12 February 2009
FERDINAND V (1452-1516), King of Spain, and ISABELLA I (1451-1504), Queen of Spain. Letter signed ("Yo el rey," and "Yo la reina," each with a large penwork flourish), Segovia(?), 6 May 1476.
1 full page, an oblong (10 x 12 in.), extensive text in a slightly flourished Spanish court hand, attestation of the scribe at bottom, back with large papered seal of Ferdinand and Isabella as rulers of Castile and Léon. The document is neatly attached along edges to another document relating to royal favors granted by Enrique IV, 3pp., in a florid hand. In excellent condition.
VERY EARLY IN THEIR HISTORIC REIGN, FERDINAND AND ISABELLA CONFIRM ROYAL FAVORS GRANTED BY KING ENRIQUE IV
During the troubled reign of Enrique IV ("the impotent") of Castile (1454-1474), Spain's feudal anarchy and wars of succession reached their height. Isabelle was named the legal heir of Enrique, who had no issue. In 1469 she married Ferdinand of Aragon, and on the death of Enrique IV ascended to the throne of Castile and Léon. This momentous marital alliance set the stage for a remarkable transfiguration of squabbling feudal kingdoms into a single powerful nation, under the King and Queen and in less that two decades established one of the greatest world empires. By strengthening the power of the towns, Ferdinand and Isabella brought feudal aggression to end, established a code of laws (the Libro de Montalva), initiated the Inquisition in 1478 and launched the series of battles that would ultimately succeed in forcing the last Moorish kings into exile in 1492.
Here, the King and Queen formally confirm a long list of privileges and favors awarded by the late King Enrique IV to one Francisco de Zunita. These privileges are spelled out in considerable detail, referencing Enrique's grant dated 29 July 1469, a copy of which is attached. Documents signed by Ferdinand and Isabella at such an early date in their historic reign are rare.
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