Roman Catholic Diocese of Palencia
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Palencia is a diocese located in the city of Palencia in the ecclesiastical province of Burgos, Spain. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Palencia was established during the 3rd century CE. Pastor legendary Peter I Toribius Maurila Conantius Ascaric Concorius Baroald From 711, the see was abandoned until the 940s. Julian The see was abandoned again until its definitive reestablishment in 1034. Bernard I Miro Bernard II Raymond I Peter of Agen Peter II Raymond II Arderic Adam Tello Téllez de Meneses Rodrigo Peter III Ferdinand Alonso García Tello García Juan Alfonso de Molina Munio Zamora, O. P. Álvaro Carrillo Peter Pedro Gerardo Domínguez Domingo Gómez Peláez Juan Fernández de Limia Pedro de Orfila Juan de Saavedra Peter V Blas Fernández de Toledo Reginald de Maubernard Gutierre I Gutierre Gómez de Luna Juan de Castromocho Peter VI, anti-bishop Sancho de Rojas Alonso de Argüello Rodrigo de Velasco Gutierre Álvarez de Toledo Pedro Castilla de Eril Gutierre de la Cueva Rodrigo Sánchez de Arévalo Diego Hurtado de Mendoza y Quiñones Alfonso de Burgos, O.
P. Diego Deza, O. P. Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca Juan Fernández Velasco Pedro Ruiz de la Mota, O. S. B. Antonio de Rojas Manrique Pedro Gómez Sarmiento de Villandrando Francisco Mendoza Luis Cabeza de Vaca Pedro de la Gasca Cristóbal Fernández Valtodano Juan Ramírez Zapata de Cárdenas Alvaro Hurtado de Mendoza y Sarmiento Fernando Miguel de Prado Martín Aspi Sierra Felipe Tarsis de Acuña José González Díez, O. P. Miguel Ayala Fernando Andrade Sotomayor Cristóbal Guzmán Santoyo Antonio de Estrada Manrique Enrique Peralta y Cárdenas Gonzalo Bravo de Grajera Juan Molino Navarrete, O. F. M. Alfonso Lorenzo de Pedraza, O. M. Esteban Bellido Guevara Francisco Ochoa Mendarozqueta y Arzamendi Bartolomé San Martín Orive José Morales Blanco José Ignacio Rodríguez Cornejo Andrés Bustamante José Cayetano Loazes Somoza Juan Manuel Argüelles José Luis Mollinedo Buenaventura Moyano Rodríguez Francisco Javier Almonacid Narciso Coll y Prat Juan Francisco Martínez y Castrillón José Asensio Ocón y Toledo Carlos Laborda Clau Jerónimo Fernández y Andrés Juan Lozano Torreira Enrique Almaraz y Santos Valentín García y Barros Ramón Barberá y Boada Agustín Parrado y García Bl. Manuel González y García Francisco Javer Lauzurica y Torralba José Souto Vizoso Anastasio Granados García Nicolás Antonio Castellanos Franco, O.
S. A. Ricardo Blázquez Pérez Rafael Palmero Ramos José Ignacio Munilla Aguirre Esteban Escudero Torres Roman Catholicism in Spain GCatholic.org Catholic Hierarchy website
Joanna la Beltraneja
Joanna la Beltraneja was a claimant to the throne of Castile, Queen of Portugal as the wife of King Afonso V, her uncle. King Henry IV of Castile married Joan of Portugal, the daughter of King Duarte of Portugal and the youngest sister of King Afonso V of Portugal, on May 21, 1455. Seven years Joanna la Beltraneja was born at the Royal Alcazar of Madrid. Joanna's father, King Henry IV, had been married to Blanche of Navarre. After thirteen years, that marriage was annulled on the grounds; this was attributed to a curse. Joanna's father was rumoured to be impotent. Whether true or not, it was circulated by King Henry's opponents that the little infanta was the child of Beltrán de la Cueva, a royal favourite at court, created The 1st Duke of Alburquerque in 1464, they called a mocking reference to her supposed illegitimacy. Joanna's mother, Joan of Portugal, was banished to Bishop Fonseca's castle where she fell in love with Fonseca's nephew and became pregnant, her father Henry divorced her mother in 1468.
