Letters of Cortes to Emperor Charles V - Vol 1/Last Will and Testament of Fernando Cortes
IN the name of the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, who are three persons and one, only, and true God Whom I hold, believe, and confess to be my true God and Redeemer, and of the most glorious and fortunate Virgin His Blessed Mother, our Lady and Advocate.
Let all who may see this Testament know that I, Don Fernando Cortes, Marques del Valle de Oaxaca, Captain General of New Spain and the South Sea for the Cæsarian Majesty of the Emperor Charles, fifth of this name, my sovereign Prince and Lord, being ill, but in such free and sound judgment with which it has pleased God to endow me, fearing death, as is natural to every creature, and desiring to prepare myself against such time as it may please God to call me hence, do for the good of my soul, and the peace and discharge of my conscience, execute, and recognise this document which I do make, and order as my last testament and final will, in the following form and manner.
I. First I direct that, should I die in the Spanish realm, my body shall be interred in the church of that parish wherein shall stand the house in which I die, and that there it shall remain until such time as it may please my successor to transport my bones to New Spain; this I charge and direct him to do within ten years and sooner if possible, and that he transport them thence to my town of Coyoacan, and there give them sepulture in the monastery of the nuns called La Concepcion, of the order of St. Francis which I have founded in my said town, with provision for the interment of myself and my successors.
II. Item: I direct that should it please God that my end and death should take place in this realm of Spain, my burial shall be attended to, according to the provisions of those gentlemen whom I have named my executors, or of any one of them who may be present, and that everything suitable thereto be decently ordered.
III. I direct, furthermore, that the beneficed clergy and chaplains of the parish church of the town or place where I die shall carry my body, and that all the monks of the religious Orders shall also march in procession, headed by the cross, and assist at the obsequies which shall be celebrated; and I direct that the usual alms may be given to the said religious orders according to the judgment of my said executors.
IV. Item: I direct that, on the day of my death, fifty poor men be provided out of my means with full gowns of grey cloth, with large hoods of the same, and shall accompany my funeral procession bearing lighted torches, after which each shall receive one real.
V. Item: I direct that on the same day of my funeral, if it should take place before midday, and otherwise on the day following, all the masses possible shall be said in all the churches and monasteries of the said city or town or place of my death; and besides these masses, five thousand more shall be said on successive days in the following manner: one thousand for the souls in purgatory, two thousand for the souls of those who lost their lives serving under me in the discoveries and conquests which I made in New Spain, and the two remaining thousand for the souls of all towards whom I have obligations of which I am ignorant or forgetful; those which I do know and remember shall be discharged as I direct in this my testament. My executors shall recompense the said five thousand masses according to custom, and I beg them in all that concerns my funeral to suppress the worldly pomps, and devote money rather to the good of souls.
VI. Item: On the said day of my burial my executors shall furnish all my own servants and those of my sons with a suitable mourning dress, as they shall judge proper, and during six succeeding months, my servants shall continue to receive their usual stipend with their food and drink, exactly as during my lifetime. Those who do not remain in the service of my son and successor Don Martin shall receive their payment in full on the day they leave his service.
VII. Item: I direct that when my bones shall be transported to New Spain for interment in the monastery church of Coyoacan, which I direct to be built, that this shall be done by order of the Marquesa Doña Juana de Zuñiga, my wife, and in such wise as she or my son or my successor at that time, whichever of them may be living at that time, shall direct.
VIII. Item: I direct that the bones of Doha Catalina Pizarro my lady mother, and those of Don Luis my son, which are buried in the monastery church of St. Francis in Texcoco, and those of Doña Catalina my daughter which are in the monastery of Cuahuanavac (Cuernavaca), be brought, and buried in my sepulchre in the said monastery which I found in my town of Coyoacan.
IX. Item: I direct that the hospital of Our Lady of the Conception, which I directed to be founded in the city of Mexico in New Spain, shall be finished at my cost according to the plan drawn. The principal chapel of its church shall be completed according to the model in wood made by Pedro Vasquez Jumetrico, and the plan described in the letter which I sent to New Spain, in this present year 1547. For these costs I set apart especially the rents deriving from my shops and houses in the said city, situated in the square and street of Tacuba and San Francisco, and in the street which unites them; this income shall be given exclusively to the said works until they are completed, nor shall my successor employ them for any other purposes. But it is my wish and will that the expenditure be made by my successor as patron of the hospital, and, when the works are finished according to the said plans, that the same rents shall be devoted to providing revenues for the wants of the administration, and the direction of the said hospital, following in this institution the order laid down by me before a notary public. Failing this, I direct that the same system of administration be adopted as that which obtains in the hospital of the Five Wounds, founded by Doña Catalina de Rivera (may she have glory), for maintaining the administrators, chaplains. and other officers and servants attached to the said hospital.
