Joseph J. Gwara, Jr.
Copyright 1984, Georgetown University Press.
Description of the collection. The collection of medieval and early modern documents treated in this HAND LIST consists of 289 charters (administrative records) from Catalonia, Spain. The manuscripts date from 1261 to 1690 (the bulk falling in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries) and are written in a variety of hands on single leaves of parchment or paper ranging in size from 14.3xl8cm to well over 60x60cm.1 Although the great majority (271) of the documents are composed in medieval Latin, eighteen of them-chiefly testaments of the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries--are written in Catalan.2 Most of the manuscripts are in a relatively good state of preservation, and those that are not are generally legible with the aid of an ultraviolet lamp; in a few instances, however, the severe deterioration of parchment prevents an accurate reading.3
The collection comprises a variety of representative documents of the period, including (from secular sources) bills of sale, receipts, oaths of fealty, establishments of tenants on property, petitions, dispute settlements, donations (including post-obit), testaments, connubial contracts, exchanges, and notarial acts, and (from ecclesiastical sources) collations to benefices, receipts of church revenues, establishments of tenants on ecclesiastical benefices, arrangements for obits, petitions of ecclesiastics, and so on. Also included are a small number of copies of official and royal documents, almost all of which are dispute settlements, concessions, and other decisions made by a royal procurator, or, in the case of locally issued documents, announcements of legislation or concessions made to area inhabitants.
The transactions recorded in the charters most often concern the disposition (e.g., sale, rental, exchange, lease) of land, either as entire estates or farms (referred to by such words as domus, honor, locus, mansus, and, notably, castrum) or-more frequently-small parcels (area, fexia, morabatinata, patium, pecia, trotium, and so forth). In a few instances, other commodities are sold or exchanged, including rights and privileges (with respect to the collection of obligations and tithes from tenants), foodstuffs (grain, wine, etc.), and buildings (domus, hospicium). Also prevalent are charters concerning feudal and allodial land tenure, the collection of obligations from tenants, and credit transactions (the latter being especially prominent among sixteenth- and seventeenth-century records). Few documents treat the disposition of movable property.
Participants in the transactions are almost invariably artisans and merchants who hail from the medieval Catalonian commercial centers of Barcelona and Vic, or from smaller towns and villages in the vicinity.4 Less frequently, knights, royal officials, and other individuals of high social status such as castle lords or local judicial and governmental figures undertake transactions. It is also not uncommon for clerics, ranging in status from parish priests, nuns, monks, and vicars to abbots and canons, to participate in some arrangements, generally acting as representatives of parish churches, convents, monasteries, or, in cases involving ecclesiastical benefices or petitions, the bishop. In many instances, women initiate transactions, most often with the consent of their husbands or as widows. The lowest stratum of society, including laborers and farmers, is seldom represented.
The geographical extent of the collection encompasses four dioceses of northern Spain, principally those of Barcelona and Vic, and secondarily those of Gerona and Urgell. Transactions most often involve residents of the parishes of St. Eugenia de Berga, St. Baudilius de Luçanesio, St. Fructuosus de Castro Terciolo, St. Andrea de Gurbo, St. Genesius de Pinu, St. Felix de Torilione, St. Maria Falguerolis, St. Ypolitus de Voltregano, St. Petrus de Castelleto, St. Petrus de Torilione, and, among the charters of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, St. Martinus de Arenys and St. Maria de Arenys. The population thus hails chiefly from the region bounded on the west and east by the rivers Llobregat and Ter, respectively, including the territory along the river valleys, south from Barcelona to Ripoll. The geographical distribution is also relatively concentrated, frequently within a thirty to forty kilometer radius frown Vic, with the exception of those charters from Barcelona, Ripoll, Camprodon and Vilafranca del Panadés.
Historical Content at the Collection. A large number of charters in the collection focus upon the administration of the castle or estate (castrum, domus, or staticum) of Montorroell in the parish of San Boi de Lluçanès, located approximately sixteen kilometers north of Vic. A relatively minor castle, Montorroell was a feudal demesne of the lord of Lluça, a local suzerain who wielded considerable authority over a number of smaller castles (such as Quer, Merles, Tornamira, and Olost) in the vicinity.5 The extent of the lord of Lluçà's infuence in Montorroell before the late fourteenth century remains unclear; however, documentation from the collection shows that in 1375 he shared one-third dominion over the castle with the lord of Conanglell, whereas the lord of Montorroell retained jurisdiction within the other two-thirds (MS 72). By 1409, the lord of Lluçà had acquired autonomy over this one-third portion of the castrum (MS 124), but he eventually surrendered this authority when the lord of Montorroell purchased the share from him in 1414 (MS 129).
