17th Century manuscript.

17th Century manuscript.

12-10-2021Kingdom of Mallorca Archive

A 17th century Royal Court document that’s been missing for years has been discovered in the Archive of the Kingdom of Mallorca.

It contains details of the bloody battles, revenge murders and robberies carried out by the rival Canamunt and Canavall noble families and outlines sentences handed down by the Royal Court between 1651 and 1660.

Up until now, it was thought that only one volume of the manuscript had been preserved.

“Most of the documentation of the Criminal Curia disappeared during a purge in state-wide archives and it probably only survived because it was decontextualised,” explains Archive of the Kingdom of Mallorca Director, Ricard Urgell.

The document has already been digitised and will be restored at the Cultural Heritage Institute.

Drawing from the 17th Century manuscript.

Numerous drawings and texts describing the sentence applied to each inmate are described in detail in the manuscript. Some prisoners were condemned to the gallows, others were to be dismembered, beheaded, exiled to Cabrera or were sentenced to forced labour in the royal galleys.

“The drawings are done with simple strokes that may have served as a visual index to those in charge of transcribing the sentences,” adds Urgell. “This manuscript will be a big help to historians and researchers and shed light on the crimes committed by noblemen, peasants, bandits and those in the lower social strata in 17th-century Mallorca, who were tried in the Royal Court.”

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