And as he who should desire to sustain them and to contradict this my royal declaration, issued with the assent and approbation aforesaid, will assail the prerogatives of my sovereignty and the happiness of the nation, and occasion restlessness and disturbance in my kingdoms, I declare guilty of high treason any person who shall dare or attempt any such thing, and for such offence there shall be imposed the penalty of death, whether the offence bo Committed by acts or by writing, or verbally moving or inciting, or in any other manner, exhorting or persuading the obeying and observing said constitution and decrees: and in order that there may be no interruption in the administration of justice in the interval before the restoration of order, and of the observance in the kingdom of the system prevailing before the recent innovations, in relation to which, without loss of time, there will be suitable provision: it is my will that until such time, the oidinary justices in the towns which are found in office, the judges de htras [1] wherever they may reside, and the audiencies, intendants and other tribunals of justice in the exercise of their judicials powers; and in relation to political and administrative matters the ayuntamientos of the towns shall remain as at present, and in the interim whatever is proper to be preserved shall remain, and until the Cortes, which I shall convene, shall, having examined into the matter and the permanent arrangement in this branch of the government of the kingdom, shall be established. And from the day on which this, my decree is published and shall be communicated to the President for the time being of the Cortes, then actually holding their sessions, they shall discontinue their sessions, and their acts, and those of their predecessors, and such records as there may be in their archives and those of their secretary, or under the control of any other person whatever, shall be taken by the person charged with the execution of this my royal decree, and be deposited for the present in the office of the ayuntamientos of the city of Madrid, shutting up and sealing the room where they shall be deposited; the books of their library shall be passed over to the royal library: and I also declare to be high treason any act whatever, tending to the hindrance of the execution of this part of my royal decree, in whatever manner committed, and as such shall be subject to the penalty of death. And from that day the proceedings in any cause whatever, pending in any of the courts of justice of the kingdom for the infraction of the constitution, shall cease, and all persons who are imprisoned or in any manner arrested and not detained for any just cause known to the laws, shall be immediately set at liberty. Such is my will for the attainment in like manner of whatever pertains to the well being and happiness of the nation.—Dated at Valencia on the 4th May, 1814.—I the King.

[1] Juez de letras or juez letrado, a judge who has tho title of licentiate in the law or of counsellor at law, (abogado) and administers justice alone without the aid of an asesor—a lawyer appointed to assist the ordinary judge, with advice in the conduct of law proceedingi.

As Secretary of the King in relation to decrees and hereto specially authorized.



Of His Majesty, re-establishing the Chamber of the Indies (Camera de Indias,) with the powers it possessed in May 1808, being composed, for the present, of ihe officers [ministros] herein described.

By my royal decree of this date, [see the following,] I have resolved to re-establish the royal and supreme council of the Indies, granting to it for the present the powers which it had.on the 1st May, 1808, and with the number of officers expressed in the nominations which accompany the same, confirming and ratifying, for the future, its last organization, which limits to five the number of members entitled to wear sword and robes, and to fourteen those wearing robes, independently of tho attorneys [fiscales,] also wearing robes [togados.] And whereas the good government, ecclesiastical as well as temporal of those dominions, requires that the chamber of the Indies, as anciently established, and with the enjoyment of equal dignity with that of Castile, should resume the exercise of its authority, with, out alteration of its former powers; I also have resolved to re-establish, as I hereby do re-establish, and confirm, the same. It shall consist, for the present, of the president and five ministers, three wearing robes, [togados,] and two wearing robes and swords, [do capa y espada,] who are designated in a list signed by my royal hand: but, when it shall have been reduced to the number required by the aforesaid organization, it shall only consist of the president, a minister wearing sword and robes, and three togados. You shall take notice of the above, and communicate the same to all whom it may concern.

Madrid, 2d July, 1814.—Signed with the royal hand of H. M.
To Don Miguel Labdizabal Y Ukibe.


Re-establishing the Supreme Council of the Indies, with the same powers as it existed in the year 1808, declaring the number of ministers of which it is to consist.

The torrent of evils which afflict many of the provinces of my dominions in America; the general subversion of the public administration prevailing in others, and the disorder and confusion introduced even in the administration of justice itself, called for my royal attention from the moment that, restored, through a special favour of Divine Providence, to the throne, I resumed the government of my kingdoms. The desire of restoring peace and happiness among my beloved vassals in those countries has induced me to reflect seriously and maturely upon the means of attaining that object; and, after a long examination, it has occurred to me that one of the most expedient was the re-establishment of the supremo council of the Indies. That tribunal which in all times has professed love and fidelity for the kings, my ancestors, has always been distinguished for the zeal and correctness with which it has discharged the many and important trusts committed to it; whereby it has not only deserved their confidence, and been raised to equal honours and privileges with royal council, but also that of the natives and inhabitants of those countries who felt how much they were indebted to that body, created for their benefit and protection, almost at the time of the discovery of that immense section of the globe. Wherefore, moved by these considerations, and sensible of the importance to the good government of those dominions, that the ministers in whom I repose my confidence should possess the peculiar abilities and information which their administration requires, I have resolved to reestablish the aforesaid council, which, for the present, shall continue invested with the same powers it possessed on the 1st May, 1808. It will consist, as as formerly, of three permanent chambers, (salas,) viz. two of government and one of justice, which shall be composed of the ministers named in the list signed with my hand. And whereas it is not expedient that the number of places be increased, which was fixed to five ministers with sword and robes, by royal decrees of 13th of March, 1760, and 25th August, 1785, and to fourteen ministers, togados, two attorneys, [fiscales,] also toyados, two secretaries, and one accountant, established by the decrees of 20th July, 1773, 26th February, 1770, and 0th June and 11th March following: it is my will that these decrees be observed by completing the number of ministers of that class, and suppressing those who exceed the number of ministers of tho other class, as the same shall become vacant; and that there be always among them some ministers who shall be natives of tho Indies. As soon as the council shall have entered upon the exercise of its functions, they shall inquire into the changes which, in those extensive and valuable .dominions, have originated from the great and extraordinary occurrences which have taken place in the mother country, and shall propose to me whatever they may think expedient for the restoration of order therein, and for the promotion of their welfare and prosperity. You will take notice of the above, and communicate the same to all whom it may concern.

