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Two Patents of Nobility: MS Marlay 6

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Current Location: In storage


Two Patents of Nobility




A: 62 fols. (fol. 1 pasted to upper cover, foliation 1-61 starts on second leaf), 310 x 215 mm (265 x 145 mm), 34 long lines, ruled in dark pink ink

B: 46 fols. (foliated 62-107, fol. 107 pasted to lower cover), 310 x 215 mm (240 x 140 mm), 34 long lines, ruled in purple ink

BINDING: Seventeenth century, brown calf over pasteboards, gold-tooled design with lions and eagles, edges gilt and gauffered, remains of multicoloured silk cords to which the seal (no longer extant) was once attached, red silk guards on fols. 5v, 6v, 64r, 102r.

A: fols. 5r-60v Patent of Nobility granted by Philip II of Spain (1556-1598) to Francisco Sanchez Hidalgo of Valverde de Merida on 2 April 1558
fol. 60v Notarial certificate of publication at Merida, dated 12 April 1558

B: fols. 62v-103v Supplementary patent (sobrecarta) granted by Philip III (1598-1621) to Francisco Hidalgo y Marina Alonso de Valverde de Merida on 6 February 1600; fols. 104r-105v Additional notes dated 1600 onwards.

A: Full-page miniature of the Crucifixion with the Virgin and St John at the foot of the Cross against a mountainous background, within a blue and gold frame (fol. 5v).

Two miniatures accompanied by panel borders of floral and foliate motifs on gold grounds: fol. 6v The Virgin and Child in the upper left-hand quarter of the page, in the lower half a shield of arms, quarterly (1 and 2) argent a white dove on a mount vert, (3) gules two clubs in saltire vert, (4) azure a tower with lion rampant supporter, the opening words DON PHILIPPE written in capitals formed of architectural motifs on a blue ground with panel of gold foliate motifs on red; fol. 7r St James the Moor-Slayer at the Battle of Clavijo in the lower half of the page.

B: Full-page frontispiece with strewn-flower side panels showing the Hidalgo family kneeling in prayer before an altar with a priest and an altarpiece of the Virgin and Child, with the opening words DON PHELIPPE written in gold on a rectangular tablet beneath (fol. 64r).

Historiated initial [P, 10 ll.] with portrait of Philip III, beardless and wearing the collar of the Order of the Golden Fleece (fol. 102r).

A: Gold initials [2-5 ll.] formed of architectural motifs on square red grounds with gold highlighting; cadels.

B: Gold initials [10-12 ll.] on grounds of two colours with white highlighting, for major divisions; gold initials [4-5 ll.] on dark purple grounds with gold highlighting for lesser divisions; extensive use of display capitals; line-fillers; cadels.


History note: The Valverde de Merida family, 1558 (A) and 1600 (B); Charles Brinsley Marlay (1831–1912); his bequest, 1912.

Place(s) associated

  • Granada ⪼ Spain

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1912) by Marlay, Charles Brinsley

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: Concejo iusticia (A)
  • Location: Fol. 8r
  • Type: Secundo folio
  • Text: al uestra iusticia (B)
  • Location: Fol. 65r
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS Marlay 6
Primary reference Number: 176667
Project ID: 1339
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 24 August 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) "Two Patents of Nobility" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-14 15:25:49

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{{cite web|url= |title=Two Patents of Nobility |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-14 15:25:49|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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