually changed. The band that attacked in late April was under the command of François Grogniet and a Captain Le Picard and numbered close to three hundred individuals.49 They gathered off the coast of Central America and sailed for Guayaquil in early spring.

The city was aware of the potential threat of invasion. Viceroy Palata, in the tradition of his predecessors, relied upon local defenses and thus had kept Guayaquil well informed of piratical movements, principally those of Edward Davis, off the Peruvian and Chilean coasts. Preparations for defense of the city were normal under the circumstances, but, unlike 1624, no assistance was expected from the highlands.50 The many feints and threats made by passing buccaneers over the past years had triggered the cry wolf too often, and the ten- to fourteen-day march from the mountains to the coast was an exercise in futility when used against the sudden appearances of buccaneers.

Not only were the port dwellers deprived of support from the interior, but attempts to meet the threat at sea were also frustrated. Soon after the pirates landed and were detected near the mouth of the Guayas River, the corregidor in Guayaquil called a meeting of his council of war to decide if the Spanish should immediately take the offensive and meet the buccaneers afloat. That strategy was aborted by the avariciousness of the shipowners who wanted the value of their property assured from loss.51 Deprived of Quito’s assistance and reluctant to meet the invaders at sea, the port dwellers were truly thrown back on their own devices during this assault.

The pirates ascended the river on the night of April 19-20 and landed a short distance below Guayaquil in the early morning. Emboldened by the lack of opposition and guided through the near impenetrable mangrove forest around the city by a renegade Indian and a mulatto, they fell on Guayaquil at dawn.52 The battle for the city was sharp but short and ended abruptly when the buccaneers successfully captured the small fortress on Santa Ana hill that dominated the city and turned its cannons on the Spanish below.53 After the city was sacked, many of its citizens brutalized, and a handsome ransom extorted, the pirates left Guayaquil and its vicinity. They were only lightly challenged at sea by two Spanish vessels that came from Callao in search of the invaders, and consequently withdrew largely intact.54 The thoroughly frustrated and traumatized citizens of the port were at wits end and soon determined on a drastic act for their better defense in the future. Meanwhile radical steps had already been taken in Lima by local capitalists to destroy this buccaneering plague that had stymied the viceroy and pillaged the colony.

In late 1686 or early 1687 eight citizens of the capital took the initiative in defense of the viceroyalty.55 Too many ships had been plundered, too many ports sacked, and commerce had all but come to a standstill.56 The viceroy was hamstrung by a lack of funds and an attempt on the part of the Council of the Indies in 1686 to purchase and send six frigates for the defense of the South Sea was frustrated by the Crown’s determination to spend the money on the defense of the national borders instead.57 Under these difficult circumstances the eight, all with commercial relations, petitioned the viceroy to allow the formation of a company, to be called Nuestra Señora de la Guía, for the express purpose of sweeping the South Sea clean of the buccaneers.58 They intended to arm three vessels and proposed to the viceroy for approval twelve articles for the government and operation of the company.59 The essential ones provided for autonomy in administration, exemption from ship registry, the provision of powder and cannon by the viceroy, the use of royal shipyards and repair facilities, and reciprocity of rank for their officers with those of the armada.

The company’s charter was approved by the viceroy and it soon had armed and at sea two ships, San José and San Nicolás, and a patache. The two major vessels were commanded by the Biscayan captains Dionisio Artunduaga and Nicolás Igarza, respectively. The successful formation of the company was due in large measure to the ability of the original organizers to raise funds rapidly. Not only was the merchant community at Lima tapped but those with mining interests in the interior were prevailed upon to contribute as well. Don Juan Luis López, an alcalde of Huancavelica, gathered over 420,000 pesos from the miners of that area for the company.60 Nuestra Señora de la Guía’s success would benefit all, and the capitalists in Peru were quite willing to support such an enterprise. The organizers and supporters eventually received ample returns from their investment but not before some severe trials. San Nicolás was lost on a sandbank off Atacames but was replaced by a vessel comparable in all respects, San Francisco de Paula. The resiliency and resources of the organization were tested by this incident. On the other hand, Artunduaga on San José eventually broke the back of the immediate buccaneering threat in the Pacific. When he returned to Callao in 1690, twenty-one months after sailing, he brought with him seven piratical vessels and the knowledge that the Pacific was clear of buccaneers.61

