Email this citation

7. Business


Teruel in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries offered us a picture of a single, unified community, working together in a variety of business situations. Religious identity, while it might be noticed, 1 made little difference to town residents in these situations. Does this relative indifference to the issue of religious identity hold true in the villages of Baguena and Burbaguena, and in a later time period?


It is important to ask this question. Looking at the parish records alone will not give us a balanced picture of the villages. The men and women of the Jiloca valley were industrious farmers, artisans, and merchants; to begin to understand them, we must consider this aspect of their lives.


Property and Improvements


Within the villages, many of the residents owned property—not only the houses they lived in but also scattered agricultural land, improved and unimproved, just as the residents of the city of Teruel had a century earlier. Properties might be held in common by a husband and wife, but brothers and sisters were also joint property holders. In 1857, for example, four couples, acting together, sold half of a garden plot. One individual in each pair was a member of the Armillas family. 2 The records of Baguena's notaries throughout the sixteenth century and for the beginning of the seventeenth century show that property changed hands regularly. The deeds of sale most often record sales for cash, with prices that climbed steeply at the very end of the century, in a manner that confirms Earl Hamilton's work. 3 But there were also property-for-property trades, 4 sometimes with a cash payment to equalize an exchange of unequal properties. In 1589, for example, Andres de Maycas and his wife conveyed a "portion of corral" to Domingo Segura in exchange for a small garden plot outside of the village of Baguena. Segura also paid 180 sueldos in cash because the corral, located within the city, behind the castle, 5 was worth more. 6


Property was not solely agricultural in nature; homes were also constructed and remodeled. In 1588, the notary Cristobal Lazaro paid the stonecutter Masse Domingo de Quintana 404 sueldos for the "fabrication and new construction of his house." 7 Home improvement could become a source of contention between neighbors. Miguel Hernando appeared before the judge Miguel Jofres of Baguena in 1573 to request that construction of a building for Roque Aznar be halted, because the work was resulting in "notable and evident damage" to Hernando's own property. 8 In another dispute, which was resolved fairly easily, the carpenter Miguel Roldan had set an iron-framed window into an existing wall in his home. The new window, however, opened out upon the tiled roof of the residence of Masse Carlos from Saragossa. When Carlos complained, Roldan acknowledged that this window was a nuisance to the family, and he agreed to seal it off. These two houses, on Burbaguena's "new street," were in the neighborhood where the moreria had been, and Roldan was one of the new Christians. This agreement was recorded, nonetheless, by Baguena's notary and witnessed by two old Christian residents of Baguena. 9


Baguena's notaries describe land being sold, whether agricultural land or house lots in the village, in terms much more useful to the historian than the lot and plat numbers used currently in the United States to describe most property. Each piece of land in the notarial protocols is described in terms of the contiguous properties and roads; thus, each document provides information about the ownership of other properties in the same area. Thus we know that in Baguena and Burbaguena, while not everyone bought and sold land, owning at least some agricultural property outside the village, as well as one's home within the village, seems to have been the norm. We would expect that those who made a living by farming would own farmland; the surprise is that merchants, shoemakers, carpenters, and others also typically owned agricultural land. In business terms, our villages had diversified personal holdings, reflecting the possible pursuit of several sources of income. This is a pattern which we have suggested earlier could be considered an Aragonese one, rather than just a Morisco pattern; in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the pattern still holds true for old Christians, as well as new, in southern Aragon.


Borrowing and Lending


Within both villages, money was often borrowed and lent. Borrowers from the villages did not always choose the same lender each time they borrowed. One reason to seek a new lender might be a record of slow or faulty repayment, 10 but in Baguena and Burbaguena borrowing from a variety of lenders seems instead to have been considered a good business practice. Accounting for debts seems to have been thorough and careful, with repayment made in a timely fashion by the borrower, or by his heirs. 11 Within the local area, borrowing and lending, whether casual or more formal, seems to have been common. For example, a "memo of debts owed," included as a loose sheet within the notarial protocols for Baguena, records the following debts and debtors:


Francisco Roldan38 sueldos
Lope Agreda5 escudos
Pedro Terrer12 escudos
The carters7 escudos
The barber25 reales
The cooper26 reales
Domingo Segura18 reales
The vicar7 sueldos
Miguel Royo6 sueldos
Marco Fortun18 reales
Mateo Prado37 reales
Diego Estopinian, finca28 reales


The verso lists "wheat which is promised." Apparently the barber and some of the other creditors listed had agreed to payment in wheat. Whoever this anonymous businessman was—could it have been the notary himself?—his fellow citizens were willing to extend him credit, in some cases with the projected future harvest as payment. He, in turn, owed a variety of creditors, both old and new Christians, including the vicar. 12


The Business Community


Of particular interest here is the involvement of new Christian merchants and traders in this local lending and borrowing. Loans tied these Burbaguena residents and traders to diverse sources of capital within the community, and while this was clearly a standard business practice in the area for the new Christian merchants involved, like Miguel de Agreda, Juan Locano, and Francisco Roldan, it also meant that these individuals were engaged in a working relationship with a significant part of the village. 13 These agreements were part of the notary's work, but his recording of loan arrangements was not limited to those cases in which there were old Christians involved. Here, too, as in the case of disputes involving property improvements, agreements between two new Christians were also faithfully documented.


