As the song goes, in the Sound of Music, let us start at the very beginning, it’s a very good place to start. The very first line of the document indicates a very poor and inaccurate translation, despite assurances of the authenticity of the translation, or a document that is fraudulent and written by someone entirely unfamiliar with British history or the nomenclature in use at the time.
Or that Dawssonne Drake was ignorant of the correct terminology for the period. Certainly, Drake was born far away from Britain, in India, but he was an employee of the East Indian Company, under which auspices he governed Manila and it is unlikely that he would have made such a fluff as to refer, in the very first line of the document, to the ‘Royal Crown of England’.
First, in no formal document invoking any monarch, is the term Royal Crown used. It is simply ‘The Crown’. Since at least the Act of Union in 1707, the British monarch was, at that time, the king of England, Scotland and Wales. The term ‘Royal Crown of England’ is, therefore, a glaring anachronism not in use for several centuries before the dating of the document.
The figure which follows ‘Royal Crown of England’, 1767 is unexplained. The British, or to be more accurate, the East India Company departed Manila 29th March 1764 after handing over the reins of Manila to Francisco de la Torre, who would be followed as governor by Jose Raon, whose name appears on the bottom of the translation the Tallanos presented to courts several centuries later.
Next, let us look at the following paragraph:
This paragraph is very problematic. British monarchs do not issue ‘supreme orders’, just ‘orders’, so this should read ‘by order of the Crown’ or ‘by order of His Majesty King George III.
The inclusion of the Royal Audencia deserves note. At this time all but one member of the Audencia, was in prison so it was not functioning as a court. At the time Manila was administered on behalf of the East India Company by a four-man council. While it is not entirely impossible that Drake signed under the authority of the notionally still existent Royal Audencia, unlikely, bu tvaguely possible.
Does the date 16 January 1764 make sense? The timeline of the occupation goes like this:
24 September 1762
A Madras-based fleet belonging to the East India Company assaults Manila following the granting of permission to do so by the British government as part of the Seven Years War.
6 October 1762
Manila is occupied.
2 November 1762
Dawsonne Drake of the East India Company assumes Governorship of Manila.
French King Louis XV issued a formal call for peace talks to end the Seven Years War.
March 1762- February 1763
Peace negotiations get underway. All sides want to end the war. Britain’s negotiator, the Duke of Bedford keeps secret the approval of an assault on Manila in order not to slow down peace talks.
10 February 1763
The 1763 Treaty of Paris goes into effect. Any territories seized by the belligerents during the war and not explicitly mentioned in the treaty are to be returned to the control of the original occupying power.
16 April 1763
A victory dispatch reaches London from Manila formally announcing the occupation. Note this is two months after the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
Franscisco Javier De La Torre arrives in Manila as Spanish-appointed governor giving instructions from the British government for British/East India Company to hand Manila back to Spanish control. British forces evacuate.
6 July 1765
José Antonio Raón y Gutiérrez assumes the governorship of Manila.
I have included Raón’s assumption of the governorship for reasons which will be explained later but which will be apparent if one reads the text of Oct 01-4 provided in the previous episode.
From this timeline it is certainly possible that the British government could have communicated with Drake in Manila, necessary for the document to have Crown approval, by 17 January 1764, it is possible, though unlikely, that Drake issued a document under the authority of the Royal Audencia. So, these are not necessarily anachronisms – things not congruent with the alleged time and place of the issuance of the alleged document.
It does not, however, help support the authenticity of the document and any credibility it provides is destroyed by the next section of the allegedly accurate translation:
The Torrens system originated in Australia. It is named after Robert Torrens, who was born in 1814 and proposed the system in 1858. It is therefore not possible that any document produced in 1764 could reference it.
The rest of the preamble says:
The reference to ‘kilometres and hectares is rather odd for a 1764 document, and notice that mixing non-metric and metric measurements like ‘square nautical miles’ is not best practice. It predates the first adoption of the metric system by France in 1799 by several decades, its adoption by Spain by nearly a century who introduced it to the Philippines in 1860, and its adoption by the UK by two whole centuries. It is either a case of remarkable prescience by Dawsonne Drake or the document is a fraud.
There is no measurement such a ‘square nautical miles’. Any measurement of area would have been in ‘Statute miles’.
Yet we are only at the preamble. There is more to come.