Libro de cartas y consultas, dirigidas á S.M. y Sres. Ministros en el año de 1767

Viana, Franco Leandro de


  • Copies of letters and memoranda written by Viana, fiscal of the Manila Audiencia, between Jan. 5 and May 1, 1767, to the marqués de Esquilache, secretary of state for the Indies Julián Arriaga, and king Charles III, concerning government corruption and abuses by the religious orders. In his letter to Esquilache of Jan. 5, 1767, Viana outlines recommendations of his earlier report, "Demonstración del misero deplorable estado..," describing how his efforts to increase the revenues of the royal treasury have earned him the enmity of many officials, especially of governor Raón and Francisco Salgado. His memoranda of Jan. 22 and Feb. 6, 9, and 25, 1767 discuss how he saved the treasury 30,000 pesos when he prevented Raon's sale of the wine monopoly to Salgado for a ridiculously low price. Other memos concern abuses in the Justice Department, lack of control over management of government warehouses; and the tolerance of illegal commerce. A memo of Feb. 7, 1767 justifies his official conduct in investigating the cargo of the Moro ship "Sultaness Vegam." His last memo, dated May 1, 1767, attacks the excessive power enjoyed by the religious orders, and their abuses of the Filipinos, including their refusal to teach the natives Spanish, their interference with trade between Spaniards and Filipinos; and their failure to establish villages and schools due to factional fighting within the orders. The fiscal recommends visitation of the villages by ordinaries in order to curb abuses by the friars and to ensure that they do not participate in secular or commercial affairs.


  • Leaves 47-51 are blank.
  • Mounted, inside front cover: one unsigned leaf of a letter from Viana to the king, describing the report which Viana sent to the king in 1766.
  • Includes table of contents.
  • Ownership stamp of W.E. Retana on leaf [1] at the end.
  • Acquired by Edward Ayer from Madrid bookseller Pedro Vindel in 1904.
  • Bound in green velvet.
  • English translation of some sections of the ms. in The Philippine Islands / ed. Emma Helen Blair and James Alexander Robertson. Cleveland : The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1907, v. 50, p. 91, 92, 118-136.
  • Forms part of the Edward E. Ayer Manuscript Collection (Newberry Library)
  • Butler, R.L. Check list of the mss. in the Ayer Coll., 1455
  • Lietz, P.S. Calendar of the Philippine docs. in the Ayer Coll., 162-174
  • Blair and Robertson. The Philippine Islands, v. 53, p. 233
  • Available on microfilm at the Newberry Library.
  • Location of original: Newberry Library, Special Collections,
  • In Spanish.
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