Home History Story of Dom Domingos, Prince of Warri

Story of Dom Domingos, Prince of Warri


Philips III of Spain ( 14 April 1578 – 31 March 1621) Was King of Spain ( as Philips III In Castile and Phillips II in Aragon) and Portugal (Portuguese – Filipe II)

Philips III of Spain ( 14 April 1578 - 31 March 1621) Was King of Spain ( as Philips III In Castile and Phillips II in Aragon) and Portugal (Portuguese - Filipe II)
Philips III of Spain ( 14 April 1578 – 31 March 1621) Was King of Spain ( as Philips III In Castile and Phillips II in Aragon) and Portugal (Portuguese – Filipe II)

16-9-1602 King Philip gives Domingos a scholarship for Coimbra
I, the King, declare to those who see this letter of mine, that, since I had Dom Domingos, son of the king of Warri, come from his land to study in Coimbra, and I have ordered him to be received in the college of the St. Jerome religious, which is in the city of Coimbra. I have decided that as long as he stays there to study, he should have from my account 200,000 reals annually, which should take effect on the day that the Rector of the college certifies that he has entered and begun his studies and continue thenceforward. Therefore I command Dom Fernando de Noronha, count of Linhares, my beloved nephew, state counsellor and overseer of my account, to enter into my account book the 200,000 reals for Dom Domingo, and send it to him annually on my behalf in installments at a good rate, for the purpose of his studies in that college, from the time he begins studying and thenceforward, as has been said. This letter shall have the force of a document etc.

Antao da Rocha drew up this letter in Lisbon, on 16 September 1602. Sebastião Perestrello was the scribe.


17-7-1604 King Philip to Vice-King of Portugal, Bishop Afonso de Castelo Branco: Domingos transferred to Colégio de Santo Agostinho in Lisbon
Reverend Bishop Count etc.: Dom Domingos, son of the king of Warri, requested of me that, since he has not yet receive payment of the 200,000 reals that I ordered to be paid from my account each year, and he is in dire need, my Court should look into the matter. And since he desired to finish his Latin in this city and acquire other good learning within three or four years, unless his father, the king of his country, calls him back earlier, he asked me to have the 200,000 reals paid to him and to be given other things contained in his petition.

Since his request is just and should be granted, and so that he can more easily finish his Latin and study other subjects, I request you to order the Rector of the College of the Brothers of St. Augustine of this city (to whom I am also writing) to take him into their college and to give him and his servants and one cleric accommodation befitting his state, and to be very careful to respect the person of this prince, so that he may not be in need and may be treated with the courtesy he deserves.

Also see that from the surplus in the treasury accounts of this city this year, he is paid immediately and without any delay all that he is owed from my account of the 200,000 reals and has not yet been paid. This you must pay him to satisfy what is owed, and from the first of next January 1605 and thenceforward you should give him from whichever government account gives the best rate 320,000 reals, and each year 200,000 reals more for the salary of a cleric who will accompany him in his studies, and for the upkeep and clothing of two servants who wait on him. The Rector should make clear to him that the said cleric and the servants owe obedience to the Rector, and the money shall be given to the Rector to spend as has been indicated.

Written in Valladolid on 17 July 1604.

Given to the same Prince on 22 August 1604.


17-7-1604 King Philip to Friar João de Valadares, Rector of Santo Agostinho: to enrol Domingos
To Friar Joaõ de Valadares. I, the King, send you greetings. Dom Domingos, son of the king of Warri, desires to finish his Latin in this city and study other useful subjects until his father sends for him. In order that he can do all this with greater comfort and peace, I request you to give him the necessary accommodation in your college for himself, two servants and a cleric, all of whom are to acommpany him while he studies. For the upkeep and clothing of himself and his servants and the salary of the cleric, I wrote to the Count Bishop, Vice-King of this realm to have deposited in one of the banks of this city where the rate is best 320,000 reals, which you shall receive and spend for the requirements of this prince and his servants. You are to look after him with particular care so that he suffers from no need. And I strongly charge you to treat him with the courtesy due to persons of his state. This special care which I said you should have and the efforts you make I will appreciate very much and consider it a great service .

Written in Valladolid, 17 July 1604.

Given to the same prince on 2 August 1604.


