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  • Title
    Prado y Tobar - Relacion sumaria del del descubrimto. que enpeco pero fernandez de quiros...y le acabo El capan don diego de prado...con asistencia del capan luis baes de torres...1607
  • Creator
  • Call number
    Safe 1/73
  • Level of description
  • Date

    ca. 1614-1615
  • Type of material
  • Reference code
  • Issue Copy
    Photocopy : CY Safe 1/73a (vol.1), frames 197-228.
    Photocopy : CY Safe 1/73a (4 vols.), frames 1-1001.
    Photocopy : CY Safe 1/73b-c (1 vol.), fr. 1-125.
    Microfilm : CY 476, frames 1-1001 (Safe 1/73a); CY 478, frames 1-125 (Safe 1/73b-c).
  • Physical Description
    0.08 metres of textual material (1 volume) - manuscript

    Don Diego de Prado y Tovar (or Tobar) was a member of the Spanish expedition of 1605-1607 in search of the Great South Land. Led by Pedro Fernandes de Quiros, an experienced Portuguese captain, two ships and a launch left Callao in Peru in December 1605. At first Prado travelled with Quiros, but later in the voyage he transferred to the San Pedrico captained by Luis Vaes de Torres, the expedition's second in command. In May 1606 the expedition reached the largest of the islands of Vanuatu. Believing this to be the Great South Land, Quiros took possession of it for Spain, naming it Austrialia del Espiritu Santo. A settlement was established, but soon foundered. Fearing mutiny, Quiros ordered the ships to sea. During a storm his ship became separated from the San Pedrico and the launch and he returned to South America. Torres managed to return to Vanuatu. Convinced that Quiros was lost, Torres opened sealed orders which directed the expedition to sail as far south as 20 degrees latitude. Prado claims that the orders also appointed him commander in place of Torres, but there is no other evidence for this.
    On 27 June 1606 the two vessels set sail and, after establishing that Vanuatu was an island, they continued in a south westerly direction. On reaching 20.5 degrees latitude without sighting land they turned north for Manila. Their course took them through the islands in the passage now known as Torres Strait and along the southern coast of Papua New Guinea. They arrived in Manila in May 1607.

    Prado eventually returned to Spain where he became a monk of St Basil the Great of Madrid where he wrote his narrative. His account seems to have been compiled about 1615-1616, from a journal kept on the voyage. This is the only record, apart from Torres' letter to the King of Spain, 12 July 1607, of the voyage to Manila after the separation from Quiros.
    Prado's manuscript is significant for its documentation of the Spanish expedition which was the first European voyage through the strait between Australia and New Guinea, demonstrating that New Guinea was an island and not a northern projection of the Great South Land as some geographers had surmised. This was also the first European expedition to land on several islands which are now part of Australia. They may have sighted the Australian mainland, but if so they probably concluded that it was another island. The first European contact with the mainland had occurred earlier in 1606 when the Dutch ship Duyfken, commanded by Willem Jansz, anchored in the Gulf of Carpentaria. Prado's account is also significant for his use of the name Australia for Quiros' Great South Land. He uses this name twice in his text, although it is spelt differently in the title.
  • Scope and Content
    Full title of Prado's manuscript: Relacion sumaria del del descubrimto. que enpeco pero fernandez de quiros portugues en la mar del Zur en las partes australes asta la isle de yrenei por el dicha la grande astrialia del spiritu sancto. y le acabo El capan don diego de prado que al presente es monge de nuestro padre sanct basilio magno de madrid con asistencia del capan luis baes de torres con la nao san pedrico el ano de 1607 asta la cuidad de manila a 22 de mayo de dicho ano a honnra y gloria del omnipotente dios amen

    English translation of title: Summary relation of the discovery begun by Pero Fernandez de Quiros, a Portuguese, in the Southern Sea in the southern parts up to the island of Irenei called by him the Great Astrialia of the Holy Spirit, and completed for him by Captain Don Diego de Prado, now a monk of our father Saint Basil the Great of Madrid, with the help of Captain Luis Baes de Torres in the ship San Pedrico in the year 1607 up to the city of Manila on the 22 of May of the said year, to the honour and glory of the omnipotent God, Amen.

    Prado's manuscript comprises 32 pages of closely written text. It is bound into a volume containing 63 documents relating to Portugal and the Indies. The date range of the documents is ca. 1578 to 1680. Some are original, others are contemporary or later copies. Most are in Spanish, with some in Portuguese and Latin.

    The manuscript is accompanied by an English translation made by George F. Barwick in 1922 (Safe 1/73b) and a description of documents 35 to 63 which is titled: 'Abstracts of titles and contents of those manuscripts in this volume which do not relate to America' (Safe 1/73c).
  • Language
  • Finding Aids
    Click here for a pdf version of the transcript acms.sl.nsw.gov.au/_transcript/2007/D00007/prado.pdf
  • General note

    George Barwick's translation is also available in 'New Light on the Discovery of Australia as Revealed by the Journal of Captain Don Diego de Prado y Tovar', edited by Henry N. Stevens, 1930.

    A. Gschaedler made a study of Prado's manuscript and the documents in this volume in 1946. His work includes observations on the handwriting and the history of the Prado manuscript, and he lists and comments on documents 1 to 34 which are dated from 1578 to 1680. This work is held in the manuscripts collection at A 2508.

    Transferred from Small safe to Safe 1/73
    Digital order no:Album ID : 824242
  • Name
  • Subject
  • Place
  • Exhibited in

    Maps of the Pacific - State Library of New South Wales (1 August, 2021 - 24 April, 2022)
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