Magellan's Will

Ferdinand Magellan's Will

The first will of Magellan was discovered in Lisbon in 1855 by a descendant of the great navigator. It was executed at Belem on 17th December, 1504, on the eve of his departure with Almeida's expedition, before the notary Domingo Martins. It is in many ways more interesting than his final will. While the latter is written in Spanish and in the stilted legal phraseology which proclaims it the work of the notary-public, that executed at Belem bears evidences of being more or less the product of his own pen, and is in his native tongue. The most important clauses run as- follows :

"I desire that, if I die abroad, or in this Armada iu the which I am now proceeding for India in the service of my Sovereign, the Most High and Mighty King, Dom Manoel, whom may God preserve, that my funeral may be that accorded to an ordinary seaman, giving to the chaplain of the ship my clothes and arms to say three requiem masses."

"I appoint as my sole heirs my sister Donna Thereza de Magalhaes, her husband, Joao da Silva Telles, and their son, my nephew, Luiz Telles da Silva, their successors and heirs, with the understanding that the aforesaid my brother-in-law shall quarter his arms with those of the family of Magalhaes, which are those of my ancestors, and among the most distinguished, best, and oldest in the kingdom; founding, as I hereby found, in the male line—or in the female in default thereof— descendants of the aforesaid my sister Donna Thereza de Magalhaes, and her husband, my brother-in-law, and their son, Luiz Telles da Silva, a bequest of twelve masses yearly to be said at the altar of the Lord Jesus in the Church of S. Salvador in Sabrosa in connection with my property, the quinta de Souta, in the aforesaid parish of Sabrosa, that it may be a legacy in perpetuo, and that it may remain for ever as a memorial of our family, which it will be the duty of our successors to re-establish, should it through any chance or misfortune fall into desuetude, without increase or diminution in the number of the masses, or other alteration.

"And everything that I thus ordain I desire may be carried out justly, and remain without alteration henceforth and for ever, should I die without legitimate offspring; but should I have such, I desire that he may succeed to all my estate, together with the same obligation of the entailed bequest, that it remain established as such, and not in any other form; in order that the barony may increase, and that it may not be deprived of the little property I own, the which I cannot better, or in any other manner bequeath."

Magellan's Last Will.

In the name of the Most High and Mighty God our Lord, who is without beginning and reigns without end, and of the most favoured Glorious Virgin, Our Lady, Holy Mary, His blessed Mother, whom all we Christians own as Queen and Advocate in all our actions; to their honour and service, and that of all the Saints of the courts of Heaven. Amen.

Know all ye by these presents, that I, Hernando de Magallanes, Comendador, His Majesty's Captain-general of the Armada bound for the Spice Islands, husband of Dofla Beatriz Barbosa, and inhabitant of this most noble and most loyal city of Seville, in the precinct of Santa Maria, being well and in good health, and possessed of such my ordinary senses and judgment as God our Lord has, of His mercy and will, thought fit and right to endow me; believing firmly and truly in the Holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost—three persons and one only true God, as every faithful Christian holds and believes, and ought to hold and believe, and being in fear of death, which is a natural thing from which no man can escape; being willing and desirous of placing my soul in the surest and most certain path that I can discern for its salvation, to commit and bring it unto the mercy and forgiveness of God our Lord, that He, who made and created it, 
may have compassion and pity upon it, and redeem and save it, and bring it to His glory and His heavenly kingdom.

