Translate / Traducir

The Assayers of the Mexico City mint during the 16th Century Pillars Coinage, - Late Series, Assayers L and S

by Jorge A. Proctor

In the first part of my study of the assayers of the mint of Mexico during the late series pillars coinage I brought the story up to 1548 when Juan Gutiérrez began the process of transferring the post to Luis Rodríguez. However, this was just the start of prolonged litigation in Spain and Mexico, which I now go on to describe.

Knowing the long delays in communication between Spain and its colonies, and with a sense of urgency, Juan Gutiérrez went before the Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza who on 8 November 1548 drafted an order to be presented before the mint’s treasurer, so that Luis Rodríguez be allowed to start exercising the post of assayer immediately, while awaiting receipt of the official ratification from SpainArchivo General de Indias (AGI): México, 169, N. 15. . With this authorization Luis Rodríguez went to the mint of the city on 9 November 1548 where he was sworn in before the following mint officials: Miguel de Herrera, Lieutenant Treasurer; Francisco del Rincón, Die-sinker; Alonso Franco, Guard; Juan de Cepeda, Weight-master, and Pedro Sanchez de la Fuente, the ScribeAGI, (ibid, n. 1.).

Proctor image 10

Late Series 4 reales with the mark of assayer L
(Photo courtesy of Ponterio & Associates, Inc.)

Having been sworn in, Luis Rodríguez was given a year and a half to make the proper payments required, with the penalty of losing his post if he defaulted. In the meantime, Luis Rodríguez’s appointment was ratified under a decree signed in the Village of Cigales on 15 October 1549AGI, Patronato, 284, N. 2, R. 1. by Archduke Maximilian and his wife Doña María (daughter of King Charles I) Archivo General de Simancas (AGS): Patronato Real (PTR), Leg. 26, Docs. 100-112. Archduke Maximilian (son of Ferdinand I, King of Bohemia, Hungary and Croatia and of Anna of Bohemia and Hungary) and Archduchess María of Austria (daughter of King Charles I of Spain and of Isabella of Portugal), acted as Regents of Spain between 29 September 1548 and 22 June 1551, while King Charles was occupied with German aff airs, and Prince Philip was absent traveling in Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. During this period of regency, the Grand Inquisitor (Inquisidor General) and Archbishop of Seville, Fernando de Valdés Salas, was left in charge of handling the matters that pertain to the Holy Office (asuntos del Santo Oficio.), the “Rulers of Bohemia” (los “Reyes de Bohemia”) (an honorary title at the time) IV Jornadas Científicas Sobre Documentación de Castilla e Indias en el siglo XVI. Galende Díaz, Juan Carlos (Director), Cabezas Fontanilla, Susana and Royo Martínez, María del Mar (Editores), de Francisco Olmos, José María and de Santiago Fernández, Javier (Coordinadores). Departamento de Ciencias y Técnicas Historiográficas, Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Section titled “Las misivas reales durante la segunda mitad del siglo XVI: Historia, Diplomática y Cultura Escrita a través de la correspondencia de la Emperatriz María de Austria” by Juan Carlos Galende Díaz and Manuel Salamanca López, Madrid, Spain, 2005, p. 165. Herein the authors write: “…la conveniencia de delegar el poder en las personas de Maximiliano y María, cuyo matrimonio estaba ya concertado, y que tendría lugar el 13 de septiembre de 1548, otorgándoles en la primavera de 1549 el título de «Reyes de Bohemia». Con todo, éste será un título de carácter meramente honorífico, debiendo esperar hasta el 20 de septiembre de 1562 para ver coronado a Maximiliano como rey de Bohemia, y al día siguiente a su mujer.
La Corte de Carlos V. Vol. 1, Tomo 2: “Corte y Gobierno”. Martínez Millán, José and de Carlos Morales, Carlos Javier (coord.). Chapter 14 titled La proyección del príncipe Felipe. Viajes y regencias en la corte hispana, Madrid, Spain, 2000, p. 209. Regarding when Charles I of Spain signed the order authorizing the Regency of Maximilian and María and when they received the initially honorary title of “Rulers of Bohemia” (Reyes de Bohemia), the author writes: “El 29 de septiembre de 1548, en Bruselas, Carlos V firmó los poderes e instrucciones que debían conducir la regencia de su hija y su sobrino, titulados reyes de Bohemia desde febrero del año siguiente, y designaba las personas que compondrían los distintos consejos les habrían de asistir en el gobierno.
, serving as Regents of Spain and the Indies due to the absences of King Charles I and his son Prince PhilipJoanna (Juana), the daughter of Queen Isabella I (Isabel I) of Castile and King Ferdinand II (Fernando II) of Aragón and mother of King Charles, was proclaimed Queen of Castile, León and Granada after her mother’s death (d. 1504), a title that she retained until her death in 1555. After King Ferdinand’s death (d. 1516) Charles and Joanna were proclaimed as co-rulers of Spain in 1517. But Queen Joanna’s title was mostly titular as she had been declared mentally unstable and unable to govern shortly after the death of her husband Philip “the Handsome” of Austria in 1506. During the remainder of her life Queen Joanna was kept confined at the Santa Clara Convent in Tordesillas, near Valladolid in Castile, Spain, first by her father King Ferdinand, and later by her son King Charles. But, despite her confinement, King Charles did continue to consult with her and maintained the pretense of joint rule with his mother, for which, both their names appear on the coins minted in the Americas. .