While the company had removed the imminent danger, uncertainty about the future continued to trouble maritime communities such as Guayaquil. Her principle line of defense still lay at the city’s edge and her dependence upon local resources was no less accentuated. In search of reasons for the 1687 disaster charges of unpreparedness, cowardice, and incompetency were traded about freely by the survivors. Juan Pérez de Villamar, who had been in the city during the attack and had lost two sons to the pirates, blamed the tragedy “on the carelessness and mismanagement of the corregidor and other royal officials, who neglected adequately to provide for powder and munitions.”62 Lazaro Maiorga, an artilleryman present at the battle, gave testimony that tends to corroborate Don Juan’s bitter recollections of that day.63 The reluctance or inability of the viceroy to furnish subordinates with adequate powder, guns, and munitions reflected his impoverished treasury and was certainly an example of the local defense principle in practice. Furthermore, Fortín San Carlos which commanded the city had been critically undermanned. The officer in charge had been absent for the duration of the battle, while at one point Maiorga testified that only he and two other artillerymen, Diego Lopez and Patrón, were left to man the cannon.64 Quito had, of course, sent no assistance due to the time lag. The lack of this contingent, which had been present during the attack by the Dutch in 1624, seriously weakened the city’s defenses. Finally the Spanish had simply been outfought by a hardened, fast-hitting band of criminals who naturally prevailed over a citizenry that had lived in peace for fifty years.

A different cause for the disaster occurred to the guayaquileños. The location of the city was considered indefensible and it was resolved to move the city in the early 1690s.65 This decision was sent to the viceroy for approval. It was proposed to evacuate the present location and reconstruct about “a cannon shot’s” distance downstream where adequate fortifications, especially for the royal shipyards, might be raised and the obvious natural passages behind the city blocked.66 Additionally, the proposed new site was described as less prone to tides and floods and hence more salubrious.

The viceroy should have taken a deep interest in this project. Even if unable to spare moneys from the royal treasury for any future fortifications, the relocation was a major enterprise that could affect the defensive posture of the city as well as the industrial value of Guayaquil as the leading producer of ships for the viceroyalty. Viceroy Monclova showed nothing but indifference to the proposal and hostility to a plan forwarded by the inhabitants to finance the fortifications for the new site. In response to the city’s petition to relocate, Monclova contemptuously informed the King that “whether they move or not is of little importance.”67 He dismissed the matter as picayune after commenting that it was not convenient to construct new presidios when the royal treasury could not even support the old ones.68 Nevertheless, after several entreaties, he did ask the new president of the Audiencia of Quito, Matheo de la Mata, to inquire into the situation when he passed through Guayaquil on the way to his new post. This Mata did and his favorable comments on the proposal enabled the citizens to make their move.69

Attempts to receive a special viceregal dispensation to finance new construction and fortifications met with an uncompromising “no” from Lima. The guayaquileños proposed that the prohibition on the cacao traffic between Peru and New Spain be lifted and a special duty be imposed on cacao that passed through the port of Guayaquil. This income would be used to finance the construction of new fortifications, royal docks, warehouses, and so forth.70 The viceroy commented that it was not within his province to make such a grant and hence refused. The principle behind this policy lay in Spain’s determination to rigidly control and guide colonial trade and bullion to the mother country. The policy implemented in this instance denied Guayaquil a potentially lucrative source of income and a boost to her defenses. Rancor was generated between the city and the viceroy who could not or would not allow Guayaquil to gird herself by tapping a completely native industry. The incompleteness of the fortifications that the city was able to afford was demonstrated by a disastrous raid in 1709 when another interloper, Woodes Rogers, once again sacked the city.