X. Item: I direct that in the chapel of the monastery of St. Francis in Medellin, where my father Martin Cortes is buried, the memorial masses, for which I leave provision, shall be celebrated yearly in perpetuity. My successor or successors shall for all time see to this, for which purpose I name, as patron of the said chapel, my son and successor Don Martin Cortes, and after him those who shall follow him in the succession. He, holding the said patronage (or those who succeed him by right of primogeniture), may name as his substitute for the exercise of the said patronage such person or persons as may be desirable for such time as may please him, and hold full power to revoke such appointment whenever he may so desire, substituting any other who is deemed suitable. Such person, thus appointed, shall, in the absence of the head of my house, hold the same power and faculties as the said patron himself, for such time as his appointment may last.
XI. Item: I declare that since Almighty God Our Lord has vouchsafed to advance and favour me in the discovery and conquest of New Spain, and I have always received from His merciful hand very great favours and mercies, both in my victories over the enemies of His Holy Catholic Faith, and in the pacification and settlement of those kingdoms, from which I hope great service may accrue to God our Lord, I order that the following works be undertaken in grateful recognition of those said favours and mercies, and also to discharge and satisfy my conscience for whatsoever faults or burdens may lie thereon, but of which my memory no longer takes account to enable me to specify them:
XII. I order and direct that, in addition to the aforesaid hospital which I have already provided shall be built in the city of Mexico, a monastery of the nuns of the Conception, belonging to the Order of St. Francis, shall be built in my town of Coyoacan, in such place, and according to such plan as I shall indicate; and should I not leave these instructions, then I direct that my successor or his deputy shall found and build it, providing a community with such endowment as shall be required. I designate the said monastery in my town of Coyoacan as my place of sepulture, which I direct shall be in the major chapel of the church of the said monastery, where no other persons except my legitimate descendants may be buried.
XIII. Item: I direct that a college shall be built in my said town of Coyoacan for students of theology and canon law; that there may be learned persons to officiate in the churches, and to train and instruct the natives in our Holy Catholic Faith. This college shall be provided with faculties, and receive a number of students, and the rules and constitutions which I shall establish for it shall be observed. It shall be built in such place, and after a plan suitable to the said institution, and with such regulations and ordinances as I shall prescribe, and, if perchance I should not explain these, I direct that my successor or his deputy shall organise and build it, adopting the statutes, constitutions, and ordinances governing the college of Santa Maria de Jesus founded in this city of Seville. The costs and expenses of the said college shall be covered and supplied from the rents which will be designated.
XIV. Item: I destine, for the endowment of the said hospital of Our Lady of the Conception which I am building in Mexico, two front ground plots of the houses of Jorge Alvarado, and of the treasurer Juan Alonso de Sosa, between my house and the aqueduct which extends to the houses of Don Luis Saavedra, which being now unoccupied, I assume the obligation to construct such buildings as may amply suffice for the said endowment. During such time as the said buildings are not constructed, the said hospital shall receive support from my estate to the amount of one hundred thousand maravedis of good money. I direct that the said endowment shall be furnished as is provided, and with the conditions I shall hereafter state, and I direct that my successor shall be free at any time to allot the said hospital some part of the said one hundred thousand maravedis income, in lieu of the said buildings, should he so desire, affecting this substitution in any assured manner he may wish.
XV. Item: as, likewise, I have stated and bound myself to furnish to the said hospital lands near the city of Mexico, producing three hundred thousand fanegas of wheat, as is set forth in the said endowment to which I refer, I direct that this obligation be fulfilled, and I assign for such purpose a piece of land, which I own, at the extremity of Coyoacan, situated between that town, and the river which crosses the road leading to Chapultepec. Should this not suffice, the amount shall be completed, at the option of my successor, from other lands where I have had, and have, my plantations, situated beyond the said river in the direction of Chapultepec. Should my successor or successors at any time wish to substitute for the said hospital, as required by the endowment, other lands producing three hundred thousand fanegas of wheat, this may be done, on condition that they are as good as those I have designated. As I do not know whether some part of the lands, indicated and named by me for the said hospital, may not belong to me as Señor (proprietary lord) of that place, or by other title, I direct that any such be restored to their owners, who shall be paid the full value to their satisfaction. As I have worked such lands, profiting by them, under the belief that I might do so with a clear conscience, I direct that the rightful owners of the said lands be repaid the amount it may be shown I hae derived from them, so that my conscience may be clean; my said successor shall be obliged, should these lands be shown not to belong to me, to make good the amount provided in the act of endowment to the said hospital.
