CARTA EXECUTORIA DE HIDALGUIA, issued by Charles II of Spain, in favour of Bartolomé Ruiz de Alcalá of Villanueva, in Spanish, ILLUMINATED MANUSCRIPT ON VELLUM
Granada, 9 December 1672
302 x 207mm. 60 leaves, COMPLETE. 28 lines written in black ink between two verticals and 29 horizontals ruled in red, justification: 250 x 150 mm, each folio with notary's endorsement in lower margins of rectos and versos and with royal stamp on rectos, THREE FULL-PAGE MINIATURES, one with the coat of arms of Bartolomé Ruiz de Alcalá of Villanueva, TWENTY LARGE ILLUMINATED INITIALS, some with grotesques and inhabited by birds, with protective red silk curtains interleaved (some minor loss of pigment to miniature on f.2, a few leaves yellowed). Contemporary red velvet with coloured silk cord and gilt clasps and pins (velvet rubbed at extremities and spine, some fraying).
This sumptuously illuminated carta executoria confirms, at his request, the status of Hidalguia of Bartolomé Ruiz de Alcalá, resident of Villanueva de los Escuderos, exempting him from paying any future tributes to the King and demanding to have returned to him any tributes, endowments or seizures that might have been taken earlier. His noble ancestry is described throughout and illustrated in the genealogical tree on f.3v, and further evidence is laid out in order to have his name removed from the register of commoners: his request is endorsed by friends and relatives Francisco Ruiz de Astrana, Don Diego Luis Ruiz de Astrana, Don Gabriel Coronel Abarca, Diego Mojon, Don Bartolomé de Berris, Diego Gonzalez, Pedro Alonso del Corral-Velasco, Ivan Saiz de la Adaca. The document is dated 9 December 1672 in Granada, and is ratified first by the township of Villaneuva de los Escuderos on 1 March 1673, then by the city of Alcalá on the 4 March, and finally by the town of Hita on 31 July of the same year. Bartolomé was later made Caballero de Santiago in 1676. See Heráldica y Genealogía de los linajes de Cabra de Côrdoba, Doña Mencía y Monturque, II, (2012), p.233.
The subjects portrayed in the full-page miniatures are as follows:
f.2 Our Lady of Sopetrán appears in majesty with angels and is flanked by Justus and Pastor, patron Saints of Alcalá de Henares. Below, kneeling members of the family: Bartolomé Ruiz de Alcalá and his wife Isabel Lopez Penatiel face Bartolomé's first brother Juan Ruiz and his four children, beside them kneel Bartolomé's other brothers and sisters.
f.3v Bartolomé Ruiz de Alcalá's genealogical tree, going back five generations to Sancho Ruiz.
f.4v. Full-page coats of arms, party per pale, the sinister per fess; I: two dogs rampant chained to a tree; II a: azur, a tower with turrets, b: checky azur and vair.