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Maarten Janssen, 2014-

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1681. Carta de Juana de Cárdenas para Pedro de Escobedo y Cabrera.

Author(s) Juana María de Cárdenas      
Addressee(s) Pedro de Escobedo y Cabrera      
In English

Letter from Juana de Cárdenas to Pedro de Escobedo y Cabrera.

The author thanks Don Pedro de Escobedo for the favour he made her permitting Isabel María de Ortega, his wife, to stay with her, because her presence has been for her a cause of great joy. However, she is already imagining how much she will suffer with the future separation.

In 1682 Alonso de Herrera, chief magistrate of the Royal Chancellery in Granada investigated a case of violation in the convent of Santa Clara, in the village of Martos. The denunciation was issued by the nuns of the convent, and the people accused were Pedro de Escobedo y Cabrera, Knight of the Order of Calatrava and the most important man of Martos, together with Miguel de Ortega y Vallejo and a priest, Juan Salcedo. The three men had had forbidden relationships with three nuns: Quiteria González y Mora, Manuela de Quesada and Ana de Ortega. Private letters from Quiteria González, founded in the house of Pedro, revealed that the relationship between the two was at the origin of the whole scandal. Because of him she had left the house of his parents, and they went away from Martos for some days. When they came back, he left Quiteria in the convent and went to America, where he probably has some kind of official role. During his absence, their correspondence continued. When he came back she was already a professed nun, but this fact did not prevent them to continue their relationship. Moreover, the house of Pedro adjoined the convent, making everything even simpler. Quiteria González tried also to convince another nun, Juana de Santiago, to start a relationship with her lover, but Juana rejected the offer vehemently. The pregnancy of Quiteria González made the scandal even bigger. Another aspect of the scandal was that Pedro had illicitly married Isabel de Ortega, after raping her.

Don Pedro tried to escape justice and he hid in his house. When Alonso de Herrera went to imprison him, Pedro shot and injured de Herrera in the head. The process ended with capital punishment for Pedro, Manuel, Juan Salcedo and other people who had helped them. The sentence declared that Pedro had to be beheaded, his head had to be exposed in the highest tower of Martos and his right hand on the door of the city tobacco shop. The punishment for the nuns was decided by a separate ecclesiastic court, and we do not know anything about the sentence.

Several letters were seized from the house of Pedro de Escobedo. Among them, we can find the love letters sent to Quiteria González. Along with them, there more than 200 letters, which permit us to partially reconstruct other aspects of the life of Pedro de Escobedo, from his family life to his career. Among those letters we can find his correspondence with Juana de Cárdenas, which link this process with another brought to the Royal Council of the Military Orders, for the illicit marriage between Pedro de Escobedo and Isabel María de Ortega. Juana was responsible for the lodging of the girl, and although she should have avoided what happened, it is certain that she played an important role as intermediary.

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Page 18r > 18v

sr mio allandome con la de vm de 24 d el coriente tan nuebamente faborecida debo rendirle mui repetidas gracias por tamañas fineças como le mereçe mi buena lei maiormente cuando aguardava que vm me diera mil norabuenas por la fortuna que avia ofrecido el sr nicario a esta su casa con el deposito de mi querida ija doña isabel dichosa es por si i dino empleo de sus amables prendas de vm debo estrañar los agradecimientos con que se sirbe onrarme siendo cierto ia comienco a sentir el dia que a de salir de mi casa pues anque por lo que le quiero i deseo el cumplido gusto de vm quisiera fuera mañana sin embargo por lo que me a de costar nunca apeteçedere el dia que aia de salir de mi presencia por lo que arastra con tanta perfecion las boluntades i que con sus amables prendas se introduçe tanto los coracones jamas devera olvidarse de quien con tanta ternura le ama como io porque doi a vm las gracias de su iero por aberme dado a mereçer tal dicha deseando a este paso la ausulucion felis de esta dependiencia i ber a vm i a mi querida ija en la posesion perfeta de su buenos deseos i cristianos intentos nacidos

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