XVI. Item: I declare and say that, as has been stated, the construction of the said hospital in Mexico shall be completed in the said city as above mentioned out of the rents of the lands and buildings I own in the square and streets of Tacuba and San Francisco; and this construction completed, the income from the said shops and buildings shall revert to my successor or successors. They shall henceforth devote this entire sum annually to the construction of the monastery of nuns, and of the above mentioned college which I directed to be founded and built in my said town of Coyoacan, using and distributing the sums necessary to put them in possession.
XVII. And, that the works of the said hospital, monastery, and college above described may be speedily completed, and the service of God our Lord thereby promoted, as it is hoped, I direct that, in addition to the four thousand ducats derived from the buildings already indicated for the works of the said hospital in Mexico, and the said college and monastery in Coyoacan, six thousand ducats more shall be used from my estate each year from the date of my death, so that in all there will thus be ten thousand ducats devoted to this purpose; four thousand from the income of the shops and buildings for the work on the said hospital until it is finished; three thousand for the construction of the said monastery of nuns; and the remaining three thousand for the building of the said college. When the work on the said hospital shall be terminated, the four thousand ducats set apart therefor shall be divided into equal parts, and devoted to the works on the said monastery and college, so that each of these may thus dispose of five thousand ducats yearly. These works being completed, in order to relieve my successor of the obligation of continuing from thenceforth forever to give the six thousand and the four thousand ducats from the income of the said shops and buildings, these sums shall be distributed as follows: one thousand ducats for the endowment and estates of the said monastery of nuns which, as has been said, I directed to be founded in my town of Coyoacan; two thousand ducats for the endowment and expenses of the said college which I directed to be founded in the same town; and another thousand ducats do I adjudge to the said hospital of the Conception which I directed to be founded in the said city of Mexico. This last shall be with such condition that, by a yearly payment of this sum, the obligation assumed by me and my successor and successors (to build for the endowment of the said hospital certain houses, and two front ground plots of the houses of Jorge de Alvarado and the treasurer Juan de Sosa) may be acquitted, as well our obligation to provide one hundred thousand maravedis of annual income to the said hospital should we fail to construct the said buildings. This is also that I and my successor and successors may be released from the obligation, which I assumed when I endowed the said hospital, of giving it certain lands near the city of Mexico, yielding three hundred fanegas of wheat; for it is my wish and intention that, by giving the said hospital an annual income in perpetuity of one thousand ducats, I and my successor and successors may be released from all claim upon the said houses, or in lieu of them, the said one hundred thousand maravedis, and the said lands producing three hundred fanegas of wheat; all of which both in whole and in part I direct shall return to the possession and enjoyment of my successors. Should the said hospital not desist from such claim, I direct that this provision and endowment of one thousand ducats yearly income shall be of no value or effect, but this sum shall revert to my successor or successors.
XVIII. Item: I say that, inasmuch as it is seen by experience that the revenues from lands and houses, both in Spain and in New Spain, increase daily, my shops and buildings, above mentioned, may become of greater value, and yield an income exceeding the amount of four thousand ducats which I devise and give forevermore, as is attested by the endowments of the said monastery of nuns, the said college, and the said hospital, and it is my will that should the said shops and buildings become more val ble and yield more rent, that the excess of value and rent, over and above the said four thousand ducats, shall be divided as follows: two parts of the said excess to go to the said college and of the remaining two parts one each to the said monastery of nuns and to the said hospital.
XIX. Item: I say and direct that, by virtue of the grant made to me by the Emperor our King, and Lord of the towns therein mentioned, his rights of patronage over the churches of the said towns belong to me in conformity with a clause of the said grant, in which it is declared that I possess in those towns all the rights, contributions, and customs, and everything else which His Majesty has or may have in the other towns of New Spain, which, excepting the mines and salt, remain the property of his royal crown. Thus, except these two things specified in the grant, the right of patronage belonging to him, belongs for the same reason to me. In addition to the grant made me by His Majesty, I hold the said rights of patronage by concession of His Holiness, the bull for which is deposited with His Majesty, and his Council for the Indies, that they may recognise as valid the said concession. I desire, and it is my will, that my successor or successors, may have and preserve forever the said right of patronage. As, at the time I solicited the concession from His Holiness, it was my intention that the natives of those towns should be better instructed in the doctrines of our Holy Catholic Faith, I direct and charge Don Martin, my son, and successor and successors, to have very special care of this, conferring the benefices of the said towns upon able men of good life and example, with the obligation to daily instruct the said natives; and that they take great care to oversee and ascertain very particularly how this is done and fulfilled. As the said concession from His Holiness says that I and my heirs and successors should have and receive the tithes and first fruits from the said towns, comprised in the right of patronage for the endowment of the churches, I direct that dowries, vestments, and other things necessary for the cult, and the wine for the administration of the Sacraments, be all provided for out of the said tithes and first fruits. During such time as this is not complied with, through no fault of my successor or successors, the said tithes and first fruits may not be employed otherwise, for, from this time forth and forever, I destine and apply these to provide the said churches with all whatsoever belongs to or concerns them in so far as may be necessary for the purposes above expressed, the control and enjoyment of the said right of patronage remaining to my successors the same as it has been conceded to me; hence it is my will that whatever may remain of the said titles and first fruits of these churches, over and above the expenses above set forth, being properties dedicated to God Our Lord, and to His holy temples, shall be used and distributed in works of His service, and for no other purpose I say therefor and direct that such surplus of tithes and first fruits, after each year's expenditure for the above mentioned objects, shall be adjudged perpetually by my successor or successors or their deputies as follows:-one half to the endowment of the said college, and the remainder divided equally between the said monastery, and the said hospital, in the same proportion as the division which is made of the rents from the said shops and buildings.