Proctor image 11Proctor image 12

Archduke Maximilian and his wife, Doña María, "Rules of Bohemia"
Portraits by Antonio Moro (1550 and 1551 - inv. Nos. PO2111 and PO2110)
(© Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid)

Upon receipt of this decree in Mexico, Luis Rodríguez was sworn in again on 18 August 1550AGS: Consejo y Juntas de Hacienda (C.J.H.), leg. 76, fols. 55 and 56; AGS: C.J.H., leg. 89, fol. 80. (Credit for the discovery of these documents goes to Mr. Glenn Murray.).

However, back in Spain, Juan Gutiérrez’s decision to keep the office of smelter, while only transferring that of assayer, would now bring a lengthy litigation when the Attorney General (Fiscal) of the Council of the Indies, Licentiate Martín Ruíz de Agredade Herrera y Tordesillas, Antonio. Historia General de los Hechos de los Castellanos en las Islas y Tierra Firme del Mar Océano o “décadas” (Edición de Mariano Cuesta Domingo.) Madrid, Universidad Complutense, 1991. Reprint of the 1601 edition, Tomo I, p. 241. Although the documents studied only identify this official as Licentiate Agreda, his full name has been verified through the list of Attorney Generals of the Council of the Indies provided by Antonio de Herrera y Tordesillas; historiographer of the Indies and Castile appointed in 1592 by King Philip II. , filed a complaint on the premise that the posts of assayer and smelter were one office and not two. As such, Agreda added, the transfer of the office of assayer to Luis Rodríguez should not have been ratified, as it had been done through concealment and deceitAGI: México, 205, N. 7. This document states: “…el liçençiado agreda fiscal de su magestad en el su consejo rreal de las yndias me ha hecho rrelaçion quel dicho luys Rodriguez gano la merced/ (por) Subrreçion y no verdadera rrelaçion porque en rrealidad de verdad no q tal /ofiçio en la dicha casa ni le A avido en ella sino solamente de ensayador el qual y de fundidor hera una misma cosa E no dos ofiçios…” An added word of advice for those who wish to read the original legajo: there is a mix-up of the images for this legajo. The correct order should be: images 1-4, followed by 11-12, then 7-10, now followed by 5-6, and finally 13-17. .

