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Comunicación política y diplomacia en la Baja Edad Media

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Néstor Vigil Montes

Portuguese Notaries in late Medieval Iberian Diplomacy

Ricardo Seabra

Résumé

What role did the notaries play in diplomacy during the Middle Ages? Naturally, the legal contracts that report the diplomatic activity between states have to be registered properly, thus the importance of writing to diplomacy is unquestionable. In this paper we will focus on the period between the 14th and the 15th centuries in the Iberian Peninsula, paying special attention to the relationships between the Kingdom of Portugal and that of Castile. By analysing different types of sources produced by notaries, we aim to present a brief analysis of the participation of these agents and of their activities in the diplomatic history of Medieval Iberia, looking at their activities in regard to their crafts, courses and careers, as well as to lay down a common profile for these agents.

Entrées d'index

Palabras claves :

notariado, diplomacia, Edad Media, Portugal

Texte intégral

Introduction

  • 1 HOBB, 2014, 1066.

1A wise old man taught me that diplomacy is the velvet glove that cloaks the fist of power”1. This statement by Robin Hobb shows how much forethought and subtlety are necessary in the relations between states. However, one must not mistake “Diplomacy” with “Diplomatic Negotiations” or “Diplomatic Relations”, since the perspective of the historian may be biased by the imprecise use of terms within the Theory of International Relations, both in what concerns the concept of external diplomacy, frequently mistaken with that of international politics, and in the almost indiscriminate use of the term “diplomacy” to refer to different things.

  • 2 OCHOA BRUN, 1990, 17-29.

2Diplomacy is a product of the relations between organized human groups that negotiate with each other and, thanks to their own sovereign and independent character, can nominate, to that extent, emissaries who are protected by this recognized inviolability. Yet, the History of Diplomacy is conceived as the study of the tools and persons by whom the political relationship between States has been prosecuted over time. Therefore, it is not only as the content of a History that reports the occurrences of the inter-state relationships, but also to the instrument that the States supply for their treatment, processes that are used, the means and the evolution of that function through time. This is due to the multi-functionality of its denomination, since the concept of diplomacy also includes the establishment of relations among states (international politics) and the instrument or the path of that relation (diplomatic function), that contain the practices2 and the persons.

  • 3 HOMEM, 1988, 223-24.

3Both for the negotiation with other kingdoms and for the reception of foreign emissaries, the Kings of Portugal usually designated specific and specialized agents, calling upon individuals that were available at different times for the Court or by other means of the political society. They could choose foreground figures from the lay aristocracy or high ecclesiastical dignitaries, such as bishops or masters of military orders. Their choice fell on several personalities, from the «privados» (private officials) of the Council, the bureaucrats from the Royal Dispatch, the judges of the audiences, or officers from their house3. Among them we find plenipotentiaries, commissioners, envoys, residents, agents, deputies, legatii, nuncii, internuncii messengers, couriers, heralds, ministers and ambassadors. But what about notaries?

1. Starting point

4The general scheme of the diplomatic relations of the Kingdom of Portugal during the 14th and 15th centuries gradually became more complex as the country projected itself outside the Peninsula. The diplomatic relations of Portugal with other kingdoms beyond the Pyrenees had existed for long time but, during the second half of the 14th century, they became more and more intense and long-lasting. There were several factors that contributed to this, mainly in what concerns the external commerce and the overseas expansion, but there were also others of political, military and religious nature, such as the Hundred Years War and the Great Schism.

  • 4 Monumenta Henricina, 1960; Monumenta Henricina, 1960b; Monumenta Henricina, 1961; Monumenta Henrici (...)
  • 5 As gavetas da Torre do Tombo, 1960-77.
  • 6 SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1958-1962.
  • 7 SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960.

5This article will focus specifically on the period between the 14th and 15th centuries in the Iberian Peninsula, with a special focus on the relationships between the Kingdoms of Portugal and Castile. For this, we used edited primary sources, namely the documental compilations Monumenta Henricina (Vols. 1, 2, 3, 4 e 6)4, Gavetas da Torre do Tombo5, Documentos referentes a las relaciones con Portugal durante el reinado de los Reyes Católicos (2 Vols)6, and also in Relaciones entre Portugal e Castilla en la época del infante don Enrique (1393-1460)7. Through these documental collections, we accessed several legal contracts, among which we were able to find diverse documents that were written by notaries, such as procurations, truces, peace treaties, alliances, ratifications, confirmations, marriage contracts, public forms, oaths, commitments, among others.

  • 8 PÉQUIGNOT, 2017.
  • 9 LAZZARINI, 2015.

6The approach to the study of Diplomacy in the Middle Ages has a long tradition and it has been presented from several perspectives. Since the 19th century up until now, the studies that focus on this subject have been presented from various angles. In the last few years, the works of Stéphane Péquignot8 and Isabella Lazzarini9 have given a major contribution to the development of the study of diplomatic activity from different angles.

  • 10 FARELO, 2011, 231-259
  • 11 SANTAREM, 1842-1854.
  • 12 LA FIGANIÉRE, 1853.

7The main points of view on the historiographical production concerning the history of international relations of Medieval Portugal have been thoroughly and exhaustively raised by Maria João Branco and Mário Farelo10. However, we must also refer to the existence of the compilations, publications and systematizations of sources which are fundamental to the study of Diplomacy and that were carried out by the 2nd Viscount of Santarém, who made the first survey on the diplomatic and political relations of Portugal until the 19th century11, and by Frederico Francisco de La Figaniere, who systematized the Portuguese documents that were at the British Museum12.

  • 13 On varied topics, see GONÇALVES, 1939, 278-83; SAMARAN, 1938, 13-26.; RUSSELL, 1940, 20-30.; DINIS, (...)

8Several partial studies made during the 20th century have shed some light on the theme of Medieval Diplomacy13, but it was not until the 1980s that we began to notice a new phase of renewed scientific interest and output due to the work of several authors. Although this article will not give an in-depth analysis of all the existing bibliography about the history of foreign relations of the Kingdom of Portugal, we highlight some contributions that provide a better understanding of the international policy of Portugal at the turn of the 15th century.

  • 14 Some of the works of this author MORENO, 1972, 163-66; MORENO, 1979-80; MORENO, 1984a, 6-7; MORENO, (...)

9Humberto Baquero Moreno wrote not only the biographies of some relevant diplomats from the Fifteeth Century, but also made some important reflections on Portuguese politics in the Iberian space14.

  • 15 FONSECA,1986; 1988, 383-93; 2003, 53-61; 2009a, 45-60; e 2009b, 57-74.

10Luís Adão da Fonseca has presented us with several new perspectives on the external policy of medieval Portugal, mainly concerning Northern Europe, Castille, Granada and North Africa15.

  • 16 BECEIRO PITA, 1994, 441-55; 1996, 149-186; 1997, 1735-1744.; 1999, 79-104.; e 2009, 193-228.

11Isabel Beceiro Pita has centered her work essentially on the analysis of the profile of the diplomats and the literate men from the Portuguese and the Castilian Kingdoms, focusing on the criteria used for their appointments, mentioning the reasons for the absences and the presence of some individuals in embassies, and pointing out tendencies of specialization16.

  • 17 MENDONÇA, Manuela 1991a, 1991b, 1994 e 1995, 341-353.

12From several works by Manuela Mendonça, we highlight a biographical study in which the author presents the life and political career of a diplomatic protagonist during the reigns D. Afonso V, D. João II and D. Manuel, as well as another one dedicated to the Portuguese diplomats sent to the African coast where she explains the conditions for the appointment of these men regarding the specific objectives of each embassy17.