As for the armada, it had all but ceased to exist in the 1690s. The old galleon Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, built between 1656-1659, was the only vessel in service and in need of extensive repairs. The viceroy resolved to rebuild the fleet but was forced to rely almost wholly on the resources of the capital’s mercantile community, since the royal treasury was incapable of absorbing such an expenditure.71 Monclova rather wistfully acknowledged that his predecessors had lived in better times when they spent “such a fortune from the royal treasury” on the construction of ships.72

Now, the consulado of Lima was in debt to the Crown for past favors and monopolies granted and additionally, of course, was acutely conscious of the possibility of a renewed buccaneering campaign in the South Seas. While the Nuestra Señora de la Guía Company had given excellent service it had only been a temporary expedient and a strong armada was always the preferable alternative. Monclova thus happily accepted the proposal of the consulado to foot the bill for two new galleons and a patache to be built at Guayaquil as repayment for their debts.73 These three ships were launched in 1695 and demonstrated, along with the Nuestra Señora de la Guía, the deep involvement of private initiative and capital in the defense of the viceroyalty.


This brief review of Spanish defenses in the viceroyalty has focused on the response of Peru’s smaller communities and the private sector of the economy to the implementation of a strategy derived ultimately from the deep Atlantic orientation of the Spanish Empire. Several factors placed the Pacific in a low priority position in regard to the expenditure of moneys and manpower by the Crown. The area was extremely difficult to reach for most of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and hence was considered virtually invulnerable. The attention directed by foreigners to the area was so infrequent that the upkeep of a large defense establishment was financially improvident and would have been out of proportion to the threat.74 The silver fleets that sailed from Callao to Panama were the Crown’s only visible assets and these could be sufficiently protected by a relatively small fleet. Finally, as the century wore on Crown revenues from the American mines dropped and outlying regions of the empire were among the first to feel the shrinkage of expenditures for defense. The net result of these policies and practices was to saddle the viceroyalty with almost full responsibility to provide the men, materials, and moneys for its own protection.

Reliance upon the armada as the first line of defense was discarded between the Cañete engagement of 1615 and the Nassau expedition of 1624. It was simply too expensive to maintain a large fleet for such occasional intrusions. Parity with and finally superiority over the enemy was discovered in the local defense establishments of the viceroyalty’s ports and major coastal cities. Lima and Guayaquil in 1624 and Valdivia in 1643 were attacked by large Dutch expeditions aimed at permanent settlement that ultimately broke down in the face of organized local resistance with little or no help from the armada.

The long respite between 1643 and the 1680s only served to estrange the councils of the Crown even further from the defense requirements of the viceroyalty. Consequently, when buccaneers flooded into the viceroyalty in the 1680s, the defenses were shockingly inadequate. The armada was absolutely unable to prevent the piracy of more than two-thirds of the viceroyalty’s merchant marine and lapsed into its historic role of silver convoy and comatic onlooker. Local defenses crumbled in the face of unrelenting surprise attacks that wore down the local citizenry, already handicapped by shortages of powder, guns, and munitions. The heavy losses at sea and the disastrous assaults on the ports brought home the full realization that responsibility for the defense of the viceroyalty had indeed passed wholly to its citizens. Formation of the private Nuestra Señora de la Guía Company was perhaps the clearest and most tangible result of this recognition.75 The viceroy’s complete acquiescence in this matter as well as in die novel arrangements made to finance and construct new additions for the armada in the 1690s bespoke an unbalanced relationship between the office of the viceroy and the merchants of Peru. It was the merchants who delayed departures of the silver fleets, the merchants who forced Palata in 1685 to lift the ban on all intra-viceregal shipping, the merchants who finally swept the Pacific clear of buccaneers, and the merchants who financed the reconstruction of the armada. While this group of powerful men provided the private initiative and capital to defend the viceroyalty, small ports such as Guayaquil continued to be the objects of neglect and indifference on the part of the viceroys. As a whole, it must be said, these royal administrators were well-meaning but bound by ultimate loyalty to strategies and economies dictated from Spain. Consequently, Guayaquil’s attempts to better its geographical location and finance new defenses were met by an unresponsive and even hostile viceroy. He was concerned that the laws of the realm be observed, no matter how self-defeating they might seem to local interests. After that each community had to bear up to attacks and threats of attack as best it could.