From at least 1297 until 1414 the lord of Montorroell owed fealty to the lord of Lluçà.6 In 1410, for example, Raymundus Andrea de Sala, owner of Montorroell from 1386, renewed a pledge of fealty to the lord of Lluça, Raymundus de Pagaria (MS 220), while earlier, in 1343, before Galçerandus de Bisaura, lord of Montorroell from 1326 until that year, could exchange the castle with Raymundus Novelli of Ripoll, he required the consent of Andreas de Fonoylleto (Fenollet), then lord of Lluça ( MSS 37 and 38). A 1551 reference to a convinentia feudale dating from 1310 suggests that the lord of Montorroell was a castellan, or petty nobleman, who held the castle from the lord of Lluçà in exchange for an oath of fealty (MS 220). Thus, from the early fourteenth century (and possibly from as early as 1297), Montorroell and Lluçà had a mutual feudal agreement closely linking their administrative activities.
Very little is known about the history of Montorroell itself.
The earliest documentation, appearing outside the charters in
this collection, dates from 1297 and records Beatrix de Conanglell,
mother of Petrus de Conanglell, as the castle's owner.7 By 1310,
the castle had passed to the Bisaura (Besora) family, as indicated
by a reference to a certain Bernardus de Bisaura's oath of fealty
(found in the convinentia feudale mentioned above) to Bernardus
Guillermus de Portella, lord of Lluçà in that year
(MS 220). Sixteen years later, in 1326, Jacobus de Bisaura, nephew
and heir of Bernardus, and his wife Agnes presented the fortress
to Galçerandus de Bisaura, Jacobus' brother (MS 14),8 but
ownership seems to have been disputed between him and the lord
of Lluça. In 1328 Marchesia de Portella, wife of the lord
of Lluçà, settled a quarrel with Galçerandus
de Bisaura in which Galçerandus had claimed title to the
castle through the donation by his uncle and Marchesia through
multiple purchases (MS 16). The dispute was settled with a large
payment from Galçerandus, who retained Montorroell as a
fief and thus reaffirmed the castle's feudal commitment to Lluça.
In 1343, Raymundus Novelli of Ripoll, lord of the manor of Melannus
[Milan], acquired Montorroell from Galçerandus through
an exchange (MSS 36, 37,38). The castle passed to his sister Francisca
in 1349 (MS 64) (through what appears to be at least one other
family holder who died intestate) and then to his niece (Francisca's
daughter) Romia Proheta by 1355 (MS 44). On April 9, 1371, Romia
de Dachs (Proheta) sold Raymundus de Sala, draper of Vic, her
two-thirds interest of the castle (MSS 64, 65, and 66).9
The sale marks the beginning of the Sala family's dominion over
Montorroell, which lasted at least into the late sixteenth century.
Initially, the Salas encountered remarkable success in establishing themselves as lords of a small fortress in the Catalonian countryside. They began an active program of territorial expansion and administrative consolidation, gradually developing ties with other castles and important families in the area. Sometimes through marriage and frequently through business negotiations and legal maneuvers, they expanded their wealth and feudal holdings, while gaining for themselves what must have been a prominent position within the community. By the late sixteenth century, however, the Salas' economic (and possibly political) status appears to deteriorate, and the family began to sell and pledge as security for loans many properties which had remained in their hands for almost two centuries. Such thorough liquidation may be an indication of financial ruin, stemming perhaps from a family error or from the poor economic climate of Catalonia at the time. In addition, Montorroell, like many other castles of this period, probably lost whatever military and political importance it had possessed during the previous three hundred years, becoming as a result more burdensome than profitable. With the beginning of the seventeenth century, then, the period of the Sala family aggrandizement came to an end.
Evidence concerning Raymundus de Sala's activities as lord of Montorroell is not abundant. At the time of his purchase of the castle, he received oaths of fealty from four local inhabitants (MS 66). Additionally, two important charters from 1375 and 1376 record his purchase of property rights and rents from individuals who would eventually come under Montorroell's authority (MSS 72, 74 and 75). These transactions suggest a continuing expansion of territory under the castle's control.
With Raymundus' death in 1386, the estate was left to his wife
Alamanda and their minor children (Elienor, Bernardus, Guillermus,
and Raymundus Andrea; an older daughter, Violans, was married
one year before Raymundus' death). Although Alamanda assumed control
of the family purse (paying her daughter Violans' dowry [MS 96]
and taxes [?] to the city councillors of Vic [MS 102]), lordship
of Montorroell reverted to the lord of Lluçà.l0
In 1391 Alamanda petitioned the local court for permission to
transfer to her son Raymundus Andrea his inheritance (including
lordship of the castle), but Raymundus rejected the proposal and
was assigned a new guardian by the court (MS 104). By 1401 or
1402, however, charters indicate that Raymundus Andrea had assumed
the lordship of Montorroell (MSS 110, 111, and 114).