  • 18 On varied topics, see FERNANDES, 2000-2001, 211-224; GOMES, 2000-2001, 103-110.; OLIVEIRA, 2002, 38 (...)
  • 19 BRANCO, 2007, 79-100.
  • 20 FARELO, 2010, 723–763, and 2016, 291 - 309.
  • 21 FARIA, 2009, 209-227; MIRANDA et al., 2010,109-127; 2011, 257-268; 2012, 211-224; 2013 2015-2016, 3 (...)

13In regards to the last 20 years18, we point out the contributions given by Maria João Branco19, Mário Farelo20 and, more recently, Tiago Viúla de Faria21, who have devoted themselves, continuously, to enriching the different perspectives regarding this area.

  • 22 GOMES, 2005, COELHO, 2005, DUARTE, 2005, GOMES,2005, FONSECA, 2005.
  • 23 CAMPOS, 2008; SILVA, 2012,; RODRIGUES, 2012.

14The more recent biographies of Portuguese kings22 and queens23 also offer a glimpse of the political strategies of political and diplomatic alliances and ruptures from different points of view. Jorge Borges de Macedo (1988) gives us a general panorama on the History of Diplomacy in Portugal. However, it must be noted that the works that provide a global vision of the Portuguese diplomatic action during the Medieval Period are scarce.

  • 24 ALMEIDA, 1996, BORLIDO, 1996, BRITO, 2001, CAPAS, 2001; CARVALHO, 2001; DURÃO, 2002; HOMEM, 1990,; (...)

15With this in mind, the aim of this article is not to produce a social study of the notaries or an exhaustive listing, but merely to share the different perspectives based on some examples of the participation of these “agents of the written word” in Medieval Diplomacy. We found the various studies on royal chancelleries and royal bureaucrats24 extremely useful since they enable us to compare their participation with the performance of officials from the central administration.

16The analysis of the links between Portugal and Castille through their bureaucrats during this period was further analysed by Francisco Paula Cañas Galvez. His 2012 study allows us to see the close relations between the top Castilian bureaucrats and the central authority, namely through the service in the royal bureaucracy of D. Juan II of Castile. The existing connexions in this duality between the two Kingdoms were explanatory in what concerns the role of the notary as a public officer with responsibilities in diplomatic missions.

2. Troubled times

17The world was not just the Iberian Peninsula, nor indeed just Europe. The African continent was gradually becaming known and, as far as Asia is concerned, there was already the notion of the existence of different cultures, religions and politics, very distinct from those of European everyday life. Yet, as this paper is centred in a specific chronology and space of the Medieval Period, it is necessary to know the problems that afflicted these societies.

  • 25 MORENO et al., 2006, 12-33.

18During the 14th and the 15th centuries, Europe was traversing a time of great crisis: hunger, wars and epidemics, such as the Hundred Years War and the Black Plague, unfolded throughout the continent. This scenario was compounded by the upheaval of the Great Schism and westward expansion of the Turks. The population decrease, not just in rural areas but also urban zones as well, had a direct, yet not continuous, effect on the productivity and the economy of Europe. Natural resources were scarce and the agricultural productivity was low. However, some regions and towns managed to achieve some development, especially those that were connected to port cities. Thus, economic growth and urban development was indeed a reality by the middle of the 15th century25.

19During this period, the relations among Iberian Kingdoms are marked by constant quarrels, challenging for Iberian hegemony and the annexation of neighbouring kingdoms. The extreme importance of the domination of the seas will exacerbate even more this conflict.

  • 26 Regarding the relations between Portugal and Castille prior to this period Vd. As relações de front (...)

20It was during the 15th century that the conflicts between Portugal and Castille intensified26. The confrontations of 1336-39 upset the balance of power/status quo in in the Iberian Peninsula and the struggle for Iberian hegemony began to reach new heights from 1356 onwards. This persisted for several decades, with different phases of intensity and attenuation and, from 1360’s, both England and France intervened militarily in the Iberian space. Thus, the rupture of the peace and tolerance period, as well as the hegemonic Castillian attempts, induced a change in the paradigm. The growing enmity between both kingdoms became more acute and they gradually started to confront each other, or made exhaustive attempts to constraint each other by means of alliances with various other kingdoms.

  • 27 GOMES, 2005, 25 and 107

21The assassination of D. Pedro I of Castile had several repercussions for Portuguese politics. D. Fernando, King of Portugal (1367-83), pretender to the Castilian throne, presented himself as a legitimate candidate to the throne, leading the two Kingdoms to a climate of complete warmongering. In order to pay for the costs of weapons and soldiers, the Portuguese King implemented a more oppressive tax policy and devaluated the currency several times. This, in turn, caused a sharp rise in prices and galloping inflation. The change of currency, the decision to set fixed prices and control the internal circulation of the merchandises did not bear fruit in the short and medium term. By then, numerous uprisings started taking place in the towns and villages around the Kingdom, such as Santarém, Lisbon, Abrantes, Tomar and Leiria, from 1371 to 1372, and, in 1383 to 1384, in Portel, Tomar, Sousel, Vila Viçosa, Valença, Guimarães and Montemor-o-Velho27. Between 1367-79, the failure of the successive Portuguese attacks (both by land and sea), as well as the superior military power of Castile, weakened the internal and external politics of Portugal, setting a climate of tension that led Portugal to a civil war and a change in dynasty.

  • 28 COELHO, 2005, 32-59.

22After the signing of the Treaty of Salvaterra de Magos, Portuguese external politics were redefined and it was stipulated that, if D. Fernando died without a male heir, his daughter D. Beatriz and her husband, D. Juan I of Castile, should be acclaimed Regents of Portugal. The throne would then be inherited by one of their sons. When D. Fernando died on the 22th of October 1383, the tensions between the pro and anti Castile political factions were felt. The evolution of the crisis of 1383-85 and the several proposals and strategies that were developed to solve this express the distinct multiple political, economical and social positions of the forces present, some opposing each other, others supporting28.

  • 29 MONTEIRO, 1999, 80-81.

23The climate of constant confrontation, war, mutual invasions and reciprocal destruction between the two Kingdoms became more accentuated and continued more or less continuously until the first quarter of the of following century. The diplomatic policy of Portugal that in the context of the Hundred Years War sought to strengthen its ties with the Kingdom of England contributed to this climate and made contingents of English mercenaries regard the Portuguese as allies29.

24The Portuguese victories at Trancoso, Atoleiros and, mainly, Aljubarrota set the rise of D. João, Master of Avis, to power and his subsequent acclamation as King. Still, the war continued: there was another Portuguese victory at Valverde de Mérida, followed by the successive invasions of Ciudad Rodrigo and Cória.

25The duration of the conflict and its tremendous consequences reinforce the importance and the strategic need to strengthen the Portuguese alliance with England, be it in political, military or economical terms. The Treaty of Windsor (1386) not only established the friendship and cooperation between these two Kingdoms, with the commitment of mutual assistance against any enemy to either throne, but also facilitated the flow of free commerce between them. Besides the military, political, commercial and economic interests, the Avis dynasty was recognised and this allowed Portugal to set its priorities for its future reorganization, consolidation and viabilization. As part of the treaty, King D. João I married Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt.

  • 30 SOUSA, 2015, 162-77.

