"By My Absolute Royal Authority": Justice and the Castilian by J. B. Owens

By J. B. Owens

"By My Absolute Royal Authority": Justice and the Castilian Commonwealth initially of the 1st international Age is a learn of judicial management. From the 15th century to the 17th, the dominion of Castile skilled a amazing proliferation of judicial associations, which historians have more often than not noticeable as a part of a metanarrative of "state-building." but, Castile's frontiers have been super porous, and a crown executive which could no longer keep an eye on the kingdom's borders exhibited neither the power to procure details and form affairs, nor the centrality of courtroom politics that many historians declare to be able to craft a tidy narrative of this era. Castilians retained their loyalty to the monarchy now not as a result of "power" of the associations of a constructing "state," yet simply because they shared an id as electorate of a commonwealth during which a excessive price used to be given to justice as an final objective of the political group and a conviction that the sovereign possessed "absolute royal authority" to determine that justice was once performed. This expectation served as a origin for the political id and loyalty that held jointly for a number of centuries the disparate and globally-dispersed domain names of the Hispanic Monarchy, yet perceptions of the way good crown judicial associations labored have been a primary determinant of the measure of aid a monarch may allure to satisfy economic and armed forces objectives. This booklet maps a part of this unusual terrain via a microhistory of a longer, excessive profile lawsuit that was once conscientiously watched by means of generations of Castilian leaders. Justices from the past due 15th century to the reign of Philip II had trouble resolving the clash as the right workout of "absolute royal authority" used to be itself the crucial criminal factor and the dispute pitted opposed to one another individuals of significant teams who validated a bent to provide prominence to various interpretive schemes as they attempted to understand their international. The account brings jointly political rules and political motion through giving severe awareness to how good royal justices have been in a position to deal with tough, famous court cases that raised politically troubling questions and concerned significant litigants. J. B. Owens is professor of the heritage and director of the Glenn E. Tyler assortment at Idaho kingdom college, the place he makes a speciality of Spanish historical past and using Geographic info structures for learn and educating.

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24 Chapter Summaries Royal secretaries ever more frequently inserted the phrase “by my absolute royal authority” into a whole series of documents in the period after king John II was declared of age in 1419. By the 1440s, it had become a familiar formula. In chapter 2, I introduce the dispute that gave rise to the long, highly visible lawsuit on which the book focuses, as a “clue” to understanding political life in a major European monarchy. I identify the various groups and institutions that shaped the idea and exercise of royal authority, and I offer a short synopsis of the context within which the long ToledoBelalcázar conflict began.

The dispute quickly gained prominence among contemporaries, who watched and evaluated the actions of those involved. For example, in a move indicating how important the Puebla de Alcocer issue was becoming as a symbol of the misuse of absolute royal authority in the aggrandizement of aristocrats, the other major municipalities took the unprecedented step of including a demand for the town’s return to Toledo’s jurisdiction in the general petitions of the Cortes (representative assembly) of Valladolid of 1447, just two years after the grant.

As Toledo’s lawyers would later stress, Piedrahita subsequently refused to consider these allegations on the ground that a determination of the grant’s validity exceeded his commission. qxd 07/06/05 24 7:48 PM Page 24 “By My Absolute Royal Authority” On 1 July, Piedrahita declared that all parties except the master of Alcántara had forfeited through absence their right to a hearing, and during the following two weeks, Piedrahita or someone he had commissioned hiked around the region marking the boundary of Gutierre de Sotomayor’s conquests.

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