The complaint was quickly presented before the Council of the Indies who agreed that while the matter was being studied a new decree should be sent to the President and Oidores of the Audiencia of Mexico to prevent Luis Rodríguez from continuing to receive the salaries and other rights bestowed on this office; in short, to prevent him from exercising the post of assayer. On 18 December 1552, Prince Philip, once again while serving as Regent to his father King Charles IAGS: PTR, Leg. 26, Docs. 93, 96 and 121-125. Prince Philip resumed as Regent upon his return to Spain under orders signed on 22 and 23 June 1551. During this period of regency the Grand Inquisitor (Inquisidor General) and Archbishop of Seville, Fernando de Valdés Salas, continued in charge of handling the matters that pertain to the Holy Office under a new signed order. This regency lasted until the beginning of July 1554, when Philip traveled to England for his marriage to Queen Mary I of England and Ireland, daughter of Henry VIII and Catherine (Catalina) of Aragón, King and Queen of England. and following the Council of the Indies’ recommendation, ordered that the Audiencia of Mexico notify Luis Rodríguez of the current decision, while also providing him with a period of eight months from the date that the order was presented to him, to appear before the Council of the Indies in person or by proxy, and present any argument he wanted consideredAGI, (op. cit., n. 9) and AGI, Patronato (op. cit., n. 3.) . As an added warning, and as was customary, the order also advised that absence or rebelliousness would result in the loss of his rights, except that of being notified of the final ruling.

It will be almost a year and a half before this order would be presented before the high tribunals of Mexico. But, while the arrangements were being made for the sending of Prince Philip’s Royal decree, it seems that sometime in 1553 chatter of the pending complaint might have made it to the ears of Luis Rodríguez in Mexico. The appearance of an assayer-mark S around this exact same timeD. Sedwick and F. Sedwick, The Practical Book of Cobs. 4th Edition, (Winter Park, FL, 2007), p. 64. Herein Daniel Sedwick writes: “Die details indicate that the coins of assayer S fit in between two tenures of assayer L and must have been made around 1553-1554, since assayer-S specimens were recovered from the 1554 Fleet off Padre Island, Texas, but not from a late-1549s/ circa-1550 wreck that yielded many specimens of the other assayers at the time (G, R, A, and L.)” in the Mexican coins seems to indicate the presence of an official who might have been tasked with executing Luis Rodríguez’s post, as his lieutenant, while he took the necessary time to formulate his response in preparation for the arrival of the orderAGI, México, 210, N. 30. Although we know that by this time Bernardo de Oñate was already assisting Luis Rodríguez with the post of assayer, it might have been deemed that he did not yet have the skills needed to take on the post without supervision himself, as we know that he was not called upon at this early stage. As mentioned before, no assayer-mark O specimens were recovered from the 1554 Fleet off Padre Island, Texas. .

Proctor image 14

Late Series 4 reales with the mark of assayer S
(Photo courtesy of Ponterio & Associates, Inc.)