26The confirmation of D. João I as king was due to these military victories and diplomatic successes among foreign states, which permitted the negotiation of a truce with Castile in 1388, for a period of six months. Afterwards, the Portuguese attacked Tui. The Treaty of Monção, in the following year, conceeded a three-year truce, as well as the restitution of the villages and towns that had been conquered either by Portugal or Castile, binding also England, France and Scotland30.

27The circumstances resulting from the royal nonage of D. Enrique III of Castile led to a new treaty in May 1393; it established a 15-year truce, that was subsequently broken three years later. By 1398, the Portuguese had taken Badajoz, Salvatierra de Miño and Tui and attacked Cáceres and Valença de Alcântara, while the Castilians burnt Viseu, took Penamacor and Miranda and invaded Alentejo.

  • 31 For a better understanding of the entire process of negotiation vd. ÁLVAREZ PALENZUELA, 2009, 47-90 (...)

28The reconciliation was utterly difficult since there were strong divergences that set them apart. Several emissaries travelled from and to neighbouring kingdoms and the negotiations were not at all easy. The numerous demands and the delay in the negotiations weakened the successive attempts to an understandment. Notwithstanding, the Treaty of Segovia in 1402 determined a 10-year peace and the mutual restitution of the towns, villages and fortresses once more. In 1411, a new peace treaty was proposed, that was to be ratified in 1419 when D. Juan II of Castile became of age. However, new divergences led to a new treaty in 1423, that was only definitively ratified in 1431 in Medina del Campo31.

  • 32 Generally, the Lei Mental (Mental Law), regulated the transmission and sucession of the Crown’s ass (...)

29The events of 1431 ushered in a new period of peace and stability in the Kingdom of Portugal. The creation of the Modern State made headway through important legislation such as Lei Mental (1434) 32, the Ordenações of D. Duarte (1436), and Afonsinas (1446), the Cortes (55 between 1385 and 1495) as well as the development of a body of central bureaucrats. From the quarrels with Castille and the courts in Coimbra in 1385, Portugal had at last emerged as a stable political entity, reinforced by customs and laws that were interpreted in the light of a changing society by lawmakers who were part of the Central Administration. This permitted focusing on different priorities concerning the future reorganization, consolidation and viabilization of the kingdom. Among them was the expansionist movement.

30The conquest of Ceuta and the development of the exploitation of the coast of west Africa were followed by a maritime expansion that led to the discovery of a route to the island of Madeira whose settlement, as well as the trading at Arguim, drove to the institution of a new area of influence. Consequently, this ended up enabling the constitution of a form of Atlantic support different from the one cantered at the North Sea (MACEDO, 1988, 80).

  • 33 DUARTE, 2015, 232-36

31However, the disaster at Tanger, the difficulty to safeguard Ceuta33, and the death of King Duarte (1433-38) put the kingdom in a delicate position. The minority of his son, the future D. Afonso V, started a serious discussion about who should govern the kingdom until he became of age which, in turn, led to a severe and violent conflict among the partisans of the Queen Mother D. Leonor, and those of the uncle of the king, Infante D. Pedro, Duke of Coimbra. From the Cortes of Torres Novas, in November of 1438, came a solution: co-regency. During the greater part of the following year, the political power was in fact shared between them, but soon this arrangement fell apart. After the Cortes of Lisbon in 1439, D. Pedro was acclaimed as the sole regent of Portugal.

  • 34 FARIA, 2015-16, 336-41

32Outside of Portugal, D. Pedro had to take into account the possibility of an attack by the Infantes of Aragon in the Castilian Civil War: during this period, he sent aid to both D. Juan II, king of Castile, and to Álvaro de Luna, his political ally, several times. Pedro governed over Portugal and its elites during a decade marked by upheaval, as much as by court struggles amongst the different aristocratic factions. The burdens brought about the costs of D. Pedro’s military spending generated much dissatisfaction. This, combined with an unpopular foreign affairs policy, significantly contributed to diminish his prestige as a regent; he soon found himself in an irreversible political situation at the Cortes of Lisbon in 144634. That same year, when D. Afonso V was 14 years old, there was a change in the politics of the kingdom that made D. Afonso V directly oppose the Duke of Coimbra and plunged Portugal into yet another civil war. This all came to an abrupt end with the death of D. Pedro at the Battle of Alfarrobeira in 1449.

  • 35 MORENO et al., 2006, 184-224

33During the reign of D. Afonso V (1438-81), the relations between the Iberian Kingdoms continued to undergo periods of serious military confrontation, not only by land, but also by sea. In 1454, an agreement with D. Juan II of Castile on the rights of navigation along the coast of Guinea was reached, but the attacks to the Atlantic islands persisted, as there was a robust incursion aiming at the conquest of the Moroccan cities. The mutual attempts to occupy the neighbouring thrones also continued. The continuous meddling of the Portuguese monarch in Castilian politics, namely during the succession crisis of D. Enrique IV, the attempt to marry Isabella la Catolica, and later his marriage with the Infanta D. Joana, are some examples of his intentions to conquer the kingdom of Castile, which were permanently hampered at Toro35. A peace treaty was signed in 1479 as the Treaty of Alcáçovas-Toledo, which assigned the ownership of Guinea, Madeira, Azores, and Cape Verde to Portugal, as well as the conquest of the kingdom of Fez. Spain was granted ownership of the Canary Islands and the conquest of the kingdom of Granada.

34This treaty not only established an agreement between the two monarchies in what concerns the succession on the throne but also tried to solve the conflicts in the Atlantic. In the same line, D. João II (1481-95) and the Catholic Monarchs arranged for the marriage of their children, Prince D. Afonso and D. Isabel of Castile, that was celebrated in Evora in 1490 and undone the following year because of the death of prince D. Afonso. After Columbus’ voyage to the Americas (1492), more negotiations about maritime hegemony took place: for Portugal, the treaty was meant to curb Spanish influence in the Atlantic, restricting it to Canaries. The result of these tough negotiations was formalised as the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494: it split the then-known world into zones of Portuguese and Castilian influence.

35Portugal had a scarce and rarefied population, ill-distributed from north to south, subdued and weakened by famine and epidemics. Still, it managed to have an agricultural output that was able to supply some products for exportation and guarantee its participation in the international commerce of Northern Europe and the Mediterranean. Fishing and salt extraction were two important economic activities for coastal towns, as was cattle raising and the grain cultivation for inner towns. The Kingdom was marked by a climate of crisis which was contrasted by the exploitation of the African coast and the conquests in Morocco. This was the Kingdom of Portugal in Late Middle Ages.

3. The notaries in medieval diplomacy

  • 36 There are several studies that draw a general definition of the Portuguese medieval notary public. (...)

36The competences and functions of the medieval Portuguese notary public have been established by the legal framework concerning their activity, which one can gaze at the Regimentos of 1305, 1340 and 1379, later codified in legislative compilations, such as the Ordenações Afonsinas. The terms established by law were that the notary public should be a literate laic man with the minimum age of 25 years old, and knowledge of the Latin language. Usually the group of men that constituted the notary public belonged to the middle urban classes, and the increasing wealth accumulated by them enabled them to ascend to the lower nobility36.