Among the major accomplishments of Raymundus Andrea was his purchase
in 1414 of the remaining one-third share of Montorroell from
Raymundus de Pagaria (Peguera), son of Raymundus de Pagaria and
lord of Lluçà (MSS 129 and 132). Raymundus' acquisition
of this portion of the castrum points to a conscious attempt at
consolidation, giving the Salas virtual autonomy over Montorroell
except when royal or episcopal jurisdiction was invoked. In the
years following this purchase, Raymundus Andrea also extended
his influence in the ares by acquiring tithe rights in the parishes
of St. Petrus de Roda and St. Michael dela Guardia (MS 159) and
property in the parish of Vic (MS 142). In various transactions
dating from 1400 to 1414, he also purchased and consolidated rights
to the manse of Poal, in the parish of Vic (MS 258). A large number
of charters including oaths of fealty and land inventories testify
to Raymundus' expanding wealth and authority (MSS 124, 130, 133,
134, and 137). His success in his endeavors is clear in a nuptial
donation to his son Salvator in 1433, consisting of 1,500 Aragonese
florins and immovables, a considerable gift for the period (MS
With the death of Raymundus Andrea in 1437, Montorroell passed
to his son Salvator Sala.11 Although the documentation decreases
after this period, there are a few indications that Salvator further
enhanced the Sala family holdings. In 1446, for example, he purchased
one-half the manse of Pinu in the parish of St. Genesius
de Pinu (MS 169), while thirteen years later, in 1459, he consolidated
his rights to that estate by buying the remaining half from the
city councillors of Vic (MSS 180 and 181). In 1454 he received
tithes from the parish of St. María des Peyes (MS 172).
In 1478, Montorroell again changed hands, this time passing to Salvator's son Johannes. Thirty-one years later, in 1509, Benedictus Sala, son of Johannes, inherited the castle from his father, and in 1540 Petrus Onofrius Sala acquired it from his father Benedictus (whose intestate death necessitated legal action in the disposition of some of the family property; MS 215). The few documents that survive from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries suggest that, despite a number of minor property acquisitions-in 1525 of the right to redeem the manse of ça Noguera (MS 2l0), in the 1550s of one-half the castellany of Torrelló ( MS 268), and in 1561 of a dwelling (MS 255)-the period of the Sala family expansion was over.12 In 1506, for example, Johannes had sold a perpetual amortizing annuity of twenty-seven solidi and ten denarii for about twenty-eight librae (Barcelona) (MS 202), while by 1603 Onofrius Josephus Sala, son of Petrus Honofrius, was forced to sell-reserving the right to redeem-portions of the major and minor tithes collected in the parishes of St. Petrus de Roda and St. Michael dela Guardia (MS 265; 1595), the manse of Poal in the parish of Vic (MS 258; 1591), and one half the castellany of Torrelló (MS 268; l603). Already in 1585 Onofrius Josephus had pledged to the cathedral chapter of Vic obligations of tasca (one eleventh of the crop) collected within the jurisdiction of Montorroell and all feudal obligations due from Elizabetha des Ca llar (awarded through arbitration in 1545; MS 217) as security on a payment of three hundred librae (Barcelona) (MS 253). Whether the Salas were able to survive this period of financial insecurity remains uncertain, for the documentation on the family's activities and on Montorroell ends in 1603. It seems likely, however, that the precarious economic situation of Catalonia during this period, the depreciation of Montorroell's strategic and political importance, the fact that the Salas were in need of large sums of money, and the eventual impressive loss of family resources contributed to an overall decline in their status, perhaps to the point of threatening or reversing their earlier financial and social gains.
The following schema presents the lords of Montorroell from 1297
|Beatris de Conanglell, mother of Petrus de Conanglell||1297|
|Bernardus de Bisaura bequest to nephew:||by 5 Ids. July 1310 (MS 220)|
|Galçerandus de Bisaura exchange:||3 Kals. October 1326 (MS 14)|
|Raymundus Novelli of Ripoll bequest to son:||Ids. June 1343 (MS 37)|
|Raymundus Novelli died intestate; court decision in favor of sister:|
|Francisca Novella |
donation to daughter:
|3 Nns. February 1349 (MS 64)|
|Romia Proheta m. Bernardus de Dachs sale of two-thirds part:||by 24 April 1355 (MS 44)|
|Raymundus de Sala m. Alamanda de Podiolo |
bequest to son:
|9 April 1371 (MS 215)|
|Raymundus Andrea de Sala m. Johanna ça Noguera.
Acquired on 8 May 1414 the remaining one-third
share of Montorroell from Raymundus de Pagaria,
lord of Lluçà.|
bequest to son:
|27 November 1386 (MS 215)|
|Salvator Sala m. Clara de Vineis |
bequest to son:
|12 June 1437 (MS 215)|
|Johannes Sala m. Anthonia Tallander |
bequest to son:
|20 August 1478 (MS 215)|
|Benedictus Sala donation to son:||4 October 1509 (MS 215)|
|Petrus Honofrius Sala m. Anna Bosch|
bequest to son:
|7 April 1540 (MS 215)|
|Onofrius Josephus Sala||9 May 1558 (MS 253)|
|Onofrius Josephus is lord of Montorroell until at least 1585.|
In addition to providing a chronology of the late medieval stages
of Montorroell's history, the collection offers insights into
the history of the Sala family. The general nature of the charters
indicates that the collection once formed the private archives
of one branch of the Sala family-the descendants of Raymundus
de Sala. The name Sala appears in documents from as early as 1355
and as late as 1645, dominating the years the collection encompasses.