XX. Item: I direct that ten thousand ducats be paid to my wife, the Marquesa Doña Juana de Zuñiga, which sum I received as her dowry; forasmuch as I received and expended them, and they belong to her, I direct that they be paid without dispute or question from the first and best properties of my estate.
XXI. Item: I say that, since, between Don Pedro Alvarez Osorio, marques de Astorga, and myself, it has been arranged and concerted that his eldest son and heir, Don Alvaro Perez Osorio, should marry Doña Maria Cortes, legitimate daughter of myself and the Marquesa Doña Juana de Zuñiga, my wife, and the conditions of this marriage have been set forth in a contract, it is my will that it should be fulfilled according to the stipulations; and as I have agreed and promised one hundred thousand ducats as a dower for the said Doña Maria, my daughter, of which the marques de Astorga, conformably to the said stipulations, has already received twenty thousand ducats, I desire that before everything else the remaining eighty thousand ducats be paid from the estates of the said marquesa, my wife, and from my own to complete the said dower, at the time and in the manner provided in the said contract. These sums shall be charged against the legitimate share of our estates which would belong to my daughter Doña Maria.
XXII. As I am obliged to dower Doña Catalina and Doña Juana, the legitimate daughters of myself and my wife, the said marquesa, I direct that, in discharge of this obligation as best I can, each of them shall receive fifty thousand ducats, making one hundred thousand for both; for which purpose I transfer this sum irrevocably during my lifetime to Melchor de Mojica, my administrator and secretary, who is here present and accepts the same in my name. These hundred thousand ducats may be taken from the joint estate of the marquesa my wife, and mine, and charged against the share her legitimate daughters would have of our estate. Failing the necessary sum, at the time of my death, to pay these hundred thousand ducats, I desire that whatever is wanting shall be paid by my son and successor, Don Martin, or whatever other successor, by setting apart from my estate fifteen thousand ducats yearly, until the full amount of one hundred thousand ducats be made up, as said above.
I, Melchor de Mojica accept and receive the said dower of one hundred thousand ducats in the name of the said ladies. Doña Catalina and Doña Juana, as set forth in this article, and, in witness and confirmation of the same, I here sign my name.
Melchor de Mojica.
XXIII. Item: I direct, and place as a charge on my successor, and on the income of my estate, an annual pension of one thousand ducats in gold to each of my natural sons, Don Martin and Don Luis Cortes, for their lifetime, or until each of them may have an income of over five thousand maravedis. I direct that these sums be paid, free from any tax of any sort, annually; and from this time forth I establish them as theirs, from the best share of my rents. I direct that my sons, Don Martin and Don Luis, be subject and obedient to my successor in everything, in which they honestly may, as to the chief and head of the family from which they spring, and that for no reason shall they disobey or fail in their respect to him, but shall assist and serve him in everything not contrary to God Our Lord, or His holy religion, and Catholic Faith, or against their rightful king; and I direct that should either show notorious disobedience or disrespect, such as may be proven as such, they shall lose the benefits and substance they receive, and shall be considered as strangers to my house and children.
XXIV. Item: I direct that marriages for my daughters. Doña Catalina and Doña Juana. are to he arranged only upon the counsel, and with the approval, of the marquesa, their mother, and of my successor. Should either of them marry outside this condition, my successor shall not be obliged to pay anything of the dower I have provided.
