Manuscript Collections

The Deciphering Secrets manuscript collections are presented with the permission several Spanish cathedral, municipal, and national archives. The manuscript images (folios) are the property of each respective institution and all rights are reserved. These manuscripts images are expressly released for use with Deciphering Secrets MOOCs and our research efforts. Due to the nature of our agreements with each institution, these manuscript images should not be distributed or reproduced. Should you wish to use an image for any purpose, please contact Deciphering Secrets so that we can assist you with contacting the appropriate archive.

Archivo de la Catedral de Burgos (Spain)

Each image is a unique folio, or page, from one of the newly released manuscripts from the Archivo de la Catedral de Burgos (Spain). We have selected this limited set of images because each contains details about Jews, Muslims, or recent converts to Christianity (conversos and moriscos) and their relationships with the Cathedral of Burgos.

L.11.F.139V-F.140R

L.11.F.140V-141R

This image is of Libro 11, Folio 139 verso. It is dated 23 July 1427. The record is actually four pages long and we are sharing those additional pages should students wish to work on those optional pages as well (Folios 140 recto, 140 verso, and 141 recto). Here is an abstract of the record (and associated folios) in Spanish:

Censo otorgado por Luis García de Castellanos, canónigo, y Alfonso Fernández de Viejarrúa, racionero, en nombre de este cabildo, a Juan Sánchez Alvadán, sastre, vecino de Burgos, y a Mari Sánchez, su mujer, sobre unas casas en la calle Carnicerías de en Medio, de dicha ciudad, que lindan con casas de Juan Sánchez de Hontomín, por precio de 11 doblas castellanas de oro al año. Se incluyen las condiciones del censo. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php#

Manuscript images available.  (Click the camera images to view them.)

R.2.F.1R

R.2.F.1V

The images are of Registro 2, Folios 1 recto and 1 verso. The specific record were are interested in pertains to events that occurred around 19 June 1391. The section that we are most interested in studying is located on Folio 1 verso between the ruler sections “B” through “C”. Specifically, it details how the cathedral leadership council (the “cabildo”) met to secure the services of two Muslim craftsman (perhaps, carpenters) to perform work on two homes on Calle Cerrajería. Similarly, there are references to a chaplain by the name of Juan Díez de Mahamud; his name is suggestive that he may have been a Muslim convert to Christianity (morisco). We are interested in a complete transcription of these pages because the broader context of the transaction — who, when , where, why, what, and how — is important to a more comprehensive understanding of inter-religious relations in 15th century Spain. Here is an abstract of the record (and associated folios) in Spanish:

Manda a Fernando Sánchez, arcediano de Lara, Juan Alonso, arcediano de Palenzuela, y al racionero Juan Martínez de Majarrés, que saquen al mejor postor, entre los maestres moros, las obras de las casas de la calle Cerrajería. Reparto de las raciones de las prebendas que deben de hacer los trojeros de la mesa capitular Juan Alonso de Villavedón, racionero, Juan Díez de Mahamud, capellán, y Juan Fernández de Arroyuelo, racionero y mayordomo. Se manda dar al arcediano de Treviño Pedro Fernández la ración de dos meses porque va a estar en la Corte defendiendo los negocios de este cabildo. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php#

Manuscript images available.  (Click the camera images to view them.)

R.2.F.26V

R.2.F.27R

R.2.F.27V

These images are of Registro 2, Folio 26 verso, Folio 27 recto, and Folio 27 verso.

The specific section we are interested is on Folio 27 recto (ruler sections “B” to “H”) and Folio 27 verso (ruler sections “A” to “C”) pertains to events that occurred on 31 March 1395. In this record, the church Canon Luis González rents certain homes where the canon Pedro Corral had lived. His annual lease was a large sum, 500 maravedis (silver coins). However, there is more information in this transaction about other houses that were leased. Here is an abstract of the record (and associated folios) in Spanish:

Lope González, canónigo, toma a censo de este cabildo las casas de la Cerrajería donde vivió el canónigo Pedro Corral, por precio de 500 mrs. de juro anual y el compromiso de dejar las casas que tenía en la Cruz, para que la mesa capitular las pueda arrendar. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php#

Manuscript images available.  (Click the camera images to view them.)

R.2.F.28R

R.2.F.28V

R.2.F.29R

R.2.F.29V

These images are of Registro 2, Folio 28 recto, Folio 28 verso, Folio 29 recto, and Folio 29 verso.

