THE researches which I have devoted to the earlier historians of the New World have afforded me proofs that Barbados was known to the Spaniards as early as the commencement of the sixteenth century, and apparently supplied Indians as slaves for their mines in Espanola. Las Casas, through his generous and constant exertions in favour of the natives of South America, procured from Charles the Fifth some amelioration of their condition; and the Licentiate Rodrigo de Figueroa was sent as Juez de Residencia to Espanola, \vith instructions to allow the Indians to live by themselves in their own villages, and that all who requested it should be set at liberty: and as the Indians from Trinidad had been taken for slaves, under the pretext of their being Caribs, the evil was to be remedied, and all who had been brought to Espanola from the Barbados and Gigantes were to be treated as natives. The mere occurrence of the name of the Isla de los Barbudos might be considered accidental, had not Herrera identified it in the geographical description of the islands appended to his history, where the situation is so far correct that it cannot be Dlistaken. Charles the Fifth issued his instructions 1 to Rodrigo de Figueroa in 1518; Herrera published the first part of his history in 1601;
and during that interval the island of Barbados is not lost to sight. I have already alluded, in the second chapter of this work, to some of the older maps in which it is delineated, but as I promised to recur to this interesting subject, I avail myself of the present opportunity of doing so.