XXV. Item: I direct that Doña Catalina Pizarro, my daughter by Leonor Pizarro, wife of Juan de Salcedo, a citizen of Mexico, be given the full amount of the income and increase of the cows, mares, and ewes which I gave her when she first came to the kingdom of Mexico, together with the income from the town of Chinantla, and all else that I assigned for her marriage dower and delivered to the said Juan de Salcedo, husband of Doña Leonor Pizarro, her mother. And, as I have received from the increase on the said ranches a number of horses, bulls, rams, and monies, I direct that this amount be repaid out of my estate, to my daughter Doña Catalina, according to the account presented by the said Juan de Salcedo, at the price they were worth when I received them. I confess, now, that two receipts, made to me by Hernando de Saavedra, and Gil Gonzale de Benevides, for a certain amount in gold for some cows which I sold them at four different times, as will appear from the said receipts, really belong to the estate and increase of my daughter Doña Catalina, although they are made out to me; and I therefore direct that they be paid to her with interest, being hers, and coming from her estate. The amounts of the said receipts are two thousand pesos of good gold for the one, and two thousand seven hundred and fifty for the other.
XXVI. Item: I acknowledge another receipt from Francisco de Villegas, citizen of Mexico, given me for two thousand pesos in gold for some cows, of which, according to Juan de Salcedo's statement, he only owes one thousand, as he did not receive the full number of cows sold to him, which coming also from the property of my daughter, Doña Catalina, I order be paid to her.
XXVII. Item: I also acknowledge another receipt, of four hundred pesos, made me by Bernardino del Castillo, for mares, likewise coming from the property of my daughter, Doña Catalina; I order that this be paid to her.
XXVIII. Item: I acknowledge another receipt, for two thousand four hundred pesos in gold, given me by Alonzo Dávalos, for twelve mares and six fillies, coming from the property of my daughter, Doña Catalina; I order that this be paid to her.
XXIX. Item: I declare that all the cows and flocks at Matalango belong to my daughter, Doña Catalina, and to the said Leonor Pizarro, besides all the mares and colts at Taltizapan, which bear her brand of a large E on the haunch. XXX. Item: I declare that, of the receipt made by Gil Gonzale de Benevides with Hernando de Saavedra, which, as above said, belongs to my daughter. Doña Catalina, three hundred and fifty castellanos in gold have been paid, which I received in four horses which I possess; I order that this be paid to the said Doña Catalina.
XXXI. Item: I declare that I gave a final quittance to the said Juan de Salcedo, citizen of Mexico, husband of the said Leonor Pizarro, stating that I gave and give it him in full receipt for all accounts he had with the estate and goods of Dona Catalina Pizarro, my daughter, which were delivered to him. I say that I gave the said final quittance, notwithstanding I was not disposed to give it without the accounts and payments, at the instance and entreaty of the said Juan de Salcedo, to save him the necessity of rendering the said accounts during my absence; for which he promised, under oath, that, on my return from my journey, he would present them in full, without fraud nor taking anything from the said Doña Catalina; and this he did, with Andres de Tapia present as witness.
XXXII. Item: I direct that, when it may please Our Lord that the said Dona Catalina, my daughter, should marry, she shall do so on the counsel, and with the consent of my successor, whom I beg to take special care to provide that his sister Catalina marries as becomes the honour of our house and her own.
XXXIII. Item: I direct that my natural daughters, Dona Leonor and Doña Maria, shall receive as dowries, each, ten thousand ducats from my estate, recommending them to marry with the counsel and consent of my said successor, whom I charge as in the former article touching his sister. Dona Catalina. Should either or both die before marrying, or desire to enter the religious life, let them receive for their support and expenses sixty thousand maravedis yearly; the remainder reverting to my son and successor Don Martin, and those who follow him.
XXXIV. Item: I direct that, as some persons have served on my farming estates, and I do not know whether they have been paid, the conditions agreed upon with me or my administrators at the time of their engagement shall be ascertained, and that they be paid as the books of the administration show to be just, without wearying them with more controversy than is required to discover the truth. This to be done on the conscience of my successor and executors, without their being obliged to give any other account than that they have paid them.
XXXV Item: I direct that all debts as shall appear from my account books, owing to people in my service, both here in Spain and in New Spain, shall be paid in accordance with the conditions established when they entered my service, and that this be done without delay or dispute. As Bernardino del Castillo was engaged in taking account of all that the licenciate Don Juan Altamirano has furnished and sent me, I direct that the statement of the said licenciate be accepted.
XXXVI. Item: I direct that all my debts of whatever nature public and private, when shewn to be justly mine, be paid without delay or process of law, but quickly and without incurring expense. As I may have debts for which I have no written proof, I direct that all such, if shewn to be mine, even without writing, be paid without process of law, up to the amount of one hundred pesos in good money.
