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Representacion hecha al Señor Felipe Quarto, á nombre de las Yglesias Metropolitanas, y Catedrales de las Yndias, sobre que sus Prelacias sean provistas en los Capitulares de éllas, y naturales de sus Provincias. Por El Doctor Don Luis de Betancourt, Y Figueroa, Chantre de la Santa Yglesia de San Franco del Quito, en las Provincias del Peru y Procurador Gral. de las Yndias. Año de 1637. [And:] [1771 Representation.] Representacion hecha al Rey Nro. Sr. por la Ciudad de México; que tráta el mismo punto que la antecedénte, con motivo de que cierto Ministro, ó Prelado de aquéllos Reynos, expuso en un Ynforme á S. M. que los Americanos són de espiritu sumiso, y rendido, y se hermanan bien con el abatimiento; por lo que conviene téngan delante en los empléos de primer orden á los Españoles Européos, que con espiritu noble deséan el bien de la Patria, y el sosiego de nuestro amado Monarca
A fine contemporary manuscript version of the celebrated Mexican 1771 Representation included alongside Betancourt y Figueroa's work calling for religious posts in the Americas to go to creoles rather than peninsular Spaniards. The 1771 Representation according to the historian David Brading "constituted a remarkably frank plea for Mexican autonomy within the imperial framework of the absolutist monarchy" (Brading, Origins of Mexican Nationalism, 1985, p. 16). For this, it came to be known as one of the earliest calls for Mexican independence from Spain and was included in J. E. Hernández y Dávalos' Colección de Documentos para la Historia de la Guerra de Independencia de Mexico de 1808 a 1821, México, 1877-1882, vol. I, no. 195, pp. 427-55, with the title "Representacion que hizo la ciudad de México al rey D. Cárlos III en 1771 sobre que los criollos deben ser preferidos á los europeos en la distribucion de empleos y beneficios de estos reinos". Hernández y Dávalos was the first to publish the 1771 Representation and his is generally that referred to by historians. The version in this manuscript, however, is slightly different and contains some extra passages. In the 18th century, following the shock of defeat in the Seven Years' War, the Spanish government sought to exert greater control over its transatlantic empire in what Brading has called 'the virtual reconquest of the Indies' during the reign of Charles III (Brading, p. 14). In 1767, the Jesuits were expelled from Spanish territories and over four hundred Mexican born clerics, the nucleus of Mexico's intellectual élite, were banished from Mexico. In addition, Bourbon enlightened ministers such as José de Gálvez and Archbishop Lorenzana, were sent to Mexico to tighten Spain's grip on its empire, they introduced new taxes and crown monopolies, and employed a vast range of fiscal officials openly favouring peninsulars over creoles in this new regime. It was against this and, more specifically, against a criticism of creole capability sent by Lorenzana to Spain that the 1771 Representation was composed by Mexican officials. As the historian J. M. Pérez Collados points out, what was remarkable about it was not just that it called for creole equality but that it asked for creoles to be preferred over and to the exclusion of peninsulars (Los Discursos Políticos del México Originario: Contribución a los estudios sobre los procesos de independencia iberoamericanos, 1998, p. 40). The 1771 Representation was one of, if not, the most powerful protest against the Bourbon reforms that were being so vigorously imposed on Mexico during the years in which this manuscript was written and it was natural that it should be associated with works such as that by Betancourt y Figueroa's which, according to Burkholder, was even re-published in a Madrid periodical in 1789 (see Burkholder, p. 58). The tensions created by the Bourbon reforms would overflow in the nineteenth century into the fight for Mexican independence and thus Hernández y Dávalos' identification of this 1771 Representation as one of the earliest documents in the Mexican independence movement is understandable. It is also written alongside Betancourt's treatise - on the same paper, in the same hand - with the modified title, 'Representation made to the King by the City of Mexico which treats the same subject as the previous work', clearly indicating that the two works were being associated at the time when Mexico's Ayuntamiento sent their Representation to Carlos III in 1771. While acting as a representative for the cathedrals of the Indies in Madrid in 1634, Betancourt, a native of New Granada, published the Memorial i Informacion por las Iglesias Metropolitanas, i Catedrales de las Indias, sobre que sean proveidas sus prelacias en los naturales, i capitulares dellas, setting out the legal foundations for advancing to bishops and archbishops dignitaries and natives from within the diocese. Interest was sufficiently high in his work for it to be re-published in 1635 and 1637 (from which the version in this manuscript is probably taken though the manuscript has an additional dedication not in the published version). Betancourt and his protest were not ignored. In 1636, he was appointed Chantre of the cathedral of Quito and in 1642 he became the first creole inquisitor of Lima, eventually being offered the post of bishop of Popayán which he turned down. Furthermore, at least a third of the 126 new prelates appointed between 1635 and 1699 were creoles (see Burkholder, Spaniards in the Colonial Empire, 2013, p. 58). Provenance: This manuscript formed part of Edward King, Viscount Kingsborough's (1795-1837) collection. It was item number 642 in the Catalogue of the Rare and Valuable Library of the late Rt. Hon. Edward Lord Viscount Kingsborough... which will be sold by auction... by Charles Sharpe (Dublin: Webb and Chapman, 1842). It was later in the collections of Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1872) and Sir Robert Leicester Harmsworth (1870-1937). Harmsworth 4641; Phillips 11649.
      [Bookseller: HS Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2017-11-21           Check availability:      Direct From Seller    


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