Despite the fact that the archives are incomplete,13 it is possible
to trace at least in part the history of the Salas from the fourteenth
through the sixteenth century.
The development of the Sala family is complicated, and the documentation
is fragmentary. The earliest reference to their name in the area
derives from the district (quadra) of Pual, some two kilometers
south of Vic.14 In bills of sale and testaments from the twelfth
century--not in this collection-the name is further associated
with the castle of Sala in the same district, though by the early
thirteenth century the castle had passed from Sala control.15
Within the collection itself, the earliest reference to the Sala
name appears in a charter from 1355 in which Raymundus de Sala
acknowledges a debt to his brother Guillermus de Sala, bailiff
of Sora (MS 45). Guillermus is without doubt the son of Petrus
de Sala, who was the son of Guillermus de Sala and heir to the
manse of Sala. In 1338 Petrus purchased the castle of Duocastella
[Doscastells in Sora (parish of St. Genesius), an acquisition
which makes it possible to establish a common link between the
lords of Montorroell, the lords of Duocastella, and the heirs
to the manse of Sala.16
Throughout the Sala family's history, marriages were an important
means of social mobility. In 1359, Raymundus de Sala wed Alamanda,
daughter of Guillermus de Podiolo, knight (MS 49).17 Alamanda's
extensive dowry, consisting of two dwellings in Vic and nine tracts
of land in nearby parishes, bespeaks the wealth and social status
she must have brought with her to the Sala house. Of Raymundus'
and Alamanda's children (Violans, Elienor, Raymundus Andrea, Bernardus,
and Guillermus), Violans married Galçerandus de Villa,
scribe of Vic, in 1386, and Raymundus Andrea married Johanna de
Nogaria lNogueraJ sometime before 1433 (MSS 92, 96 and 150); there
is no further reference to the other three children.18
Raymundus Andrea de Sala had at least two sons: Salvator, who
married Clara de Vineis in 1433 (MS 149); and Petrus, who married
Constancia de Cuspineda in 1435 (MS 153). By 1463, Salvator Sala's
son Johannes had married Anthonia Tallander, daughter of Anthonius
Tallander (Borra), knight of Barcelona (MS 183). Again, this marriage
is an indication of the social status of the Salas, for Anthonia's
father was lord of the castle Of Saladeures,19 and, in lignt of
the extensive marriage portion of 10,000 solidi which he
had pledged to his wife, he was a wealthy individual (MS 175).
Through these marriages, then, the Salas developed ties with a
number of important castles and families in the area, enhancing
their own social position within the community.20
Further evidence of the Salas' status lies in their prominence
in the Roman Catholic hierarchy. Later members of the Sam family
required important benefices within the Church. Antonius Sala
(whose relationship to the family is unclear) was canon at the
cathedral of Vic in the seventeenth century (MS 286); some fifty
years earlier, in 1590, a certain Johannes Sala, uncle of Anticus
Sala, was also canon there (MS 255). Sebastianus Sala, brother
of Franciscus Sala, held the office of provost of the cathedral
of Vic in 1504 (MS 201) and may well be the same Sebastianus Sala
who was rector of the benefice of the parish church of St. Maria
de Besora in 1500 (MS 198). In 1501 Petrus Sala (nephew of Salvator
Sala, lord of Montorroell ?) was appointed prior of the important
monastery of San Llorenç del Munt (MS 200). There exist
other references to members of the Sala family as oblates or clerics
of Vic (MSS 258, 265). Thus, in addition to being successful merchants,
the Salas played an active role in spiritual affairs, undoubtedly
adding to their prestige.
The Salas were also prominent in municipal government. In the
fourteenth and early part of the fifteenth century, the following
family members served as councillors of the royal sector of Vic
(unified with the Montcada sector by 1450): Jacobus de Sala (1372,
1375, 1380, 1388), Salvator Sala (1448), and Bernardus Sala (1434,
1438). In 1381 a certain Berengarius Sala served as a syndic in
the Montcada quarter of the same city. After the unification of
the royal (formerly episcopal) sector of Vic with the Montcada
sector, the Salas appear to have become more active in local governmental
affairs. Post-1450 councillors from the family include: Salvator
Sala (1456, 1462), Bernardus Sala (1466), Michael Sala (1485,
1489), Joannes Sala (1492, 1504, 1517), Salvator Sala (1498, 1514),
Petrus Onofrius Sala (1551), Anticus Sala (1581), Onofrius Josephus
Sala (1591), and Franciscus Sala (1618, 1628). A certain Franciscus
de Sala was appointed Veguer of Osona in 1482, but did not effectively
serve.2l Such extensive involvement in municipal affairs suggests
that, from the early fifteenth century, the Salas may have resided
permanently in Vic and directed the administration of their rural
estate from that city.
