ORIGINAL TITLE Title: Relacion de los meritos y servicios de Don Pedro Ossorio Motezuma
PRONUNCIATION: Relacion de los meritos y servicios de Don Pedro Ossorio Motezuma
TYPE: Manuscript
DIMENSIONS: 30 cm
COMPONENTS: 6 printed sheets, 11 manuscript pages. Manuscript in black ink, in sealed paper.
ITEM ID: 4395

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Blood Purity Document of a Descendant of Emperor Montezuma

DATE
Decade: 1770s
Century: 18th (1701-1800)
Notes: Printed document – Madrid: 1771; Mexico: 1773. Manuscript document – Mexico: 1775.

Signed by: The descendant of Montezuma, Don Pedro Ossorio Motezuma, Pedro de Garibay (Viceroy of the New Spain in 1808), among others.

Purpose of the blood purity:
Pedro Ossorio presents his blood purity to revalidate his studies in Law of the University of Granada in Spain, so he can practice in the New Spain. In the first manuscript part it’s stated that Ossorio makes a formal petition to the Real Audiencia of the New Spain (the was the highest tribunal of the Spanish crown in the Colony) to practice law in the Real Colegio de Abogados of Mexico.

The Colegio de Abogados had a strict racial policy: only those of pure blood could practice law in Mexico. The applicants had to demonstrate their “cleanness and purity of blood”, so they were asked to prove that their lineage.

In the second printed document, which is the formal interrogation of the Colegio de Abogados, is composed by 5 questions that must be responded. On the 3rd question is noted that the applicants must be: ”cristianos viejos, limpios de toda mala raza, de moros, judíos, mulatos y penitenciados por el Santo Oficio de la Inquisición, ni de los nuevamente convertidos a nuestra Santa Fe” (Old Christians, clean of all bad race, Moors, Jews, mulattoes or condemned by the Holy Office of the Inquisition, or the newly converted to our Holy Faith).

About the document:
The first printed part, it’s a copy from the archives of Castilla in Spain, extracted for the sole purpose of forming the current blood purity.

In this part, the ascendancy of Pedro Ossorio is traced with detail. On his father side, it’s is said that they are an outstanding family which fought during many generations against the Moors: Andres Navarro de Alba fought against them in the Villa de Seron in Granada, Don Pedro de Leon killed Abenrrhao (an important Moor prince), his grandfather Joseph Fernandez Ossorio was beheaded by the Moors in the City of Oran, etc.

As the family’s major accomplishments it’s cited the expulsion of the moors of the kingdoms of Granada and Murcia.

On his mother side, his lineage is traced up to the Emperor Montezuma itself: Pedro Motezuma, prince of the Kingdom of Mexico and Lord of the Province of Tula and Cathalina Quiauhuxichi- daughter of Suchipain Chief of the Kingdom of Tezcoco –brother of Emperor Montezuma.

Pedro Ossorio is said to be the 7th legitimate grandson of the Emperor Montezuma.

The second manuscript part of the document is formed by the testifications of the witnesses, that must respond to the 5 questions of the formulary, which consists in: stating their names, family, age and precedence; also to respond about the applicant: information about the family of the applicant, linage, any crimes, convictions, condemnations, etc. The applicant must include proofs of baptism of him and his family.

As witnesses, Ossorio had many important and notorious noble man of the New Spain, including Pedro de Garibay, which later became Viceroy.