In fact, at least one notary in Baguena was willing to go out of his way, in a literal sense, for his new Christian clients. A notary in Baguena traditionally indicated both the date of a contract and the place where it was signed; because of this, we know that most of his work took place within the villages of Baguena and Burbaguena. But when Juan de Agreda, a new Christian, sold his son Francisco a parcel of land, the notary drew up the contract "next to the stone bridge over the river Jiloca, which adjoins the Burbaguena mill." 14 This is an isolated case, but the notary's willingness to travel out to the mill suggests a courtesy extended to a client and member of the community. 15


Business networks were not limited to members of the local community, but extended to other villages and cities in the region, and many of these agreements paired old and new Christians. Thus Miguel Royo of Baguena entered into an agreement with Miguel de Aguen, a merchant from Daroca and a new Christian; 16 Miguel Yague, a carpenter in Baguena, borrowed money from Rodrigo Calvo of Brea, a new Christian, when Brea was in Baguena; 17 and Daniel Zapatero, a new Christian sandal-maker from Burbaguena, signed an agreement with Martin de Mor of Calamocha. 18 Just as we observed property in the city of Teruel passing freely from Christian to Muslim in the previous century, in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, old and new Christians worked together in Baguena and Burbaguena, and within the region, to the benefit of their business. But, unlike in the earlier agreements in Teruel, property or moveable goods were rarely specified as security for these loans. 19 This lack of explicit security within the documents, and the ongoing business relationships within the community, imply that business exchanges were carried out in an atmosphere of mutual trust, whether the participants were old or new Christians. This assumption is borne out by the documents that assigned power of attorney to another individual. This arrangement, which enabled another individual to conduct business in one's own name, clearly required mutual trust.


Assignment of power of attorney was a common procedure in Baguena and Burbaguena, and the existence of preprinted assignment forms used in Baguena in the late sixteenth century are evidence of this. In our time, preprinted business forms are common; these forms, for rental agreements, to assign power of attorney, and for other straightforward procedures, are available in most business supply stores. I was, however, startled to find that such business forms, printed in Saragossa, were being used in the Jiloca region by the early 1600s. The earliest standard form appearing in the notarial protocols, and the most common, was one granting power of attorney. 20 The procedure was routine enough that such a form was in demand and was being used fairly regularly by the second decade of the seventeenth century.


Residents of Baguena and Burbaguena typically appointed others from their own village to act in their stead, and the agreement often set a specific task for the agent. Since spouses who had not signed cartas de hermandad could not act on each other's behalf, at times a wife might designate her husband as her agent. 21 Thus, Apolonia Lopez, the wife of Geronimo Gil de Bernabe, appointed him to act in her stead in matters related to the will of her grandfather, Sancho Lopez. 22 Sometimes, another relative would be named as an agent. In 1563, Joan Phelipe and his wife Quiteria Malo, appointed Pedro Malo, Quiteria's brother, as their agent. 23 A businessman might grant his associates power of attorney, as was the case with Miguel Palau, a wool-worker from Barcelona. He was doing business in Baguena, and appointed several carters as his agents. 24


But in Baguena and Burbaguena, legal agents were not only selected from among business associates; neighbors were also considered trustworthy enough to act on one's behalf in legal transactions. In 1570, Martin Molina of Baguena granted power of attorney to a number of individuals. Five of these were residents of the village, and Molina noted that they were being named expressly for the purpose of acting for him, to protect his interests. 25 The blacksmith Juan de Agreda, the son of Miguel de Agreda, a new Christian from Burbaguena, named twelve agents in 1572, some new Christian, others old Christian. 26 Juan Marco, a Burbaguena merchant and an old Christian, named a number of agents in a single document in 1591. Esteven Garcia and Garcia and Anton Guiral of Baguena were named; so were the old Christians Amador de Peribanes and Geronimo Garcia of Burbaguena. Marco included Miguel Bayren and Geronimo Agredenyo, both new Christians from Burbaguena, in his list. 27


This matter of granting power of attorney to an individual who could manage one's business on one's behalf became particularly important in 1610. In that year, Philip III, King of Spain, ordered that all of the new Christians of Aragon be expelled. Three new Christian residents of Burbaguena, Luis Agreda the elder, Luis Agreda de la Castellana, and Geronimo Agredenyo the younger, drew up a document naming legal agents on June 10, 1610, two months before they were required to depart. They appointed Miguel Royo of Baguena, and Geronimo Martin of Lechago; another new Christian, Juan Roldan of Daroca, was also named. 28 These businessmen, although exiled from their country, would not leave their villages without arranging for someone to manage their affairs.


