MercoPress, en Español

Montevideo, September 28th 2023 - 00:39 UTC



Falklands 1768 Franciscan chapel blueprint discovered in the Archives of Indies in Seville

Thursday, November 16th 2017 - 18:20 UTC
Full article 21 comments

The blueprint for a Franciscan chapel built in the Falkland Islands by the Spanish sometime after 1768 and which apparently caught fire and was destroyed in 1811, was found by an Argentine historian and researcher at the General Archive of the Indies in Seville, according to a piece published by Martin Dinatale in the Buenos Aires media. Read full article


Disclaimer & comment rules
  • Brit Bob

    Apparently the Foreign ministry already has certified copies of the documents, and former minister Susana Malcorra allegedly was quoted saying that these new documents “could help bend in favor of Argentina, the vote of several country at the C24 UN decolonization committee”.

    Susana says a lot of things: -

    Argentine Foreign Minister Malcorra said that historically the Argentine position was not to acknowledge for this case in particular the “self determination of peoples”, because 'kelpers' (Falkland Islanders) are a transplanted population, not aborigine (MercoPress 10 Nov 2016).

    Hm. Let's see: Falklands – Implanted Population:

    Nov 16th, 2017 - 07:04 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Chicureo

    Newly discovered documents that were stored in a mayonnaise jar in a decrepit hut in Punta Arenas show that the Las Malvinas were sold to the captain of a Dutch ship in April 1766.

    Nov 16th, 2017 - 07:55 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Pete Bog

    @ Chicureo.


    Or they might find a barrel of salted pork enscribed 'U P woz ere in 1815'.(In English as it seems most of the UP sailors were implanted from Great Britain).

    What's next? Plans of the penal prison? Or the chief Spanish commander's house? Or a garden shed? Stables?

    No mention of the Spanish naval/scientific mission to Stanley in 1863.

    Just wait till the plans for Stanley Cathedral are discovered as a counter claim, or plans for the Catholic church in Stanley!

    And the church mission on Keppel Island, (surely a missionary station trumps a mere prison church)?

    So if the claims are about buildings, what about the blockhouse and other buildings at Port Egmont over the same period?

    And afterwards, the farm buildings, all over the islands, plus Stanley's buildings over the years?

    Wasn't there a pre fab church shipped out to Goose Green?

    Or the cultural edifice of Ajax Bay with its post 1982 squaddie art such as the Wokka prayer, the 'Who dares eats ' artwork and the 'compo song'?

    Think the Brit buildings trump this chapel blueprint.

    I'd be more impressed if the Argentines could produce documentary evidence for a United Provinces settlement from 1811 handed formally over from Spain or even evidence that the United Provinces were patrolling Falkland waters from 1810, or maintaining fishing fleets like USA, France and Britain was, in the area.

    Dream on, Argentina.

    Nov 16th, 2017 - 10:48 pm - Link - Report abuse +6
  • Roger Lorton

    So while Puente was thinking about a new Chapel, the British on West Falkland had erected a fort, built a town, raised an observation post and even built a fishing lodge - oh, and charted the whole archipelago, circumnavigating it in the process.

    And somehow Puente's chapel is a greater sign of sovereignty.

    Argentine's are weird.

    Nov 16th, 2017 - 11:23 pm - Link - Report abuse +6
  • gordo1

    So what? It was only a “plan”! Get over it, pelotudos!

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 06:54 am - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Roger Lorton

    “The British took possession of the islands on a different site and founded their own settlement after the French, but before the cession of the French rights to Spain. Thus it was impossible for them to acquire the whole archipelago by occupation, ..... In the agreement the French settlement is called “établissemens illégitimes dans le Iles Malouines appartenant à Sa Majesté Catholique”. Here the Spanish tried with success to claim that the islands had always been theirs. But it was not even a treaty between the Spanish and French crowns, but only an agreement with Bougainville, who was more interested in getting his money than in maintaining a legal position, the results of which he was going to renounce anyway. The clause had of course no bearing on the legal situation between Spain and Britain and all other states” [Fisch 1983]

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 09:52 am - Link - Report abuse +4
  • Pete Bog

    @ RL
    “And somehow Puente's chapel is a greater sign of sovereignty.

    Argentine's are weird”

    They are, indeed, a mystery.

    Like announcing a governor in 1829 (with permission from Britain for his settlement), by a government denounced as illegal a year later, with only the slightest possibility that 5 or so years thence counts as an Argentine settlement, (mostly populated with implanted Europeans). This for Argentina, is more significant than a British settled presence from 1765-1774 and then 1833-2017 (so far).

    Not withstanding the 1828-1833 period when even so called acts of Argentine sovereignty as announcing Vernet as governor and sending a militia generated diplomatic protests from Britain.

    If plans for a Spanish church count as evidence of Argentine sovereignty, then the unchallenged survey of West Falkland in the late 1700s ( even when there was no longer a British garrison at Egmont), is equally another counter argument that the British were not inactive in the area considered theirs.

    Regarding Argentine myths of Falkland implantation , even the Argentines have failed to recognise that most of Vernet's settlers were implanted, European born people, rather than being a majority of South American born settlers, judging from the amount of Germans that left in 1931.

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 12:09 pm - Link - Report abuse +5
  • Chicureo

    The phrase “Regarding Argentine myths of Falkland implantation ” sort of sums it all up. Their grasping at myths of straw...

