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The gross amount of tithes collected in all the dioceses was in the decade ending in 1779, 13,357,157 pesos; in that ending in 1789, 18,353,821 pesos.52 The total revenue of the nine dioceses for 1803 was 539,000 pesos according to official records. These figures have been disputed, however, and it has even been positively asserted that the actual revenue of these bishoprics and that of Chiapas amounted in 1805 to twelve or thirteen million pesos, out of which sum four millions fell to the share of the archbishop.54


Property left by bishops and archbishops at their death, resulting from the revenue of their sees, reverted to the crown, under royal cédula of March 28, 1620, and was known under the name of espolios. All the chief offices of the church were filled by royal appointment, and the incumbents were required to pay the crown the media anata, or one half of the first year's income. The offices of minor importance yielding less than $413 paid the crown only one month's income, known as the mesada.56

Toward the end of the seventeenth century the in

the city of Mexico of two judges and a notary or clerk. The contaduría or auditor's office had a first and second auditor with a first and second clerk. Zuniga, Cedulario, 51.

52 Humboldt, Essai Pol., ii. 473-8; Id., Tablas Estad., MS., 41; his figures being taken from an official statement by Joaquin Maniau. Noticias de N. Esp., in Soc. Mex. Geog., Boletin, ii. 8-23; N. Esp., Breve Resum., i. 139, 245, ii. 301-2. According to Estalla's account, xxvii. 9-10, the tithes of Mexico, Puebla, Oajaca, Guadalajara, and Durango were in 1769-79, $10,676,947; in 1779-89, $14,844,987; he omits those of Michoacan; his figures differ somewhat from Maniau's. Pinkerton's Modern Geog., iii. 234.

53 Mexico, $130,000; Puebla, $110,000; Michoacan, $100,000; Nueva Galicia, $90,000; Durango, $35,000; Nuevo Leon, $30,000; Oajaca, $18,000; Sonora, $6,000; Yucatan, $20,000. It was painful to see a diocese like that of Mexico paying curates of Indian towns only $100 or $120 a year. Humboldt, Essai Pol., i. 127-9; Id., Versuch, i. 181; Queipo, Col. Doc., 14, in Pap. Var., 164, no. 1.

54 The rental of the archbishopric proper was acknowledged at $2,944,970; add to the regular revenue the alms, etc., of the clergy, secular and regular, which amount is concealed, and the whole will swell to the sums given above. Notic. de N. Esp., in Soc. Mex. Geog., Boletin, ii. 8.

55 A law of 1652 prescribed the mode in which bishops should make inventories of the property they owned before their appointment. Recop. de Ind., i. 65-6; Estalla, xxvii. 236; Rivera, Gob. Mex., i. 130.

56 Estalla, xxvii. 235; Morelli, Fast. Nov. Orb., 382; Zamora, Bib. Leg. Ult., iv. 268-73; Providencias Reales, MS., 69-71; Fonseca Urrutia, Real Hacienda, iii. 89–135; Panes, Vir. in Monum. Dom. Esp., MS., 141; Rivera, Id., i. 226.

quisition had attained great predominance, causing even the viceroy and audiencia to lose much of their power and prestige. In 1747 the inquisidor general had issued an ordinance in thirty-four sections intended to avert all disputes on jurisdiction, and to maintain intact the prerogatives of each department of government. That ordinance was, however, often disregarded by the inquisitors of Mexico.5

Between the year 1600 and the end of the eigh teenth century occurred many autos de fé, both particular and general, the records of which have not been completely published. In the latter part of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century, the inquisition, which till then had been mainly engaged in persecuting Portuguese Jews, sorcerers, witches, apostate priests, bigamists, and other offenders, found a new and fruitful field among the readers of modern philosophical works, most of which were

57 In 1727 the king ordered the viceroy to protect the royal jurisdiction against encroachments of the inquisition under pretext of privilege. At the same time he wished the court to be aided in every way, and its officers and attachés respected in their rights and functions. Beleña, Recop., i. 212-17; Provid. Reales, MS., 261-6.

58 This body was seriously rebuked for it in 1785 by the crown. Rescrip. Reales Ecles., MS., 8-19, 27, 113-16; Reales Cédulas, MS., 208-10; Reales Ord., vi. 65-8.