It was not unusual for a legal agent to operate outside of the villages, or, at times, to represent someone from outside the villages. When Juan Castlejon, who had moved to Valencia, abandoned his citizenship in Baguena, he did it through his agent, Joan Simon. 29 Dr. Anton Navarro was granted power of attorney by the parents of Andres Ascencio of Albarracin when Acensio married. 30 Guillen Aznar of Burbaguena named Miguel de Fuertes, a young man from Baguena, to act as his agent in a specific matter: he was to collect monies owed Aznar. Almost as an afterthought, Aznar granted Fuertes power of attorney for any and all other matters. 31 Pedro Locano, acting as an agent for Lucas Casanova, went to Valencia to collect 100 libras from Juan Castlejon. Castlejon, you may remember, had filed legal papers in order to abandon his citizenship in Baguena when he moved to Valencia. As a group, these documents granting power of attorney to another individual demonstrate that for Baguena and Burbaguena there was a system of links, business as well as personal, both to local networks and to regional locations like Valencia and Barcelona.


The Village Council

Borrowing in Times of Crisis


While we have been discussing the business activities of individuals within the villages, the community as a whole was also engaged in a variety of business transactions, with the village council representing the entire village. 32 In 1610, for example, the village council of Baguena sought to borrow funds. They explained: ". . . the said council is in need of some funds and has not found any other expedient. . . ." The 200 sueldos, borrowed from a church benefice, would be repaid the following November 1. 33 Documentary evidence points to the conclusion that, for the village council, borrowing was not simply a way to make money or conduct business; instead, the financial transactions of the council directly and materially benefited the community as a whole. In fact, as we will see, these benefits might occasionally have had a spiritual dimension as well.


In early modern Europe, food—and famine—were still very real concerns for most of the population. The Jiloca valley was not immune. On March 25, 1585, the village council of Baguena met, "as they were accustomed to do," in the village hall. 34 38 men, "all citizens and inhabitants of the said place, Baguena," had agreed to meet because they needed "some money to buy wheat and other food, and with these things to provide for the extremely urgent need which at present and in the future we may experience. . . ." 35 Catalina Ybanes, widow of Martin Hernando of Baguena, was willing to lend funds, and in this case, the loan was substantial: 1000 Jaca sueldos. Significantly, the council members accepted the loan "jointly and singularly," not only as the "council and university" 36 of Baguena, but also in each of their own names. The document was signed, not by the village attorney that year, Simon Gutierrez, but by a number of Baguena's citizens: Pedro Gil de Bernabe the elder, young Juan de Cueva, Domingo Ximeno, who was a juror for the village that year, a younger Gil de Bernabe, and finally Colas Domingo, who noted, in customary language, that he was signing for himself "and for everyone else." 37


The Butcher, the Grocer, and the Sculptor


The village council did not limit its efforts to provide food for the village only to times of crisis, however. They regularly oversaw the renting of the butcher shop in the village. The village notary was required to publish the availability of the contract, its cost, and the terms; the council then concluded the agreement with the successful applicant. You will remember that the Archbishop of Saragossa had been concerned , in an earlier period, that the Christians of the city of Teruel were patronizing a Muslim butcher shop—how meat was slaughtered was affected by religious customs and requirements. We should pay particular attention to the village council's choice of butchers if we wish to discover underlying prejudice against the former Muslims of the area, although we must remember that in Baguena there were very few resident new Christians.


In 1559, the old Christian Augusto Rubio paid 2,000 sueldos for the right to be butcher for the following six years, agreeing in writing that he would offer only "good meat properly slaughtered." 38 Rubio also agreed, among other things, that he would provide two young oxen on the holidays specified by village officials. The rights to the butcher shop were usually granted for a term of six years, but in the 1590s, a decade characterized by both famine and disease, Miguel de Trigo, a new Christian from Belchite, was given a three-year contract to butcher meat for Baguena. He agreed to provide abundant supplies of meat for purchase. 39 This presence of abundance as a contractual requirement was not merely a product of the difficult 1590s; earlier contracts, in the 1570s, had had a similar requirement. The contract for 1572-79, for example, obligated the butcher to provide good supplies of meat for the village, no matter what "bad luck or danger or damage" might occur, whether from war or from other hardship. 40 And the butcher was required to do more for the community than provide abundant supplies of meat: various contracts obligated him to pay the usual fees to Daroca, 41 or to pay a particular fee to the Church, or to contribute generously to the hospital "granary." 42


In light of the village council's requirement that the butcher of Baguena continue to provision the shop, regardless of circumstances, we should not be surprised that, when Baguena's attorney announced the conditions for the rental of the grocery in 1603, for a term of one year, he specified that "it must be well stocked and provide an abundance of vegetables and necessities." 43 The need for this requirement is obvious. If the grocer—and thus the village—were to experience a shortage, it would become the responsibility of the council to take extraordinary measures to provide for the physical well-being of the citizens of Baguena, as they did when they borrowed funds from Catalina Ybanes for the purchase of wheat.