Madrid 2d July, 1814.—Signed with the royal hand of H. M.
To Don Miguel Lardizabal T Uribe.

Names of the ministers who are to compose the three chambers [salas] of my royal and supreme council of the Indies, saving the right of seniority appertaining to each. [Names inserted and signed by the king.]


Of the 29th June, 1821, concerning the Protection of the Mining Interest.

Hicienda de Ultramar. The king has been pleased to direct to me the following royal decree. Don Ferdinand, &c.

The Cortes having complied with all the formalities prescribed by the constitution, have decreed as follows:

Article 1. The duties called the "fifth," the "one per cent" and the "seniorage," (quintos, uno per ciento, y Senorage) are abolished.

Art. 2. Instead of these is substituted a sole contribution of three per cent upon silver and the same upon gold, which shall be paid in the same form as has been pursued in relation to the " fifth."

Art. 3. Miners and persons interested in mining shall be subject to pay no other contribution except that of the mining fund of the tribunal general of the mines, when engaged in no other kind of industry, and concerned in no other kind of business: provided this is not to be understood as applicable to those general and municipal contributions, to which all other classes of citizens are subject.

Art. 4. There shall not be collected for coinage more than the actual expense of the operation, reducing the two reals which are now paid to what in the result shall be the true cost. In order to the adopting of a rule on the subject, the mean expense of five years shall be taken, and this shall furnish the rate for the collections for the succeeding five years, this apportionment being renewed every five years. In case of a new coinage of money being established, an estimate of expense shall be formed which shall govern for the first year, correcting it at the end of the year by the results furnished by the accounts, and being governed by this corrected estimate until at the end of the first five years, they may adopt the mean expense during that time. To depositors there shall be returned in money the value of their metals in numerical order, without any other precedence or preference the one to the other, and with no unnecessary delay.

Art. 5. The collection of eight maravadis per marc of silver which has been paid as the expense of refining, and of twenty six maravadis imposed upon the same quantity of mixed bullion, which is introduced under the name of the waste of silver, shall cease.

Art. 6. The increase of silver, according to the laws governing it which results from the refining, and that which results from the reduction at the foundry from the loss of gold and silver, in order to alloy and reduce them to ingots, deducting the expense of the operation, also the product arising from the deficiency in weight or quality of the money, shall be passed over to the foundation fund of the body of the miners, and the income of gold and the actual waste of silver in the smelting house should be deducted from the cost of the operation.

Art. 7. There shall not be charged for expenses at the smelting house more than two reals of silver per marc, which is now what the operation costs, making the reduction indicated in the previous article, insuring to the depositors all the gold which their deposits of bullion contain. When by an improved process the cost shall be reduced, there shall be returned in the same proportion to the depositors the payments made by them on that account, securing to them the gold in tho same proportion, and being ready to effect the arrangement either personally, or in such manner as may be most convenient.

Art. 8. All that has been stated in relation to silver is applicable to gold, theie being collected in the same manner for coinage one marc of silver as of gold, dispensing with the duty called " bocado," and reducing that on the assay to the cost of the operation, as in the case of silver.

Art. 9. Having once made and verified the payment into the national treasury of the duty of three per cent upon silver and the same upon gold, and the seals which verify the payment having been placed on the bars and wedges of those metals, the owners are at liberty to sell them or apply them to such uses as they please, without any limitation fixing the price.

Art. 10. The royal orders of I3th January, 1783—12th November, 1791, and 6th December, 1796 relating to freedom from duty granted as to articles of consumption at the mines, as well as the order of the Cortes of the 13th January, 1812 in respect to salt, shall be punctually observed.

Art. 11. All duties established during the revolution, as well upon articles of consumption at the mines as upon the metals in mass, and coined under whatever name they may be called, are abolished.

Art. 12. The government will be careful to remit the largest possible quantity of quicksilver, consigning it to the deputations of the miners, in order that they may make distribution among the miners, and that from time to time there be a sufficient amount sent to supply the wants of the same, providing in Mexico a sufficient deposit, in order that they may never be in want of the material necessary for their work.

Art. 13. From time to time the offices of skill connected with the mints and the smelting house and those connected with tho assay at the mints either in or without the Capital, shall be filled exclusively by persons who have the acquaintance with physical science, chemistry and mineralogy, necessary to discharge the duties, undergoing a private examination by persons skilled in those sciences, and as to those which are on the list in the said establishments, the alumni of the seminary of the mines shall be preferred in the priority of admission.

These provisions are to be understood as solely applicable to North America.

Madrid 8th June, 1821.—Wherefore, we command, &c—At the Palace on the 29th June, 1821.

« ForrigeFortsett »