The defense of the viceroyalty had been very clearly a function of local resources and private initiative for most of the seventeenth century. These practices were caused by policies generated in a Spain conscious of the vital importance of the Atlantic basin and the relative expendibility of the extremities of the Empire. The policy when applied to Peru, estranged the viceroy from many merchants and cabildos of the viceroyalty and bred a self-determination in defensive matters that marked a further maturation of the colony in the relatively quiet but formative seventeenth century.


This thesis is best stated by John Lynch, Spain Under the Habsburgs, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1964, 1969), II, 193, 195, 218 and is substantiated to a significant degree by D. A. Brading and Harry E. Cross, “Colonial Silver Mining: Mexico and Peru,” HAHR, 52:4 (November 1972), 545-579. My paper, “Trade and Navigation in the Seventeenth-Century Viceroyalty of Peru,” delivered at the Southern Historical Association Convention in November 1973, views the increase of the Peruvian merchant marine and the growth of inter- and intra-viceregal shipping as a strong indication of the trend.


For some accounts of the Dutch in the Pacific see Engel Sluiter, “Dutch Maritime Power and the Colonial Status Quo, 1585-1641,” The Pacific Historical Review, 11:1 (March 1942), 29-41; Peter Gerhard, Pirates on the West Coast of New Spain, 1575-1742 (Glendale, California, i960), pp. 101-134; Lynch, Spain Under the Habsburgs, II, 178-184; John Phelan, The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth Century; Bureaucratic Politics in the Spanish Empire (Madison, 1967), pp. 86-118.


James Burney’s A Chronological History of the Discoveries in the South Sea or Pacific Ocean, 5 vols. (London, 1803-1817) remains the classic work from the piratical point of view; Cesareo Fernández Duro, Armada española desde la unión de los reinos de Castilla y de León, 9 vols. (Madrid, 1895-1903), V, chapters entitled “Siguen los Filibusteros, 1673” and “Fin de los Filibusteros” provide the basic story from the Spanish side.


Gerhard, Pirates, p. 108.


Ibid., p. 109.


In addition to Joris van Speilbergen’s account of this battle in The East and West Indian Mirror, Being an Account of Joris van Speilbergen’s Voyage Round the World, 1614-1617 (London, 1906), see Fernández Duro, Armada española, III, chap. XXV, “Función de Cañete, 1615;” and Pedro Rodríguez Crespo, “El peligro holandés en las costas peruanas a principios del siglo XVII: la expedición de Spilbergen y la defensa del virreynato (1615),” Revista Histórica, Lima, 26 (1964), 259-310.


According to Phelan, Kingdom of Quito, p. 99, the Dutch fleet narrowly missed intercepting the vessel which was carrying Antonio de Morga, the newly designated President of the Audiencia of Quito, from Panama to Guayaquil. Speilbergen had hoped to capture the new viceroy of Peru, the Príncipe de Esquiladle, sailing down from Panama about the same time. A report of this incident by Esquuache in Archivo General de Indias (cited hereinafter as AGI), Contaduría 1706, makes clear his narrow escape. The incident helped the new viceroy to become conscious of his weakened sea defenses and the inadequacy of his fleet, especially since the galleon he sailed on, the Jesús María, leaked and handled badly.


Viceroy Conde del Villar to King, July 28, 1588 in Roberto Levillier, ed., Gobernantes del Perú, cartas y papeles, siglo XVI, 14 vols. (Madrid, 1921-1926), XI, 145; Viceroy Luis de Velasco to King, Dec. 7, 1600, ibid., XIV, 295.