XXXVII. Item: I say that I have spent large sums of money in New Spain and its provinces, which I conquered and brought under the dominion of the royal crown of Castile, both in the conquest, as well as in the armadas which I sent elsewhere, such as those I sent to Amaluco (Molucca Island), under the captain Alvaro de Saavedra, and one sent to Hibueras, with settlers commanded by Geronimo Prima, and another to the same province of Hibueras, of which Francisco de las Casas was captain. All were sent by order of our lord the Emperor, as may be seen from his royal instructions and signature, and as His Majesty, to discharge his royal conscience, and as a most Christian prince, sent me his royal cedula, which is among the papers in possession of the licenciate Juan Altamirano, and an order of his royal council, authorised an account to be made with me of all I have spent in the said conquests and armadas, I direct that this account be made and presented to His Majesty, since he was pleased to order payment to me. This sum I wish and direct to go to my heir, the said Don Martin Cortes, my son and successor in my house and estate, and to the successors who shall follow him.
XXXVIII. Item: I direct that the said Don Martin, my son, (and those who may succeed), shall have the following upon his conscience: His Majesty granted me the towns, places, and lands of the estate I have and own in New Spain, with all the rents, rights, tributes, and contributions belonging to His Majesty, exactly as the former rulers used to receive them before the conquest. I have used all diligence to verify the said rents, tributes, rights, and contributions which those rulers enjoyed, and I was careful to continue the former masters where such tributes and rents are usually paid, in agreement with whom I have collected the said rents and tributes until today. I direct that, if it shall at any time appear that I was badly informed as to the above, and have taken anything not belonging to me, of which I was until today unaware, thinking I took my rights, it shall be rectified.
XXXIX. Item: as there have been many doubts and opinions as to whether it is permitted with a good conscience to hold the natives as slaves, whether captives of war or by purchase, and up till now this has not been determined, I direct my son and successor Don Martin, and those who may follow him, to use all diligence to settle this point for the peace of my conscience and their own.
XL. Item: I direct that, as in some places on my estates pieces of ground have been taken for orchards, vineyards, cotton-fields and other purpose, it must be ascertained whether such lands belonged to the natives of those towns, and, if so, I order that they be restored, with all such profits their owners might have derived from them, compensating, and receiving in total, discharge of all the rents and tributes which they were obliged to pay for them; and, in the case of Bernardino del Castillo, my servant, to whom, in past years, I gave a piece of land, situated on the outskirts of Coyoacan, on which he built a sugar mill, I order that this be done should it appear that the land belongs to third parties.
XLI. Item: I direct that, as I have received, in addition to the tributes paid me by vassals, other services both personal and real, and as on this point also opinions differ as to whether such maybe accepted with a good conscience, this matter shall be investigated, and, if it appears that I have received more of such services than belonged to me, those natives shall be paid and indemnified in all that it shall appear they may justly claim.
XLII. Item: I direct that all my account books be examined, especially a large one in possession of Francisco de Santa Cruz, which my secretary and scrivener Juan de Rivera began, but which passed to the said Francisco de Santa Cruz, who keeps my said books. I order that all debts found therein, due to all persons whatsoever shall be paid, and likewise that all debts due to me be collected; and, I order that the said Francisco de Santa Cruz render his accounts for the time he has had charge of my business, and everything be settled with him, and that all on our side and the other be paid.
XLIII. Item: I say that, inasmuch as I loaned Bernardino del Castillo at the time of his marriage one thousand castellanos in gold and silver, besides six hundred more in furnishings for the shop next to the clock tower, as will appear from a receipt signed with his name, and deposited with the licenciate Juan Altamirano, he shall be credited with what I owe him for the time of his service which may be determined by a receipt signed by me when I left Coyoacan, and the remainder shall go to my successor.
XLIV. Item: I direct that, for as long as Doña Elvira de Hermosa, daughter of Luis de Hermosa, citizen of Avila, who is now maid to the marquesa, my wife, shall remain in the service of any of my daughters or of the wife of Don Martin, she shall be paid twenty thousand maravedis annually; and should she desire to become a nun, or to live unmarried in this city, she shall be paid from my estate two hundred thousand maravedis besides giving her the twenty thousand maravedis annually.
XLV. Item: I direct that, for as long as my cousin Cecilia Vazquez Altamirano may desire to remain with the marquesa, my wife, or with any of my daughters, or the wife of Don Martin, she shall enjoy the same respect I have ever shown her; and I desire that, wherever she may choose to live, one thousand maravedis shall be surely and regularly paid her annually from my estate.
XLVI. Item: I direct that two hundred thousand maravedis be paid from my estate to each of the two daughters of the administrator, Juan Altamirano, my cousin, for their dowry, and marriage portion.
XLVII. Item: I direct that, for as long as the said Juan Altamirano may wish to retain the charge of the administration in my household, this shall be allowed him, and, with the profit assigned him by my cedula, shall be continued to him for as long as he may wish.
XLVIII. Item: I direct that three hundred thousand maravedis be paid to Doñna Beatriz, and Doña Luisa, her sister, daughters of the marquesa my wife, to enable them to marry, two hundred thousand to the said Doña Luisa and to the said Doña Beatriz one hundred thousand maravedis.
