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Maarten Janssen, 2014-
|Author(s)||Juana María de Cárdenas|
|Addressee(s)||Pedro de Escobedo y Cabrera|
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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