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 08:01 pm - Link - Report abuse +4
  • El capitano 1

    The facts are that Argentina did in fact commit an act of “Genocide” with regard to the “aboriginal peoples” of Patagonia ...With regard to the Falkland Islands...there NEVER was an aboriginal presence on the Islands...And finally is not the whole population of Argentina a transplanted population..??

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 08:41 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Tarquin Fin

    So, does this mean that Malvinas belong to the Franciscans? What a surprising turn of events.

    Nov 17th, 2017 - 09:37 pm - Link - Report abuse +4
  • Roger Lorton

    “... the unchallenged survey of West Falkland in the late 1700s...”

    Indeed, Lieut. Thomas Edgar RN (albeit on leave) spent nigh on 2 years sailing around West Falkland Island taking reading for his chart - and without ever seeing a Spaniard.

    Funny that.

    Nov 18th, 2017 - 03:39 am - Link - Report abuse +4
  • gordo1

    El capitano 1

    Don't forget the remaining indigenous peoples of Argentina who are treated appallingly by the “implanted” population of Spaniards and Italians - the UN has brought this matter to the attention of the authorities on several occasions.

    Nov 18th, 2017 - 06:48 am - Link - Report abuse +4
  • golfcronie

    Whilst digging for mines the team came across a body and it's side was a hand carved board saying “ I WOS HERE IN 1798” signed Charlie Brown. Which proves that the FALKLANDS are British.

    Nov 18th, 2017 - 08:05 am - Link - Report abuse +4
  • Skip

    If only the Spanish Empire has concentrated on building schools and not chapels/churches/cathedrals (which dot almost every corner of old cities in Latin America), the people would now be enjoying a higher standard of living.

    Nov 18th, 2017 - 10:53 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Pete Bog


    Thanks for specificising this. I meant Edgar's survey but did not properly name or date this. I did not realise his survey took two years (even more significant), but realised it was post 1774. If the Spanish had absolute sovereignty at that time, claimed by Malvinistas, then it could be assumed there would be Spanish charts of the whole islands.I find it surprising than unlike today when there is much Spanish fishing around the Falklands, that they didn't do so in those past times(alongside British, French and the USA etc), especially with having a garrison there. The Spanish don't seemed to have ventured much out of Port Louis, or done anything in the wider Falklands. Also, if they had wanted to claim West Falkland, rather than destroy Port Egmont after the British settlement/garrison left, it would have seemed sensible to take over Egmont and post a Spanish settlement/sub garrison there and use the buildings,but like present day Argentines and unlike Falkland Islanders, the Spanish didn't truthfully want to live on the islands. Port Soledad is rather an unoptomistic name for somewhere you apparently want to be.It wasn't even named after a Spanish monarch.

    Nov 19th, 2017 - 10:16 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Roger Lorton

    Pete B.

    The Spanish did get around to a survey in 1769, which was when - in the November - they finally discovered the British when Capt. Hunt and Pilot Angel Santos encountered each other north of Cape Tamar.

    The Spanish mostly stayed in the garrison site at Soledad, huddled around their fires. It was not a posting that any of them could be said to have been keen on. Various of the commanders compalined that nothing was done - not even the growing of vegetables. One year when the supply ship was delayed (1806) they nearly starved - for all the wild cattle.

    The name Solitude was supposedly given by Governor Bucarelli in Buenos Aires after he dined with Bougainville and heard a description.

    The first 2 governors (arguably the only 2) couldn't get away fast enough. It was the 2nd that designed the system of annual rotating ships so that no-one else would have to suffer for too long. Only worked when there were ships of course. In many years, there were not.

    The general instructions were that the ship on its annual turn around of comandante-gobernador had to visit Egmont to see if the British had returned. This did not happen every year, either because of the weather; no ship, or they couldn't be bothered.

    Even in time of war, Spain never left its flag over the site of Fort George - which would have been the obvious act of sovereignty. How strange is that?

    Spain always knew we would return.

    It's all in the Timeline :-)

    Nov 19th, 2017 - 11:33 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • Jolene

    England will return the Malvinas within 25 years.

    Nov 20th, 2017 - 09:34 pm - Link - Report abuse -2
  • golfcronie

    Certainly not in your lifetime Jolene HaHa No such thing as Malvinas Knobhead

    Nov 20th, 2017 - 10:00 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • gordo1


    Dolly Parton sings a difference version to yours, boludo!

    Nov 21st, 2017 - 09:14 am - Link - Report abuse +2
  • DemonTree

    Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
    I'm begging of you please don't take my land
    Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene
    Please don't take it just because you can*

    *Luckily she can't.

    Nov 21st, 2017 - 10:41 pm - Link - Report abuse +3
  • Roger Lorton

    “Furthermore Colimodio who is a member of the Argentine History Academy and of the Sanmartiniano Institute, affirms there are other documents at the General Archives of the Indies which reveal the chapel caught fire in 1811 and in September 1816, a pilot from the Spanish navy, Gabriel Francisco de la Quintana effectively saw it had caught fire.”

    Looking forward to finding out why a Spanish ship was at Soledad (the only island claimed by Spain in 1811) some months after Buenos Aires had declared the independence of the United Provinces (this article says September, others more specifically say November 28, 1816).

    Will be even more fascinated to hear how that helps Argentina's spurious pretensions.


    Nov 22nd, 2017 - 08:59 am - Link - Report abuse +2

Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!