Hernando de los Rios

Hernando de los Rios Coronel and the Spanish Philippines in the Golden Age
John Newsome Crossley
Place of Printing:
Farnham, Surrey, England
Date of Printing:
6 x 4 inches
McCune Location:

Author and Commentators

Hernando de Rios Coronel (1559-1624). Spanish soldier, priest, navigator, inventor, captain, and Procurator General. A major individual in the history of the Spanish Philippines.

John Newsome Crossley. He received his Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Oxford in 1963. He became Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Logic at Monash University. Now, Emeritus Professor at Monash University, Australia. Author of books and articles about mathematics.

The Book

The book is hardcover. 260 pages long.


This book concerns the life of Hernando de los Rios Coronel and his relationship to the Philippines. De los Rios came to the Philippines as a soldier in 1588. He was involved in putting down a Chinese uprising in 1603 when Chinese revolted against the Spanish living in Manila. At that point in time, there were 20,000 Chinese in the area as opposed to only 70 Spanish. However, with the help of the Spanish arquebuses, the uprising was put down.

The Philippines was a hard to reach colony of Spain. From Manila to Spain took five month by sea. From Mexico to Manila took three months. For this reason, orders from the government in Spain took a long time to arrive in the Philippines. Mostly the Philippines was used as a way station for trade. Chinese silk was a major export from China being in great demand in Spain and the rest of Europe. It also supplied many of the needs of the Philippine islands. In the same respect, the Chinese would accept all silver that could be exported from Mexico. So there was always a fear that the colony could be lost to Spain by the Dutch or the Chinese.

While in the Philippines, de los Rios, wrote a history of the Spanish in the Philippines 1521-1617. In 1603, de los Rios took Holy Orders to become a priest. However, he continued to be involved in the administration of the Philippines. He acted in the role of Procurator General to the Spanish Court from 1606-1610 and again from 1618-1624. In this position, he acted as a advocate not only for the Spanish in the Philippines but also for the indigenous population.

De los Rios’ collected over 30 books in the Philippines. This collection initially formed the heart of the Library of Santo Tomas in Manila (oldest continuous university in the Far East).

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