The Salas, then, were an urban mercantile family, and their
archives record their early attempt to acquire power and prominence
in the rural areas north of Vic. Until the sixteenth century,
they appear to have been successful in their financial pursuits,
and, in light of their well planned marriages and prevalence in
the church and local government, their social status must have
become quite high.22 Unfortunately, however, the collection fails
to document the history of the Salas after the late sixteenth
century, when they begin to sell and mortgage large portions of
their patrimony. Further research in the vast archival resourees
available in Catalonia today may shed light on this family's fate
and on other activities in which they participated in the Catalonia
countryside of the late middle ages.
History of the Collection. Acquired in Spain during the Carlist
Wars (1843-1876) by a certain Padre Louis, Father Confessor
to Don Carlos, the Spanish pretender, the collection was bequeathed
to Herman Scheuch, United States Consul in Barcelona (1874-1892),
upon Padre Louis' death.23 Subsequently, Herman Scheuch gave it
to his son Frederick C. Scheuch, who brought the documents with
him to the United States in the early 1890s and deposited them
in the library of the University of Montana, where he had accepted
a teaching position.24 There the documents remained for almost
In 1916, Frederick Scheuch traded sixteen manuscripts to W. S.
Sutton for "other antiquities almost immediately after this
exchange the documents appeared at auction irk Washington, D.C.,
and were acquired by the Smithsonian Institution.26 In June of
that same year, they were officially accessioned (General Acc.
59833, Nos. 10226-10241) as a part of the collection of the
Division of Graphic Arts, currently housed in the National Museum
of American History.
It was not until 1930 that the bulk of about 400 manuscripts belonging
to Frederick Scheuch received any scrutiny. W. J. Wilson, assistant
editor of the Census, discovered the existence of the documents
in Missoula, and with Scheuch's consent, arranged to have them
shipped to the Library of Congress to be examined for inclusion
in the Census.
The documents finally reached Washington through a friend of Scheuch's,
Mrs. Nettie Rodes Arnold, a New York art dealer who held them
for a short time before shipping them to Washington.27 Upon receipt
of the shipment, officials at the Library of Congress discovered
that eighty-eight of the manuscripts, principally from the
seventeenth century, were missing.28 Scheuch's most accurate count
of the the documents was 392, and of that number the Library of
Congress received only 320. It appears, then, that the sixteen
documents already preserved at the Smithsonian Institution were
erroneously included in the count of eighty-eight lost manuscripts,
suggesting that the number of missing documents was actually only
seventy-two Nonetheless, Scheuch's records were not accurate,
and it is not possible to rely on these figures.29 If we assume
that Scheuch's count of 392 documents did not include the duplicated
or unnumbered manuscripts, it is likely that the total number
of charters in the collection slightly exceeded 400. Of these,
only 289 can be accounted for today (following another loss of
forty documents and the omission of MS S-251, which is an
addendum to another charter): 242 at Georgetown University-the
bulk of the collection; forty-one at the Smithsonian Institution
(sixteen purchased at auction in l916 and twenty-five given
by the Library of the University of Montana in 1965 after having
been discovered there); and six at the Edward Laurence Doheny
Memorial Library of the St. John's Seminary in Camarillo. California
(donated by Natalie Evans, Scheuch's daughter).30
When Seymour de Ricci, editor of the Census, finally examined
the manuscripts in 1932, he expressed the opinion that they comprised
"the most important American collection of historical documents
bearing on Medieval Spain-with the sole exception of the
material owned by the Hispanic Soeiety in New York City."31
Appending a call for detailed study of the documents in his published
description of the collection, de Ricci attempted to alert scholars
to the potential importance of the documents. However, upon Scheuch's
retirement in 1938-one year after the appearance of the Census-the
manuscripts were removed from the University of Montana Library.
Information on the Scheuch parchments after 1938 is fragmentary.
After Scheuch's death in 1954, his family obtained the charters,
for the supplement to the Census lists Natalie Evans, Scheuch's
daughter, as donor of six documents to the Edward Laurence Doheny
Memorial Library at the St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, California.32
In August of 1957 the bulk of the collection was donated by Scheuch's
grandson, Lewis O. Evans, to Georgetown University, and was rediscovered
among the holdings in 1970. In 1965 the Library of the University
of Montana (Missoula) discovered a cache of twenty-five manuscripts
originally belonging to the Scheuch collection, and in December
of that year Earle Thompson, then Dean of Library Services, donated
them to the Smithsonian Institution.33 Attempts to locate the
missing 113 documents have been unsuccessful.