But the council was concerned with more than just the physical well-being of Baguena's citizens. When work was to be done on the parish church, the council selected Juan de Monserrat Ferrer of Daroca, "sculptor and craftsman," to perform the work, and provided him with specific instructions. 44 The village council, not the priest, contracted for this work and provided payment to the craftsman. The parish church, at least from the point of view of the members of the council, did not belong to the Archbishop of Saragossa, or even to the parish priest—it belonged to them, to the village of Burbaguena.


Funding the Secular and the Sacred


In fact, the financial records of Baguena's council in the sixteenth century 45 indicate that the council took direct responsibility for the church and the hospital, as well as for more mundane aspects of village life, like shop-keeping and irrigation. The accounts of Joan Phelipe, the village attorney in 1561 and 1562, show expenditures for wax for candles for the church and for the construction of a wall for the hospital, in addition to outlays for cleaning the irrigation canal. 46 Francisco Royo's books for 1585 and Domingo Seguro's books for 1594 both show that the council provided funds for the poor in the hospital, even compensating individual citizens for out-of-pocket donations to the hospitalized needy. 47 The existence of donations to the poor on the part of the council is significant. After all, the construction of a hospital wall, or even the management of the church building, might be seen as worldly activities. But charity—providing funds for the poor—was a different category of expense altogether, especially since, as we saw in the previous chapter, the hospital did not solely serve residents of the village; it often housed travelers, or even vagabonds. Caring for the poor, and especially the unknown poor, clearly had a spiritual dimension in the sixteenth century. Wills at this time typically provided for donations to the poor, as well as to religious communities and hermitages, as we have seen above. Such charity in a last testament might earn the departed individual a reward in heaven. But in this case the charitable acts proceeded from the entire community. Baguena's charitable activities were not limited to the local area, any more than other business activities were: one expense borne by the village council was the redemption of a Christian from Valencia held captive in Argel, in North Africa. 48


Irrigation and Water Rights


While these villagers may have reached out to ever more distant locations, for spiritual as well as business and personal reasons, and while both villages were clearly linked to local and regional trade networks, the primary business of the Jiloca valley region was farming. In this region, irrigation of farms and fields was common. The Jiloca flows from Burbaguena to Baguena and continues northward, eventually joining the Ebro, and some of its waters were diverted into a system of canals. Those whose fields were located along the canals paid an annual irrigation tax called the alfardo . The funds, collected by the village attorney on behalf of the village, were given to the cariacequia, or canal manager. 49 Throughout the second half of the sixteenth century, the amount of this tax remained the same: 47 sueldos for each landholder. 50 Irrigated farming, and the building and repair of irrigation canals, were tasks often presumed to be the work of Moriscos; in fact, they were activities in which the old Christians of Baguena and Burbaguena participated. 51 The canals required regular cleaning and, as we have seen, the village council paid for this labor. But individuals might contract for work related to the irrigation canals as well. In 1590, Anton de Fuertes' widow arranged for some canal construction. The workman, Domingo Anento of Baguena, an old Christian, was to build and plaster a retaining wall that would divert water flow, in "a way which would enable proper watering of the land." Like the contract drawn up between the council and Monserrat Ferrer for work within the church, this one specified terms, time limits, and the precise work to be performed, all in writing. 52


Burbaguena was upstream from Baguena, and thus was able to influence the amount of water available. In a 1587 document recorded by the notary Cristobal Lazaro, the canal managers of Baguena complained that Burbaguena had failed to provide the "customary" amount of water to Baguena. They asked for fines to be assessed. 53 Perhaps resolution of this dispute over water was one of the elements involved in the agreement for "peace and concord" with Burbaguena that the council of Baguena drew up and signed in December 1597. 54 We know from Thomas Glick's description of irrigation systems in Valencia that such disputes were the rule rather than the exception where water rights were concerned; 55 since documents concerning water disputes appear infrequently in Baguena's notarial protocols, perhaps we should consider the possibility that the canal managers of Baguena and Burbaguena did their jobs well.


Litigation and Literacy


But to picture the Jiloca valley as a peaceable kingdom, where all disputes of any kind were rare, would be inaccurate. The residents of Baguena and Burbaguena appear to have been a group of active litigants as well as contract-makers, if the notarial records are a good indicator. This raises the question of literacy. While reading was clearly not the same activity, either in cultural meaning or in scope of practice, in the early modern period as it is today, 56 it is important to ask whether our villagers were able to read and understand the documents drawn up by the notary.