Whereas I am about to proceed in the King's service in the said Armada, by these presents I make known and declare that I make and ordain this my Will, and these my bequests, as well of my goods as of my body and soul, for the salvation of my soul and the satisfaction of my heirs. Firstly, the debts owed by me and to me owing: they are such as will be found written in my book of accounts, the which I confirm and approve and acknowledge as correct. The following are the legacies bequeathed by me:

Firstly, I commend my soul to God our Lord, who made and created it, and redeemed me with His precious blood, and I ask and beseech of the ever-glorious Virgin Mary, Our Lady, His blessed Mother, that, with all the Saints of the heavenly kingdom, she may be my intercessor and supplicant before her precious Son for my soul, that He may pardon my sins and shortcomings, and receive me to share His glory in the kingdom of heaven. And when this my present life shall end for the life eternal, I desire that if I die in this city of Seville my bodj' may be buried in the Monastery of Santa Maria de la Vitoria in Triana—ward and precinct of this city of Seville—in the grave set apart for me; And if I die in this said voyage, I desire that my body may be buried in a church dedicated to Our Lady, in the nearest spot to that at which death seize me and I die; And I bequeath to the expenses of the chapel of the Sagrario of the Holy Church of Seville, in grateful remembrance of the Holy Sacraments which from the said church I have received, and hope to receive, if it be the will of God our Lord, one thousand maravedis; And I bequeath to the Holy Crusade a real of silver; And I bequeath to the Orders of the Holy Trinity and Santa Maria de la Merced of this city of  Seville, in aid of the redemption of such faithful Christians as may be captives in the country of the Moors, the enemies of  our holy Catholic faith, to each Order a real of silver; And I bequeath to the Infirmary of San Lazaro without the city, as  alms, that they may pray to God our Lord for my soul, another real of silver; And I bequeath to the hospital de Las Bubas of this city of Seville, to gain its intercession, another real of  silver; And I bequeath to the Casa de San Sebastian in Tablada, to gain its intercession, another real of silver; And I bequeath to the Holy Church of Faith in Seville another real of silver, to gain its intercession; And I desire that upon the said day of my burial thirty masses may be said over my body— two cantadas and twenty-eight rezadas, and that they shall offer for me the offering of bread and wine and candles that my executors desire; And I desire that in the said monastery of Santa Maria de la Vitoria a thirty day mass may be said for my soul, and that the accustomed alms maybe given therefor; And I desire that upon the said day of my burial three poor men may  be clothed—such as I have indicated to my executors— and that to each may he given a cloak of grey stuff, a cap, a shirt, and a pair of shoes, that they may pray to God for my soul; And I also desire that upon the said day of my burial food may be given to the said three paupers, and to twelve others, that they may pray to God for my soul; And I desire that upon the said day of my burial a gold ducat may be given as alms for the souls in purgatory. 

And I confess—to speak the truth before God  and the world and to possess my soul in safety—that I received and obtained in dowry and marriage with the said Dona Beatriz Barbosa, my wife, six hundred thousand maravedis, of the which I made acknowledgment before Bernal Gonzalez de Yallecillo, notary-public of Seville; and I desire that before everything the said Dona Beatriz Barbosa, my wife, may be paid and put in possession of the said six hundred thousand maravedis, her dowry, together with the arras that I gave her and forasmuch as I am proceeding in the King's service in the said Armada, and since of all the gain and profit which with the help of God our Lord may result therefrom (save and excepting the first charges of the King), the share allotted to me is one-fifth of the whole, in addition to that which I may acquire from the merchandise which I take with me in the said Armada— of all this which I may acquire from the said Armada I desire to set aside one-tenth part, touching which, by this my will and testament, I desire and order, and it is my wish, that the said tenth may be expended and distributed in the manner following :

Firstly, I desire and order, and it is my wish, that one-third of the said tenth part may be given to the said monastery of N. S. Santa Maria de la Vitoria in Triana, for the construction of  the chapel of the said monastery, and that the monks of the said monastery may henceforth for ever engage to pray to God for my soul.

Furthermore, I desire, and it is my wish, that the remaining two-thirds of the said tenth part shall be divided iuto three equal parts, of which one part shall be given to the monastery of N. S. Santa Maria de Monserrat, in the city of Barcelona; another to the monastery of San Francisco in the town of Aranda de Duero, for the benefit of the said monastery; and the third to the monastery of S. Domingo de las Duenas, in the city of Oporto, in Portugal, for such things as may be most necessary for the said monastery; and this bequest I make that they may pray God for my soul.