On 9 May 1462, Joanna was proclaimed heir to the throne of Castile and created Princess of Asturias. Henry had the nobles of Castile swear allegiance to her and promise that they would support her as monarch. Many of the more prominent nobles, seeking to increase their own power, refused to recognise Joanna, preferring that Henry would have named as heir his younger half-brother, Infante Alfonso. Armed conflict broke out and in 1464 the league of nobles forced Henry to repudiate Joanna and recognise Infante Alfonso as his heir. Alfonso became Prince of Asturias, a title traditionally held by the heir apparent. Henry agreed to this compromise with the stipulation that Infante Alfonso would marry Joanna, to ensure that they both would receive the crown, but in 1468, Infante Alfonso died, Henry divorced Joanna's mother. This resulted in Joanna's displacement in the succession, her half-aunt, Infanta Isabella, was placed before her in the succession, although Joanna was considered the heir after Isabella.
Joanna was held in custody by the Mendoza family in 1465–1470, by Juan, Marqués de Villena, his family in 1470–1475. There were many negotiations for her marriage to someone. On 26 October 1470, she was betrothed and married by proxy to Charles, Duke of Guienne, brother of Louis XI of France, again proclaimed as legitimate heir to the throne, but Charles died in 1472. After a few unsettled arrangements, which included French and Burgundian princes, Joanna was promised in marriage to her maternal uncle, King Afonso V of Portugal and the Algarves, who swore to defend her rights to the Crown of Castile; when Henry died in 1474, she was recognized as queen by some noble factions, while others recognized her half-aunt Isabella as queen. This began the four-year War of the Castilian Succession. In addition to the King of Portugal, Joanna was supported by some of the high Castilian nobility and by descendants of Portuguese families that had settled in Castile after 1396: the Archbishop of Toledo. On the other hand, Isabella was supported by Ferdinand of Aragon, by most of the Castilian nobility and clergy: the powerful House of Mendoza.
On 10 May 1475, King Afonso V of Portugal invaded Castile and married Joanna in Plasencia, 15 days later. Joanna thus became Queen of Portugal. Joanna and Afonso V held court at Toro, she was considered a promising ruler by her courtiers, though too young. Joanna sent a letter to the cities of Castile, expounding the wish of her father King Henry IV that she should rule, proposed that the cities vote for which succession they wished should be recognized. However, Joanna found fewer supporters than expected. Shortly, Isabella I's husband King Ferdinand II led her forces against the armies of Joanna and her husband Afonso V. Both armies met at Toro. King Afonso V was beaten by the left and center of King Ferdinand’s army, fled from the battlefield, his son John II of Portugal defeated the Castilian right wing, recovered the lost Portuguese Royal standard, held the field, but overall the battle was indecisive. So, the prestige of Joanna and Afonso V dissolved because Ferdinand II sent messages to all the cities of Castile and to several other kingdoms informing them about a huge victory where the Portuguese were crushed.
Faced with this news, the party of Joanna la Beltraneja, under siege at the Royal Alcazar, was terminated, the Portuguese were forced to return to their kingdom. "That is the battle of Toro. The Portuguese army had not been defeated, it made sense that for the Castilians, Toro was considered as divine retribution, the compensation willed by God for the terrible disaster of Aljubarrota, still alive in the Castilian memory." After this, Joanna's husband Afonso tried without success to form an alliance with Louis XI of France. In 1478, the marriage of Joanna and Afonso V was annulled by Pope Sixtus IV on grounds of consanguinity, endin
A canon is a member of certain bodies subject to an ecclesiastical rule. A canon was a cleric living with others in a clergy house or in one of the houses within the precinct of or close to a cathedral and conducting his life according to the orders or rules of the church; this way of life grew common in the eighth century. In the eleventh century, some churches required clergy thus living together to adopt the rule first proposed by Saint Augustine that they renounce private wealth; those who embraced this change were known as Augustinians or Canons Regular, whilst those who did not were known as secular canons. In the Roman Catholic Church, the members of the chapter of a cathedral or of a collegiate church are canons. Depending on the title of the church, several languages use specific titles, e.g. in German Domherr or Domkapitular in a Dom, Stiftsherr in a prelature that has the status of a Stift. One of the functions of the cathedral chapter in the Roman Catholic Church was to elect a vicar capitular to serve during a sede vacante period of the diocese.