Younger children were taught within the villages by the Master of children, and many of the young men of Baguena and Burbaguena continued their studies; they are referred to as "students" well into their twenties. 57 Francisco Calvo of Burbaguena was one of these students; 58 so were Juan Monton, 59 Anton Romeo, 60 and Miguel Romeo. 61 In Baguena, Miguel Rubio 62 was a student, as were Martin Rubio, 63 Pasqual Gil, 64 Martin Guiral, 65 and Diego Andres, the son of a notary. Diego's note to his family, from an earlier chapter, shows that he was not only literate, but was also capable of writing with a definite style and voice. 66 Francisco Hernando, another student, not only witnessed documents drawn up by his father, who was also a notary, but even acted as his scribe on occasion. 67


There were a number of notaries in these two villages in the second half of the sixteenth century in addition to Diego's and Francisco's fathers, among them Pedro de Bernabe and Miguel de Alcocer, and there were other residents of the villages with university degrees, such as Doctors Romeo and Navarro and Mossen Chalez. 68 The parish priests of both Baguena and Burbaguena can be numbered among the literate of the villages; they appear to have been comfortable with the written word, adding comments in the parish registers and occasionally using Latin as well as the vernacular.


The ownership of books, however, was another matter. Although the notarial protocols offer more than a few inventories of property, books are never mentioned in these inventories. I was able to locate a library inventory in the archive of the parish church in Baguena. This list of books owned by Pedro Gil de Bernabe, compiled in 1492, included 40 volumes. At this early date, most of the volumes were in manuscript, but three had been printed. This inventory provides a description for each volume, specifying the color and the material used for binding and whether the volume had fastenings, but the entire inventory does not mention a single book title! The receptor, Sanchez, or someone who worked with him, must have been literate, but showed no interest at all in titles or authors. Thus, while Gil de Bernabe, the owner of this library, was, we assume, a learned man who was familiar with the works in his collection, 69 an interest in literacy for the sake of scholarly pursuits does not seem to have been characteristic of the villages. This is not to say that literacy had no value for our villagers. Those who lived in Baguena and Burbaguena clearly saw literacy primarily as a business tool. The evidence is that some individuals among both old and new Christians were able to read and, in some cases, to draw up their own legal agreements. In 1609, for example, the new Christian Lope de Agreda wrote a receipt in his own hand for the 100 sueldos he received from another Pedro Gil de Bernabe. The receipt, a loose sheet in the Baguena notarial protocols, is interesting: Agreda drew a small cross at the top of the paper, as notaries sometimes did. 70 Francisco Calvo added a sentence in his own hand to an agreement drawn up by the notary Martin Hernando: "I, Francisco Calvo, authorize and approve this." 71 When village residents bought and sold property, all were able to sign their names to the contract—all, that is, except for the women. So when Thomas Gasenda and his wife Catalina sold a planted field to Simon Gutierrez in 1575, Gasenda, Gutierrez, and both witnesses signed; Catalina did not. A 1571 sale is similar. Here Domingo Ximeno and his wife Maria sold a vineyard to Martin Hernando and his wife Esperanza. Mossen Miguel Hernando and by Gabriel Molina de Bernabe acted as witnesses to the contract. Again, every man could sign, but Mossen Hernando signed for the women. It was typical for one witness to sign for those present who "didn't know how to write." But this category—those within the village who "didn't know how to write"—was certainly not as large a percentage of Jiloca valley residents as we might have imagined before investigating the documents. Natalie Zemon Davis describes the small French village of Artigat in the sixteenth century as linked to local and regional economic networks, just as Baguena and Burbaguena were; but Davis says of her villagers that "it was a small group of rural merchants who were virtually the only villagers other than notaries and priests who could sign their contracts. . . ." 72 In Baguena and Burbaguena, the ability to write seems to have been more widespread. A number of individuals within the villages were not only able to sign their own names, but they were also comfortable with the written word and familiar with the standard legal phrases of the day.




Our examination of business and the business practices within the villages has demonstrated that old Christians and new Christians did business with one another regularly, and that they appeared to trust one another and rely upon one another. Not only were the old and new Christians of the villages treated equally in terms of business practices, so that there were no divisions within the population, but other divisions we might be tempted to make in retrospect, such as a division between ecclesiastic and civic responsibility, were also unknown to the villagers themselves. The picture that emerges from the notarial documents is one of unified communities for which the old term "universidad," still used occasionally in the documents, seems particularly appropriate.


While the business documents drafted by local notaries in these villages provide an image of the communities as unified and lacking distinctions between groups, and while this image of a unified community is confirmed in the parish registers of Baguena and Burbaguena, not everyone was willing to accept this image. In the previous two chapters, we began to see the Church hierarchy in Saragossa defining the communities in different terms. The requirement of separate tallies for old and new Christians making their Easter duty, for example, defined the village of Burbaguena as one in which two different communities—old Christians and new Christians—were resident. This redefinition of the community was resisted by a succession of parish priests, who attempted to redraw the lines of division imposed from Saragossa.


