Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Executive compensation: 1744

...whatever Inducements Columbus had for his attempting these Discoveries Westward, he proposed the finding out a Way to the East-Indies by the Western Ocean, to King John of Portugal; and gave such substantial Reasons for the Attempt, that the King seemed to think the Thing very probable, though he did not like the Terms this Adventurer proposed. At several times he made Application to the Genoese, and Henry VII. King of England...

...applied himself to Ferdinand and Isabella, King and Queen of Castile and Arragon, who, in the Year 1492. provided him with Money, and entrusted him with the equipping and fitting out three small Ships for the Expedition: He also obtained a Grant from their Majesties to be Admiral of the Western Seas, that all Civil Employments, as well as Governments, in the Continent or World to be discovered, should be wholly at his Disposal; and, besides the Revenues of the Posts of Admiral and Viceroy, he should enjoy a tenth of all the Profits arising by future Conquests in those yet unknown Lands.
--From A system of geography--

Ten percent of all future profits; that sounds insane. But you know the British and Portuguese probably kicked themselves for not agreeing to pay it.

We often hear people complaining about how much someone else is paid, but there are people who are worth the price and can deliver; if you don't pay them what they ask, the people who do will eat your lunch.

6 comments:

chickenlittle said...

I thought the Spanish nulled that tithe clause, or at least dishonored it?

chickenlittle said...

And sorry for driving away all the commenters.

Jason (the commenter) said...

I thought the Spanish nulled that tithe clause, or at least dishonored it?

Columbus screwed up running the colonies big time (he begged for help and was tried for brutality) and the Spanish used that as an excuse to void his contract.

His kids ended up with a huge inheritance so it's not like he was poor though.

Jason (the commenter) said...

And sorry for driving away all the commenters.

This is just an excuse for me to read and not always think about current events (entirely).

Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's disturbing, this week it's Columbus.

chickenlittle said...

Well I've been obsessed with Spanish explorers lately too so I can relate.

Bissage said...

Somewhat surprisingly, there actually exists video evidence of the final contract negotiations between Columbus and the Crown of Spain. Link.