Since the 1983 revision of the Code of Canon Law, this responsibility belongs to the college of consultors, unless the national bishops conference decides that the functions that canon law ascribes to the college of consultors, including this one, are to be entrusted to the cathedral chapter. All canons of the Church of England have been secular since the Reformation, although an individual canon may be a member of a religious order. However, they are ordained, that is, priests or other clergy. Today, the system of canons is retained exclusively in connection with cathedral churches. A canon is a member of the chapter of priests, headed by a dean, responsible for administering a cathedral or certain other churches that are styled collegiate churches; the dean and chapter are the formal body which has legal responsibility for the cathedral and for electing the bishop. The title of Canon is not a permanent title and when no longer in a position entitling preferment, it is dropped from a cleric's title nomenclature.
However, it is still given in many dioceses to senior parish priests as a honorary title. It is awarded in recognition of long and dedicated service to the diocese. Honorary canons are members of the chapter in name but are non-residential and receive no emoluments, they are entitled to call themselves canon and may have a role in the administration of the cathedral. Speaking, canons in the Anglican Communion are of this sort, thus are equivalent to a monsignor in the Roman Catholic Church wearing the violet or violet-trimmed cassock, associated with that rank. In some Church of England dioceses, the title Prebendary is used instead of canon when the cleric is involved administratively with a cathedral. Honorary canons within the Roman Catholic Church may still be nominated after the Second Vatican Council. Priests of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre are, in fact, titular or honorary canons of these respective Orders and have the right to the honorific title of "Canon" and "Monsignor" in addition to the choir dress of a canon, which includes the mozetta (black with purple piping for Malta and white with a red Jerusalem cross for Holy Sepulchre.
Since the reign of King Henry IV, the heads of state of France have been granted by the pope the title of sole honorary canon of Saint John Lateran and Saint Peter's. On the demise of the Kingdom of France this honour became transferred to the Presidents of the Republic, hence is held by Emmanuel Macron; this applies when the French President is not a Catholic or is an atheist. The proto-canon of the papal basilica of Saint Mary Major is the King of Spain Felipe VI. Before the Reformation, the King of England was a canon of the basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls. In addition to canons who are clerics in holy orders, cathedrals in the Anglican Communion may appoint lay persons as canons; the rank of "lay canon" is conferred upon diocesan chancellors. It has traditionally been said that the King of England is a canon or prebendary of St David's Cathedral, Wales. However, this is based on a misconception; the canonry of St Mary’s College, St David's became the property of the Crown on the dissolution of the monasteries.
The Sovereign was never a canon of St David’s as a layman, though he or she may occupy the first prebendal stall, assigned for the monarch's use. A canon professor is a canon at an Anglican cathedral who holds a university professorship. There are four canon professorships in the University of Oxford in conjunction with Christ Church Cathedral and two in Durham University in conjunction with Durham Cathedral, although academics titled "canon professor" may be found at other universities where the appointments as canon and professor have been made independently. Section 2 of the Church of England Measure 1995 was passed for the express purpose of enabling Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, to appoint not more than two
The Order of Saint Jerome or Hieronymites is a Catholic cloistered religious order and a common name for several congregations of hermit monks living according to the Rule of Saint Augustine, though the inspiration and model of their lives is the 5th-century hermit and biblical scholar Saint Jerome. The principal group with this name was founded in Spain in the 14th century, their religious habit is a white tunic with a brown mantle. For liturgical services, they wear a brown cowl. Established near Toledo, the Order developed from a spontaneous interest of a number of eremetical communities in both Spain and Italy in imitating the life of Saint Jerome; this way of life soon became widespread in Spain. Two of these hermits, Pedro Fernández y Pecha and Fernando Yáñez y de Figueroa, decided it would be more advantageous to live a more regular way of life in a community, under an authorized monastic rule. Under their leadership, the Monastery of Saint Bartholomew was founded in Lupiana, with Fernández y Pecha acting as the first prior.