Nor should we think of these unified communities as isolated islands. Baguena and Burbaguena were integrated into regional networks. Familial, social, and commercial ties linked the residents of the villages to nearby villages, to centers of business like Valencia, and to even more distant locations like France and North Africa.


The Archbishop of Saragossa was inclined to view any link to strangers or outsiders with suspicion. According to the archbishop's agents, the villages were in danger of "contamination" from these people, who would almost certainly be heretics. But Saragossa was not the only source of this attitude.


In the next part of this work, we will examine this alternate view of the villages. This view, which saw the Morisco members of the community as dangerous strangers, has no basis in fact in the notarial registers and parish records we have examined thus far; in fact, the term "Morisco" was rarely used in the official records kept in these villages. 73 This view of the Moriscos as outsiders is, nonetheless, the view that eventually prevailed in Aragon, with the crown's decision to expel the Moriscos. It is, therefore, our task to consider this alternate image in more detail.



Note 1: Contracts, for example, routinely identified Muslims as "moro," usually including their place of residence as well. Back.

Note 2: AMC, PN Baguena, 68 (January 11, 1587). The sellers included Juan Cortes and his wife, Catalina de Armillas; Simon Gutierrez and his wife, Maria de Armillas; Domingo de Armillas and his wife, Catalina Guiral; and Juan de Armillas and his wife, Maria de Fuertes. The purchaser was Bartolome Blasco, and one of the witnesses was the younger Domingo de Armillas. Back.

Note 3: Earl J. Hamilton, American Treasure and the Price Revolution in Spain (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1934) Back.

Note 4: For example, Pasqual Gil, a laborer, and his wife exchanged a vineyard for a majuelo —a portion of land prepared for vines—owned by Juan Blasco; Blasco was married to Catalina Gil. AMC, PN Baguena, 71 (April 23, 1593). Earlier, in 1567, Martin Garcia and his wife traded a majuelo they held for one belonging to Miguel Guiral and his wife. The plot Guiral traded was adjacent to land already owned by Garcia. AMC, PN Baguena, 82 (September 14, 1567). Back.

Note 5: Baguena's castle still exists. Originally the property of the Bernabe family, it dates from the Reconquest. Eusebio Monterde Juste, "La Villa de Baguena: Origines, Historia y Generalidades," Xiloca 3 (April 1989), 71-90. Back.

Note 6: AMC, PN Baguena, 70 (July 17, 1589). Back.

Note 7: ". . . razon de la fabrica y nueba construcion de su casa. . . ." AMC, PN Baguena, 67 (July 19, 1588). Back.

Note 8: ". . . notable daño y evidente. . . ."AMC, PN Baguena, 95 (April 22, 1573). Back.

Note 9: AMC, PN Baguena, 88 (September 1, 1566). In the document, Roldan is referred to as "Miguel Roldan, fustero, nuevo convertido, vezino del lugar de Burbaguena." Back.

Note 10: This was the case with Philip II (or, as Aragonese historians call him, Philip I), whose repayment record with his creditors was less than sterling. Back.

Note 11: Miguel Yague, a carpenter in Baguena, borrowed 740 sueldos from the new Christian Rodrigo Calvo. Calvo, a native of the village of Brea, was in Baguena in March 1602, when he lent the money to Yague. That June, Yague's heirs repaid Calvo. AMC, PN Baguena, 74 (March 21, 1602) and (June 13, 1602). In another example, Catalina Martin, widow of Martin Guiral, was repaid the 80 sueldos owed her husband by Juan de Alegria. AMC, PN Baguena, 72. Back.

Note 12: AMC, PN Baguena, 145. That wheat was an important part of the agricultural produce of the villages can also be seen in marriage agreements from the region. Back.

Note 13: In the first years of the 1600s, for example, Miguel de Agreda entered into a loan agreement with Anton Ximeno for 91/2 libras (AMC, PN Baguena, 82, 1607); Miguel Gomero made an agreement with Juan Guiral for 17 escudos (AMC, PN Baguena, 82, 1608); and Luis de Agreda entered into an agreement for 400 sueldos from Joan de Armillas (AMC, PN Baguena, 82, 1608). In each case, the first name mentioned is a new Christian from Baguena or Burbaguena, and the second name is an old Christian. Note that the varying currencies—seen also in the "list of debts owed," above—suggest a trade network that reached well beyond the local level. Back.

Note 14: "Junto a la Puente del rio Xiloca de piedra que esta junto al molina de Burbaguena." AMC, PN Baguena, 114 (May 21, 1593). Back.