Rationale and Editorial Criteria.
The purpose of this handlist
is to provide a concise survey of all known medieval and early
modern Catalonian charters once comprising the Sala family archives
in order to facilitate further investigations. The documents are
arranged chronologically, with key cataloguing information including:
(a) the original catalogue number assigned to the document by
Frederick C. Scheuch (prefixed S-), (b) the catalogue number appearing
on the dorso of most documents (prefixed N-), (c) the size
of the document and whether it is written on parchment or paper,
(d) and a brief docket describing the contents of each manuscript.
A transcription of the first twenty-five words beyond the
salutation of each charter is provided as an aid to future readers,
and names of notaries are given for reference purposes. (Dates
of documents before 1350 have been left in the old style, and
most names-including toponyms-have been retained in
their original Latin forms.)
1) Abbreviations have been silently expanded.
2) Capitalization and punctuation follow the manuscript.
3) ff has been rendered as F when it occurs initially.
4) u and v have been given their modern consonantal and vocalic
5) The distinction between i and its orthographic variant
j; has been retained.
6) Doubtful readings are followed by [?], and editorial emendations are enclosed in square brackets . Illegible portions of the text are indicated with [...],while omitted sections are indicated with ...
1. The collection contains only four paper documents: MSS 251, 287, 288, and 289. MS 287, filling three folios bound with string, is the only item in the collection written on more than a single leaf. In two instances ( MSS 1 and 131), copies of texts earlier than 1261 exist in later documents.
2. The Catalan documents are: MSS 17 (1329), 26 (1333; from a sixteenth-century copy), 66 (1371), 143 (1431), 171 (1453), 173 (1457), 185 (1465), 225 (1555), 227 (1557), 231 (1561), 234 (1564), 246 (1579), 251 (1583), 269 (1604), 273 (1615), 287 (1676), 288 (1690), and 289 (1690).
3. When the manuscript is illegible, an earlier Catalan docket
appearing on the dorso of most charters provides some information.
4. Occupations include: gilder (deaurator), cobbler (çabaterius,
sutor), merchant (mercator, negociator), woolen cloth finisher
(parator pannorum lane), candlemaker (candelarius), draper (draperius),
boot seller (boterius), seaman (marinerius), fisherman (piscator),
cutler (coltellerius), physician (fiscus), innkeeper hostalerius),
apothecary (apothecarius, pharma copola), tailor (sartor), butcher
(carnifex, carnicerius), potter (tornerius), tanner (pelliparius,
blanquerius), barber (barberius), blacksmith (faber), scribe (scriptor),
wool washer (laverius), weaver (textor), mercer (mercerius), cloth
fuller (baxiator), carpenter (fusterius), joiner (magister axie),
leather worker (basterius), scabbard maker (baynerius), handle
maker (manegator), surgeon (chirurgus), brewer (brasserius), and
strap maker (corregerius), among others. Local towns frequently
represented include Ripoll, Sabadell, Berga, Vilafranca del Panadés,
Granollers, Moià, and Camprodon.
5. For a survey of the history and significance of Lluçà,
see Els castells catalans (Barcelona: Rafael Dalmau, 1967), IV,
806-18. Lluça was a fief of the king of Aragon and
of the bishop of Vic, and as a fief of Lluça, Montorroell
was also under the control of the crown and the mitre. Although
royal claims to Lluça and Montorroell were negligible from
the mid-thirteenth century onward, two charters (MSS 19 and
131concerning royal jurisdiction in those districts indicate that
the king still enforced his rights there. Even as late as 1585,
Montorroell is referred to as a royal fief (MS 253). Of greater
concern than the royal claims to Lluçà and Montorroell,
however, were the episcopal claims, which had been the subject
of fierce debates lasting at least until the late fourteenth century.
The involvement of Montorroell in these debates is reflected in
one charter from the mid sixteenth century (MS 220).
6. Els castells catalans, IV, 1050, n. 66.
7. Ibid. According to the charters, the Conanglells' association
with Montorroell lasted until the late fourteenth century (MS
8. Because Montorroell was held from the king of Aragon, this donation
required royal consent (MS 19). In a separate instrument, Jacobus
and Agnes pledged property in the castrum of Besora as security
for their promise to defend Galçerandus' rights to the
castle (MS 15).
9. The bill of sale contains the first reference to the division
of Montorroell into three jurisdictions.
10. In two property deeds from 1395, the lord of Lluça
is referred to as the sole lord of Montorroell (MSS 106 and 107).
11. Raymundus Andrea's testament survives in the collection (MS
156). He specifies that his wife Johanna (ça Noguera) and
his younger son Petrus receive the manse of Poal and tithe rights
in the parishes of St. Petrus de Roda and St. Michael dela Guardia.
All other property to his principal heir Salvator.