Although not currently confirmed, the identity of this missing assayer S might be that of Pedro de Salcedo, an assayer by trade who had previously been employed as diesinker at the mintA. F. Pradeau, Don Antonio de Mendoza y la Casa de Moneda de México en 1543. Documentos inéditos publicados con prólogo y notas. Biblioteca Histórica Mexicana de Obras Inéditas No. 23, Mexico, Antigua Librería Robredo, 1953, pp. 58-59; AGI, Justicia, 277, N. 5.; AGI: México, 204, N. 40. The Guard of the mint, Juan de Santa Cruz, testified on 2 June 1545, during the Tello de Sandoval investigation, that Pedro de Salcedo had worked as die-sinker at the mint, prior to the arrival of Alonso del Rincón. Also, Pedro de Salcedo’s early involvement in the mint is confirmed by several witnesses who provided testimony to his prior services between October 1552 and January 1553. , who was now serving as the Overseer of the Mexican Silversmiths (Veedor de los Plateros de Mexico) M. J. Sarabia Viejo, Don Luis de Velasco, Virrey de Nueva España, 1550-1564. Sevilla: Escuela de Estudios Hispano-Americanos, 1978, p. 103, footnote 76. The date Pedro de Salcedo is given the title of Overseer of the Mexican Silversmiths is provided herein as follows: “L. C., Hans P. Kraus Coll., Item 140, fols. 56vto.-57.—Nombramiento de Pedro de Salcedo como veedor de los plateros de México, 13 de marzo de 1551.” , and who served as Miguel López de Legazpi’s trustee when requesting the post of lieutenant treasurer of the mint in 1553J. García Mendoza, La formación de grupos de poder en la Provincia de la Plata en el siglo XVI. Unpublished thesis, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) (México D. F., Mexico, 2002), p. 181 (and footnote 512). Mr. García Mendoza writes: “Pedro de Salcedo tuvo relación con su suegro, de quien fue fiador, cuando este solicitó el oficio de tesorero de la Casa de Moneda.”
Footnote 512: “El 19 de agosto de 1553, Pedro de Salcedo quedó como fiador de Miguel López de Legazpi, su suegro, quien había solicitado el oficio de tesorero de la Casa de la Moneda AGNM, Archivo Histórico de Hacienda, v. 1505, f. 49v; SDHNCM-AGN, Pedro Sánchez de la Fuente, 1547-1577, No 266, fs. 627-628.”
AGI, (op. cit., n. 9). The presence of Miguel López de Legazpi as the Treasurer of the Mint of Mexico is further confirmed by this document from the General Archive of the Indies, which includes: “En la çiudad de mexico /ocho dias del mes de agosto de myll E quinientos E çinquenta E quatro años notifique el auto desta otra parte contenido y le de bista en esta causa pronunçiados a miguel lopes de legaspi tesorero de la casa de la moneda…
, a post he got. I must also add that the connection between Miguel López de Legazpi and Pedro de Salcedo is notable, as in 1536, prior to the death of Juan de Salcedo, Pedro de Salcedo’s father, Miguel López de Legazpi was designated as the conservator (curador) of his son’s inheritanceGarcía Mendoza (ibid, n. 16), p. 70. Mr. García Mendoza writes: “Juan de Salcedo también entabló una relación de amistad con Miguel López de Legazpi, minero de Tasco y escribano del Cabildo de México. Antes de morir Salcedo en 1536, nombró a López de Legazpi como curador de su hijo Pedro de Salcedo. and later Pedro married Miguel López de Legazpi’s own daughterGarcía Mendoza (ibid, n. 16), pp. 70-71 and 179. On page 179 Mr. García Mendoza writes: “Pedro de Salcedo, el hijo de Juan de Salcedo y de Leonor de Pizarro, contrajo matrimonio con Teresa Garcés, hija de su tutor el adelantado de las Filipinas, Miguel López de Legazpi…. So we now have that the lieutenant treasurer of the mint, Miguel López de Legazpi, had not only served as Pedro de Salcedo’s tutor, but was now his father-in-law.

On 26 June 1554 the Attorney General of Mexico, Licentiate Alonso Maldonado, finally presented Prince Philip’s 1552 Royal decree before the President and Oidores of the Mexican Audiencia and Chancellery. That same day Luis Rodríguez was notified of the order and told to obey itAGI, (op. cit., n. 9) . But Luis Rodríguez was not about to go quietly. On 27 June 1554 Luis Rodríguez appeared before the President and Oidores of the Audiencia where he presented a masterfully crafted petition. Rather than challenge the argument that the posts of assayer and smelter were one office that could not be separated, Luis decided to agree with this claim while at the same time refocusing the attention away from him by pointing out that since it was the office of assayer now being held by him the one named by the laws and decrees, the office that after the Treasurer was the most important, and among the most necessary, being this the post that carried the rights and salaries according to the laws, then it was clear that the true intention of the decree was to prohibit the separate use of the post of smelter. Now, since the post of smelter was a post that he did not currently have, he asserted that a notable error must have been committed when naming him, as the person that it really pertained to was Juan Gutiérrez, who was the one who had held and was still presently holding the post of smelterAGI, (op. cit., n. 9) and AGI, Patronato (op. cit., n. 3.) .

After receiving and looking over Luis Rodríguez’s petition, the Audiencia presented it to the Attorney General, Licentiate Maldonado. On 3 July 1554 the prosecutor (procurador) Juan de Salazar, in representation of Luis RodríguezAGI, (op. cit., n. 9). The contract between prosecutor Juan de Salazar and Luis Rodríguez, dated 27 June 1554 was presented before the Audiencia on 6 July 1554. , appeared before the President and Oidores of the Audiencia and demanded that Attorney General Maldonado provide a response to Luis Rodríguez’s petition. The Audiencia agreed, asking that Maldonado provide his peremptory response by their next meeting, which was to be held on 6 July. But the date came with no response from Maldonado, for which Juan de Salazar then asked and implored to His Highness that the matter be declared concluded and for justice to be made by returning the post of assayer to Luis Rodríguez. But the Audiencia gave Maldonado one more chance to respond, informing him, yet again, to provide his response by their next meeting.