59 A notable one was the case of William Lampart, an Irishman, or of Irish descent, who came to Mexico in 1640, and was known as Guillen Lombardo, alias Guzman, arrested in 1642 as an 'astrólogo judiciario con mala aplicacion de sus estudios,' and put into a dungeon. Dec. 24, 1650, he with another man broke jail, and sent to the viceroy several documents, and scattered others, against the archbishop and inquisitors, accusing the latter of treasonable views, ignorance, and theft. Much trouble might have been occasioned had not Lampart and his companion been recaptured. His fate remains unknown, though there is some reason to surmise that he perished as a herclic in November, 1659. Torquemada, iii. 380-1; Guijo, Diario, 4, 5, 32, 42-53, 105-6, 126-7, 162–3, 226, 427, 492, 525, 561; Puigblanch, La Inquisicion, &4, and notes, 38; Panes, Vir., in Monum. Dom. Esp., MS., 100-1, 136; Diario Méx., v. 380-4; Rivera, Gob. Mex., i. 159–61, 172-6,185; Sosa, Episcop. Mex., 99-102; Robles, Diario, 56-7, 86, 98, 214, 232, 242-3, 292, 315; Gaz. Méx. (1784-5), i. 308–9, 326. Zamacois, Hist. Méj., x. 513, alleges that in the 249 years the inquisition existed in Mexico, there were altogether 30 autos de fé, and 405 prisoners tried, of whom nine were burned alive, 12 burnt after execution, one, the patriot chief Morelos, shot, not for religious but political reasons, and 69 burnt in effigy. Reports of cruelty to prisoners in dungeons he declares false and calumnious, and incited by party spirit. It will be for the reader a question of veracity between the numerous accusers of the inqui sition, and of the government sustaining it, on the one part, and Zamacois' bigotry, and exaggerated 'españolismo,' on the other.


under the ban, and in the list of forbidden publications. The labors of the inquisitors rapidly increased, and we are told that at one time they had upward of a thousand cases pending. Many edicts were issued, threatening with excommunication those who dared to ignore this prohibition and to read such works.61



The progress of science, the enlightenment of the people, and the defence of popular rights against kingcraft were thus hindered by that tool of bigotry, ignorance, and refined despotism. It was even worse; for by recognizing the existence of sorcerers, witches, and others supposed to be possessed with the evil spirit the venerables inquisidores del santo tribunal, as the king called them, stupidly propagated pernicious errors. The extinction of this tribunal was first decreed by the archbishop of Mexico, on September 27, 1813, by order of the Spanish córtes of February 22d of the same year, but this became a dead letter the next year. On the 16th of June, 1820, the king ordered the enforcement of this decree, and soon afterward it was carried into execution.


60 Alaman, Hist. Méj., i. 121.


1 Disposic. Var., orig. vi. 2, 15-27, 34-60; Ord. de la Corona, MS., vi. 117-30; Gaz. Méx., v. 346, 355-9; viii. 182-7, 317-22; ix. 55-62, 553-8; x. 317-28; xi. 407-9; xii. 120-4; xiii. 119-36; xiv. 111-13; Diario Méx., v. 367–78; vi. 187–95; ix. 2715; x. 330; xi. 351–4. 361–7, 373–85.

62 Méx. Provid. Diocesanas, MS., 496-7.





DURING the sixteenth century, when the spiritual conquest of the country was as yet unaccomplished, friars were so much needed that they were sent to the Indies by the king free of expense; they were conveyed thither by governors, viceroys, and bishops upon the same terms, and assisted and provided for on their arrival in New Spain until the members of different orders were enabled, by their sufficient numbers and increased prosperity, to establish themselves in communities. Nor was the encouragement which they received limited to personal convenience and requirements; both king and pope extended privileges and protection to them in order to facilitate the labors of their calling. Viceroys and prelates were instructed to aid them; civil authorities were commanded not to molest them or interfere with their administration; aid

1 Laws prescribing the mode of rendering aid to friars, and regulations to be observed by them on going to the Indies, will be found in Recop. de Ind., i. 104-6, 128-9.


in founding convents was afforded them, the poorer of such establishments receiving presents from the king of chalice and paten, wine and oil,' while the sick among them were supplied with medicines.


Papal concessions to members of the regular orders in New Spain were on a scale still more liberal. The peculiar position of these missionaries required that they should be endowed with prerogatives which had hitherto belonged solely to the church. Hence the pope conceded to them rights and powers which the regulars in Europe could never obtain. The secular clergy were too few in number to perform the rites of the church throughout the length and breadth of the land, and bulls were issued granting to friars the privilege of exercising, in the towns where they established themselves, all the duties of a parish priest. They could hear confessions, and give absolution and dispensations; could administer the sacraments and celebrate marriages; could preach, teach, and confirin.3

Such concessions appeared desirable at first, but when the church became more fully established, and bishoprics were erected in widely distant provinces, a collision was the inevitable result. To the humble isolated convents of the first missionaries year by year others of costly structure were added, and custodias created. These in turn had developed extensive provincias, and broad lands and much treasure had been acquired by the orders. Monastic simplicity gave way to luxury, assumption of authority, and abuses.

2 Recop. de Ind., i. 17-21. Monasteries established on royal encomiendas were built at the king's expense. Id., i. 18. Consult also Id., i. 114, 122–3. In 1674 the queen regent ordered that the amount to be expended for purchase of wine and oil should not exceed 40,000 pesos a year. Montemayor, Sumarios, 4. It was ordered in 1561 that convents should be at least six leagues apart; nor could they be founded where there was a parish priest. This law was passed in 1559, Recop. de Ind., i. 95, when a considerable number was already established. In 1595 friars were protected by papal bull against interference by the ordinarios, or judges of ecclesiatical causes. Morelli, Fast. Nov. Orb., 312.

3 Id., 184-92, 218-22; Remesal, Hist. Chyapa, 473-4.

Convents, in many of which an inadequate number of friars resided, so multiplied during the sixteenth century that in 1611 Paul V. issued a

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