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Patent of Nobility: MS 267

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Current Location: In storage


Patent of Nobility




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, 68 fols., 310 x 215 mm (238 x 140 mm), 34 long lines, ruled in purple ink.

BINDING: Early seventeenth century, black calf over wooden boards, gold-stamped with a design consisting of lions and eagles, red silk doublures, remains of three red and green silk ties on the upper and lower covers, long multi-coloured silk cord to which the seal was originally attached, red silk guard between fols. 3-4.

CONTENTS: fols. 3v-65v Patent of Nobility issued by Philip III (1598-1621) to Pedro de Sierra Hurtado of Granada, dated 27 September 1600 in Granada
fol. 66r Notarial certificate of publication at Granada, dated 6 October 1600
fols. 66v-67r Additions dated 1604

DECORATION: Five full-page frontispieces: fol. 3v The Virgin, Joseph and St John the Baptist as a child watch over the sleeping Christ Child with a host of musician angels above, below them Pedro de Sierra and his wife Dona Luisa de Solis kneel in prayer in front of an image of the Annunciation, an oval cartouche beneath with opening words of the text DON PHELIPE on gold ground, flanked on both sides by compartmentalized historiated borders with full-length portraits of (left) St John the Baptist, St Michael with dragon underfoot, and St Francis, and (right) St John the Evangelist, St Roch(?) and St Dominic; fol. 3r Crucifixion against a mountainous, stormy landscape with three women of the Sierra family (one a nun) kneeling in prayer, surrounded by a full historiated border of gold panels with winged putti carrying the Instruments of the Passion and two oval miniatures painted in brown grisaille and showing (left) Christ carrying the Cross with St Veronica and (right) The Entombment, in the lower section, text POR LA GRACIA DE DIOS written in gold on a red architectural tablet; fol. 3v St James the Moor-Slayer at the Battle of Clavijo within an oval frame surrounded by a border of foliate motifs on gold ground; fol. 5r St Peter enthroned as Pope, surrounded by a full historiated border with thirteen bust-length portraits of saints associated with Granada: (left) Hesychius, Bishop of Cazorla with his disciples Turillus, Paphnutius, Maronicus, and Sextulus, (top) Caecilius, James the Great, Ctesiphon, (right) Maximinus, Lupario, Patricius, Septentrius, Mesithon, and in the lower bar, a red tablet with the words DE CASTILLA within an ornamental frame flanked by vases of flowers and fruit; fol. 5v Armorial bearing of the Sierra family, quarterly (1) azure, five fleur-de-lis or, (2) gules a lion rampant or, crowned, with sword, (3) as (2) but with lion facing sinister, (4) azure, a round tower, in chief, the motto SINO OS FALTARA, within a full border of military trophies, flowers and heraldic devices on gold ground, in the lower bar, a miniature of the Deluge in brown grisaille and gold.

Half-length portrait [15 lines] of Philip III as a boy, wearing Collar of the Golden Fleece and holding a baton and helm (fol. 64v).

ORNAMENTATION: Gold foliate initials [9-12 ll.] on solid grounds of red and blue with silver highlighting for major divisions; black penwork initials [7-8 ll.] with interlaced ornament for lesser divisions; royal titles on fol. 6r written in display capitals [4 ll.] filled with liquid gold or display capitals [2 ll.] in black with some interlace and foliate motifs, surrounded by foliate forms in liquid gold; display capitals [2-3 ll.] for the words following a major initial; cadels.


History note: Pedro de Sierra Hurtado of Granada, 1600; Francisco Hurtado (ownership inscription, fol. 3r); purchased for the Museum from B. Jolley and Sons, Cambridge in 1905.

Place(s) associated

  • Granada ⪼ Spain

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (1905) by B. Jolley and Sons

People, subjects and objects depicted


  • Cambridge Illuminated

Materials used in production


Components of the work

Support composed of parchment

Techniques used in production


Inscription or legends present

  • Text: Y despues
  • Location: Fol. 7r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS 267
Primary reference Number: 176662
Project ID: 3461
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 1 December 2020 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Manuscripts and Printed Books

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Patent of Nobility" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-16 07:40:02

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