On 7 July the Audiencia met again and this time Maldonado finally appeared. Maldonado now provided a petition in which he stated that the knowledge of this cause did not pertain to the President and Oidores, and as such, what Luis was requesting was a matter that was strictly being ordered to be determined by the Council of the Indies, to whom this should be remitted for them to impart justice. But Maldonado’s warning did not stop the President and Oidores from continuing their deliberations, for which they now requested for the testimonies (autos) to be brought before them, so once viewed, they could administer justice.

On 10 July with the President and Oidores of the Audiencia having concluded their discussions regarding the orders and testimonies, they pronounced their ruling stating that, while this affair was being passed on to His Majesty for consultation, they would order that nothing be done regarding the said assayer, and instead, it was the smelter of the mint who would be notified that from this moment forward he would no longer carry any rights as smelter. In addition, to ensure compliance, it was declared that this order would be notified to the officials at the mint, the merchants and other persons involved in bringing in silver to be coined. And so it was that on 17 July 1554 this decision was proclaimed and published in the presence of Attorney General Maldonado and Luis Rodríguez’s representative, prosecutor Juan de Salazar.

But on 20 July Attorney General Maldonado appeared before the President and Oidores of the Audiencia, where he now appealed the new ruling requesting that it be revoked; again asking that the original decree be brought forth and its provisions followed by the members of the Mexican Audiencia. With this appeal in place, and while Maldonado’s new petition was being presented to Salazar for his comments in representation of Luis Rodríguez, it was recommended that no further action be taken; technically putting the ruling in question on hold.

On 28 July prosecutor Juan de Salazar, on behalf of Luis Rodríguez, answered Maldonado’s petition before the Audiencia, stating that the ruling of the Audiencia had been just in confirming his point of view regarding the true intent and will expressed and contained by the Royal decree, which was more than clear and well understood by the President and Oidores of the Audiencia, as was evident by the proclamation of their latest ruling. Salazar also pleaded that Maldonado’s appeal regarding the original decree not be permitted, asking instead that His Highness be allowed to confirm and ratify the new ruling, so that in the fulfillment of justice full compliance could be received.

With Salazar’s response to Maldonado’s appeal, the President and Oidores of the Audiencia considered again all the testimonies presented, meeting once more on 31 July, where they ruled that even though Maldonado had filed an appeal, their review had confirmed the accuracy of their 10 July ruling, for which they would now proceed to order that this ruling be recorded, followed and implemented in the manner contained within it. As part of this judgment it was also ordered that an authorized report be given to Licentiate Maldonado containing what was enacted and provided regarding the original decree presented by him.

On the same day, following this judgment, the initial ruling was proclaimed again in the presence of Attorney General Maldonado, to whom it had been notified, and Juan de Salazar, as Luis Rodríguez’s prosecutor. With the ruling made public, on 8 August, Miguel López de Legazpi, the Lieutenant Treasurer of the mint, was informed and acknowledged hearing it, as witnessed by Antonio de Carvajal and García Calderón. Juan Gutiérrez followed, finally being notified in person on 21 August, with the court’s scribes Juan de Guevara and Pedro de Requena serving as witnesses.

Also on 21 August 1554 Juan de Salazar went before the President and Oidores of the Audiencia where he presented a petition on behalf of Luis Rodríguez, assayer of the mint, saying that, pertaining to the litigation brought forth by the Attorney General about the known decree, this, as one of the Kingdoms of Castile, had viewed, reviewed and settled this litigation, for which he now pleaded and implored His Majesty’s order that he be given the executory of the decisionsAGI, (op. cit., n. 9). The document states: “…pido y suplico a vuestra alteza mande que se me de executoria de los autos….