  • 37 La Auctoritas del Notario en la sociedad Medieval: Nominación y práticas, 2015, 7

37The creation, articulation and conformation of medieval notary public were subjected to Popes, Bishops, Parsons, Abbots, Kings, Lords and Councils. That is to say, to every person and/or institution with capacity to name these professionals of writing that enforce the “social confidence”, or the fides publica37. As authors of official documents, the capacity of giving firm probative value to the acts gives their testimony a great degree of veracity. This authority is clearly patent at the documentation that was analysed for this article. The value of evidence and the realibility of the documents is completely assured not only by the signatures of the monarchs but also by the subscription of the writers of the various documents who were invested by full auctoritas for the purpose of the act, which could only be conceeded by the entities that possessed the potestas, the Crowns of the respective kingdoms.

  • 38 Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (hencefoward ANTT), Gaveta 17, maço 6, document 7.
  • 39 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 3, document 26.

38Two public documents, regarding the forfeiture by D. Juan I and D. Constance, King and Queen of Castile, to D. João I, King of Portugal, of all their claims to the Portuguese throne, have survived. Dated from the 26th of March of 1387, one of them is written in Castilian, and the other in Portuguese; both are in vernacular. The former is written by Lope Fernandez, Scribe and Notary Public by warrant and grant of the King and Queen of Castile and, with the authority of the King of Portugal “porquanto el dicho lugar era suyo”38, and it is subscribed by Fernão Domingues, Scribe of the Chamber of the King of Portugal, as well as his general notary in all the king’s domains and royal court. The latter document is written by the aforementioned Fernão Domingues and it is subscribed by Lope Fernandez, but this one by permission and authority of the King of Portugal39. Therefore, we note that it was absolutely necessary the explanation of the royal permission to draw up the public instrument, since just so had the notary the capacity to endow the document with firm proof value, in a judicial district that belonged to another kingdom. His field of action was, exceptionally, enlarged.

39Permission, power and authority – granted by charter, as explicitly referred by Álvaro Gonçalves da Maia, Scribe of the Chamber of the King of Portugal and Public Notary at his court and all his kingdoms, at the making of the Peace Treaty and Perpetual Alliance between Portugal and Castile, on the 31st of October of 1411. In this document this notary specifies

  • 40 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11, document 4. Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1960b, 7-32. «(…) by permissio (...)

por Iiçençia, poder e abtorídat que me fue dada e otorgada, por alvará deI dicho senor rey de Castilla, pera en la ssu corte dar fee e testimonios de verdat en este trapto de paz e en Ias cosas que a el pertenesçen, en uno con eI dicho Sancho Romero, escrivano deI dicho ssenor rrey de Castílla, e con los testigos desuso escpritos, fuy presente quando los dichos senores rreyna e jnfante otorgaron esta carta de paz e todas Ias cosas en ella contenjdas et cada vna dellas e fizieron eI dicho juramento, ponjendo sus manos derechas en vna cruz e vn libro dauangellios, ssegunt e por la manera que suso es contenjdo e declarado40

40Among the several clauses of this extensive treaty between the King of Castile (who was not yet of age and represented by his guardians, the Queen Mother D. Catarina and the Infant D. Fernando) and D. João I of Portugal, the king of Castile committed himself to uphold this treaty until he was 14 years and 2 months old, and 30 days after being requested by the Portuguese king, when he would have to ratify the treaty within 3 months after the date it had been requested, and he would return to the Portuguese the goods that had been taken by Castile, at the beginning of the war, or their fair value, and both kings would appoint two homens bons and two notaries who would have to examine the above mentioned refunds within one month. That exam had its own and specific protocol that is cited in the document:

  • 41 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11, document 4 Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1960b, 15. «[the notaries] come (...)

[que os notários] vengan ante nos e en nuestra presençía fagan juramento ssobre la cruz e los santos euangellios, corporalmente con sus manos tanjidos, que bien, fiel, lealmente e verdadeiramente, veran los dichos bienes, yndo personaImente a los lugares do los dichos bíenes estiujeren e los estimaran quanto hoje dia valen o quanto valian agora ha çínco anos, qual la parte mas quisiere, commo dicho es, ssegund Dios e sus conçiençías, so el dicho juramento, aujendo enformaçíon de los omnes buenos de la comarca do fueren los dichos bienes; et eso mesmo los dichos notarios juraran que escreujran bien, fiel, leal e verdaderamente, presentes los dichos estimadores, las estimaçiones en que fueren estimados los dichos bienes; la qual estimaçion faran desde el dia que fueren rrequeridos por la parte o por au procurador fasta ocho meses primeros sseguientes, ai mas tardar, o antes, ssy antes buenamente pudieren, so el dicho juramento que fizieren41.

  • 42 Gabinete de História da Cámara do Porto, Vereações, livro 2, fl 47v. Edited in Monumenta Henricina, (...)

41On the 27th of January of 1402, Infant D. Fernando of Castile sent a letter directly to Álvaro Gonçalves da Maia. The Castillian monarch made it known that all existing truces were void, and that he would not grant audience to Portuguese ambassadors anymore, since it came to his knowledge that the king of Portugal had conspired against him, his lord and brother42.

  • 43 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11, document 4. Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1960b, 7-32.
  • 44 HOMEM, 1990, 33-34
  • 45 «Ordenações Afonsinas» is a legislative compilation enacted during the reign of king Afonso V of Po (...)
  • 46 AGUIAR, 2015, 23-32

42In this context, this scribe appears as an envoy of the Portuguese king, and this specific case shows his active participation in the diplomatic action between the two Kingdoms, in which his responsibility might even go beyond that of writing and producing documents. Hence, Álvaro Gonçalves da Maia is a name that is closely linked to the Avis dynasty. Scribe of the Chamber of D. João I approximately since the beginning the latter’s reign, this position would soon be compounded by his appointment as Public Notary in 1411, of which this first reference appears exactly in the Treaty of Aylon in which he actively participates. He will return to Castile with João Gomes da Silva and Dr. Martim do Sem, in the embassy concerning the war declaration to Granada, and again in October 141543, when he already had been nominated to the post of Vedor da Casa de El-Rei and had benefit from some donations and enfitheusis contracts from the Crown, all in the region of Porto44. In 1423, he ascended to Vedor da Fazenda (Exchequer), a post whose competences are stipulated at the Ordenações Afonsinas45, and that stands out as an office of responsibility in the royal administration, being responsible for the Royal Dispatch in matters concerning the taxation and management of the monarch patrimony, such as Properties of the Crown, royal expenses and revenues, taxation and tax officers. It is precisely at the beginning of this century that the post of Vedor da Fazenda (Exchequer) is not only one of the highest in the Royal Administration but also it was held by entities of undeniable outstanding positions in "the political society" of that time. The importance of the role Álvaro Gonçalves da Maia was made all the more obvious by the fact that he was knighted the very same year which was an indication of high social status, mainly in the Late Medieval Period. By then, we can understand that «knighthood» became a kind of relational mechanism between the monarch and the different strata that composed the socio-political organic of the land, understood as a theoretic construction around the knighthood emanated by the royal court, that was used as an instrument of political domination. The process of elitization of the «knighthood», without forgetting the relevance of the functional side of this social-political «institution», marks an honorific aspect that boosts its conversion in the code that characterizes aristocracy46.

  • 47 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11, document 14. pp.608-36.
  • 48 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11, document 4. Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1961, 58-69.
  • 49 CAÑAS GÁLVEZ, 2010, 708.

43The treaty of 1411 was confirmed47 and ratified48 by D. Juan II of Castile on the 30th of April of 1423. Both acts were written by the same notaries, Martín Gonzalez, Scribe of the Chamber of the Castilian king and his notary at the court and all his Kingdoms, and Martim Vasques, scribe of the Portuguese king and his public notary at his court and all his domains. Francisco de Paula Cañas Galvez identifies Martín Gonzalez as one of the most important officers of the Royal Chancelary of Juan II of Castile and one that the monarch greatly trusted49. Martín Gonzales was not only able to hold the post of Scribe of the Royal Chamber, but also as Scribe of the Privileges and Public Notary.

