Glossary of Terms

Workshop participants created the glossary below, but also check out the glossary made by Claire, Will and Katie, high school students from Central Academy in Des Moines, at the end of this post.

Glosario español

Alcabala – type of sales tax.

Almud – A volume measure for dry goods, variable by region and time.

Censo – a nominal yearly payment due to the holder of the property named.

Ciento(s) – a type of tax or tribute.

Corregidor – a representative of the royal jurisdiction over a town and its district.

Depositario general – a type of  city official named by the town council.

Ducado – a monetary unit introduced to Castile when the Catholic Kings reformed the monetary system.  By the seventeenth century, the ducat was no longer minted and only used for accounting purposes.

Escudo – a gold coin at this time worth 16 silver reales.

Fanega – a wooden box used as a standard of measurement for dry goods.

Juros – lordly rights or inherited rights.

Justicia – the area for which a lord would have the right to dispense justice.

Licenciado – person holding a university degree.

Lonja – a storage space for market products/merchandise.  In this document, the lonja may be a room of the larger house, shed or building for storing/keeping items.

Maioral – the chief herder in charge of caring for herd animals and overseeing animal breeding.

Marques/Marquesa – a noble title, more or less equivalent to a Marquess/Marchioness.

Maravedi – a medieval Spanish copper coin and monetary unit, 1/68th of a silver real; by the seventeenth-century this monetary unit was only for accounting purposes.

Maravedi de vallón – a maravedi that is made with a certain mixture of copper and silver, and only copper from the period of Philip V.

Mayorazgo – primogeniture, or a practice that leaves the largest or entire portion of inheritance to the first-born son.  In this document, mayorazgo also refers to a first-born son’s right to inherit and the inheritance portion itself.

Memoria – such an understanding here emphasizes its religious dimension, i.e. a person’s efforts to assure the salvation of their soul by means of prayers/masses; but it could also include charitable works.

Millones – a tax on edible produce or products.

Real – Spanish unit of currency used from the 14th until the 19th century.

Regidor – a type of official that governs over a city and its district.

Sis(s)a – a tax on edible products.

T(t)ercias Reales – the royal third, a particular type of tax

English Glossary

Prebendary – any clergyman in the Catholic Church who has a right to a prebend (monetary stipend), or the person who distributes the prebends.

Rights of high and low – the rights of high and low justice (high justice was that held by the sovereign and included capital punishment, while low justice refers to the authority of minor lords and ladies over their peasants to resolve more minor civil disputes)