In 1529, Bartholomew
Welser received a huge grant of land in what is now Venezuela from
Charles V (King Charles I of Spain), who gave it to Bartholomew in
exchange for large sums of money owed to the Welser Family on behalf of
the crown. The Family sponsored an expedition to inspect and explore
their new lands in 1535 under the command of Philippe von Hutton, hoping
to find precious metals and colonize the area. Von Hutton spent several
years exploring the continentís interior and eventually became
Captain-General of the province. In 1546, however, the Spanish crown
revoked the Welserís land grant, in large part due to their abuse of the
indigenous peoples. The new Spanish Governor had Von Hutton executed.
Antony Welser (d. 1518) was one of the first Europeans to use the sea
route to India discovered by Vasco de Gama.
Click on the Piece of Eight to return to the Main Page