Informe sobre lo sucedido a la Armada Real de Filipinas, y su victoria contra los holandeses, quienes tuvieron sitiada la ciudad de Manila durante seis meses

This document places us in one of the overseas regions of the Spanish Empire during the seventeenth century and focuses on one of the war episodes where the Spanish face the Dutch. This was printed in Lima by Francisco del Canto in 1619, a few years after the events that occurred in the Philippines. Since the arrival of Miguel López de Legazpi to the island region in 1564, the Spanish consolidated their political and economic presence little by little. The seventeenth century posed various challenges for Spaniards overseas and these were both natural events and the constant attack by enemies of the Spanish crown, as we see in the document.

Diego Gonzáles de Arcos, author of the document, was a Spanish notary who settled in the Philippines; recounted and participated in the events surrounding Joris van Spilbergen’s attack and his defeat at the Battle of Playa Honda. The latter was a Dutch privateer who ravaged different Spanish cities in the Pacific Ocean during the seventeenth century, which is why his defeat was of interest in Lima.

The document consists of six pages and constitutes a historical source that allows us to explore the history related to the Dutch corsairs who faced the Spanish Empire, the military strategies that were used to counter their attacks. In addition, it allows us to explore the different places that were connected thanks to navigation and war, as they are important economic enclaves. Undoubtedly, a document that provides us with a vision of unity and closeness within a Spanish Empire so geographically extensive.


Enrique Urteaga

Proyecto Estudios Indianos