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(Researches made in the Vatican Archives by the Roman Correspondent of THE AMERICAN CATHOLIC


In the present issue of the Records our Society presents the first results achieved by its Correspondent in Rome, the Rev. Prof. Umberto Benigni. The Society feels that it can modestly congratulate itself on the splendid zeal and generosity of its members who, learning of its desire to maintain in Rome a correspondent who should be in a position to give his undivided energies to researches in its interest, voluntarily assumed the necessary financial burdens. That the zeal has not gone uprewarded was evidenced by the rich fruits gathered by our former correspondent in Rome, the Rev. Ferdinand Kittell, whose researches in the portfolios of the Irish College brought to light documents of the highest value and interest. The Rev. Professor Benigni brings to his task similar high qualifcations. An experience running through several years in research work in the Vatican Archives, familiarity with original sources and the technique of their treatment, a deep interest in historical investigation, a command of the languages in which the sources are written—this fine equipment leads the Society to look confidently to substantial gains in the line of original research.

It will be observed by the reader of these first documents of the Consistorial Acta,” that many curious questions of geographical nomenclature, as well as some chronological moot-points, are suggested by them. Together with these highly suggestive researches, Father Benigni is engaged in the

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preparation of an important series of documents of the Vatican Archives, relating to the Franco-Hispano-English struggles from the beginning of the XVII century.

He writes us, in connection with the Consistorial documents, as follows :

" The exact chronicle of the erection of dioceses and the election of bishops in the early days of Spanish America is very important, not alone from the standpoint of the ecclesiastical historian, but as well from that of the student of geographical and chronological data.

“ But the present condition of the literature of this chronicle does not correspond to our needs. Even the better class of books, such as Gams' Series Episcoporum, will be found replete with errors—mistakes in names and in dates. These inaccuracies are due to the fact that the compilers of such manuals did not consult the Vatican Archives of the Consistorial Congregation, whose

“ Acta ” are the really trustworthy original sources for such literature.

“We consulted attentively this archive, whose access is not easy, and we send the results of our researches."

In the subjoined documents the reader will notice that the contracted style of the originals is not repeated in print ; for the sake of convenience the originals have been, as a rule, amplified, in order that the reader may experience as little difficulty as possible. It may, however, be of interest to some readers to give an illustration of the contracted style of a Roman minutante, for which reason two examples are here printed.



Referente Rmo Car. S. iiij. or (I).

Erexit oppidum Terre floride in terra Juocatan, in qua fuit reperta noua regio seu provintia terra florida nuncupata oppidum insigne siue pagum in ciuitatem que terra florida appelletur,

ac Parochialem Eccliam Sti Jacobi in Cathe

dralem sub inuocatione pdca cu' (2) sede et Erectio insignibus episcopalibus ac p'uilegiis : et oppiterre dum sic erectu' in ciuitatem et illius agrum pro floride in diocesi illar. q. (3) Insulas pro clero et pplo ciuitatem (4) ac decimas et primitias pro dote assignavit,

necnon Juspatronatus et presentandi Carolo regi et aliis suis descendentibus Regibus hispaniar. exntibus (5) dumtaxat vel qd (6) possit omitti in Cedula concessio Juspatronatus hmoi (7), ac dicte ecclie (8) sic erecte prouidit de persona Georgii de Priego prioris Sancti Marci Legionen' militie Sti. Jacobi de spata decretor. Doctoris cum retentione bnefitior. (9) suor. (10)

Redditus flor. (11)

Taxa flor. The numerals inclosed in parenthesis indicate the curtailments which are to be amplified as follows; 1. Reverendissimo Cardinali, tituli Sanctorum quatuor Coronatorum. 2. Praedicta cum. 3. illarumque. 4. populo. 5. existentibus. 6. quod. 7. hujusmodi. 8. ecclesiae. 9. benefitiorum.

10. suorum.

II. floreni.

II. Providit ecclie sce Ma. (1) de lantiqua in Ecca. Se. dicta terra Inuocatan Betica noua nuncupata Ma. de Provintiae Indiae uacan' (2) per obitum Joannis lantiqua epi (3) ex' Ro. Cu. (4) defuncti De persona

Vincentii de Peraz or. nis predicator (5) professoris.

Redditus flo.

Taxa Flo. I, sanctae Mariae. 2. vacanti. 3. episcopi. 4. extra Romanam Curiam. 5 Ordinis Praedicatorum.

The explanatory notes (including the brackets) to the following documents are those of Father Benigvi.

H. T. H.

LEO X. (1513-21).

Consistory of December 1, 1520. Florida, village of Yucatan, erected into a city and diocese. Cathedral church: St. James. Bishop-elect: George de Priego, Prior of St. Marc's in Leon (Spain). Juspatronatus of the King of Spain.

Anno octavo December MDXX.

Referente Rio Car. li [tituli] Sanctorum Quatuor (Coro natorum]*

Erexit oppidum Terrae Floridae in terra Juocatan in qua fuit reperta nova regio seu provintia Terra Florida nuncupata, oppidum insigne sive pagum in civitatem quae Terra Florida appelletur, ac parochialem ecclesiam sancti Jacobi in Cathedralem sub invocatione praedicta, cum sede et insignibus episcopalibus ac privilegiis; et oppidum sic erectum in civitatem et illius agrum pro diocesi, illarumque Insulas pro

clero et populo, ac decimas et primitias pro dote assiguavit, necnon Juspatronatus et praesentandi Carolo regi (Charles V., Emperor and King] et aliis suis descendentibus Regibus Hispaniaruin existentibus dumtaxat; vel quod possit omitti in cedula concessio Juspatronatus hujusmodi: ac dictae ecclesiae sic erectae providit de persona Georgii de Priego prioris Sancti Marci Legionensis, militiae sancti Jacobi de spata, decretorum doctoris : cum retentione beneficiorum suorum.-Redditus Floreni

Taxa Floreni

ANTIGUA (YUCATAN). Antigua, diocese in Yucatan, “New Baetic." Death of the Bishop John ; election of the successor, Vincent de Peraz, Dominican friar.

Laurence Pucci, of Florence, Cardinai, 1513; died in 1531.

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