On 18 October 1373, Pope Gregory XI issued a papal bull recognizing them as a religious order, under the Rule of Saint Augustine. The Constitutions included the teachings of their patron saint. By 1415 there numbered 25 houses following this spirit; the Order, from its outset, enjoyed great favor from the king of Spain, soon possessed some of the most famous monasteries in the Iberian Peninsula, including the Royal Monastery of Saint Mary of Guadalupe in Extremadura, Spain. Though their way of life was austere, the Hieronymites devoted themselves to study and to active ministry, possessing great influence at the courts both of Spain and of Portugal. In the 16th century, they were a major supporter of the efforts of the Portuguese mystic, St. John of God, who established the nursing order in Granada bearing his name, they went to both Spanish and Portuguese America and played a considerable part in bringing Christianity to the peoples of the New World. The Hieronymite nuns, founded in 1375 by Maria Garcias became numerous throughout the Iberian peninsula.
The members of the Order adopted as their religious habit a white tunic with a brown scapular and a hood, over, worn a brown mantle or cowl of the same color. The islands of the Antilles in the Caribbean were entrusted to them for pastoral care by Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros, who sent a small party of three monks to Hispaniola, they were sent to deal with the issue of accusations against the Spanish colonists of atrocities against the native population. These charges had been most vocally leveled by the noted priest Bartolomé de las Casas, a secular priest at the time, they appear to have been ineffectual in preventing the abuses. The leader of the monks, Luis de Figueroa, was named the third bishop of Santo Domingo in 1523, which at the time included the islands of Cuba and Puerto Rico, he died in 1526. Another member of the Order, Juan de Arzolaras, served as the Archbishop of Santo Domingo, before being transferred to serve as the Bishop of the Canary Islands; the men's branch of the Order declined during the 18th century and was suppressed in 1835 by the Spanish government.
At that time, there were 48 monasteries with about a thousand monks. The fate of the monastery buildings was varied. Most of them fell into ruins, others were given to other religious orders, still others became breweries, barns, or holiday homes. According to canon law, only the Holy See may suppress a religious order, the Holy See possesses the right to restore that order should it see fit, for up to a century. In 1925, the Hieronymite nuns petitioned the Holy See for a restoration of the men's branch; this was granted, with a new community of monks being established at the Monastery of Saint Mary of Parral in Segovia. However, the troubles of the Republic of 1931 and of the subsequent Spanish civil war of 1936-1939 prevented any real progress until the general government of the Order was constituted in 1969; as of 2012 one community of monks exists, that of Saint Mary of Parral, 18 monasteries of nuns. The Hieronymite Order is a monastic one, now purely contemplative. Through solitude and silence, assiduous prayer, healthy penance, the Order attempts to bring its monks into closer union with God.
The Hieronymite is conscious that the more intensely he dedicates himself to the monastic life, the more fruitful becomes the life of the Church as a whole. Hieronymites believe that their prayer can have a profound impact on the world outside the monastery; this is the environment in which the life of the Hieronymite monk is developed, with the morning spent in manual work—the normal means of support for monks—while afternoons are dedicated to contemplation and study. Throughout the course of the day, the monks gather for the singing of the Liturgy of the Hours as well as the celebration of the Eucharist; the Hieronymite strives to allow these moments of prayer to flow through his way of life, so that his goal is to express his life in complete charity towards all people. Hieronymites believe this inwardly-directed manner of life is an exquisite and effective form of apostolic ou
Bartolomé de las Casas
Bartolomé de las Casas was a 16th-century Spanish colonist who acted as a historian and social reformer before becoming a Dominican friar. He was appointed as the first president Bishop of Chiapas, the first appointed "Protector of the Indians", his extensive writings, the most famous being A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies and Historia de Las Indias, chronicle the first decades of colonization of the West Indies. He described the atrocities committed by the colonizers against the indigenous peoples. Arriving as one of the first Spanish settlers in the Americas, Las Casas participated in, but felt compelled to oppose the abuses committed by colonists against the Native Americans; as a result, in 1515 he gave up his Indian slaves and encomienda, advocated, before King Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, on behalf of rights for the natives. In his early writings, he advocated the use of African slaves instead of Natives in the West Indian colonies. In the 20th century, he has been criticized for being among the founders of the Atlantic slave trade.