The specific section we are interested is on Folio 28 recto (ruler sections “A” to “B”) and pertains to events that occurred on 11 March 1395. In this record, the church canons, Juan Jiménez and Juan Martínez de Majarrés, are instructed to contract with Muslim or Christian masters (“master carpenters”?) to construct houses in older ancestral houses (“solares”) that are now not populated. There are other interesting contextual events the following folios. Here is an abstract of the record (and associated folios) in Spanish:

Manda a Juan Jiménez y a Juan Martínez de Majarrés, canónigos, que traten con maestros moros o cristianos para construir unas casas en los solares despoblados que están en la Cerrajería y otras dos casas en la Cornería. Fernando García, arcediano de Briviesca, y Juan Fernández de Arroyuelo, racionero, se encargan de la obra de la casa de San Esteban, donde vive Juan Martínez de Andino. Ordena a Tomé González, canónigo, que se encargue de la reparación de las casas de Villaimar, Villatoro y la Casa Llana en Quintanaortuño. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php#

On Folio 29 recto, there is another item of interest that occurred on 27 April 1395. Here is an abstract of that record:

Manda a Juan Fernández de Castro, capiscol, que entregue a Fernando García de Gorges, arcediano de Briviesca, la cantidad de 7.300 mrs. de los fondos de María de Rojas para construir unas casas en los solares de la Cerrajería. (Tachado). Que entregue de los mismos fondos 4.300 mrs. al arcediano de Palenzuela Juan Alfonso para reparar las casas de San Esteban donde vivió Pedro Corral. Manda al mayordomo que venda todo el pan que la mesa capitular tiene en la Bureba. Concede limosna a Pedro Fernández y a Juan Alfonso, porteros menores de esta iglesia. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php#

Manuscript images available.  (Click the camera images to view them.)

R.2.F.240R

This image is of Registro 2, Folio 240 recto. It pertains to a synod held the Cathedral of Burgos in 1427. The initial published archive abstract for this record was not accurate. We are preparing a new one.

Manuscript image available.  (Click the camera image to view it.)

R.9.F.133R

R.9.F.133V

The images are of Registro 9 Folio 133 recto and verso. It pertains to events that occurred on 17 July 1432. The section that we are most interested in studying is located in between Folio 133 recto (the ruler sections “E” through “H”) and Folio133 verso (the ruler sections “A” through “B”) . Specifically, it details how the cathedral appears to have leased several houses to the Muslim, Audalla de Valladolid, and his wife, in the Muslim quarter. Here is an abstract of the record (and associated folios) in Spanish:

Los jueces árbitros (17-07-1432) del proceso que siguen los capellanes del número de esta iglesia, de una parte, y Audalla de Valladolid y su mujer, de la otra, establecen las condiciones del contrato censual sobre las casas de la calle Morería. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php#

Manuscript images available. (Click the camera images to view them.)

R.9.F.136V

This image is of Registro 9, Folio 136 verso. It pertains to events that occurred during the years 1431 through 1432. The section that we are most interested in studying is located in between the ruler sections “A” through “H”. Specifically, it details how the cathedral leadership council (the “cabildo”)  met to confirm the lease of certain homes in the Muslim quarter (the “moreria”) to Muslim community members. We are interested in a complete transcription of this page because the broader context of the transaction — who, when , where, why, what, and how — is important to a more comprehensive understanding of inter-religious relations in 15th century Spain. Here is an abstract of the record (and associated folios) in Spanish:

Este cabildo, reunido en la capilla de Santa Catalina de esta iglesia, acata la bula de Eugenio IV (24-04-1431) presentada por Juan Díez, escribano del rey, como procurador de Pedro López de Miranda, doctor en Decretos, abad de Santander y capellán mayor del rey. Pedro García de Fuentes, vicario general del obispo de Burgos, da licencia a Pedro Gutiérrez de Villaute y Gonzalo Díez, capellanes y prebostes, para que en nombre de los capellanes del número de esta iglesia den a censo unas casas en la Morería, donde vive Audalla de Valladolid. Los capellanes del número de esta iglesia, previa licencia del vicario de este obispado, dan a censo a Audalla de Valladolid, hijo del maestre Harache de Valladolid, vecinos de Burgos, unas casas en la calle Morería, que lindan con casas del maestre Mahomad de Bembibre, de maestre Yuza de Toro, Ruy González de Castañeda y de Alí de San Román, por precio de tres florines de oro de renta anual. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php#

Use this brief abstract to identify names like — Audalla de Vallodolid — so that we can document more Muslim members of the community of Burgos.

Manuscript image available. (Click the camera image to view it.)

