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The Order of Santiago was founded by Ramiro II, King of Leon, in the 10th century to fight for the true faith in Spain against the Moors. It was confirmed in 1175 by Pope Alexander III and was, together with the Order of the Holy Inquisition, the most important of the four military Orders (the others were the Order of Alcantara and the Order of Montesa). As early as 1603 Phillip III of Spain decreed that ministers of the Holy Inquisition must wear their insignia at all religious functions and public duties, and with the great increase in religious confraternities at this period all loyal supporters wore such badges or 'veneras.'
The following passengers on the Maravillas were members of the Order of Santiago and therefore might have worn the insignia: Don Luis Francisco Nunes de Guzman, Marques de Montealegre, general of the fleet, Don Matias de Orellana, Admiral of the fleet who commanded the Maravillas and drowned in the wreck and Don Felix Garcia Gonzalez de Leon