In life, he retracted this position, as he regarded both forms of slavery as wrong. In 1522, he tried to launch a new kind of peaceful colonialism on the coast of Venezuela, but this venture failed. Las Casas became a friar, leaving public life for a decade, he traveled to Central America, acting as a missionary among the Maya of Guatemala and participating in debates among colonial churchmen about how best to bring the natives to the Christian faith. Traveling back to Spain to recruit more missionaries, he continued lobbying for the abolition of the encomienda, gaining an important victory by the passage of the New Laws in 1542, he was appointed Bishop of Chiapas, but served only for a short time before he was forced to return to Spain because of resistance to the New Laws by the encomenderos, conflicts with Spanish settlers because of his pro-Indian policies and activist religious stance. He served in the Spanish court for the remainder of his life. In 1550, he participated in the Valladolid debate, in which Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda argued that the Indians were less than human and required Spanish masters in order to become civilized.
Las Casas maintained that they were human and that forcefully subjugating them was unjustifiable. Bartolomé de las Casas spent 50 years of his life fighting slavery and the colonial abuse of indigenous peoples by trying to convince the Spanish court to adopt a more humane policy of colonization. Unlike other priests who sought to destroy the indigenous peoples' native books and writings, he opposed this action. Although he failed to save the indigenous peoples of the Western Indies, his efforts did result in improvement of the legal status of the natives, in an increased colonial focus on the ethics of colonialism. Las Casas is considered to be one of the first advocates for a universal conception of human dignity. Bartolomé de las Casas was born on 11 November. For centuries, Las Casas's birthdate was believed to be 1474. Subsequent biographers and authors have accepted and reflected this revision, his father, Pedro de las Casas, a merchant, descended from one of the families that had migrated from France to found the town of Seville.
According to one biographer, his family were of converso heritage, although others refer to them as ancient Christians who migrated from France. Following the testimony of Las Casas's biographer Antonio de Remesal, tradition has it that Las Casas studied a licentiate at Salamanca, but this is never mentioned in Las Casas's own writings; as a young man, in 1507, he journeyed to Rome. With his father, Las Casas immigrated to the island of Hispaniola in 1502 on the expedition of Nicolás de Ovando. Las Casas became a slave owner, receiving a piece of land in the province of Cibao, he participated in slave raids and military expeditions against the native Taíno population of Hispaniola. In 1510, he was ordained the first one to be ordained in the Americas. In September 1510, a group of Dominican friars arrived in Santo Domingo led by Pedro de Córdoba. Las Casas was among those denied confession for this reason. In December 1511, a Dominican preacher Fray Antonio de Montesinos preached a fiery sermon that implicated the colonists in the genocide of the native peoples.
He is said to have preached, "Tell me by what right of justice do you hold these Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude? On what authority have you waged such detestable wars against these people who dealt and peacefully on their own lands? Wars in which you have destroyed such an infinite number of them by homicides and slaughters never heard of before. Why do you keep them so oppressed and exhausted, without giving them enough to eat or curing them of the sicknesses they incur from the excessive labor you give them, they die, or rather you kill them, in order to extract and acquire gold every day." Las Casas himself argued against the Dominicans in favour of the justice of the encomienda. The colonists, led by Diego Columbus, dispatched a complaint against the Dominicans to the King, an
Voyages of Christopher Columbus
In 1492, a Spanish-based transatlantic maritime expedition led by Italian explorer Christopher Columbus encountered the Americas, continents which were unknown in Europe and were outside the Old World political and economic system. The four voyages of Columbus began the Spanish colonization of the Americas. For a long time it was believed that Columbus and his crew had been the first Europeans to make landfall in the Americas. In fact they were not the first explorers from Europe to reach the Americas, having been preceded by the Viking expedition led by Leif Erikson in the 11th century. Columbus was an Italian-born navigator sailing for the Crown of Castile in search of a westward route to Asia, to access the sources of spices and other oriental goods; this failed when he encountered the New World between Asia. Columbus made a total of four voyages to the Americas between 1492 and 1502, setting the stage for the European exploration and colonization of the Americas leading to the Columbian Exchange.