  • 50 CAETANO, 2011, 43-56.

44The climate at the court is very relevant, since the complexity and professionalization of the royal bureaucratic organisms lead monarchs to surrounding become more and more relevant. This was in line with the increasing importance of themselves by capable and qualified members, whose role at the court would these crafts at the courtier environment. Within the court, the nomination to an office is a status ascension in itself, as it implies closer proximity to the central power, not only of its service but also to the benefits of the generosity of the Crown that is mirrored through donations, honours and privileges50. It is from these literate men that an important part of the universe of these agents of writing will emerge in consonance with the monarchs increasing need to provide the administration of the kingdom with capable people with the knowledge that a more complex structure demanded. Their preponderance will become completely visible throughout the century, especially when the policy of awarding study grants is considered: it shows the awareness of the importance to provide the Royal Dispatch with a better intelectual preparation to face the new challenges he would come to face, as well as the necessity to prepare individuals that were able to represent the country before other kingdoms.

  • 51 Archivo General de Simancas (hencefoward AGS), Patronato Real, Legajo 29-21; ANTT, Livro das Demarc (...)

45Indeed, as was the case with many other peace treaties and perpetual alliances, the 1423 peace accord did not last long. On the 27th of January of 1432, D. João I made a capitulation of peace with Castile before Dr Diego González. This was to be negotiated by his ambassadors, Pedro Gonçalves from his council, Luís Gonçalves from the council of the Infante, and Rui Fernandes, from the Royal Dispatch. This document was written by Rui Galvão, secretary of the king and public notary by royal authority, and Fernando González de Orihuela, scribe of the chamber of the king of Castile51.

  • 52 Some aspects concerning his life (MORENO, 1979-80, 814-17). Concerning is professional value in dip (...)

46About the biographical aspects of Rui Galvão52, we note the factual reference of his presence at the Royal Chamber, the privacy he had with the King and the trust that was placed on him at several and intense diplomatic missions in the neighboring kingdom. In a memorial dated 1st of September of 1437, he addressed D. Gomes, abbot of the monastery of Saint Mary of Florence, stressing:

  • 53 Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Fondo Ashburnham, codex 1792, t. 1, p. 259. Edited in Monumenta Hen (...)

Direis à sua santidade como o dicto rei meu senhor seu mui obediente filho de idade de 11 anos me criou sempre em sua câmara, dormindo em ela, servindo depois que em taI idade fui, continuadamente em meu ofício, cometendo-me ele e fiando de mim seus segredos e outros coisas que pertenciam a seu povo, enviando-me, por vezes, fora de seus reinos, em suas embaixadas, com outros e em meu cabo assim como fui no tratamento e firmamento das pazes perpetuas que ora novamente foram firmadas entre o dicto rei, meu senhor, e el rei de Castela seendo todo escprito e firmado per minha mão, como seu secretário53.

47Thus, his experience not only as a Scribe but also as a political agent in the King’s closer circle endowed him with objective knowledge of the Crown’s interests and with a pragmatic approach that surely added value for any complex negotiation, either at a political or judicial level. In fact, the dynamic bureaucracy, efficiency and proximity of the Scribes of the Royal Chamber to the monarch himself transformed this office into one of the fastest and safest routes to reach very high social positions. His outstanding role at the royal administration made Rui Galvão a very important figure at the Royal Dispatch, with him being knighted after the battle of Alfarrobeira. His family will serve at the royal administration: his sons, João Rodrigues Galvão, will be bishop of Coimbra, escrivão da puridade and count of Arganil and Santa Comba, and Duarte Galvão will become a fidalgo (nobleman) of the royal house and will serve the king as his secretary and diplomat.

  • 54 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 23. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 207-209, and also edited (...)
  • 55 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 23. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 210-213, and also edited (...)
  • 56 Idem
  • 57 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 7, fl. 107. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 213-220
  • 58 Idem
  • 59 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 18. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 220-230, and also edited (...)
  • 60 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 62. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 230.
  • 61 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 7, fl. 108. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 230-237.

48Between November and December of that year, the diplomatic documentation intensifies: the ratification of the peace treaty with Castile of 1431, for the second time, by D. João I, on the 7th of November, in Almeirim54; the confirmation of that very ratification, on the following day, in Abrantes, by the Infants D. Duarte e D. Henrique55; the confirmation by Infant D. Pedro on the 13th of that month, in Segura56; and two days later, in Castelo Branco, the same Infant empowers Pedro Gonçalves, a member of the council of the king of Portugal, to support the king of Castile on the rebellion of Alconchel57. Approximately one month later, on the 10th of December, in Nisa, Infante D. Pedro confirms the homage and the promises made in Salamanca, by the ambassadors Pedro Gonçalves e Rui Fernandes, of not supporting the rebels in Alconchel58. A week later, still in Nisa, he asserts to Fernán Lopez de Burgos, (Notary and Ambassador of the King of Castile) the homage and the promises regarding the handover of that castle59. That same day, in Sardoal, Infant D. Duarte confirms to the same ambassador the signed agreements, after D. Juan II of Castile had renounced his claims to the above-mentioned castle60, and one week later, D. João I de Portugal confirms the agreements according to his first-born son and heir, in Alcochete61.

49All these documents were written exclusively by Martim Gil, Scribe of the Chamber and Notary Public of the King of Portugal, and by Diego Fernandéz de Castro, Scribe of the Chamber also and Notary Public of the King of Castile. The fact that the same notaries followed a specific process in a consistent and systematic way is not at all uncommon. Thus, it appears that it is not only the responsibility of writing a document, but also the profound knowledge of the discussed matters and the positions of the involved parts during crucial moments of their respective monarch’s reigns that led to that these agents of writing being appointed as royal emissaries during situations of international political conflict. Therefore, it is not a mere coincidence that the appointment of these scribes of the royal chamber to such a delicate diplomatic mission, as was the case during the two last months of 1432. Regarding Diego Fernandéz de Castro, Francisco de Paula Canas Galvez (2012, 90) refers that his solvency and experience in the management of bureaucratic business and his knowledge of law must have been considerable in the autumn of 1432, bearing in mind that, since at least August 1411, he had served D. Juan II as a escribano de la Audiencia.

  • 62 Chancelarias portuguesas, 1999, 724, 810, 845, 1024, 1035, 1127, 1165, 1217, 1311.
  • 63 Chancelarias portuguesas, 2002, 168, 180, 264, 312, 371, 372, 393, 417, 423, 577, 585, 604.

50In turn, Martim Gil performed at the service of the royal bureaucracy as a Scribe of his Chamber and General Public Notary62, and from 1434, as Scribe of the Court63. The importance and complexity of all these negotiations were to a great degree performed by notaries, which is understandable taking into account the judicial knowledge that they had, which made them ideal partners for the performance of missions of diplomatic and political nature.

  • 64 GOMES, 1996, 409-27.

51In fact, since the 14th century there is a process of substantial bureaucratization and departmentalization of the charges and functions with specific competences regarding writing, which reinforced the role of the notary as a public officer even more, with significant power either at the external and internal planes. The King’s Chamber is not only a place for the domestic group and its dependents, but also where the ones who are close to the Crown are the expression of royal authority and the practice of public power, fitting too into another important space, the court, where the counsellors and the royal advisory council meet64.

