“TO PREVENT FOREIGN MOORS, ENEMIES OF THE FAITH,
FROM CAUSING THE DAMAGE, LOSS AND ROBBERIES THEY HAVE BEEN
ACCUSTOMED TO DO”
JOANNA LA LOCA. Queen Joanna of Castile; daughter of Ferdinand V and Isabella I.
An official royal document, signed in the name of the Queen by the Councillors of Castile, one page folio, (15 by 12 inches), Granada, May 11, 1510. With a full impression of the Royal Great Seal, covered by a contemporary paper wafer on the verso; and with the signatures and official paragraphs of Sancho de Acebes, Bishop of Astorga, and eight other members of the Council of Castile.
In this royal order the recently conquered city of Loja, located to the northwest of Granada, is ordered to recruit soldiers “in order to guard the coast of the kingdom of Granada and prevent foreign Moors, enemies of the Faith, from causing the damage, loss and robberies they have been accustomed to do…. I have determined to entrust some infantry and cavalry to Don Luis de Mendoza…in order that with them, and with another force of horsemen entrusted to him he can maintain such watch and guard of the coast as he considered our service requires, so that the Moors can be attacked, rather than have the power to attack the Christians, as heretofore…. It is my will and pleasure and order that you send from the city of Loja five cavalrymen and twenty infantrymen. The cavalry are to be with their horses, and their harnesses in full war order, and the infantry are to be select men with their crossbows, and with two dozen bolts for them each. These shall be in my service for thirty days…and I have ordered them to be given daily pay…so that no cost whatsoever shall fall on your city. So they can leave promptly, Juan de Soto my treasurer will deliver…fifteen silver “reals” for each horseman and ten for each foot soldier. You are to distribute this before a public notary…. You are not to impose any tax for this purpose on your city, but obey all orders to this end from my Governor…on pain of loss of your offices and a fine of 50,000 maravedis each….”
Joanna La Loca inherited the throne of Castile upon the death of her mother, Isabella I, in 1504. Her husband, Philip of Austria, was recognized as King Consort; and in 1506 the royal couple returned from the Netherlands to rule Spain. Philip died unexpectedly on September 15, 1506, and Joanna was declared insane and incapable of ruling. The government of Spain thus fell into the hands of a regency council headed by Cardinal Ximenex de Cisneros; and it was this council, acting in Joanna’s name, which issued the present order to the city of Loja. Ferdinand V was asked to return to Castile from his own kingdoms, whence he had withdrawn in 1506; but more pressing problems in Italy kept him from assuming his daughter’s throne until October of 1510.
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