As an interesting turn of events, on 23 August 1554 prosecutor Juan de Salazar appeared before the President and Oidores of the Audiencia, yet again. But this time he was no longer appearing as a representative of Luis Rodríguez, but of Juan GutiérrezAGI, (op. cit., n. 9). The contract between prosecutor Juan de Salazar and Juan Gutiérrez, dated 23 August 1554 was presented before the Audiencia on this same day. . Salazar now presents Juan Gutiérrez’s rebuttal of the ruling notified to him on 21 August, which was now blocking his rights to the post of smelter.

Salazar, in the name of, and by virtue of, the authority vested in him by Juan Gutiérrez, on the same day, said that the ruling presented to Gutiérrez was unjust and very damaging, and due to the concerns, gravity and injustice resulting from its passing, it should be annulled, amended and revoked by His Highness. Explaining his arguments, the following points were provided by Juan Gutiérrez though his representative:
1. That prior to the pronunciation of the ruling, he (Juan Gutiérrez) had not been called, heard, or even defeated in court, which was a required right in a case of such magnitude and importance.
2. That, having received the office of smelter from His Highness through his express command, the President and Oidores, talking with the proper right and compliance, were not judges to advise in this case or to pronounce such a harmful ruling against him. Also, that they should not have ordered that the rights to this post be taken away from him, as he had held these rights since 15 years ago to present, and with the loss of these rights he had now seen his removal from the offices that His Highness had awarded him.
3. That the Royal decree for which the President and Oidores were basing their ruling did not pertain to him or name him, and as such, he should not be implicated in this matter.
4. And that, since the post of smelter of the mint is one of the most necessary that the mint should have, and the most important to the King’s services and the good of the Republic, not having this post would result in the royal fifths (taxes) being defrauded in large sums and quantities and there would be a lack of control in the mintage of the coins, for which His subjects would also receive harm.

In conclusion, it was said that as he would copiously prove and it would be learned through the protestation of this cause, that Juan Gutiérrez should continue to have the rights to this post, as he had had in the past. Therefore, it was requested that justice be made by the annulment and rebuke of the previous ruling due to the reasons given above.

After receiving Juan Gutiérrez’s petition, the Audiencia presented it on the same day to Attorney General Maldonado so that he could provide a prompt response. But, on 25 August 1554, when the Audiencia met again, Maldonado, who had previously expressed his disagreement in the Audiencia’s interpretation of the original decree, had still not provided a response. So, prosecutor Salazar, making note of this, appeared before the President and Oidores and asked that, since Maldonado had been notified and given ample time to respond, which he had not, he then asked and implored His Highness that the matter be declared concluded and for justice to be made by returning the post of smelter to Juan Gutiérrez.

Having studied Salazar’s petition the President and Oidores agreed and as requested declared the case closed. Attorney General Maldonado was then notified.

With this latest ruling Juan Gutiérrez was given back the rights to the post of smelter. But the matter was far from over. All these rulings had come from the Mexican court, and Spain had not yet reviewed them or made their final decision.

With the matter still undecided in Spain, Luis Rodríguez, being given eight months to appear before the Council of the Indies in person or by proxy, sent a representative, who again presented Luis Rodríguez’s argument to the Council of the Indies, as it had been presented in Mexico. However, with the inherently slow progress of litigations in the Council of the Indies, it would take years before a final ruling was decreed.

The Council’s examination revealed that their Attorney General, Licentiate Agreda, had erred in thinking that the office that Juan Gutiérrez had ceded to Luis Rodríguez was that of smelter. This prompted Agreda to declare that Luis Rodríguez could not use it or hold any rights to it, as the office of assayer and smelter was one office and not twoAGI, Patronato (op. cit., n. 3.) .

On 26 August 1558 the members of the Council of Indies, after reviewing the lengthy petitions regarding this complaint, ruled in favor of Luis Rodríguez, saying that it should be ordered, as it was ordered, that the title of assayer that was taken away and placed in this complaint should be reinstated back to himAGI, (ibid, n. 24.) . In contrast to the previous decree issued on 18 December 1552, the Council now said that if it was considered necessary, or if Luis Rodríguez requested it, a letter detailing the title could be provided to him, so that he could carry out this post as declared and ordered. Regarding the office of smelter, it was said that since smelting was included under the office of assayer according to the laws and pragmatics of the Spanish realm, then, wrongfully, Luis Rodríguez was now being deprived of the rights derived from smelting.