52Therefore, we start to note a common profile for these men: servants of the Royal Chamber, with high intellectual preparation regarding the profound understanding of the public bureaucratic apparatus and diplomatic sensibility.

  • 65 Concerning the training of diplomats in late medieval Castille vd. VILLAROEL GONZALEZ, 2018, 117-14 (...)

53The 14th century was a period of clear modernization of the Portuguese government apparatus, that had started to be implemented from the end of the 14th century onwards and was intensified along the first half of the 15th century, when government matters progressively become more complex, thus demanding more and more the presence of “specialists” in the everyday management of the kingdom65.

  • 66 GOMES, 2005, 109.

54The planning of public administration demanded a more extensive bureaucracy from several points of view. The Crown recruited lawmen according to rigorous criteria and demanded for specialized training, of whom was required absolute loyalty. From the Central Administration sprang the ambassadors who would go on to serve their king abroad, routinely and actively conducting international negotiations with foreign powers. This was regarded as the safest and most reliable way to greater social and economic ascension, inclusively to nobility66.

55Among them, there were some “well-known ambassadors”, as Rui Galvão e Afonso Garcês.

  • 67 FARO, 1965, 81.
  • 68 CARVALHO, 2001, 141-42.
  • 69 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 8, document 16. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1958, 356-360.
  • 70 Idem
  • 71 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 50. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1958, 361-364.
  • 72 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 48. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1958, 364-371.
  • 73 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 8 document 16.
  • 74 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11 document 2.

56Afonso Garcês had a long and prolific career at the royal administration. Scribe of the Royal Chamber from 1454, he also went with king D. Afonso V to Ceuta in 1458. He took part in consecutive embassies to Castile with Dr. Diogo da Fonseca, count of Atouguia and, in 1463, to Castile and France with Lopo de Almeida and Dr. Pedro Fernandes67. He was promoted to secretary, with permission to attend the Royal Council68. He was present at the conflict in Toro in 1476, and in September 1479 he, alongside Benito Rodríguez de Castro (Scribe of the Chamber and Notary of the King of Castile), was responsible for writing the agreement between the ambassadors of the two Kingdoms and, in order to insure the necessary background for peace69, the acceptance by Infanta D. Beatriz de Portugal70 of the agreement on the capitulations agreed between Isabel la Catolica, and D. Afonso V of Portugal71, of the restitution to Beatriz Pacheco, countess of Medell, Alonso de Monroy and Alonso Portocarrero72, and other restitutions of several fortresses. On the 6th of March of 1480, the same notaries participated not only at the peace treaty between D. Fernando of Aragon and D. Afonso73, but also on the capitulation accorded between them concerning the marriage of D. Afonso, son of Prince D. João, with Infanta Isabel of Castile74.

57Afterwards, Afonso Garcês was knighted and received donations and privileges from the Crown. In 1481 he served as a scribe at the Fazenda of Lisbon. The ennoblement of these officers becomes an inexorable reality during the 15th century, facilitated by the intensification of practice of differentiating by means of knighthood those who distinguish themselves at the service of the king. The rise of this notable group of bureaucrats to knighthood seems to be due to the performance of royal bureaucratic offices.

58During this period, there was an intensification of the diplomatic relations of the Kingdom of Portugal, not only with the Iberian Kingdoms but also with the Holy See, England, Burgundy, the Holy Roman German Empire, France and Brittany. These contacts facilatated the establishment and growth of international commercial networks, which were in the interest of the wealthy southern European and Franco-Italian Mediterranean cities. That is to say, not only was it essential to have good political and juridical knowledge but also to master other languages as Castilian, French (Gallic court, duchy of Burgundy, House of Lancaster), and mainly Latin as the lingua franca.

59Being a connoisseur of Greek and Latin and an enthusiast of the study of the sacred and profane history, Rui de Pina, Scribe and Public Notary of the king, will later become chronicler during the kingdom of D. João II of Portugal (1481-95), who trusted him several diplomatic missions. In 1482, he was sent to Castile twice, one as secretary of the ambassador Baron of Alvito, and another to complain about the Treaty of the Terçarias de Moura that set the guarantees for peace between the two kingdoms. He was charged to nullify that same treaty the following year, being accompanied by Friar António, the king’s confessor. In 1485, he participated (as secretary) in an embassy that the king sent to Rome to greet the new Pope, Innocent VIII, with the Ambassadors D. Fernando de Noronha (the king’s counsellor) and Dr. Vasco Fernandes de Lucena (the main chronicler of the kingdom at the time).

  • 75 ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, parte 2, maço 1, document 36. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 145-152.
  • 76 ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, parte 2, maço 1, document 37. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 385, 152-1 (...)
  • 77 ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, parte 1, maço 1, document 31. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 385, 244-2 (...)
  • 78 ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, parte 1, maço 1, document 32. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 247-248 .
  • 79 ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, parte 1, maço 1, document 33. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 248-253.
  • 80 AGS,Patronato Real, Legajo 50, fl.8. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 268-273.
  • 81 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 50, fl.26. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 382-384.
  • 82 AGS, Patronato Real ,Legajo 50, fl.24 . Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 385.

60He is the author of the minute of commitment of Infanta D. Isabel of Castile and D. Manuel of Portugal to Infanta D. Beatriz of Portugal, as it had been agreed at the peace capitulations between the two kingdoms75, of the acceptance of the Portuguese Infant, acting as third part if the named judges didn’t agree to deduce the differences between Portugal and Castile76, of the testimony of the commitment of D. Manuel of Portugal to Pedro de Aranda, bishop of Calahorra, representing the queen of Castile, so that, according to the capitulation terms, the above mentioned peace would be in force for a year77, of the version of that same testimony in Portuguese language78. He is also the autor of the response of the bishop of Calahorra to the requisition of ambassador Duarte Furtado on the compliance with stipulation at that commitment act79, of the ratification and approval made by the Catholic Monarchs of the commitment and nomination of the judges to discuss questions regarding the capitulations with Portugal80. He is also responsible for writing the approval by Prince Afonso of Portugal of the marriage that had been celebrated on his behalf by Fernão Silveira with the Infanta Isabel of Castile81, and the approval and oath bestowed by the above mentioned prince and by king João II of Portugal of the capitulation for that very marriage82. These last two instruments were written in Évora, one in April and the other in June of 1490.

61In 1493, he was chosen to discuss the questions surrounding the expedition of Christopher Columbus with the Catholic Monarchs. Described as a man of the court, a palatine and political person, he was the author of the Testament of D. João II and, after the coronation of D. Manuel I (1495-1521), all the privileges he had received from D. João II were kept. He also received even more new privileges, such as the Main Chronicler of the Kingdom, guarda-mor of the Tower of Tombo and the Royal Library.