Guillermo Céspedes del Castillo, “La defensa militar del istmo de Panamá a fines del siglo XVII y comienzos del XVIII,” Anuario de Estudios Americanos, 9 (1952), 251.


AGI, Contaduría 1705, 1706, & 1707.


Gerhard, Pirates, p. 123.


Burney, Chronological History, III, 16. Burney used the account of the voyage kept by a member of the Nassau expedition, Adlop Decker. A rendition of Decker’s journal may also be found in John Callender, Terra Australis Cognita; or, Voyages to the Terra Australis, or Southern Hemisphere, 3 vols. (Edinburgh, 1766-1768). A microprint edition of this work is also available.


Antonio de Morga to King, September 20, 1624, AGI, Quito 10; the armada was often enlarged by private merchant ships temporarily impressed into service.


Burney, Chronological History, III, 19; letter from Morga to King, September 20, 1624, AGI, Quito 10.


Viceroy Conde de Chinchón to King, April 15, 1630, AGI, Quito 11; Phelan, Kingdom of Quito, pp. 104-105.


Chinchón to King, April 15, 1630, AGI, Quito 11.


Ibid. Phelan, Kingdom of Quito, writes in two places, pp. 105 and 108, that one hundred men were outfitted in the mountains and sent to Guayaquil. The viceroy’s estimate was based on the maximum available, while Phelan refers to those that actually made the trek from the highlands to the coast that winter in aid of Guayaquil.


Probanza of Diego Navarrete, May 11, 1625, AGI, Quito 18.


Ricardo Cappa, Estudios críticos acerca de la dominación española en América, 20 vols. (Madrid, 1889-1897), XI, 25-26.


Burney, Chronological History, III, 20-23.


Ibid., p. 23.


Ibid., p. 25.


Morga to King, September 20, 1624, AGI, Quito 10; probanza of Diego Navarrete, May 11, 1625, AGI, Quito 18; Audiencia of Quito to King, April 8, 1625, AGI, Quito 10.


Navarrete’s probanza, May 11, 1625, AGI, Quito 18, supplies the lowest figure of Spanish casualties and the highest for the Dutch; Adlop Decker’s diary (Burney, Chronological History, III, 27) naturally exaggerates the toll in favor of the Dutch. He numbers the Dutch losses at thirty-five killed and pegs the Spanish dead at about one hundred.


Burney, Chronological History, III, 29, expresses some surprise at the choice; “something however it was necessary to do, and as Guayaquil had been proved vulnerable, Schapenham formed the strange resolution to attack it again.”


No figures were present in any sources examined which gave the exact number of defenders in the city. But, if we assume that at least one hundred-eighty to two hundred guayaquileños still defended their city and the reinforcements numbered about two hundred troops (Chinchón to King, April 15, 1630, AGI, Quito 11), the situation had improved considerably for the Spanish. There is some contradictory evidence (Phelan, Kingdom of Quito, p. 108, refers to “an expedition of one hundred soldiers” only). However, reinforcements from other highland provinces and from the hinterland of Guayaquil herself probably helped to boost the total number of Spanish defenders to over four hundred.


Probanza of Navarrete, May 11, 1625, AGI, Quito 18; Morga to King, September 20, 1624, AGI, Quito 10; Burney, Chronological History, III, 29, summed up the battle cryptically: “this second attack miscarried through the total neglect of discipline in the Dutch troops, who made a disgraceful retreat from the town with the loss of 28 men.”


Phelan, Kingdom of Quito, pp. 108-109, contains a discussion of Morga’s unsuccessful attempts to force the encomenderos to support the costs of those soldiers sent to Guayaquil’s assistance. Morga invoked feudal obligations, which the encomenderos rejected. Important is the fact that the quiteños displayed a rather narrow-minded insularity which grated on Morga and contrasted with his concepts of the Empire’s needs in global terms.


