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Patent of Nobility: MS Marlay 16

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Current Location: In storage


Patent of Nobility




PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Parchment, 70 fols. (fol. 70 pasted to lower cover), 310 x 210 mm (240 x 140 mm), 34 long lines, ruled in red ink

BINDING: Seventeenth century, gold-tooled dark blue morocco over wooden boards, edges gilt and gauffered, four pairs of pink silk ties, remains of a multi-coloured silk cord for a seal (no longer present), red silk guards attached to fols. 1v, 2r, 2v, 3v, 67v

CONTENTS: fols. 1v-68r Patent of Nobility issued by Philip III of Spain (1598-1621) to Lazaro de Yarza in Granada on 4 January 1608; fol. 69r Notarial certificate of publication at Cieza by Francisco Carcaelan, escrivan real y mayor, dated 20 January 1608.
DECORATION: Four full-page frontispieces: fol. 1v Arch-topped miniature of the Crucifixion with Lazaro de Yarza, his wife and two sons, depicted as boys, kneeling in prayer at the foot of the Cross, surrounded by a full border of painted foliate motifs and grotesques on gold ground, with the opening words DON PHELIPE written in gold on an architectural tablet; fol. 2r Crowned Virgin and Child standing on the moon against the sun’s rays in the upper compartment, framed on each side by strewn-flower borders with fruit, birds and insects, and above by a banderole with the text POR LA GRACIA DE DIOS written in gold on red background, and, in the lower compartment, Lazaro de Yarza in a tiled interior kneeling in prayer with his two sons, depicted as young men; fol. 2v Arch-topped miniature of St James the Moor-Slayer appearing in a vision to the Christian knights at the Battle of Clavijo, surrounded by a full border of painted foliate motifs and grotesques on gold ground, containing the monograms of Christ and Mary, with the words REY DE CASTILIA written in gold on an architectural tablet; fol. 3r Shield of arms, quarterly (1) azure, five fleurs-de-lis or, (2) barry of five, azure and gules, (3) or a tree proper on a mount vert with wolf rampant proper, (4) azure a tower under assault, and at base a stag couchant in a pool with an eagle tearing at its back, the whole within a bordure gules with 20 saltires or, with helm and mantling, surrounded by military trophies and a curved dark red banderole with the text DE LEON DE ARAGON written in gold.

Half-length portrait [13 ll.] of Philip III in armour, wearing the Collar of the Golden Fleece, his helm on a table beside him (fol. 67v).

Historiated initial [D, 9 lines] formed of gold foliage on red ground and housing a bust-length portrait of a young Franciscan in a grey habit holding a rosary (fol. 3v).

ORNAMENTATION: Gold foliate initials [9 ll.] on dark red grounds with gold highlighting for major text divisions; cadels.


History note: Lazaro de Yarza, 1608; ownership inscriptions including the names Diego de la Gurla and Molleda Escandon (fol. 1r); notes by a French bookseller pencilled inside upper cover; 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: [empadron]ar ansienrrenta
  • Type: Secundo folio

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: MS Marlay 16
Primary reference Number: 176668
Project ID: 1345
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 25 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) "Patent of Nobility" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-28 14:14:07

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{{cite web|url= |title=Patent of Nobility |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-28 14:14:07|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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