June 28 (June 18, o.s.)

Jamaica: The Council orders that the sloop Content be impressed and used to keep other ships from leaving the harbor of Port Royal.

Massachusetts: Jonathan Putnam falls ill. John Putnam Sr. and Samuel Parris are at his house, and after observing his suffering they begin to suspect witchcraft and send for Mercy Lewis, one of the afflicted girls, to come and see if there are any witches around. She comes and is immediately struck dumb, but when asked to raise her hand if she sees any witches she does. When she recovers she says she saw Rebecca Nurse and Martha Carrier holding Jonathan’s head.

New Mexico: In the evening Agustín de Colina, the local priest in El Paso, arrives at the house of Governor Vargas with several large books. He tells the governor that, according to the books, he incurred censure by interfering with ecclesiastical jurisdiction when he order a stop to the investigation of priests on June 23. Vargas replies that he was not interfering with ecclesiastical jurisdiction and that his obligation is to do his duty rather than read dry theological treatises, and that if he has incurred censure Colina should absolve him, because he was unaware of any ecclesiastical laws he violated.

Colina then mentions Francisco de Anaya Almazán, the provincial official who informed Vargas about the investigation and was subsequently excommunicated, and says that he almost threw him out of church earlier in the day. Vargas notes that Father Hinojosa, interim president in capite of the Franciscans in New Mexico, absolved Anaya the previous night, and Colina agrees that that happened, implying that it is why he didn’t actually throw him out of church.

Vargas then kneels and says that he doesn’t want to continue this discussion until Colina absolves him. Colina tries to get the governor to look at the books he has brought, but he refuses and insists on absolution. Colina relents and grants him absolution on the grounds that he was unaware of the laws he violated.

Satisfied, Vargas calls for his secretary of government and war, Juan Páez Hurtado, and asks Colina to absolve him as well. Colina does so, then tries to lecture the governor further, but gets nowhere and leaves. Vargas then writes up what happened and has Páez sign his account.

After all this excitement is over, Vargas drafts a letter to the viceroy describing the whole ordeal over the investigation and insisting that it is part of Father Hinojosa’s campaign to usurp royal jurisdiction.  He sends the letter off with copies of the proceedings in the affair to give the viceroy a sense of what happened.

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Published in: on June 28, 2008 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  

One Comment

  1. […] Mexico: The viceroy, the Conde de Galve, receives Governor Vargas’s letter of June 28 regarding the controversial investigation of priestly conduct being conducted by the Franciscans. […]


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