You are on page 1of 8

Pedro Murillo

Velarde Map
It is one of the 80 or so heirlooms
up for sale, Lot #183, a 1734 Pedro
Murillo Velarde map drawn up in
Manila, tagged as the "first

What is the scientific map of the Philippines."

Pedro Murillo
(Fr. Murillo Velarde was the Jesuit
priest and polymath who designed

Velardo Map? the map, also known as Carta


hydrographica y chorographica de
las Islas Filipinas, but it was drawn
and engraved by the skilled Filipino
artisans Francisco Suarez and
Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay.)
What is the The map, a copperplate engraving,

Pedro Murillo
51 x 33 cm, is also a sea chart for
pilots and carries a brief legend on

Velardo Map? the Philippinesjust above that


inward thrust of North Borneo into
the picture.
It was expertly engraved by a

What is the mission-trained Tagalog Indian,


Nicolas de la Cruz Bagay. The

Pedro Murillo decorative drawings were done by


Francisco Suarez, also Tagalog
Velardo Map? Indian. This illustration is Murillo’s
own reduction, also engraved by
Cruz and published in 1744.
The map covers the entire
archipelago, from the small
Babuyan Islands north of Luzon
(top) to the south coast of
Mindanao and the northeast corner
of Borneo (bottom). This classic
map of the Philippines was, like the
geography it imaged, a Hispano-
Filipino creation.
How did it end up in an English Country?

In 1762, the British occupied Manila, following their victory over Spanish forces
in the Battle of Manila.

When Manila fell on October 6, 1762, British soldiers pillaged (and raped, razed,
and plundered) the city for 40 hours.

One of the looted artifacts, taken by Brigadier General William Draper, was a set
of eight copperplates of the 1734 Murillo map, the most comprehensive map of
the archipelago at the time.
Draper donated the copperplates to Cambridge University, which ran new prints
of the map.

Later, the British melted the copperplates when they needed copper to print their
admiralty charts.

One of these prints was then acquired by the Duke of Northumberland, who kept
the map for over 200 years, until it was unearthed after the flood, put to the
auction hammer and won over the phone by a Filipino businessman named Mel
Velarde (no apparent relation to Pedro) in 2014.
The "Mother of all Philippine Maps" arrived in the
country on April 28, nearly three years after it was
auctioned off. Esquire emailed Mel Velarde to talk
about the map, which he is donating to the National
Museum