11th of November, 1521

Monday, the 11th of November, Chechilideroix, one of the above-mentioned sons of the King of Tarenate, came with two prahus to the ships sounding drums: he was dressed in red velvet. We learned that he had near him the widow and sons of Francisco Serrano. When we knew him, being aware that he was an enemy of the King of Tadore, we sent to ask him whether we might receive him in the ships, which, as we were in his port, we would not do without his consent. The king sent us word to do whatever we pleased. But meantime Chechilideroix, seeing our hesitation, had some suspicion, and moved further off from the ships. We then went to him in a boat, and made him a present of an Indian cloth of gold and silk, with some looking-glasses, knives, scissors, etc.: these things he accepted but disdainfully, and soon after departed. He had with him an Indian who had become a Christian, named Manuel, the servant of a certain Pedro Alfonzo de Lorosa, a Portuguese, who, after the death of Serrano, had come from Bandan to Tarenate. Manuel being able to speak Portuguese, came on board the ships, and told us that although the sons of the King of Tarenate were enemies to the King of Tadore, yet they were disposed towards the service of Spain, Then, by means of him, we wrote to De Lorosa to come to our ships without any suspicion or fear.

These kings have as many ladies as they please, but one only is the principal wife, and all the others are subject to her. The King of Tadore had a large house outside the city, where there were two hundred of the ladies he was most fond of, and as many more to serve them. The king eats alone, or with his principal wife, on a kind of raised dais, from which he can see all the others sitting round, and he decides upon the one who most pleases him to come to him. When the king’s dinner is finished, the ladies all eat together if he permits it, or else each one goes to eat in her own room. No one without special permission from the king can see those ladies, and if anybody by day or by night were found near their house he would be killed immediately. Each family is bound to give one or two daughters to the king. Rajah Sultan Manzour had twenty-six children, of whom eight were boys and eighteen girls. In the island of Tadore there is a kind of bishop, and the one that was there in our time had forty ladies and very many children.

10th of November, 1521

On the 10th of November—a Sunday—we had another conversation with the king, who wished to know how long a time we had been absent from Spain, and what pay and what rations the king gave to each of us; and we told him all this. He asked us for a signature of the king and a royal standard, since be desired that both his island of Tadore, and also that of Tarenate (where he intended to have his nephew named Calanogapi, crowned king) should become subject to the King of Spain, for whose honour he would fight to the death; and if it should happen that he should be compelled to give way, he would take refuge in Spain with all his family, in a new junk which he was having constructed, and would take with him the royal signature and standard.

He begged us to leave with him some of our men, who would always keep alive his recollection of us and of our king, as he would more esteem having some of us with him than our merchandise, which would not last him a long time. Seeing our eagerness to take cloves on board, he said that for that purpose he would go to an island called Bachian, where he hoped to find as much of them as were wanted, since in his island there was not a quantity sufficient of dry cloves to load the two ships. On that day there was no traffic because it was Sunday. The holiday of these people is on Friday.

It may please your illustrious lordship to have some description of the islands where the cloves grow. They are five—Tarenate, Tador, Mutir, Machian, and Bachian. Tarenate is the principal island. Its king, whilst he lived, had almost entire dominion over the other four. Tadore, the island in which we were, has its own king. Mutir and Machian have no king, but are governed by the people; and when the kings of Tarenate and Tidore are at war, they furnish them with combatants. The last is Bachian, and it has a king. All this province in which the cloves grow is called Maluco.

When we arrived here, eight months had not elapsed since a certain Portuguese, Francisco Serrano, had died in Tarenate. He was captain-general of the King of Tarenate when he was making war on the King of Tadore; and he acted so strenuously that this king was compelled to give his daughter in marriage to the King of Tarenate, who also received as hostages almost all the sons of the chief men of Tadore. Peace was then made, and from that daughter was born the nephew Calanopagi, of whom I have spoken. But the King of Tadore never forgave Serrano in his heart; and he having come several years later to Tadore to traffic in cloves, the king had him poisoned with some betel leaves, so that he survived hardly four days. The King of Tarenate wished to have him buried according to their own usage, but three Christian servants that Serrano had with him did not consent to it. In dying he left a little son and a little girl that he had of a lady he had taken in Java major, and two hundred bahars of cloves.

Francisco Serrano was a great friend and a relation of our unfortunate captain-general, and he it was who induced him to undertake that voyage, for when Magellan was at Malacca, he had several times learned by letters from Serrano that he was here. Therefore, when D. Manuel, King of Portugal, refused to increase his pension by a single testoon[230] per month, an increase which he thought he had well deserved, he came to Spain and made the proposal to his Sacred Majesty to come here by way of the west, and he obtained all that he asked for.

Ten days after the death of Serrano, the King of Tarenate, named Raja Abuleis,[231] drove out from his kingdom his son-in-law the King of Bachian, whose wife, the daughter of the King of Tarenate, came to Tarenate under the pretext of concluding peace, and gave him (her father) such a poison that he only survived two days, and dying left nine sons, whose names were told to me as follows: Chochili[232]-Momuli, Jadore Vunghi, Chechilideroix, Cilimanzur, Cilipagi, Chialinchechilin, Cataravajecu, Serich, and Calanopagi.