12-1-1605 King Philip to the Vice-King of Portugal, Bishop Pedro de Castilho: to pay Domingos’ stipend

Reverend Bishop etc.: I have seen four recommendations of the Council of my Treasury and another from Dom Domingos, son of the king of Warri, who requests me to please have him paid in the custom house of Buarcos, where he has coming to him 200,000 reals each year for his studies in Coimbra, which was accumulating for him during the time he was absent from the college and spent on his requisitions, without however presenting any certification from the Rector of the College of São Jeronimo. To continue doing him favour I think it is good to grant him what he asks, as the Council of my Treasury recommends and the Vice-King agrees.

Written on 12 January 1605.


18-3-1606 Vice-King of Portugal to King Philip: Domingos transfers to the Jesuit school, Colégio de Santo Antão

In the Jesuit College of Santo Antaõ, where your Magesty had Dom Domingos, prince of Warri, transferred, has no accommodation for him, since they are just finishing the construction of that house and for that reason it was not possible to do as your Majesty commanded, as the Rector explained to you, telling me that he would be very pleased for his Order to be of service to your Majesty, if the accommodation situation permitted…


13-5-1606 King Philip to the Vice-King of Portugal:

The same Reverend Bishop etc.: In your letter of 18 March you told me of the inconveniences that the Jesuits of the College of S. Antaõ, in this city of Lisbon, have in admitting Dom Domingos, son of the king of Warri, in the way I had ordered, and that the Provincial of the Jesuits and the Rector of that college wrote to me about the same inconveniences. Nevertheless it is very important to assure the education of the said Dom Domingos, for the reasons that you have been made to understand; so I think it advisable to try again (as I am doing). Call the same Provincial again and tell him from my part that for the special confidence I have of what can be achieved if the Society takes charge of him, I strongly recommend to him that he give orders to admit Dom Domingos now without any more delay either in the College of Lisbon or in that of Coimbra. And give him as many reasons as you can think of to persuade him to do this, especially that, for the style of life that Dom Domingos will have in any part of his land, a quite simple accommodation will suffice.


8-7-1606 The Vice-King of Portugal to King Philip: To send priests to Benin and Warri

Likewise I sent to your Majesty another recommendation of the Council of India on the letter that the Bishop of São Tomé wrote to your Majesty, in which it seems a response is required. I am of the same opinion as the Council…

I think your Majesty should order the bishop to report whether Antonio de Mello has the obligation of maintaining a priest on the island of Anno Bon, and if he does not then your Majesty should have one paid for from of your account. Likewise I think that your Majesty should order him to report how he is going to finance the two priests whom he thinks should be sent to the king of Warri and the king of Benin, and that he should negotiate with thosekings that they should do so from their accounts. Your Majesty should also write to the bishop expressing appreciation for the care he is taking in sending a priest to the king of Warri, and explain to him that when your Majesty receives the information you will reply…


26-9-1606 Vice-King of Portugal to King Philip: Jesuits have no accommodation for Domingos
Memorandum of 26 September 1606. Lord…

The Provincial of the Jesuits visited the College of Coimbra personally and informed me that in the college there was no accommodation where Dom Domingos, son of the king of Warri, could stay, except in the quarters of the religious. And because there is no place either for him to stay in his College of Santo Antaõ of this city, I am informing your Majesty of this so that you may know, and may order what you decide. May God guard you…


31-10-1606 King Philip to the Vice-King of Portugal: Find accommodation
Reverend Bishop etc.: Since, as you have written me, there is no facility to house Dom Domingos in the Jesuit College of Santo Antaõ of this city of Lisbon and there is no reason why he should spend more time without accommodation, I urge you strongly to speak to the Rector of that college and on my behalf give him the responsibility of looking for some rooms as close to the college as possible, where he can comfortably stay, since the said Rector, besides having him taught and instructed in the college, should also have the responsibility of looking after his behaviour, putting him on the right path and arranging for what will assist him and his servants, so that they do not go astray, and by the regulation of his house, the same as if he lived within the college, and seeing that he is quickly paid what I order him to be given for his upkeep and other necessary things, and spend it at his order. In this way, all the quiet and comfort that he lacks by not staying in the college and the inconveniences of living outside can be largely compensation.

So let the said Rector know that I would be very pleased if he would do everything in conformity to what has been said. You shall also advise the Provincial of this so that he may be aware of it, and you shall give me a report of what is done.

Written on 31 October 1606.