The policy was implemented in extreme forms on the northern coast of Hispañola in the 1630s and 1640s when the entire Spanish population was removed to deprive buccaneers of havens. Phelan, Kingdom of Quito, pp. 104-105, discusses the rationale of this policy in the Pacific. He makes an interesting observation relative to the long-range effects of the policy. “‘Piracy’ in the Pacific did less immediate material harm than it did damage to potential territorial expansion along the coast. The long stretches of unsettled littoral along the coasts of Spanish America may be traced, in part at least, to this policy;” see also Gerhard, Pirates, p. 242.


The Nassau fleet had used the island of San Lorenzo in Callao harbor with no Spanish opposition. Larger and more well developed islands off the viceroyalty’s coast, such as Chiloé, the Juan Fernández Islands, and the Galapagos were all vulnerable and favorite rendezvous of campaigners in the Pacific, underscoring the Spanish weakness at sea. Puná was also a favorite haven, for it contained not only provisions, but an active shipyard where necessary replacements for repairs might be frequently found. Schapenham’s tattered sailors and marines lay up at the island for over two weeks, licking wounds and preparing for the voyage to New Spain. Because it was an island and sensitive to the control of the sea it could be used with relative impunity by the Dutch.


Chinchón to King, April 15, 1630, AGI, Quito 11.


Ibid.; Phelan, Kingdom of Quito, p. 107; Jorge Juan y Antonio de Ulloa, Noticias secretas de América, 2 vo£s. (Madrid, 1918) dedicated over three pages (I, 33-36) to an assessment of the strategic value of Guayaquil and speculated whether a foreign power could hold and, indeed, thrive in the area. Their predictions of the course of events that might follow the capture of Guayaquil contained some provocative opinions. Could foreigners survive without the normal imports of wines and flours? They could because they would have wisely captured another area on the Pacific coast to supply themselves with such necessities. Could they forcibly be dislodged? It was highly unlikely due to their superior forces and control of the sea. The Dutch occupation of Brazil obviously served as one of their models. Even though the young Spanish lieutenants visited the port in the 1740s, Guayaquil’s importance and vulnerability had not changed appreciably from the 1630s.


Chinchón to King, April 15, 1630, AGI, Quito 11.


Burney, Chronological History, III, 115-145; José Toribio Medina, Viajes relativos a Chile, 1615-1815, 2 vols. (Santiago de Chile, 1962), I, 51-86; Cappa, Estudios críticos, XI, 30.


Although Henry Morgan’s sack of Panama occurred in 1670 and piratical activity spread into the Pacific in that decade, it was not until the 1680s that serious depradations affected the heart of the viceroyalty; see Céspedes del Castillo, “La defensa . . .,” for the best summary of this period and the Panama region.


While there were three major vessels available to the viceroy in the 1670s, Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, thirty-two guns, San José, thirty-two guns, and San Lorenzo, thirty guns, the first two were over twenty years old, the Lorenzo was a converted merchantman, and all were sadly in need of repairs. They could transport the silver and provide a semblance of escort service for merchant vessels sailing in their company, but even this ability was seriously questioned by the Lima silver merchants in 1684 who refused to embark their silver in the armada that year because of the buccaneers’ presence in the Pacific.


Céspedes del Castillo, “La defensa . . .,” p. 249; even the general of the armada was squeezed by money-saving shortcuts, for he was paid not as the fleet’s commander but simply as the captain of marines stationed at Callao. Consequently he had little interest in the maintenance of the fleet and training of its personnel (“sobre lo que a escrito Dn Melchor de Navarra . . .,” Feb. 16, 1685, AGI, Lima 297).


Manuel de Mendiburu, Diccionario histórico-biográfico del Perú, 11 vols. (Lima, 1931-1935 [1874-1880]), VIII, 86.




Céspedes del Castillo, “La defensa . . .,” pp. 242-243; “the merchantmen, undefended and lacking armed escorts, were such easy pickings that the pirates had abeady captured thirty-four by May of 1685; the total captured reached seventy-two by the end of the following year, or almost two-thirds of the Pacific merchantmen.”