Furthermore, I will and desire, and it is my wish, that of the half of the rest of my estate of the said Armada belonging unto me, together with that of the other estate of which I am possessed in this said city of Seville, one-fifth part may be set aside to fulfill the necessities of my soul, and that my executors out of this said fifth part may fulfill these necessities of this my will and testament, and whatever more may seem fitting unto them for the repose of my soul and conscience.

I desire, moreover, that there may be paid to Cristobal Robelo, my page, the sum of thirty thousand maravedis from my estate, the which I bequeath unto him for the services he has rendered unto me, and that he may pray God for my soul.

And by this my present will and testament, I declare and ordain as free and quit of every obligation of captivity, subjection, and slavery, my captured slave Enrique, mulatto, native of the 
city of Malacca, of the age of twenty-six years more or less, that from the day of my death thenceforward for ever the said Enrique may be free and manumitted, and quit, exempt, and relieved of every obligation of slavery and subjection, that he may act as he desires and thinks fit; and I desire that of my estate there may be given to the said Enrique the sum of ten thousand maravedis in money for his support; and this manumission I grant because he is a Christian, and that he may pray to God for my soul.

And whereas His Majesty the King has granted unto me, my sons, and my heirs in tail male the governorship of certain lands and islands that I may discover with the said Armada, according to the terms contained in the Capitulation made with His Majesty, together with the title of Adelantado of the said lands and islands discovered, and also the twentieth part of their produce, and other benefits contained in the said Capitulation; by these presents, and by this my will and testament, I declare and name for this mayorazgo-—in order that, upon my decease, he may succeed to the above—Rodrigo de Magallanes, my legitimate son, and the legitimate son of the said Dona Beatriz Barbosa, my wife, and thereafter unto any legitimate son that God may grant him; and should he have no legitimate sons born in wedlock to have and inherit the above mayorazgo, I desire and command that the other legitimate son or daughter whom God may give me may inherit, and so successively from father to son; And if by chance a daughter should hold the mayorazgo, in such a case I desire that the son whom God may give her to inherit the said mayorazgo, shall take the name of Magallaes [sic], and bear my arms without quartering them with any others; And, should he fail to take the name of Magallaes and to bear my arms, in such case I desire and order, and it is my wish, that a son or nephew or nearer relation of my lineage may inherit the said mayorazgo, and that he may live in Castile, and bear my name and arms; And if—which may God forbid—the said Rodrigo de Magallaes my son should die 1 Dona Beatriz was at that time enceinte without leaving sons or daughters horn in wedlock, and that I should beget no other sons nor daughters to succeed to the mayorazgo, I desire and order, and it is my wish, that Diego de Sosa, my brother, who is now living with His Serene Majesty the King of Portugal, may inherit the above, and come and live in
this kingdom of Castile, and marry in it, and that he adopt the name of Magallaes, and bear the arms of Magallaes, as I bear them—the arms of Magallaes and Sosa; And if the said Diego de Sosa, my brother, have neither sons nor daughters born in holy wedlock to inherit the aforesaid mayorazgo, I desire and order, and it is my wish, that Isabel de Magallaes, my sister, may inherit the said mayorazgo, provided that she call herself Magallaes, and bear my arms, and come to reside and marry in this kingdom of Castile.