23-11-1607 King Philip: Free trade allowed with Warri
I, the King, inform those who see this letter that, considering how much it will serve God and myself by opening the ports and commerce and trade with the kingdom of Warri, on the coast of Guinea, as well as to have divine worship celebrated there and our holy Catholic Faith preached there and to promote a true knowledge of the Faith among the indigenous of the same kingdom and the unbelieving idolators of those territories, as well as for the profit and usefulness which can result from it to my realms and to the indigenous themselves of that kingdom, I commanded my Financial Council to discuss the matter and to gather information about the persons who reside in or sail to that territory. Being in agreement with what the said Council recommended and with the great care they took in this matter, I am pleased with every aspect and, since Dom Domingos, son of the king of Warri, also asked me on behalf of his King, I grant him that all the ports of his kingdom be opened for commerce with all my vassals of these realms and the realms of Portugal, to trade there from now onwards, in the same manner as is don in our realms of the Congo. This decree shall be carried out entirely and exactly as it provides, without any delay or impediment. May this hold firm etc.

Francisco de Brito composed this in Lixboa, on 23 Novermber 1607.
Juan Aluarez was the scribe.


10-3-1608 The Counsel of Portugal to King Philip: Allow Domingos to return home
Lord: The king of Warri, which is one of the kingdoms on the coast of Guinea, eight years ago sent to Portugal, along with a letter to your Majesty, his elder son, Dom Domingos, to study and learn good manners, so that he could help with the conversion of that gentile people (which must be gone about with care) as well as to govern his kingdom. By order of your Majesty and at the cost of your account, the said Dom Domingos studied all the while, the first few years in Coimbra at the College of the Order of Saõ Jeronimo, and now in Lisbon under the responsibility of the Jesuits, as your Majesty recommended.

A few days ago he wrote a letter to your Majesty saying that the king, his father, was calling for him, and that your Majesty should please give him permission to go and kiss your hand, and with that be able to make his journey. At the advice of the Bishop Inquisitor General, who was still in charge and did not want to give him permission, understanding that Dom Domingos asked this without an order from his father. He told him to settle down and continue his studies, taking counsel on all this with the Vice-King, saying that if he saw a letter from his father he would not stop him from returning, but would do all he could to help, promising that he would have all he was supposed to be given for his departure, and that he was excused from coming here.

The Marquis Vice-King now answers this letter, saying that Dom Domingos showed him the letter of of his father, where it is clear that he is calling for him. He also says that your Majesty should give him permission to go, since he does not see that there is any advantage in his staying here, and that for his colour he is well enough instructed. If your Majesty agrees, he will make all arrangements for what he must be given to depart.

Examining this in Counsel, we recommend that, since the said Dom Domingos requested to go and it is established that the king, his father, is calling him, that you should write to the Marquis that he should tell him that your Majesty is in full agreement. And because of the work of preparing for the journey he is excused from coming here. The Marquis should recommend what should be given to him for his departure, which should be enough for him to travel in comfort. Your Majesty shall order what you see fit.

Madrid, 10 March 1608.

This is all right.


11-2-1609 King Philip’s reply: Provides for Domingos’ return

I saw a recommendation of the Council of India on the observations that Dom Domingos, son of the king of Warri, gave. On the first point (which is about an answer requested by the letter which he brought from his father), since this letter cannot be found, he must be given a general answer in a way to give him satisfaction.

On the second point, concerning the prelate, priests and religious which he requests, I approve of what the said Council’s recommendation to send him now one learned and virtuous priest along with two other priests, that they be provided with what is necessary for travel and, from my chapel, with what they need for divine worship. And that they may be provided with what will enable them to achieve what this mission is setting out to accomplish, you shall on my behalf tell the Bishop/ Chaplain Major, to find out which subjects can be sent, with consideration of the competing parties in need, and in particular that they be old Christians, and especially ones that seem to him more suitable. You shall inform me about this, so that I may choose for you what is best.

On the third point, concerning the arms he requests, It is best to write to the Governor of São Tomé, recommending him to have good communication with the said king of Warri, but without promising anything. But Dom Domingos should be given for himself a complete set of steel armour, a visor, an axe and a sword.

On the fourth point, on the pepper and other drugs that he says exist in his kingdom, this should not be settled now, leaving this point until we hear from persons who have been to that kingdom, who can give us advice as to what exactly should be done.

On the fifth point, on the habits which he requests, it is good to accord him the habit of Christ, both himself, the king his father, and his brother.

