Compact between Spain and Portugal, signed at Madrid-1495
Compact between Spain and Portugal, signed by the Catholic Sovereigns at Madrid
DATE: May 7, 1495
Don Ferdinand and Dona Isabella,
By the grace of God king and queen of Castile, etc.
Such as, among other things in the treaty and compact regarding the division of the ocean sea, negotiated between ourselves and the Most Serene King of Portugal and the Algarves on either side of the sea in Africa, and lord of Guinea, our most dear and beloved brother, it was agreed and covenanted that, within the first ten months following the date of this treaty, our caravels and his, accompanied by astrologers, pilots, sailors, and others, agreed upon by ourselves and himself-a like number on either side-should be in the island of the Grand Canary in order to proceed to the determination and drawing of the divisional line of the said sea, which must be three hundred and seventy leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands, in a straight north and south line from the Arctic to the Antarctic pole, as covenanted between us by the said treaty of the division of the said sea, as is more fully set forth therein, and inasmuch as we now consider that the line of the said division at the distance of the said three hundred and seventy leagues can be determined and calculated better if the said astrologers, pilots, sailors, and others come to a definite conclusion and agreement regarding the manner and order of procedure to be observed in the determination and marking of the said line before the sailing of the said caravels, by so doing avoiding disputes and controversies that might arise regarding it among those going, if these had to be arranged after the departure; and inasmuch as it would be quite useless for the said caravels and persons to go before knowing that any island or mainland had been found in each one of the said parts of the said sea, and to which they must proceed immediately and orderly:
Hence therefore, in order that all this may be done to better advantage, and with the full and free consent of both sides, we agree and by this present letter consent that the said astrologers, pilots, sailors, and others determined upon with the said king, our brother-a like number on either side, and of sufficient number for this matter-must assemble, and they shall assemble, along any part of the frontier of these our kingdoms and the kingdom of Portugal. During the whole month of September first following the date of this letter these men shall consult upon, covenant concerning, and determine the manner of making the said divisional line of the said sea at the distance of the said three hundred and seventy leagues west of the said Cape Verde Islands, by means of a straight north and south line from the Arctic to the Antarctic pole, as is set forth in the said treaty. And whatever they determine upon unanimously, and whatever is concluded and marked out by them, shall be approved and confirmed through our letters-patent, by us and by the said king our brother. And if before or after the said astrologers, pilots, and sailors, appointed as abovesaid, shall have arrived at a conclusion, each one of the said parties going to that part of the said sea, according to the permission of the said treaty, and thereby observing the contents of said treaty, any island or mainland shall be found, which either of the parties consider to be so situated that the said line can be determined in accordance with the stipulations of the said treaty, and the one party shall cause notification to be given the other party that they shall cause the line abovesaid to be marked out, we and the said king our brother shall be obliged to have the said line determined and marked out in accordance with the method determined upon by the astrologers, pilots, and sailors, and others abovesaid, and appointed as abovesaid, within the period of the first ten months reckoned from the date that either of the parties notified the other.
And should it prove that the land thus found is not cut by the said line, a declaration of its distance from the said line shall be given, both on our own part and that of the said most serene king our brother. They shall not, however, neglect to make the said declaration regarding any island or mainland which shall be found afterwards, during the period, nearer the said line. And in doing the aforesaid, they shall not neglect to observe the manner aforesaid, whenever any island or mainland is found in the neighborhood of the said line as aforesaid, and up to the said time of the said ten months after the notification of one party by the other, as aforesaid. It is our pleasure in this our letter to postpone and defer the departure of the said caravels and persons, notwithstanding the limit set and determined in the above-mentioned treaty in regard to it.
And we therefore are pleased and consider it advantageous-for the better notification and declaration of the division of the said sea made by the said treaty between ourselves and the said king our brother, and in order that both our subjects and natives and the subjects and natives of the said king our brother may be better informed henceforth as to the regions wherein they may navigate and discover-to order (as in truth we shall order), under severe penalties, that the line of the said division be placed on all hydrographical maps made hereafter in our Kingdoms and seigniories by those journeying in the said ocean sea.
This line shall be drawn straight from the said Arctic to the said Antarctic pole, north and south, at the distance of the said three hundred and seventy leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands, as aforesaid, being measured as determined unanimously by the said astrologers, pilots, and sailors meeting as abovesaid. And we purpose and stipulate that neither this present letter nor anything contained therein, be prejudicial in any manner to the contents and compacts of the said treaty, but rather that they all and singular, be observed throughout, in toto without any failure, and in the manner and entirety set forth in the said treaty; inasmuch as we have caused the present letter to be made in this manner, simply in order that the said astrologers and persons shall assemble and, within the said time, shall determine the order of procedure and the method to be observed in making the said line of demarcation, and in order to postpone and defer the departure of the said caravels and persons until the said island or mainland whither they must go is known to have been found in each one of the said parts, and in order to command that the line of the said division be placed on the said hydrographical maps, all of which is set forth most fully in the above. We promise and engage on our kingly faith and word to fulfill and observe all of the foregoing, without any artifice, deceit, or pretense in the manner and in the entirety set down in the above. And in confirmation of the above, we cause this our letter to be given, signed with our names, and sealed with our leaden seal hanging from threads of colored silk.
Given in our town of Madrid, the seventh day of the month of May, in the year of the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1495.
I, THE KING. I, THE QUEEN.
I, FERNANDO ALVAREZ de Toledo,
Secretary of the king and of the queen, our lord and lady, have caused it to be written, by their command.