King of Aragon Ferdinand II

Ferdinand & Isabella Order Mayor To Investigate Town Land Seizure

Ferdinand & Isabella Order Mayor To Investigate Town Land Seizure

 

1p manuscript in Spanish signed by Ferdinand II of Aragon (1452-1516) as "Yo, el Rey" [trans: "I, the King"], and signed by Isabella I of Castile (1451-1504) as "Yo, la Reina" [trans: I, the Queen"] near the top of a document from Segovia, Spain dated July 12, 1503. The document, inscribed in a gorgeous secretarial script by royal scribe Juan de la Parra (who also signed below), is on thick laid cream paper with a unique hand and star watermark. Docketed verso. Expected light paper folds, and most likely trimmed. Minor weathering verso, else near fine. 8.375" x 9.25".

 

The royal decree was addressed to Doctor Alonso Ramirez de Villaescusa (ca. 1450-1510), the Mayor of Valladolid, a town located about 200km northwest of Madrid in the heart of Castile. De Villaescusa was ordered to investigate claims that citizens had unlawfully seized town lands.

 

Translation:

 

"[Handwritten] The King and the Queen

 

[To] Doctor de Villaescusa, our appointed mayor in the town of Valladolid. We instruct you to promptly conduct the investigation you have started on the municipal lands that the denizens of the said town have invaded and seized; and that, once everyone's position has been heard, bring swift justice to whoever it is due, so that the town may receive reparation according to what, in conformity with your findings, has been seized and settled. [And see] that nothing might be done [to them] that they might find further reason to complain.

 

Dated from Segovia, the 12th of July of the year 1503.

 

[Signed] I, the King

[Signed] I, the Queen

 

[Handwritten] By order of the King and Queen

[Signed] Juan de la Parra".

 

Doctor de Villaescusa was a well-known figure in the era of the "Most Catholic Kings", not only because of his lengthy and successful bureaucratic career, but also because he authored an influential political treatise called "Espejo de Corregidores y Jueces" [trans: "Mirror for Mayors and Judges"] (1493). De Villaescusa was appointed a public prosecutor after studying at the University of Salamanca. Between 1484-1490, de Villaescusa served in the Inquisition's court system in Guadalupe and Toledo. On June 28, 1490, he accepted his commission as Mayor of Valladolid; he would serve in this role until 1503/4. De Villaescusa's work "Espejo de Corregidores y Jueces" was an instruction manual on how to perform government duties. De Villaescusa's impulse to codify and organize aligned well with Ferdinand & Isabella's attitudes towards administration.

 

Isabella's marriage to Ferdinand in 1469 had ensured the future unification of Spain. The two monarchs are most celebrated for their patronage of Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus and their subsequent empire-building in the New World, but other legacies include implementing administrative reforms, stabilizing the budget, and reducing crime.

 

The combined efforts of the monarchs and the Catholic Church during the Spanish Inquisition forced non-Christians (mostly Jews and Muslims) to either leave or convert. Pope Alexander VI gave Isabella the official title of "Catholic monarch" for her efforts in spearheading the "Reconquista" of Spain.

 

Isabella I died sixteen months after signing this document, in November 1504. The royal court installed at the turreted Alcazar of Segovia was located about 90 km northwest of Madrid.

 

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

 

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Item: 67435

Price: $6,000.00
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King of Aragon Ferdinand IIKing of Aragon Ferdinand IIKing of Aragon Ferdinand IIKing of Aragon Ferdinand II
King of Aragon Ferdinand II
King of Aragon Ferdinand II
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