On the sixth point, on the freedom that he requests from having to pay duty on the materials which are to be sent to this kingdom, since it is clear from his letter that they are for the service of the churches, it is good to grant him this request, on the basis that these materials are for the service of the churches and are sent to the Chaplain Major, as the said Council recommends.

On the seventh point, which is his request that his stipend should continue, which I sent him for his upkeep until he pays his debts, and that he be aided with the cost of these, it is good to grand him 500 cruzados once and for all, with the declaration that it will be given to him after he returns from Santiago.

On the eight point, on the servants, men of my house, which he asks to take as horsemen, it is good that of those who were with him he should take four of the said group, with a declaration that they are free from old age.

On the ninth point, on the habit which he requests for Antonio Martins dAbreu, he should be told that there is no place now to give this to him now, as the Council recommends.

On the tenth point, on his sollicitation that I should choose as my Chaplain Manoel dAlmeida, who is his own, and for the bishop of the island of Madeira to provide him with a chapter, it is good for him to consult with the said prince, and if it is first ascertained that he is used to the job he should be received as my Chaplain.

On the eleventh point, on the caravels that he requests for his travel and the provision that they be provided with the help of expenses in whichever of my ports that they arrive, should he experience a shipwreck, it is good that the ships that go to the island of São Tomé should give him passage and upkeep for himself and ten servants. The same holds for the said provision, with the declaration that the said help of expenses will be given him only if he docks from necessity, and it will be only for what is necessary for him to continue his journey. You shall have a reply given to him in conformity with this resolution and have the necessary despaches sent and have him provided immediately what I have command him to be given for this journey, so that he not be delayed because of anything lacking.


9-3-1609 Mesa da Consciencia e Ordens: admits Domingos to Order of Christ
Dom Domingos, son of the king of Warri, presented in this Council a message of Count Almirante that your Majesty should grant him and his brother and the king, his father, the habit of the Order of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he asks that they should have the provisions sent so that he can be vested in the said habit. That the said provisions may take effect, you should have the required provisions made, according to the Statutes of the Order.

We recommend that, in view of the quality of the petitioners and to that their petition may be granted quickly as befits the favour your Majesty is granting him, and because there is no presumption or suspicion of any kind of obstacle, your Majesty should be pleased to have made in this city the said provisions and the investiture according to the Statutes.

In the Council, 9 March 1609.
aa) A.o Furtado de M.a P./ J. Ferás/ Dom Ant.oMãz/ Domingos Rib.o C./ B.or dias P.to/ Dõ J.oCoutinho.


19-5-1609 King Philip, on sending priests to Warri
On the same day I saw a recommendation of the Bishop Chaplain Major on the priests that I commanded him to propose to be sent to the kingdom of Warri. In consideration of what the Bishop said, it is good to send now the religious that he appoints, and I request you to order that to take effect.

a) Antonio Uiles de Çimas.


30-6-1609 Mesa da Consciência: on the habits given to Domingos
“On the habits of the Order of Christ, which I granted to the king of Warri for himself and his two sons.” The King is in agreement with this.


1-12-1609 King Philip: Allow Domingos to take the habit of the Order of Christ.
In the letter of his Majesty on 1 December 1609:

I saw a recommendation of the Council of Conscience on Dom Domingos, son of the king of Warri, who claims to have made profession in the Order of Christ, without having done the year and one day of his novitiate, and that his father and another brother of his who were also granted the habit of this order can make profession in the kingdom of Warri. For the reasons he gives for this, and to complete the favour given, it is all right to allow him this dispensation, and to give him the necessary documents, in the form that the Council recommends.


28-6-1610 King Philip to Vice-King Marquez: Domingos’ marriage and an attack on him
Honorable Marquis Vice-King etc.: Dom Domingos, Prince of Warri, wrote me a letter, enclosed with this one, in which he tells me of his marriage with a daughter of Dom Christouaõ Pereira, niece of the Count da Feira, and he complains of a judge in that city called Francisco Carualho, who seized all his servants to settle a fight which an official of his house had with officials of the house of the ship-off-loader Antonio Pinto dAmaral. Entering his house at 2:00 A.M. with two policemen and many other men, they broke down the doors with great violence, as if he were a killer.

I request you to gather information on this complaint of his and, if what he says in the letter is true, give him in my name the compensation that you think is necessary. so that he may be satisfied and have no more complaint. Inform me of what you have done about this, and also about the manner of his marriage.

Written in Madrid, 28 June 1610.