Note 15: A great deal of new Christian business did happen within the notary's office; thus, I do not see this incident as a way in which the notary attempted to isolate or marginalize new Christian clients. Another example of an "extra-mural" agreement (actually an inappropriate term, since Baguena did not have city walls) is the sale of property Anton Vidal and his wife concluded within the mill, rather than in the village. AMC, PN Baguena, 92 (April 25, 1570). Back.

Note 16: AMC, PN Baguena, 72 (March 24, 1597). The loan was for 620 sueldos. Back.

Note 17: AMC, PN Baguena, 74 (March 21, 1602). Back.

Note 18: AMC, PN Baguena, 76 (December 4, 1557). The amount of the loan was 140 sueldos; the agreement was witnessed by Pedro Gil de Bernabe, "infanzon," and Juan Martinez. Back.

Note 19: In a notable exception, a pair of oxen was used to secure a loan. AMC, PN Baguena, 117 (March 3, 1596). Juan de Agreda, borrowing 800 sueldos from Geronimo Figuer de Bernabe, states: "Obligo un par de bueyes mios. . . ." Back.

Note 20: For example, in 1609, Juan Guillem Cortes, a linen merchant from Saragossa, used a preprinted form to grant power of attorney. AMC, PN Baguena, 83 (February 3, 1609). Back.

Note 21: I was, however, unable to locate a single case of a husband appointing his wife as a legal representative. Back.

Note 22: AMC, PN Baguena, 99 (March 1, 1577). Back.

Note 23: AMC, PN Baguena, 5 (March 15, 1563). Back.

Note 24: AMC, PN Baguena, 112 (June 28, 1591). Back.

Note 25: The five were: Juan de Molina, Anton de Fuertes, Esteven Garcia, Valero Rubio, and Juan Gil de Castillo. AMC, PN Baguena, 92 (March 8, 1570). Back.

Note 26: Agreda was undoubtedly identified as "hijo de Miguel de Agreda vezino de Burvaguena" because there were so many Agredas in the village. The parochial registers, by their nature, provide this kind of information about individuals, but usually an individual is not so identified in the notarial protocols. AMC, PN Baguena, 94 (October 7, 1572). Back.

Note 27: AMC, PN Baguena, 112 (February 28, 1591). Back.

Note 28: Roldan was not present when the document was signed. It is possible that Roldan was named because he was one of the new Christians who had been granted a license to remain within Aragon after the expulsion. A few of the new Christians in the Saragossa area—this would have included Daroca—were given a license to stay. AMC, PN Baguena, 169 (June 10, 1610). Back.

Note 29: AMC, PN Baguena, 84 (January 17, 1614). Back.

Note 30: AMC, PN Baguena, 72 (November 15, 1595). The witnesses were Don Hernando de Vargas, the parish priest in Burbaguena, and Domingo Ximeno. Back.

Note 31: AMC, PN Baguena, 76 (1573). Back.

Note 32: Evidence from Baguena's notarial records suggests that these villages were not the only ones in which the village council engaged in commercial transactions. Val de Horna, for example, lent one of its citizens, Andres Pescador, 650 sueldos in 1609. AMC, PN Baguena, 75 (January 10, 1609). A few years earlier, Pedro Guillen, a resident of Baguena and, in fact, one of the city officials, borrowed 8,200 sueldos from the village of Rubielos. AMC PN Baguena, 79 (May 9, 1597). Back.

Note 33: AMC, PN Baguena, 146 (December 22, 1610). Thirty-nine male citizens, summoned by "the ringing of the bell and by public announcement" ("a son de campana u con voz y pregon publico") met to discuss this matter and approve the transaction. It is worth noting that this was the first winter after the expulsion of the new Christians from the Jiloca valley. Back.

Note 34: Note that the council had a customary meeting place that is separate from the church building. For a brief discussion of Isabel's reforms in this regard, see the previous chapter. Back.

Note 35: ". . . tener necesidad de algunas candidades de di[nero] para comprar trigo y otros panes y con ellas subvenir las necesidades tan urgentes que al presente y en lo venidero puede haber. . . ." Back.

Note 36: "Universidad," the concept of a community governing itself and acting for the benefit of all, is expressed here as it was in an earlier period in Europe, and as some academics hope that it will continue to be in scholarly life today. Back.

Note 37: AMC, PN Baguena, 66 (March 24, 1585). Note the signature of the two Bernabes. The village of Baguena was, and still is, dominated by the Bernabes' castle. In the late 1500s, the family members apparently had a dominant position in village financial matters as well. Back.

It is significant that each individual who signed did so in his own hand, and that Colas Domingo added that he was signing for the others without including the second half of the customary phrase, "who do not know how to write themselves." We might conclude that, by and large, the 38 citizens who were officially present—all of them men—were literate.

Note 38: ". . . carnes buenos y de buena muerte." AMC, PN Baguena, 73 (Dia de San Miguel [September 29] 1559). Back.

Note 39: AMC, PN Baguena, 136 (March 5, 1595). Back.