XLIX. Item: I direct that, if Maria de Torres, now duenna with the marquesa, should wish to remain in her service, or in that of any of my daughters, or the wife of my son and successor, she be paid annually fifteen thousand maravedis, and should she want something for herself, she shall be given one hundred thousand whenever she wishes, in recognition of her past services, without subtracting any sums she may have received in that time, nor the fifteen thousand which I provide for the time she shall continue in service.
L. Item: I say that, as in the year 1542, while I was in Barcelona, Gonzalo Diaz my equerry was short forty ducats of my money which was placed in his hands, I ordered this amount to be deducted from his pay, and, although he sustained no harm, I now pardon him, and direct that no deduction of this sum be made in his accounts, and if any has already been made to cancel it, and pay him in full; besides which, I leave him as a mark of favour one hundred ducats in gold, to be paid him from my estate.
LI. Item: I direct that, although in the year 1544 my groom of the chambers gave me his note for forty-four thousand five hundred and twenty maravedis for the value of certain pieces of silver for which he could not account when he was my plate-butler, for which he therefore owed me, nevertheless in consideration of his service, I forgive him that obligation, and pardon him, and he shall receive back his note, and be paid twenty ducats in gold from my estate.
LII. Item: I direct that, besides paying Geronimo de Andrada what is owing on his account he be given from my estate thirty ducats in gold, which I leave him in recognition of his services.
LIII. Item: I say inasmuch as there is a suit with the wife and heirs of the licenciate Nuñez, member of the council, who was my solicitor, concerning certain of our accounts, which showed him my debtor for large sums, and although I am well informed, and have a clear conscience, nor on my side has this suit been sustained through malice, but only to have justice, that, nevertheless I direct, if the widow and heirs of the licenciate Nuñez wish to settle our suit amiably, that two accountants be chosen to act for them with two of mine, to whom all necessary papers shall be given, and whose decision shall be accepted as final without other legal action. Should they not so agree, let the suit go on its ordinary course, as my only wish is to know the truth, and have justice done. Whatever sums may result from the suit, shall be distributed as is provided in a memorandum in the hands of my secretary, Melchor de Mojica; and the same shall be done with the sums received from the suit now pending with Francisco de Arteaga Martinez.
LIV. Item: I direct that thirty thousand maravedis be given as a marriage portion to a girl who is, and has been since childhood, a servant in my household and who is said to be a child of one Francisco Barco, born in Tehuantepec. LV. Item: I direct that a suit of mourning, such as I have ordered to be given my servants, shall be furnished to Juan de Quintanilla, who came from Valladolid to this city of Seville to assist and treat me during my illness, and is present at my death. In addition, I leave him in recognition of his services fifty ducats in gold from my estate.
LVI. Item: I direct that, besides paying what is owing to my page, Pedro de Astorga, he shall be given from my estate thirty ducats in gold, which I leave him in recognition of his services, during my illness; and, in consideration of this, I charge and direct my son and successor, the said Don Martin, to retain him in his household and service in the position I now have him.
LVII. Item: I charge and direct the said Don Martin my son and successor, to retain in his household and service, my valet Antonio Galvarro, as I have him, feeling confident that he will prove a good and loyal servant to him, as he has been during the time he has served me.
LVIII. Item: I direct that Diego Gonzalez, citizen of Medellin, at present living in Seville, shall receive a robe and a cloak of black cloth, some stockings, a doublet, and a cap; besides this twenty ducats in gold, all of which I leave him because of the devotion he has shown, and does show, to my family.
LXIX. Item: I charge and direct the said Don Martin, my son and successor, to always retain my accountant Melchor de Mojica in his service, for as he has so well and faithfully served me during the short time he has been here in my household, that I am confident he will henceforward give good service and counsel to my son Don Martin in the affairs and matters which he has handled with me. I charge and direct the said Melchor de Mojica to do this, for I place this confidence in him, and I wish and direct that he continue to hold the charge and position he does at present, for such time as he can, and the marques may desire.
LX. Item: I direct that the hospital of Amor de Dios be paid the alms which the accounts of Don Juan Galiano may show are owing, as I have done each month since I have been in Seville; besides which I order one hundred ducats in gold to be paid from my estate.
XLI. Item: I direct that the accounts of Master Vicente (for works executed in my house and room) be inspected, and paid, after deducting such sums as he has already received.
