Compact between Spain and Portugal, signed by the Catholic Sovereigns at Madrid, May 7, 1495.
The rulers of Spain and Portugal did not put into effect the provision of the treaty of Tordesillas1 for despatching caravels within ten months in order to determine the line of demarcation. On May 7, 1495, the Spanish monarchs signed an agreement that during the following September commissioners should assemble on the frontier of the two kingdoms to decide upon the method of fixing the line; that upon notification by either party, the other party must cause the said line to be determined in accordance with the method approved by the commissioners; that the departure of the caravels should be postponed, and orders given to place the line on all hydrographical maps made in either kingdom.
The main stipulations of this compact were not carried out. Apparently it was not until 1512 that either monarch planned an expedition to determine the line.2 The earliest of existing maps on which the line of demarcation appears, is the Cantino map, of 1502. On the Munich-Portuguese map of 1519, and on the Weimar-Spanish ( 1527) and Ribero ( 1529) maps, this line does duty also as the prime meridian.3
Text: MS. The original manuscript of the compact signed by Ferdinand and Isabella at Madrid on May 7, 1495, is in the National Archives at Lisbon, gav. 10, maço 5, no. 4. A manuscript nearly identical but dated April 15, and lacking the royal signatures, which have been cut out, is in the Archives of the Indies, at Seville, Patronato 2-1-1/18, no. 8.
Text: Printed. The text of the manuscript dated April 15 is in Navarrete, Coleccion de Viages ( 1825- 1837), tom. II., no. 91, pp. 170-173.
Translation. A translation of the text as printed in Navarrete is in Blair and Robertson, Philippine Islands ( 1903- 1909), I. 131-135.
References. See references of Doc. 9.____________________
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Publication information: Book title: European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648. Contributors: Frances Gardiner Davenport - Editor. Publisher: Carnegie Institution of Washington. Place of publication: Washington, DC. Publication year: 1917. Page number: 101.
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