62Notaries and culture go hand in hand. No doubt, it is not surprising that these agents of writing, beyond wide political and juridical knowledge, had received a significant education and intellectual preparation. Therefore, they were men of culture. But is it possible to observe this cultural side? The public instrument is essentially a practical text where all determinations of the contract between the parts, however specific they might be, are fixed in writing. But, although notarial documents do not allow much room for their material author demonstrate his eloquence, it has its own style which sometimes allows us to make those deductions. For instance, in the protocol of the document for the ratification of the Peace Treaty of Aylon, signed by D. Juan II of Castile, Martin Gonzalez (scribe of his chamber and his public notary), and Martim Vasques (scribe of the chamber of the king of Portugal) decided to demonstrate and stress the fundamental need of a pacific and harmonious climate between the two kingdoms, as said and declared

  • 83 «the Holy Scriptures and the philosophers and the ancient sages taught that experience demonstrates (...)

a sagrada escpritura e os filosofos e sabios antiguos ensinaram e a esperiençia, que é maestra demostrativa de todas las cosas, lo demuestra, la paz e la concordía es virtud prinçipal e madre de todas las virtudes; ca, ssegund diz SantAgostin, esta serena e amansa las voluntades e coraçones de los omnes e pone amorios entre los coraçones dellos, tuelle e quita os engafios, rrefrena las batallas e pelejas e abaixa e apremia los soberujos, ama los homjldes e justíçieros, concorda los enemígo e aduersarios e discordes; esta non sabe enloqueçer, non ssabe vanagloríar, onrra a justiçia e castiga e corrige los malos. Quien una vez la rresçibio e teve debe-la ssaber guardar e teer; e, quien la perdio debe-la buscar e fazer mucho por la cobrar; ca, quien non fuere fallado en ella desechado de Dios Padre e desheredado do Filho e fecho es ageno deI Espritu Santo. Finalmente, esta es fin e acabamento de todas la guerras e díscordías e males e fundamiento de todos los bienes83.

63The reference to Saint Agustin’s City of God is followed by this addition of the above mentioned notaries

  • 84 «And so much is the good of peace, according to the book City of God that, in all earthly and morta (...)

Et tanto es el bien de la paz, ssegunt el mesmo diz en el libro de la Cidade de Deos que, avn en todas las cosas terrenas e mortales, non ay cosa que mas graçíosamente se' suela ovyr njn ay cosa que mas deseadamente se suela cudiçiar. Et, finalmente, non ay cosa que mejor que ella se possa falhar; esta predico e enseão nuestro Saluador Jhesu Christo en el mundo e deixou a sus diçipulos, por lo qual todos los omnes, espeçial e sinaladamente los rreys e prinçipes e grandes ssenhores la deuen amar, teer, buscar e manter e guardar; porquanto a elIos pertenesçe de rreger e governar e mantener ssus rregnos e ssenhorios e tierras e súbditos en paz e en justiçia e sosiego84.

64Finishing with the famous quote by Cassiodoro «grant gloria es al prinçipe manter en paz e sosiego e justiçia da ssua terra».

4. Conclusion

65While presenting a brief analysis of the participation of the notaries and of their activity in the Iberian diplomacy between the 14th and 15th centuries, we have been able to understand the role of the notary at the diplomatic world discussed in this article, although a systematic, quantitative and global approach on this subject is very much needed. Despite the existence of just a few and sporadic references in the documentation of their presence, it is believed that notaries, as envoys to various diplomatic missions, also hold an important position in the negotiations between the Kingdoms. We point out some examples of notaries with “careers” in diplomacy, not only accompanying emissaries and ambassadors, but also directly taking part in the correspondence between different agents. These diplomatic agents also served as emissaries, through their presence at specific processes, either for short periods of time (or, indeed, longer ones) and they occupy important places as they are closer to the central power, a position that was not extraneous to their social and cultural standing. Nonetheless, the Monarchs appointed men of their trust to posts in the royal administration, and one can find an increasing level of professionalization and qualification in the holders of the palace bureaucratic positions that are parallel to the progressive evolution of the enlargement and departmentalization of different areas of govern. Those with university education and with a superior technical level and high professional qualifications are increasingly requested because of the greater demands of palace bureaucracy. These circumstances led to the practice of distinguishing these agents at the royal service for their performance of bureaucratic functions by means of knighthood. This process of status promotion may be considered, regarding the public offices, as a reward at the end of their career, together with donations and privileges awarded by the king, and one can find examples not only of their personal properties and possessions but also some in which their families remain in the circle of the royal administration and the court. Therefore, we think they undoubtedly were administrative and bureaucratic elite whose professional worth and juridical knowledge were fully demonstrated.

66Without devaluating the role of dialogue and argumentation, that are fundamental to the diplomatic activity, the importance of writing is unquestionable: negotiations, alliances, commercial treaties, political collaboration plans, petitions for peace and assistance – all this activity must be dully registered, in writing. These contracts are used as instruments of political, economical and diplomatic communication, and their formality is influenced by notaries and their services at the royal chancelleries, adapted to various situations of conflict, war, harmony or peace. These public instruments (along with other forms of diplomatic records such as missives, epistles, among others) connect people, and in this particular case, kingdoms, safeguarding their memory for all eternity.

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Notes

1 HOBB, 2014, 1066.

2 OCHOA BRUN, 1990, 17-29.

3 HOMEM, 1988, 223-24.

4 Monumenta Henricina, 1960; Monumenta Henricina, 1960b; Monumenta Henricina, 1961; Monumenta Henricina, 1962; Monumenta Henricina, 1964.

5 As gavetas da Torre do Tombo, 1960-77.

6 SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1958-1962.

7 SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960.

8 PÉQUIGNOT, 2017.

9 LAZZARINI, 2015.

10 FARELO, 2011, 231-259

11 SANTAREM, 1842-1854.

12 LA FIGANIÉRE, 1853.

13 On varied topics, see GONÇALVES, 1939, 278-83; SAMARAN, 1938, 13-26.; RUSSELL, 1940, 20-30.; DINIS, 1955, 42-115; PINTO, 1956, 792; FARO et al., 1961, 249-270.; COSTA, 1963,. 123-160.; NUNES, 1963; MARQUES, 1963, 59-78; RAU, 1973; RAU, 1986, 66-80.

14 Some of the works of this author MORENO, 1972, 163-66; MORENO, 1979-80; MORENO, 1984a, 6-7; MORENO, 1984b 193-204; MORENO, 1986, 69-101; MORENO, 1988 213-19; MORENO, 1990 93-103; MORENO, 1994, 12-14; MORENO, 1995, 135-50; MORENO, 1999, 93-103; 2006, 179-92; MORENO et al., 2006.

15 FONSECA,1986; 1988, 383-93; 2003, 53-61; 2009a, 45-60; e 2009b, 57-74.

16 BECEIRO PITA, 1994, 441-55; 1996, 149-186; 1997, 1735-1744.; 1999, 79-104.; e 2009, 193-228.

17 MENDONÇA, Manuela 1991a, 1991b, 1994 e 1995, 341-353.

18 On varied topics, see FERNANDES, 2000-2001, 211-224; GOMES, 2000-2001, 103-110.; OLIVEIRA, 2002, 38-63.; LIMA et al., 2003, 335-346.; RAMOS, 2005, 191-200. RAMOS, 2015, 23-36.; LACERDA, 2008; REDONDO GARCÍA, 2005, 165-184.; LOWE, 2007, 101-129; GARRIDO, 2007; GOMES, 2009, 235-248.; PARISOTO, 2011; CAETANO, 2011; MARINHO, 2015, 83-96; MARINHO, 2017; MARINHO et al., 2015; FARIA, 2018, 695-721.