Last but not least, as for Juan Gutiérrez, since he was the one who ceded the post of assayer to Luis Rodríguez, and the one who was now said to be pretending to have been left with the post of smelter, the Council of the Indies ordered that, rather than Luis Rodríguez, it was Juan Gutiérrez who should be linked with the previous decree and who should be ordered not to use the office of smelter.

Following the announcement of this judgment it was notified to Luis Rodríguez’s representative and to Attorney General Agreda, who did not challenge it. After a short time had passed, still without being challenged, Luis Rodríguez’s representative asked the Council of the Indies to provide him with an executory letter with the judgment, to which they agreed.

By decree signed in the Village of Valladolid on 15 October 1558 by Joanna (Juana) of Austria, Princess of Portugal, Regent of Spain and sister of King Philip IIAGS: PTR, Leg. 26, Docs. 129-133, 135 and 137-139; AGI: Patronato, 170, R. 55. Joanna (Juana) of Austria, Princess of Portugal, became Regent of Spain and the Indies in 1554 under orders from her father, King Charles I of Spain, dated 31 March, 1 April and 12 July of that year.
AGS: PTR, Leg. 17, Doc. 65 (Cesión del feudo de Sicilia); AGS: PTR, Leg. 42, Doc. 12 (Cesión del Reino de Nápoles); AGS: PTR, Leg. 42, Doc. 24 (Cesión del Reino de Sicilia Ulterior); AGS: PTR, Leg. 26, Docs. 162 and 165 (Cesión de los Reinos de Castilla y Aragón, respectivamente). On 15 June 1554 King Charles and his mother Queen Joanna abdicated the Kingdom of Naples and certain lands in Sicily on Prince Philip. King Charles further abdicated on him the Netherlands on 25 October 1555 and the remaining kingdoms in Sicily, Spain and his overseas possessions on 16 January 1556. Philip was officially proclaimed in Valladolid in 1556 as King Philip II of Spain, while he was in the Netherlands.
AGS: PTR, Leg. 26, Docs. 141 and 149-152. After her brother’s ascension to the throne Princess Joanna continued to serve as his Regent of Spain and the Indies under new orders drafted by the now King Philip II of Spain on 17, 23 and 28 January 1556. This period of regency lasted until 2 August 1559 when King Philip II returned to Spain from the Netherlands.
, Luis Rodríguez got his executory letter in the form of a decree that said for Luis Rodríguez to use the office of assayer in all cases and things annexed to it, and ordered that all who saw the judgment from the Council of the Indies, which she was incorporating with it, to keep it, obey it and execute it in its entiretyAGI, Patronato (op. cit., n. 3.) .

But, while this was happening in Spain, news from Mexico had not yet arrived to let them know that on 4 July 1558 Juan Gutiérrez had passed awayAGI, Indiferente, 2048, N. 16. in the town of QuerétaroSituated on the Mexican Plateau at an elevation of about 6,100 feet (1,860 meters) above sea level, Santiago de Querétaro, commonly referred to simply as Querétaro, is located 213 kilometers (132 miles) northwest of Mexico City. According to tradition, the Spaniards founded their town on the site of a pre-colonial Otomí settlement, which they renamed Santiago de Querétaro on 25 July 1531..

Initial Name Began on Left office on
L Luis Rodríguez 9 November 1548 before 14 January 1568
• Office technically owned by Juan Gutiérrez until Luis Rodríguez was ratified by Spain on Oct. 15, 1549 (Luis
Rodríguez as the owner thereafter.)
• Was first sworn in in Mexico on 9 November 1548.
• By 14 January 1568 we are told that he is no longer exercising the post (the post is being exercised through
a lieutenant due to his ailments). It is possible that by 1564 Bernardo de Oñate had already replaced him as
his full time lieutenant.
• Luis dies after a prolonged illness in late 1569.
S Pedro de Salcedo (?) 1553 (?) 1553 (?)
• Owner of the office: Luis Rodríguez.
• Apparently a brief, temporary replacement for Luis Rodríguez in 1553 (?).