And furthermore, I desire and order, and it is my will, that if the said Diego de Sosa, my brother, or the said Isabel de Magallaes, my sister, succeed to the aforesaid mayorazgo, they shall be obliged to assist the said Dona Beatriz Barbosa, my wife, with the fourth part of all that the said my mayorazgo produces, fairly and justly, and without let or hindrance soever; And I desire that the Comendador Diego de Barbosa, my father-in-law, may undertake the charge of the person, goods, and mayorazgo of the said Rodrigo de Magallaes, my son, and of the child or children with whom the said Dona Beatriz Barbosa, my wife, is now pregnant, until they reach the age of eighteen years, and that during this period the said Comendador Diego Barbosa may receive and collect all the produce and rents which the said estate and mayorazgo may produce, and give and deliver to the said Dona Beatriz Barbosa, my wife, his daughter, the fourth part of all that may therefrom result, until such time as my sons aforesaid be of the age stated; the said my wife, Dona Beatriz Barbosa, living widowed and chastely; And if she should marry, I desire that there may be given and paid to her the sum of two thousand Spanish doubloons, over and above her dowry and arras, and the half of the accumulations thereon.

Furthermore, I desire, and it is my will, that the said Comendador Diego Barbosa may take and receive, as his own property, one fourth part; and that he may expend the remainder in the maintenance and education of my sons; And likewise, I desire and order, and it is my wish, that if the said Diego de Sosa, my brother, or the said Isabel de Magallaes, my sister, inherit the aforesaid my mayorazgo, that above and beyond that which I have desired may be given each year to the said Dona Beatriz Barbosa, my wife, they shall be obliged to give each year to the said Comendador Diego Barbosa, for the remainder of his life, two hundred ducats of gold, to be paid from the estate of the said mayorazgo.

Furthermore, I desire that, if the said Comendador Diego Barbosa collect the aforesaid my estate, he may give of it to the said Isabel de Magallaes, my sister, for her marriage, such as seems fitting to the said Comendador Diego Barbosa. 

Furthermore I desire that of the fifty thousand maravedis that I have for my life and that of the said Dona Beatriz Barbosa, my wife, from the Casa de Contratacion of the Indies in this city of Seville, the said Dona Beatriz, my wife, may give to the said Isabel de Magallaes, my sister, the sum of five  thousand maravedis per annum until the arrival of my estate resulting from this my present voyage, when the said Comendador Diego Barbosa can give her that which I have arranged and desired in this my will that he should give her for her marriage.

And this my will and testament having been fulfilled and discharged, together with the bequests and clauses therein contained, relating to the aforesaid my possessions, whether fixtures, movables, or live-stock, in compliance with that herewith prescribed and expressed, I desire that all and everything of the said possessions which may remain over and above may be had and inherited by the said Rodrigo de Magallaes, my legitimate son by the said Dona Beatriz, my wife, and by the child or children of which the said Dona Beatriz is now pregnant, being born and living the period that the law requires, whom—the said Rodrigo de Magallaes, my son, and the child or children of which the said my wife is pregnant—I appoint and establish as my legal residuary legatees, equally the one with the other; And if, which may God forbid, the said my son, or child borne by my wife, die before attaining the proper age for the succession, I desire that the said Dona Beatriz Barbosa, my wife, may inherit the said my estate, save and excepting that of the mayorazgo, and I appoint and establish her as my residuary legatee.

And for the discharge and quitment of this my will and testament, and of the bequests and clauses concerning the said my estate therein contained, in compliance with that herewith prescribed and expressed, I hereby appoint as my executors for the payment and distribution of the said my estate, without hurt to them or theirs, Doctor Sancho de Matienzo, Canon of Seville, and the said Comendador Diego Barbosa, my father-in-law; And I bequeath to the said Doctor Sancho de Matienzo for the burden thus laid upon him in the fulfillment and discharge of this my will the sum of thirty gold ducats and two pesos.

Done in Seville, in the King's Customs of this city of Seville, Wednesday, the twenty-fourth day of the month of August, in the year of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ one thousand five hundred and nineteen. And I, the said Comendador Hernando de Magallaes, sign and confirm it with my name in the register, in the presence of the witnesses Diego Martinez de Medina, Juan Rodriguez de Medina, and Alfonso Fernandez, notaries of Seville.

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