11-8-1610 King Philip to Vice-King Marquez: Domingos should leave as soon as possible
Honorable Marquis etc.: I saw your letter of the 10th of this month in reply to what I wrote to you about the complaint of Dom Domingos, Prince of Warri, against Francisco Carualho, criminal justice of this city. Regarding your advice that he should depart, since he was sent off many days ago and has not yet gone, I wrote to him to go now and as fast as possible, as you can see by the copy of the same letter enclosed with this one. I request you to do all you can to hasten his departure as much as you can.

Written in Aranda, 11 August 1610.


22-9-1610 King Philip to Vice-King Marquez: Domingos delays
Honorable Marquis etc.: In the enclosed letter of Dom Domingos, Prince of Warri, you can see the reasons he gave for not yet having departed, as I had ordered him to do as quickly as possible. So that he may do so, he asks me to be aware of the reasons that he lists. I request you to look into the excuses that he offers and do your best to see that he can depart.

Written in Agilafuête, 22 October 1610.


1620 Pedro da Cunha: Ad limina report: Domingos is back in Warri
When Bishop Peter arrived in the diocese in 1616, by letters he confirmed King Sebastian in the Catholic Faith, which the king, as a true Catholic, greatly appreciated, and asked him for a priest. The previous one had died a few days before, whom he greatly mourned. But because no one was found who was willing to go and stay there because of the poverty of the king and of his kingdom, the bishop sent a priest with the option of returning with the same ship, so as to to pastoral work for a little while. A whole year has gone by and this priest is still there.

Bishop Pedro has constantly, through many letters, presented the miseries of that Christian people to the Catholic King, imploring his vast consideration to sent at least one priest with a fitting salary to come to the aid of so many souls, but up to now has had no reply. King Sebastian has long been suffering from old age, but all the Portuguese bear witness to how well he has maintained the Catholic Faith with so long an absence of a priest. He hiimself teaches his people Christian doctrine and leads them in processions with great devotion.

This King Sebastian, after some years, sent a son of his who was not legitimate to the Catholic King so that he could devote himself to study of sacred dogma and theology, so as to later serve the most great and good God as a priest. Although he received abundant gifts and favours from his Catholi Majesty, ne neglected his studies and married a noble Portuguese lady and came back to his country. Although he is illegitimate, because of his superior knowledge of the Catholic Faith which he learned in Portugal, his father thought he was likely to persevere more firmly in it; so he chose him as his successor. But the prince successor did not imitate his father’s goodness, and when his wife died without children he showed a harsher attitude to the Portuguese.

Outside that small town of St. Augustine, there are many other Christians, while even in that town only a minority profess the Catholic Faith and many of these are nominally Christian. Nearly the whole Christianity is centered around the king himself and the prince; the rest are nominally Christian only to please the king. Only with difficulty do they bring their children for sacred baptism, thinking that the children will die immediately after baptism. Most of the men take women without hte sacrament of matrimony; they circumcise their children and make use of sorcery and superstition. Therefore Bishop Pedro wrote earnestly to the King and instructed a priest to take note of everything that was going on there, so that he could do all he could to teach and introduce the pure Faith according to the norm of the Catholic Church.

Near this diocese there are very many other kingdoms, all of them full of pagan barbaric practices. But if there were enough workers they could easily be converted to the Catholic faith. It is therefore a worthy task of his Catholic Majesty, whose help Bishop Pedro often and incessantly has implored. He now implores again and again his Holiness Pope Paul V and the Apostolic Holy See, in fulfilment of his pastoral office, to send letters to his Catholic Majesty urging him to provide ministers and to write to those kings to embrace the Catholic Faith which he himself holds. For if he writes charitably to them and sends some ministers, the harvest will be great.


26-6-1625 Philip IV to the governors of Portugal: Send two Capuchins
… I agree with all that the Council of Conscience advised in the first chapter of their recommendations which treats of the ecclesiastical ministers of that island and how important it is for the bishop to reside there. You shall order him to do precisely that and that he should leave for there as soon as it is necessary, that he should arrange his departure as soon as possible. Regarding the particular points of the seconde and third chapters, it is good to send some Jesuits who are such as are usually sent to similar missions. Likewise two Capuchin religious of the Order of St. Francis should be sent to the prince of Warri.
Bibliography:Kenny, J.  Church in Nigeria – English – 2. Available at: http://www.dhspriory.org/kenny/DH02E.htm (Accessed: 23 July 2016).