12. Since the castle of Torrelló was destroyed in 1554,
Benedictus undoubtedly acquired only certain rights within the
original castle district; hence, it seems unlikely that the Salas
accrued any great financial benefit from it. Their purchase of
the right to redeem ça Noguera is also of questionable
significance. Still, the conclusion that severe financial difficulties
had brought about the end of the Sala family's expansion remains
conjectural. Although the sale (or mortgage) of the Sala properties
is often motivated by an immediate need for capital (e g., to
pay for obits or for gifts to convents, to satify outstanding
debts, or to undertake business ventures), their transactions
are not unique among those of the early modern period; charters
recording credit arrangements become prevalent in the late sixteenth
and early seventeenth centuries. Like other wealthy families of
the time, the Salas may simply have wanted to pursue promising
business opportunities and sold their rural holdings in order
to acquire the requisite funds.
13. 0lder catalogue numbers appearing consistently on the dorso
of most documents suggest that the collection once contained at
least 525 charters. Of this number only 289 can be accounted for
14. Els castells catalans, IV, 284-87.
15. There are two indications which, though conjectural, may link
this historically obscure fortress to the Salas who owned Montorroell
two hundred years later. First, at the turn of the fifteenth century,
Raymundus Andrea de Sala purchased the manse of Poal in the parish
of Vic. This manse may well be located near the ancestral property
in the district of Pual, since the similarity of the names is
striking. Second, there exist today two farms associated with
the name Montorroell (Montorro), which are situated in the Sora
district of the extinct parish of St. Genesius de Pinu. The ruins
of the Sala castle stand in close proximity. Thus, it appears
that the Salas may have relocated from their original lands south
of Vic to the parish of St. Baudilius about twenty kilometers
north, developing ties with the nearby region of Sora in the process
(see Els castells catalans, IV, 963). The Salas also tended to acquire property in the parish of St. Genesius.
16. See Els castells catalans, IV, 960-63. The castle
of Duocastella was also tied to the castle of Gurb through at
least two marriages in 1338 and 1391 (Els castells catalans,
IV, 796). The purchase of a small fortress such as Duocastella
or Montorroell is characteristic of wealthy urban families of
this period. Castles often represented lucrative investments,
allowing their owners to establish themselves as elites in a small
area. (Castle lords frequently infiltrated the ranks of the minor
nobility.) The Salas exemplify a bourgeois family seeking to advance
their social status. While they may eventually have been ennobled,
it has proved impossible to link them with the Sala families in
Alberto García Carraffa's Diccionario heráldico
y genealógico de apellidos españoles y americanos
(Madrid, 1958), LXXIX, 130-42.
17. A large number of charters in the collection involve individuals
bearing the name Podiolo [Pujol]. Because the name was extremely
common, however, and because it has proved impossible to establish
any clear link between Alamanda de Podiolo and others of the same
name, it is not certain that the same family is consistently represented
in the collection.
18. Parchments in the collection which record transactions of
individuals bearing the name Nogaria undoubtedly refer to relatives
of Johanna. These charters include: MSS 8, 9, 59, 69, 71, 78,
79, 80, 115, 128,150, 153, 173, 193, and 210.
19. Els Castells catalans, IV 1042
20. Since the relationship of many of the Sala family members
remains unspecified in later documents, it is often difficult
to establish the lineage of the family beyond the mid-fifteenth
century. Other individuals associated with the Sala family include:
Paula and Hieronyma Agramunt, nieces of Onofrius Josephus Sala
(MS 258); Joanna Agramunt, wife of Jacobus Agramunt Mir and daughter
of Petrus Onofrius Sala (MS 265); Petrus Andrea de Sala, uncle
of Johannes Sala, who is the son of Salvator Sala (MS 202; perhaps
the same person as Petrus Sala, brother of Salvator); Anthicus
Sala (of the house of Saladeures), nephew of Johannes Sala, canon
of Vic (MS 255; perhaps the son of Jonannes Sala, lord of Montorroell
from 1478 to 1509); Petrus Sala, cleric of Vic, and Sebastianus
Sala, canon and provost of the cathedral of Vic (MS 20l; Sebastianus
is probably the same person mentioned in MS 198 as the brother
of Franciscus Sala); Jacobus Sala, cleric of Vic, nephew of Petrus
Sala (MS 196; Petrus is most likely the prior of San Llorenca
del Must); Josephus, Franciscus, Joannes Baptists, Paulus and
Paula Sala, children of Onofrius Josephus Sala, who is the son
of Petrus Onofrius Sala, lord of Montorroell from 1549 to 1558
(MSS 258, 265, and 26B); and Josephus Gerard, a distant relative
of the Agramunts (MS 249). Petrus Onofrius Sala married Anna Bosch,
daughter of Jacobus Bosch y de Fontarnau, merchant of Vic (MSS
231 and 234). Among earlier documents, the following individuals
are anomalous family members: Petrus de Sala (MS 26; perhaps the
father of Raymundus de Sala MS 49j); Jacobus de Sala, lawyer of
Vic (MS 97; probably from a different branch of the family); and
Petrus Sala, who is a witness in a charter from 1378 (MS 84).
