10th March 1785

Royal Philippine Company established

On March 10, 1785, King Charles III of Spain confirmed the establishment of the Royal Philippine Company with a 25-year charter. The Basque-based company was granted a monopoly on the importation of Chinese and Indian goods into the Philippines, as well as the shipping of the goods directly to Spain via the Cape of Good Hope. The Dutch and British bitterly opposed them because they saw the company as a direct attack on their Asian trade. It also faced the hostility of the traders of the Galleon trade who saw it as competition. This gradually resulted into the death of both institutions: The Royal Philippine Company in 1814 and the Galleon trade in 1815.

The first vessel of the Royal Philippine Company to set sail was the “Nuestra Señora de los Placeres” commanded by the captain Juan Antonio Zabaleta