LXII. For as much as Don Martin Cortes, my son and my wife's, the said Marquesa Doña Juana de Zuñiga, who is my successor, is less than twenty-five years old, and more than fifteen, I desire, and it is my will, that he remain under control of the guardianship and care of such tutors and administrators as I herein name for my children, until they attain the age of twenty-five years completed. During the interim, let him not withdraw from or evade the guardianship and control, so that, until he complete the said age, as I have herein established, his property and estate may be the more advantageously increased, and administered, and all that I direct and dispose by this testament may be the better and more quickly complied with. Thus from the direction and administration of the properties of my son, the said Don Martin, as well as for the control and care of the persons and goods of my legitimate daughters, Doña Maria, Dona Catalina, and Dona Juana, I name and appoint for tutors and guardians, the most illustrious gentlemen, Don Juan Alonso de Guzman, Duke of Medina Sidonia; Don Pedro Alvare Osorio, Marques de Astorga; and Don Pedro de Arellano, Count de Aguilar. I entreat the same to graciously accept the said tutelage and guardianship, and, in accepting and receiving it, they may remember and respect what I beg and entreat them, for these my said children are of their blood and lineage, by protecting whom they do but fufill their duty as gentlemen, and profit their own lineage and quality. In recognition of their services and of their rights conformably to the law to be recompensed from my estate for the said tutelage and guardianship, I direct that, for each year during which their lordships exercise their functions, they shall receive fifty marks of silver, which I entreat them to agree to, and to accept in consideration of the causes and reasons above mentioned. I direct that my son and successor, the said Don Martin, shall, until he has completed his twenty-fifth year, receive twelve thousand ducats yearly for his support, and that of his servants. The remainder of my income may thus more fully and quickly provide for all that I have ordered and directed in this my testament. As the towns, properties, engineering works, mines, and other works belonging to my estate, to which, after my death, the said Don Martin, my son, will succeed, are divided and scattered through different provinces of New Spain, distant one from another, it is necessary that I, as one who knows by experience what is necessary, should indicate persons capable of carrying on the administration. Hence I beg and entreat the said gentlemen, tutors, and guardians to approve the appointments and selections of persons which I shall leave, drawn up and signed with my name; for I am positive that the said haciendas will be directed and administered to the best advantage, and their lordships relieved of the labour and responsibility of selecting persons for this purpose.
LXIII. Moreover, I leave and name as my successor owe my household and estate, Don Martin Cortes, my son by the Marquesa Doña Juaña de Zuñiga my wife, and after him his descendants and other persons named in the institution of my entail, which I institute by the authority of the emperor and king our Lord, according to, and by the form, and with the conditions, and all else contained in the said act of institution. Further, if it be necessary, I do now renew the institution of the said entail in the said Don Martin, my son, in the manner above set forth, and by the said authority and licence which I possess, and I leave as my universal heir the said Don Martin, my son, successor to all my properties, goods, landed estates, and rights, and whatever else I may possess outside the said entail; and I leave as my heirs the above mentioned Doña Maria, Doña Catalina, and Doña Juana, my legitimate daughters by the said marquesa my wife, for what I leave them as their rightful dowries, ordering that they content themselves therewith, without pretending to other rights or claims of any sort against my estate, on the ground of their legitimacy.
LXIV. To cover all expenses of this my testament, and to fulfil its provisions, I name and appoint as my executors in Spain the most illustrious lords, Duke of Medina Sidonia, Marques de Astorga, and Count de Aguilar, to all three of whom jointly, and to each singly, I give full powers to use by their authority whatever sums from my estate are required to provide for, and carry into effect, all the provisions of this my testament. And, for all that touches the administration in New Spain and those provinces, I name and appoint as my executors, the Marquesa Doña Juana de Zuñiga, my wife, and the lord bishop of Mexico, Fray Juan de Zumarraga, and Father Domingo de Betanzos, of the Order of St. Dominic, and the licenciate Juan de Altamirano, all at this present time in New Spain. And, I revoke every and all other testaments which I may have made and delivered, and I desire, and it is my will, that none be executed other than this present writing; likewise I revoke whatsoever codicil or codicils I may have made and delivered either in writing or by word of mouth in the past. And this being seen and read in my presence with all that it contains, I sign it with my name, by my hand on each of its pages which are in all ten, all of which signatures I have written in the presence of the licenciate Infante.
Done at Seville on the eleventh day of the month of October, the year from the birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, one thousand five hundred and forty seven.
Item: I say that, as, in one article of this my will, I have disposed and ordered that the four thousand ducats, from the rent of the shops and buildings which I have in Mexico, should, after the works on the said hospital, monastery, and college I have ordered founded be entirely devoted to the endowment, and property of the said college, monastery, and hospital to which I refer, should it at any time happen that the said shops and buildings should produce less than this sum of four thousand ducats, and my will and intention be defeated, I order that in such a year of shortage, my successor shall complete the amount from his estate, so that the said four thousand ducats may be paid in full without any diminution. This page is added to the other ten, done and signed on the same date. The Marques del Valle. Witness by his lordship's command, the licenciate Infante.
By his lordship's command,