19 BRANCO, 2007, 79-100.

20 FARELO, 2010, 723–763, and 2016, 291 - 309.

21 FARIA, 2009, 209-227; MIRANDA et al., 2010,109-127; 2011, 257-268; 2012, 211-224; 2013 2015-2016, 327-342.

22 GOMES, 2005, COELHO, 2005, DUARTE, 2005, GOMES,2005, FONSECA, 2005.

23 CAMPOS, 2008; SILVA, 2012,; RODRIGUES, 2012.

24 ALMEIDA, 1996, BORLIDO, 1996, BRITO, 2001, CAPAS, 2001; CARVALHO, 2001; DURÃO, 2002; HOMEM, 1990,; HOMEM et al., 1991, 403-423.; FERREIRA, 2001, FREITAS, 1996; FREITAS, 1999; HENRIQUES, 2001; MONTEIRO, 1997; MONTEIRO et al., 1989.

25 MORENO et al., 2006, 12-33.

26 Regarding the relations between Portugal and Castille prior to this period Vd. As relações de fronteira no século de Alcanices. Actas das IV Jornadas Luso-Espanholas de História Medieval, 1998.

27 GOMES, 2005, 25 and 107

28 COELHO, 2005, 32-59.

29 MONTEIRO, 1999, 80-81.

30 SOUSA, 2015, 162-77.

31 For a better understanding of the entire process of negotiation vd. ÁLVAREZ PALENZUELA, 2009, 47-90. Concerning Castillian external relations in the same period vd. GONZÁLEZ SÁNCHEZ, 2013, 133-204.

32 Generally, the Lei Mental (Mental Law), regulated the transmission and sucession of the Crown’s assets only to be inherited by the eldest son, and forbade its inheritance to the rest of the heirs.

33 DUARTE, 2015, 232-36

34 FARIA, 2015-16, 336-41

35 MORENO et al., 2006, 184-224

36 There are several studies that draw a general definition of the Portuguese medieval notary public. Among them BARROS, 1959, 363-484; PEREIRA, 1989, 615-690, COELHO, 1996, 173-211, and NOGUEIRA, 2008.

37 La Auctoritas del Notario en la sociedad Medieval: Nominación y práticas, 2015, 7

38 Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo (hencefoward ANTT), Gaveta 17, maço 6, document 7.

39 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 3, document 26.

40 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11, document 4. Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1960b, 7-32. «(…) by permission, power and autority that was given and bestowed to me by charter from the king of Castille, to give faith and testimony of truth in his court regarding this peace treaty together with Sancho Romero, scribe of King of Castille, and with the witnesses above mentioned, I was present when the queen and infante bestowed this letter of peace and all things content in it and made the oath placing their right hands upon a cross and a book of gospels, according to the manner that is here declared (…)» [Author’s translation]

41 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11, document 4 Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1960b, 15. «[the notaries] come before us and in our presence make an oath upon the cross and the holy gospels, bodily with their hands, that well, faithfully, loyally and truthfully, will see the assets, and go personally to the places of those assets will estimate how much today they are worth and what they have been for the last few years, whichever part they most want, as according to God and their conscienses, under oath, inform the omnes buenos of its worth, the notaries swore that they will write well, faithfully, loyally and truthfully in the presence of the estimadores the estimatives in which those are estimated; which they shall estimate from the day they are demanded by the parts or by the procurator for the first eight consecutive months, at the latest, or sooner as well as they may » [Autor’s translation].

42 Gabinete de História da Cámara do Porto, Vereações, livro 2, fl 47v. Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1960, 277.

43 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11, document 4. Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1960b, 7-32.

44 HOMEM, 1990, 33-34

45 «Ordenações Afonsinas» is a legislative compilation enacted during the reign of king Afonso V of Portugal. The code consisited in five books, which regulated administrative, judicial, civil and penal aspects of the Portuguese kingdom.

46 AGUIAR, 2015, 23-32

47 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11, document 14. pp.608-36.

48 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11, document 4. Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1961, 58-69.

49 CAÑAS GÁLVEZ, 2010, 708.

50 CAETANO, 2011, 43-56.

51 Archivo General de Simancas (hencefoward AGS), Patronato Real, Legajo 29-21; ANTT, Livro das Demarcações e Pazes, fl 124. Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1962, 60-89, and also edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 183.

52 Some aspects concerning his life (MORENO, 1979-80, 814-17). Concerning is professional value in diplomatic relations and/or negotiations between Portugal and Castille, CAÑAS GALVEZ, 2009, 709-10.

53 Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Fondo Ashburnham, codex 1792, t. 1, p. 259. Edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1964, 205-206. «You shall inform his Holiness how my lord and king and his most obedient son has raised me since the age of 11 at his chamber, sleeping in it, serving him continuosly devoting myself entirely and trusting me with his secrets and other matters that belonged to the people, sending me, sometimes, outside the kingdom, in his embassies with several others for the treatment and firmament of the perpetual peaces with the king of Castille, all written by my own hand as his secretary» [Autor’s translation].

54 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 23. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 207-209, and also edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1962,167-170

55 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 23. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 210-213, and also edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1962,170-174

56 Idem

57 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 7, fl. 107. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 213-220

58 Idem

59 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 18. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 220-230, and also edited in Monumenta Henricina, 1962, 176-178.

60 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 62. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 230.

61 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 7, fl. 108. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1960, 230-237.

62 Chancelarias portuguesas, 1999, 724, 810, 845, 1024, 1035, 1127, 1165, 1217, 1311.

63 Chancelarias portuguesas, 2002, 168, 180, 264, 312, 371, 372, 393, 417, 423, 577, 585, 604.

64 GOMES, 1996, 409-27.

65 Concerning the training of diplomats in late medieval Castille vd. VILLAROEL GONZALEZ, 2018, 117-146.

66 GOMES, 2005, 109.

67 FARO, 1965, 81.

68 CARVALHO, 2001, 141-42.

69 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 8, document 16. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1958, 356-360.

70 Idem

71 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 50. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1958, 361-364.

72 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 49, fl. 48. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1958, 364-371.

73 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 8 document 16.

74 ANTT, Gaveta 18, maço 11 document 2.

75 ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, parte 2, maço 1, document 36. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 145-152.

76 ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, parte 2, maço 1, document 37. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 385, 152-154.

77 ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, parte 1, maço 1, document 31. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 385, 244-247.

78 ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, parte 1, maço 1, document 32. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 247-248 .

79 ANTT, Corpo Cronologico, parte 1, maço 1, document 33. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 248-253.

80 AGS,Patronato Real, Legajo 50, fl.8. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 268-273.

81 AGS, Patronato Real, Legajo 50, fl.26. Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 382-384.

82 AGS, Patronato Real ,Legajo 50, fl.24 . Edited in SUÁREZ FERNÁNDEZ, 1962, 385.

83 «the Holy Scriptures and the philosophers and the ancient sages taught that experience demonstrates that peace and concord are the principal virtues and mother of all virtues; according to SantAgostin, tames the wills and hearts of men and puts love among their hearts, removes the deceptions, calms battles and fights and lowers and pushes the ensigns, loves the humble and the justs, brings together enemies and adversaries does not know how to craze, does not know how to boast, honors justice and punishes and corrects the evil. Whoever, once and for all, has received it must know to have it and keep it, those who do not respect it must be rejected by God and disinherited by the Son and the Holy Spirit. Finally, this is the end of all wars and disputes and evils and foundation of all goods» [Author’s translation].

84 «And so much is the good of peace, according to the book City of God that, in all earthly and mortal things, not a thing that more graciously is to be heard nor is more desirable. This is the preaching and teaching of our Saviour Jhesus Christ in the world and left to his disciples, whereby all men, especially the great kings and princes and lords have given must love, have, seek and uphold and to keep; inasmuch as they shall belong to the government and to maintain and uphold their kingdoms and lordships and lands and subjects in peace and justice and ease» [Author’s translation].

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