R.9.F.178R

R.9.F.178V

We have selected this record on Folio 178 verso because it pertains to a property rental agreement (“censo”) between the cathedral and a local resident (Maria Gonzalez and her husband, Martin Fernandez) on the 8 May 1433. In this case, Maria, a Christian, is leasing several houses that are adjacent to the Muslim quarter street known as “Calle Moreria”. These types of records are particularly intriguing because they often present a microcosm of civic life:

All of the persons involved in the transaction will be noted. A description of the property, and its specific location, will be offered as well as the rental price. Sometimes, other close by residents will be listed (such as Pedro Garcia, “pellejero”). A pellejero is a animal skin tanner. Here is an abstract of the record (and associated folios) in Spanish:

Los capellanes del número de esta iglesia, reunidos en la capilla de San Juan, dan a censo a María González, viuda de Martín Fernández de Criales, unas casas cerca de la iglesia de Santa María de Viejarrúa, que lindan con la calle Morería, por precio de ocho florines de oro de renta anual; presenta por hipoteca unas casas que tiene cerca de dicha iglesia que lindan con las casas de Pedro García, pellejero. Entre los testigos Juan Rodríguez y Fernando Alonso, sastres. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php

We are also sharing one additional page, another record for a property lease, should students wish to work on this optional page as well

Manuscript images available. (Click the camera images to view them.)

R.9.F.231R

R.9.F.231V

We have selected this record on Folio 231 Recto because it pertains to a church debt (“prestado”) owed by church official (“racionero”) of 490 maravedis (“mrs”) to Fernando Garcia, a morisco (a Muslim convert to Christianity). Blocks D, E, and F contain the details of this record. These types of records are particularly intriguing because they often present a microcosm of civic life:

All of the persons involved in the transaction will be noted. Sometimes, other residents and properties will be listed. For example, in this record we learn that a Pedro Fernandez de Anima and his son, Juan de Anima, are leasing two vineyards (vinas) from the church. Since this records is very short (only Blocks D, E, and F), we are interested in the context of the transaction. Thus, we want to collect details about other transactions, people, and events that are recorded on Folio 231 recto, as well as Folio 231 verso. Here is an abstract of the record (and associated folios) in Spanish:

Ruy Díez de Mendoza, canónigo, se compromete a devolver a Alfonso Fernández de Viejarrúa, racionero, antes del día de Pascual de Resurrección, los 490 mrs. que le ha prestado para hacer una obra. Dicho racionero reconoce deber a Fernando García, morisco, tendero de paños, 490 mrs. por un paño de color que le compró. Sancho Martínez, provisor de Villafranca y canónigo, arrienda a Pedro Fernández de Anina, y a su hijo Juan de Anina, dos viñas en el término de esta ciudad durante los próximo seis años, pagando los cuatro primeros el tercio de lo que produzcan, y los dos últimos la mitad. Entre los testigos Juan de Aranda, escribano del rey. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php

You can view the entire image below. You can also download a larger image of Folio 231 verso.

We are also sharing one additional page, another record for a property lease, should students wish to work on this optional page as well

Manuscript images available. (Click the camera images to view them.)

R.10.F.137R

This image is of Registro 10, Folio 137 recto. It pertains to events that occurred on 21 March 1440. The section that we are most interested in studying is located in between the ruler sections “E” through “H”. Specifically, it details how the cathedral leadership council (the “cabildo”)  met to confirm an agreement with the Jewish community (aljama judia) of Burgos. It is also important to note that Alfonso Rodriguez (de Maluenda), who is named in the transaction, was a converso and relative the Santa Maria family. A quick review of the document also indicates that there is at least one Jewish individual named here. We are interested in a complete transcription of this page because the broader context of the transaction — who, when , where, why, what, and how — is important to a more comprehensive understanding of inter-religious relations in 15th century Spain. Here is an abstract of the record (and associated folios) in Spanish:

Otorga poder a Alfonso Rodríguez, prior, y Juan Sánchez de Yeles, para que lleguen a un acuerdo con la aljama judía por los 900 mrs. de moneda vieja que percibía el cabildo de la judería cuando estaba poblada. Concede poder a Diego García de Vivar, canónigo, y a Alfonso Fernández de Viejarrúa, para que puedan dar a censo las heredades que el cabildo tiene en Cayuela. Da licencia a Alfonso de Velasco para que pueda renunciar o permutar su canonjía y otorga poder al sacristán para que provea dicha canonjía junto al obispo de Burgos. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php#

Use this brief abstract to identity names like — Alfonso Rodríguez — so that we can document Jewish and Christian members of the community of Burgos.

Manuscript image available.  (Click the camera image to view it.)