Ibid., p. 242.


Almost all merchantmen were released soon after capture, for the buccaneers were not about to kill the goose that lays the golden egg, as Céspedes del Castillo so aptly noted.


Cappa, Estudios críticos, XI, 42-43.




See Gerhard, Pirates, pp. 160-161; Fernández Duro, Armada española, V, Chapter entitled “Fin de los Filibusteros, 1683-1700”; Cappa, Estudios críticos, XI, 44-45.


Cappa, Estudios críticos, XI, 44-45.


Ibid.; Viceroy Duque de la Palata to King, AGI, Lima 88.


William Dampier, A New Voyage Round the World (London, 1927), pp. 175-181.


Gerhard, Pirates, p. 185. Both Burney and Gerhard depended on Raveneau de Lussan’s account of the raid, entitled Journal de voyage fait a la mer de sud, avec les flibustiers de l’Amerique en 1684 e années suivantes (Paris, 1689) which was translated by Marguerite Eyer Wilbur, Raveneau de Lussan, Buccaneer of the Spanish Main (Cleveland, 1929).


The sources that deal with the preparations are contradictory. For example, Don Juan Pérez de Villamar, an eyewitness (Villamar to King, Dec. 29, 1696, AGI, Quito 34), blamed the subsequent sad defense of the city on the negligence of the corregidor, Ponce de León, and his dismal preparations. Dionisio de Alsedo y Herrera, Compendio histórico de la provincia, partidos, ciudades, astilleros, ríos y puerto de Guayaquil, en las costas del mar del sur (Madrid, 1741), which is reproduced in Elicier Enríquez’s Guayaquil á través de los siglos (Quito, 1946), wrote of the episode less than fifty years later and claimed the city was well prepared, p. 43. Other eyewitness accounts incorporated into the text below tend to verify Villamar’s assessment.


“Traslado de los autos . . . 1687,” AGI, Quito 159.


“Traslado de los autos . . . 1687,” AGI, Quito 159; Alvarez de Aviles testified that the traitors were “an Indian named Josephillo who worked aboard ships in the river trade and a mulatto citizen of this city named Manuel Boso, who was fugitive for having murdered a Juan Mendes some time ago.” Alsedo y Herrera, Compendio, p. 43, tends to corroborate this story, for he blamed the ensuing debacle on the betrayal of a disgruntled mulatto who led the buccaneers into the city. Burney, Chronological History, does not mention the incident.


“Traslado de los autos . . . 1687,” AGI, Quito 149.


The Spanish version of this encounter describes the action as hot and heavy at times, in which one Spanish vessel lost bowsprit and foremast and two small pirate vessels were captured during one particularly close engagement. Nevertheless, the very few wounded reported by either side, coupled with the fact that the buccaneers successfully got away from the Gulf of Guayaquil, tends to substantiate the buccaneers interpretation of the events (Burney, Chronological History, III, 256-257). For the Spanish version see “Traslado de los autos . . . 1687,” AGI, Quito 159; Mendiburu, Diccionario histórico, VIII, 87; Cappa, Estudios críticos, XI, 52; Fernández Duro, Armada española, V, “Fin de los Filibusteros, 1683-1700.”


Cappa, Estudios críticos, XI, 50.


Many terrorized coastal inhabitants had fled inland and Arica for example was left empty in 1686 (Céspedes del Castillo, “La defensa . . .,” 248).


Ibid., p. 249. The President of the Council wrote indignantly that “what [moneys] I ask for the Indies comes from the Indies” and “in the name of justice we owe them this help and nothing else,” all to no avail. Peru was for Peru to protect.


Ibid.; Cappa, Estudios criticos, XI, 50.


The twelve articles are enumerated in Cappa, Estudios críticos, XI, 50-51.


Ibid., 52-53.