Note 40: AMC, PN Baguena, 77. Back.

Note 41: Until the 1700s, Baguena and Burbaguena were "places" ("lugares") associated with the village of Daroca, which had been established in the twelfth century. Back.

Note 42: AMC, PN Baguena, 77. Back.

Note 43: ". . . haya de tener buen provcenydas y abundancia de todos los legumbres y cosas necesarias." AMC, PN Baguena, 74, 1603. Back.

Note 44: He was to cover the back of the choir area with wood veneer, above which he was to create a carved frieze; pillars and rails were to be installed around the choir. The work Monserrat estimated, would take the whole of February, and for his labor he would be paid 1000 sueldos initially, and 500 additional sueldos "later" — presumably, when the work was complete. AMC, PN Baguena, 80 (6 February 1602) Back.

Note 45: The archive of the parish church in Baguena contains a number of these "libros de cuenta." Back.

Note 46: Parish Archive of Baguena. Back.

Note 47: Parish Archive of Baguena. Back.

Note 48: From the accounts of Juan de Molina in 1574, Parish Archive of Baguena. Back.

Note 49: In 1585, for example, Pedro Vayllo collected the alfardo and put it into the hands of Geronimo Felipe, the canal manager. AMC, PN Baguena, 107 (November 1, 1585). Back.

Note 50: AMC, PN Baguena, 76 (November 1, 1557); AMC, PN Baguena, 107 (November 1, 1595); AMC, PN Baguena, 168 (November 1, 1609). Back.

Note 51: New Christians did, too. Juan Locano, a new Christian, was canal manager in 1557. The care and administration of the irrigation system does not appear to have been dominated by old Christians or by new Christians, but this is to be expected in places where the villagers themselves did not seem to regard old and new Christians as separate groups. Back.

Note 52: The contract is quite precise as to the work to be done, specifying excavation, the height of the wall, the fact that the outlets would be changed, and the method of finishing the construction. The work was be completed by the end of May, and the fee for the work was 540 sueldos. AMC, PN Baguena, 111 (September 7, 1590). Back.

Note 53: Miguel Royo and Domingo Martin de Bernabe, representing Baguena, asked that penalties be imposed upon the village of Burbaguena. AMC, PN Baguena, 153 (1587). Back.

Note 54: AMC, PN Baguena, 140 (December 28, 1597). Back.

Note 55: Glick, 1970, op. cit. Back.

Note 56: Robert Darnton, "Readers respond to Rousseau," in The Great Cat Massacre (New York: Random House, 1985) provides a discussion of some ways in which pre-modern readers approached printed material. Roger Chartier takes up methodological problems posed by different approaches to the printed word in "Intellectual History/History of Mentalités," in Cultural History (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1988). Back.

Note 57: AHDT, Baguena I, II, and Burbaguena I, II. Baptismal records for the second half of the sixteenth century in the two villages often specified the occupation of the godparent, as well as his name. Back.

Note 58: AHDT, Burbaguena I, 54v (May 2, 1556). Back.

Note 59: AHDT, Burbaguena I, 55 (May 23, 1556). Back.

Note 60: AHDT, Burbaguena I, 44 (September 22, 1552). Back.

Note 61: AHDT, Burbaguena I, 40v (August 9, 1551). Back.

Note 62: AHDT, Baguena II, 83 (July 17, 1609). Back.

Note 63: AHDT, Baguena II, 101v (December 28, 1598). Back.

Note 64: AHDT, Baguena II, 126 (September 26, 1594). Back.

Note 65: AHDT, Baguena I (May 23, 1568). Back.

Note 66: Diego's note is unlike many of the other documents I examined, both in tone and voice. But Diego's choice of his daughter's name, once he returned to the village and married, was consistent with his writing style—his daughter, born in 1616, is the one and only "Candida" I encountered in any of the records. AHDT, Baguena III (March 12, 1616). Back.

Note 67: AMC, PN Baguena, 66. Back.

Note 68: "El licenciado" Chalez was godfather for Mateo Marin. Among the others holding the licenciado were Guilez (Burbaguena I, 79v), the godfather of Simon Destrella's child Maria (Burbaguena I, 77) and "El Licenciado" Perez (Burbaguena I, 44v). Back.

Note 69: It is, of course, possible, that Gil had inherited his library or had purchased the books as an investment. Back.

Note 70: AMC, PN Baguena 130. Back.

Note 71: AMC, PN Baguena 65 (April 9, 1584). Back.

Note 72: Natalie Zemon Davis, The Return of Martin Guerre (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983), 71. Back.

Note 73: The more common terms were "newly converted" or nuevo convertido— used for many decades after the actual conversion had happened—or "new Christian," nuevo Cristiano. Back.


Like Wheat to the Miller: Community, Convivencia, and the
Construction of Morisco Identity in Sixteenth-Century Aragon