At the time of the Columbus voyages, the Americas were inhabited by the Indigenous Americans, the descendants of Paleo-Indians who crossed Beringia from Asia to North America beginning around 20,000 years ago. Columbus's voyages led to the widespread knowledge that a continent existed west of Europe and east of Asia; this breakthrough in geographical science led to the exploration and colonization of the New World by Spain and other European sea powers, is sometimes cited as the start of the modern era. Spain and other European kingdoms sent expeditions and established colonies throughout the New World, converted the native inhabitants to Christianity, built large trade networks across the Atlantic, which introduced new plants and food crops to both continents; the search for a westward route to Asia continued in 1513 when Vasco Nuñez de Balboa crossed the narrow Isthmus of Panama to become the first European to sight the Pacific Ocean. The search was completed in 1521, when the Castilian Magellan expedition sailed across the Pacific and reached Southeast Asia.
Portugal had been the main European power interested in pursuing trade routes overseas. Their next-door neighbors, Castile had been somewhat slower to begin exploring the Atlantic because of the bigger land area it had to re-conquer from the Moors, it was not until the late 15th century, following the dynastic union of the Crowns of Castile and Aragon and the completion of the Reconquista, that the unified crowns of what would become Spain emerged and became committed to looking for new trade routes and colonies overseas. In 1492 the joint rulers conquered the Moorish kingdom of Granada, providing Castile with African goods through tribute. Columbus had failed to convince King John II of Portugal to fund his exploration of a western route, but the new king and queen of the re-conquered Spain decided to fund Columbus's expedition in hopes of bypassing Portugal's lock on Africa and the Indian Ocean, reaching Asia by traveling west, he proposed the king equip three sturdy ships and grant Columbus one year's time to sail out west into the Atlantic, search for a western route to India, return.
Columbus requested he be made "Great Admiral of the Ocean Sea", appointed governor of any and all lands he discovered, be given one-tenth of all revenue from those lands. The king submitted the proposal to his experts, it was their considered opinion that Columbus's estimation of a travel distance of 2,400 miles was, in fact, far too short. In 1488 Columbus appealed to the court of Portugal, receiving a new invitation for an audience with King John II; this proved unsuccessful, in part because not long afterwards Bartolomeu Dias returned to Portugal following a successful rounding of the southern tip of Africa. With an eastern sea route now under its control, Portugal was no longer interested in trailblazing a western trade route to Asia crossing unknown seas. Columbus traveled from Portugal to Castile to convince the Catholic Monarchs of Castile and Aragon to finance the expedition. King Ferdinand II of Aragon married Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1469, uniting the two largest kingdoms into what would be the Spanish Crown.
They were known jointly as the Catholic Monarchs, ruled their kingdoms independently, but had common internal and foreign policies. Columbus was granted an audience with them, they pronounced the idea impractical, advised the monarchs not to support the proposed venture. However, to expand the Spanish empire and Catholicism in the name of Spanish Kings, to assure a better market position in trading, the Queen gave Columbus an annual allowance of 12,000 maravedis and part of the newly conquered lands. After continually lobbying at the royal court and enduring two years of negotiations, Columbus succeeded in January 1492. Queen Isabella's forces had just conquered the Moorish Emirate of Granada, the last Muslim stronghold of Al-Andalus on the Iberian peninsula, for Castile. Isabella and Ferdinand received Columbus in the Alcázar in Córdoba to support his plans; the monarchs left it to the royal treasurer to shift funds among various royal accounts on behalf of the enterprise. Columbus was to be would receive a portion of all profits.
The terms were unusually generous but, as his son
Casa de Contratación
The Casa de Contratación or Casa de la Contratación de las Indias was established by the Crown of Castile, in 1503 in the port of Seville as a crown agency for the Spanish Empire. It functioned until 1790. Before the establishment of the Council of the Indies in 1524, the Casa de Contratación had broad powers over overseas matters financial matters concerning trade and legal disputes arising from it, it was responsible for the licensing of emigrants, training of pilots, creation of maps and charters, probate of estates of Spaniards dying overseas. Its official name was La Casa y Audiencia de Indias. Unlike the East India Companies, chartered companies established by the Dutch and others, the Casa collected all colonial taxes and duties, approved all voyages of exploration and trade, maintained secret information on trade routes and new discoveries, licensed captains, administered commercial law. In theory, no Spaniard could sail anywhere without the approval of the Casa. However, smuggling took place in different parts of the vast Spanish Empire.