R.10.F.156V

This image is of Registro 10, Folio 156 verso. It pertains to events that occurred on 29 December 1447. The section that we are most interested in studying is located in between the ruler sections “G” through “H”. Specifically, it details how the cathedral leadership council (the “cabildo”)  met to confirm a payment to the Muslim carpenter, Brahem. We are interested in a complete transcription of this page because the broader context of the transaction — who, when , where, why, what, and how — is important to a more comprehensive understanding of inter-religious relations in 15th century Spain. Here is an abstract of the record (and associated folios) in Spanish:

Manda dar al maestre Brahem, moro carpintero, dos cargas de trigo para que vaya junto con el reparador del cabildo a comprar la madera necesaria para reparar sus posesiones. Y una carga de trigo para el yesero. Ordena al arcediano de Burgos Juan Ruiz, que haga relación de las edificaciones necesarias en la casa de Quintanaortuño. Source: https://www.fundacioncajacirculo.es/AHCB.php#

Use this brief abstract to identity names like — maestre Brahem — so that we can document Muslim and Christian members of the community of Burgos.

Manuscript image available.  (Click the camera image to view it.)

Archivo Municipal de Burgos (Spain)

Each image is a unique folio, or page, of manuscripts from the Archivo Municipal de Burgos (Spain). We have selected this limited set of images because each contains details about Jews, Muslims, or recent converts to Christianity (conversos and moriscos).

HI-125

This image is of a royal document (a privilege) granted by King Fernando IV to the city of Burgos to appoint four members of the city to judge cases pertaining to Muslims, Jews, and Christians. It is dated 5 August 1296.

We are interested in a complete transcription of the document because it grants us a better understanding of how royal authority was devolved to city governments. Further, the document can help us understand how inter-religious relations, specifically conflicts, were handled in medieval Christian Spain. Here is an abstract of the record in Spanish:

Privilegio de Fernando IV por el que faculta al Concejo de Burgos para que pueda nombrar cuatro alcaldes, vecinos de la ciudad, que juzguen los pleitos de moros, judíos y cristianos, jurando ante el Concejo.

Manuscript image available.  (Click the camera image to view it.)

LA2.F.9R

LA2.F.9V

This image is from the municipal Libro de Actas, Book 2, 1391 to 1392. Libro de Actas, or Books of Acts, were official records of the local city council. Often, they detail who was “who” in the city, major events and agreements, and other day-to-day affairs. In many ways, these are the secular corollary of the cathedral’s records for ecclesiastical affairs.

In general, municipal records like this book are not indexed. They are an under-studied primary source, and yet, one of the most promising ones for historical research and genealogical/family information.

This book is very interesting because it records events and agreements in the months after 1390. This was the year of the notorious anti-Jewish riots that claimed many Jewish lives, prompted many conversions, and led to many Jews leaving the Iberian Peninsula. Thus, how do these records address — or not address — these events? In my cursory review of this 80+ page volume, I identified five (5) individual pages that relate to Jews, Muslims, the juderia (Jewish community), and potentially one morisco (Muslim convert to Christianity). This might not seem like much, but the broader context of events — of what was discussed and not discussed in official records — can give us a better appreciation of what this local community considered “important enough” that it needed to be written down in the official record.

The page we have selected, Folio 9 verso, is highlighted with references to Jews (highlighted in yellow) and Muslims (highlighted in blue). You can also download the image of AMB Libro de Actas 2 Folio 9 verso . You may also review Folio 9 recto (the prior page) because it may pertain to the information reported on Folio 9 verso. You are not required to transcribe this additional page.

As in all cases, we are interested in a complete transcription of this page because we would like to know the other events that are recorded. They provide helpful context.

Manuscript images available.  (Click the camera images to view them.)

LA.2.F.18R

This image is from the municipal Libro de Actas, Book 2, 1391 to 1392. Libro de Actas, or Books of Acts, were official records of the local city council. Often, they detail who was “who” in the city, major events and agreements, and other day-to-day affairs. In many ways, these are the secular corollary of the cathedral’s records for ecclesiastical affairs.

In general, municipal records like this book are not indexed. They are an under-studied primary source, and yet, one of the most promising ones for historical research and genealogical/family information.

The page we have selected, Folio 18 recto, is quite interesting because it is a listing of individuals. Perhaps, knights. It appears to be a list of men who are knights, men-at-arms, and others who have guaranteed their “lancas” or “lanzas” to fight for the king. There are some unusual notations next to each person’s name — some are numbers — but others I am not certain. 

Manuscript image available.  (Click the camera image to view it.)