21. This information is taken from Eduard Junyent's Jurisdiccions
i privileges de la ciutat de Vich (Vic, 1969). I am grateful
to Paul Freedman for this referenee. For a concise, informative
survey of the history of Vic, see Antoni Pladevall Font, Una
familia de mercaderes de pieles en Vic a finales del siglo XlV(Vic,
22. As lords of Montorroell, for example, their rural holdings, though not vast, were nonetheless substantial, and there is no doubt that their association with that castle earned them a great degree of respect within the community. Their holdings included property in the parishes of St. Baudilius de Luçanesio, St. Petrus de Sora, St. Augustinus de Luçanesio, St. Petrus de Plano, and St. Genesius de Pinu; the fortified house of Vilar (MS 220; Vilar is linked with the Conanglell name; see Els castells catalans, IV, 938-41); tithe rights in the parishes of St. María des Peyes, St. Michael dela Guardia, St. Petrus de Roda, St. Martinus Delbas (MS 220), and St. Marcellus de Sederra (MS 12); and obligations from the Callar family from 1517 onward (MS 217) This list is, no doubt, only fragmentary.
23. Scheuch most likely acquired the collection intact, as suggested
by the continuity of cataloguing information (appearing on the
dorso of most charters) which predates his ownership. The general
nature of the collection also tends to confirm its unity when
24. On Frederick C. Scheuch, Professor of Modern Languages at the
University of Montana (Missoula), see The National Cyclopaedia
of American Biography (New York: James T. White dc Co., 1962),
25. The collection was first described in Seymour de Ricci and
W. J Wilson, edd. Census of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts
in the United States and Canada (New York: H. W. Wilson
Co., 1937), 1150. In a letter dated 18 February 1930 to W. J.
Wilson, assistant editor of the
Census, Scheuch reports that, as far as he could determine, the
manuscripts "had never been used in any manner whatsoever
for reference or otherwise." In a previous letter dated 29
January 1930 to M. G. Buckhous, Librarian of the University of
Montana (Missoula Library, W. J. Wilson states that, although
a frequent visitor in Missoulu he "had not suspected the
existence of any such manuscript material." (Letters and
memoranda cited here and elsewhere can be found in the Library
of Congress Archives on "Project C," the Census project,
boxes 21 and 27, in the Manuscripts Division at the Library of
26. Letter dated 9 December 1931 from Frederick Scheuch to Dr. Herbert Putnam at the Library of Congress. These sixteen manuscripts are included in this handlist and are denoted by the Smithsonian accession number following the transcription.
27. Letter dated 5 March 1931 from Frederick Scheuch to Dr. Herbert
28. The Scheuch numbers of the charters reported missing are:
, 7, 9, 33, 41, 54, , , [either 84 or 91], , 98,
, , 164, ,164, [either 213 or 215], , ,
226, 240, , 249, 260, 277, , , 297, , and
334-392. [Brackets denote Smithsonian ownership.]
29. Some charters bear no Scheuch labels (MSS 6, 167, 188, 251,
289), while others have labels with duplicated numbers (e.g.,
24, [39 ?], 107, 108, 138, 191, 192, [225 ?], [227 ?], 264, [325
30. The Scheuch numbers of the manuscripts still missing are:
7, 9, 33, 34, 41, 51, 54, 66, 68, 81, 83, 84, 91, 98, 101, 111,
113, 115, 128, 135, 140-42, 145, 148, 163-64, 172, 178, 183,
187, 189, 200, 201, 205, 207, 209, 215, 226, 227, 233, 240, 253,
260, 277, 281, 289, 297, 304, 307, 311, 315, 326, 330, 333-92.
31. Memorandum dated 29 September 1932 from W. J. Wilson to F
W. Ashley, Chief Assistant Librarian. This appraisal has not changed
greatly in the last fifty years. In addition to the manuscript
collection of the Hispanic Society and the one catalogued here,
the only other major group of Catalonian documents in the United
States is located at the Bancroft Library of the University of
32. W. H. Bond, ed. Supplement to the Census of Medieval and
Renaissance Manuscripts in the United States and Canada (New
York Bibliographical Society of America, 1962), 14-15. The
manuscripts are included in this handlist and are denoted by the
notation "The Estelle Doheny Collection" following the
33. Letter dated 25 October 1965 to Ruth E. Blanchard, Librarian of the Smithsonian Institution Library. The documents are currently housed with the sixteen manuscripts purchased in 1916 at the Divison of Graphic Arts in the National Museum of American History. Descriptions of these charters are also included in this handlist and are denoted by the Smithsonian accession number following the entry.