The Casa de Contratación was founded by Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1503, eleven years after the discovery of the Americas in 1492. The Casa was the Spanish counterpart of the Portuguese organization, the Casa da Índia, or House of Índia of Lisbon, established in 1434 and destroyed by the 1755 Lisbon earthquake. Dr. Sancho de Matienzo became the first treasurer, Jimeno de Bribiesca the first contador, Francisco Pinelo the first factor, they soon controlled the economic development of Hispaniola. A 20 per cent tax, the quinto real was levied by the Casa on all precious metals entering Spain; the other taxes could run as high as 40% to provide naval protection for the trading ships or as low as 10 per cent during financial turmoil to encourage investment and economic growth in the colony. Each ship was required to employ a clerk to keep detailed logs of all goods carried and all transactions; the Casa de Contratación produced and managed the Padrón Real, the official and secret Spanish map used as a template for the maps carried by every Spanish ship during the 16th century.
It was improved from its first version in 1508, was the counterpart of the Portuguese map, the Padrão Real. The Casa ran a navigation school. Spain employed the standard mercantilist model, governed by the Casa in Seville. Trade with the overseas possessions was handled by a merchants' guild based in Seville, the Consulado de mercaderes, which worked in conjunction with the Casa de Contratación. Trade was physically controlled in well-regulated trade fleets, the famous Flota de Indias and the Manila galleons. By the late 17th century, the Casa de Contratación had fallen into bureaucratic gridlock, the empire as a whole was failing, due to Spain's inability to finance both war on the Continent and a global empire. More than not, the riches transported from Manila and Acapulco to Spain were signed over to Spain's creditors before the Manila galleon made port. In the 18th century, the new Bourbon kings reduced the power of Seville and the Casa de Contratacion. In 1717 they moved the Casa from Seville to Cádiz, diminishing Seville's importance in international trade.
Charles III further limited the powers of the Casa, his son, Charles IV, abolished it altogether in 1790. The mapmaking enterprise at the Casa de Contratación was a huge undertaking, critical to the success of the voyages of discovery. Without good navigational aids, the ability of Spain to exploit and profit from its discoveries would have been limited; the Casa had a large number of cartographers and navigators, record keepers and others involved in producing and managing the Padrón Real. The famous explorer Amerigo Vespucci, who made at least two voyages to the New World, was a pilot working at the Casa de Contratación until his death in 1512. A special position was created for Vespucci, the piloto mayor, in 1508, his nephew Juan Vespucci inherited his famous uncle's maps and nautical instruments, along with Andrés de San Martín was appointed to Amerigo's former position as the official Spanish government pilot at Seville. In 1524, Juan Vespucci was appointed examinador de pilotos, replacing Sebastian Cabot, leading an expedition in Brazil.
In the 1530s and 1540s, the principal mapmakers in the Casa de Contratación working on the Padrón Real included Alonso de Santa Cruz, Sebastian Cabot, Pedro de Medina. The mapmaker Diego Gutiérrez was appointed as cosmographer in the Casa on October 22, 1554, after the death of his father Diego in January 1554. In 1562 Gutierrez published the map entitled "Americae... Descriptio" in Antwerp, it was published in Antwerp instead of Spain because the Spanish engravers did not have the necessary skill to print such a complicated document. Other cosmographers included Alonso de Chaves, Francisco Falero, Jerónimo de Chaves, Sancho Gutiérrez. In the late 16th century, Juan Lopez de Velasco was the first Cosmógrafo-Cronista Mayor of the Council of the Indies in Seville, he produced a master map and twelve subsidiary maps portraying the worldwide Spanish empire in cartographic form. Although these maps are not accurate or detailed, his work represented the apogee of Spanish mapmaking in that period, surpassed anything don