Ibid.; Céspedes del Castillo, “La defensa . . .,” pp. 251-252. After 1690 the corsair threat diminished considerably and the Company, in consequence, also languished. It leased some of its ships or employed them in commercial voyages to enable them to be maintained. Nevertheless, royal officials were suspicious that the vessels were being used illegally by taking advantage of their exemption from registry. In 1693 the company sold its ships and ceased to exist.


Villamar to King, 1696, AGI, Quito 34.


“Traslado de los autos . . . 1687,” AGI, Quito 159.




The affair actually lasted over a decade, with the generation of much ill will and production of many suits and injunctions by those dissenters who viewed the move as a personal disaster; see a “cabildo abierto sobre la mudanza de la ciudad,” January 23, 1690, Actas del Cabildo Colonial de la Ciudad de Guayaquil, Archivo Histórico de la Biblioteca Municipal, Guayaquil, Book VII, for the pros and cons aired by the citizens; Viceroy Monclova to King, July 18, 1696, AGI, Quito 34, presents the viceroy’s part in the affair; Villamar to King, 1696, AGI, Quito 34, recapitulates the events from the point of view of a dissenter.


Monclova to King, Oct. 10, 1693, AGI, Quito 34.






A large dissenting faction, led by Don Juan de Viliamar, a regidor, successfully fought a ten year legal battle to stay in their homes or places of business in the old city, even after the viceroy, fed up with the quarreling factions, commanded everyone to move in 1696. Monclova felt eventually the sting of rebuke from the Council of the Indies whose ear Viliamar and his supporters had reached (“acuerdo del consejo . . .,” May 25, 1699, AGI, Quito 34).


This suggestion was not novel. It had been made as far back as 1626, when a temporary ban on cacao exports to New Spain was in force and was lifted by the viceroy in 1629. However, prohibition of the trade was again decreed in 1634 and the ban was in effect for the remainder of the seventeenth century.


Monclova to King, August 5, 1692, AGI, Lima 89.


Monclova to King, December 31, 1691, AGI, Lima 89; also Manuel Moreyra y Páz-Soldan and Guillermo Céspedes del Castillo, Virreinato peruano. Documentos para su historia. Collección de cartas de virreyes. Conde de la Monclova, 3 vols. (Lima, 1954-1955), II, 30, doc. no. 143, for a “memorial del Consulado al Rey,” July 24, 1694.


Monclova to King, December 31, 1691, AGI, Lima 89; see also Rocio Caracuel Moyano, “Los mercaderes del Perú y la financiación de los gastos de la monarquía, 1650-1700,” XXXVI Congreso Internacional de Americanistas, Actas y Memorias (Sevilla, 1966), 335-343, for costs incurred by the consulado in this business.


Lynch, Spain Under the Habsburgs, II, 184, concluded that heavy expenditures were incurred on military fortifications at Valdivia, Callao and Panama and “the metropolis lost more in defense expenditure than in enemy action.” However, this does not appear to have been the case, since almost all sources chronically complained about the inadequacy of Crown assistance in almost all aspects of defense, and depredations from enemy actions were severe in the 1680s.


That such large sums could be quickly collected for such an enterprise attests to the trend toward self-reliance described by Lynch, Spain Under the Habsburgs, II, 193, 199, 218 and, as mentioned in footnote 1, subscribed to in part by Brading and Cross, “Colonial Silver Mining: Mexico and Peru,” HAHR, 52:4 (November 1972), 545-579. Peru was retaining more of its mineral production, was becoming wealthier, and was moving towards an economy less and less dependent upon Spain. She thus possessed the resources to affect her defense posture; resources that were clearly evident in the formation of the Nuestra Señora de la Guía Company.

Author notes


The author is Assistant Professor in the Department of History of the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa. He wishes to acknowledge the financial support of a Shell International Studies Fellowship administered by Tulane University which allowed research for this article to be carried out in the archives of Ecuador, Peru, and Spain, and the assistance of Professors John Ramsey and Edward Moseley of the University of Alabama in its preparation.