|Author(s)||Pedro de la Torre|
Letter from Pedro de la Torre to his friend Manuel Zarzuelo, a dyer.
The author explains to Manuel Zarzuelo that a Corregidor is trying to obtain Manuela Masilla´s marriage and life certificates.
Following an accusation of bigamy, a process occurred between 1755 and 1760 against José Sáez Cantos, although his real name was José Cantos Villasante. The defendant, a native to Valdefinjas (Zamora) and a resident in Buitrago del Lozoya (Madrid), was found guilty. He got married first to Manuela Mansilla in Tagarabuena (Toro, Zamora) in August 1746; and a second time to Isabel de la Cita in Madrid in October of the same year. In order to get married a second time, he paid off three witnesses who said he was a single man. José Cantos Villasante was ratted on to the Holy Office by Manuel Zarzuelo, a dyer native to Buitrago (Madrid), who knew the defendant. After Manuel Zarzuelo denounced it, he was asked to write to “the people he considered to be of the most satisfaction, good Cristians and truthful”, in order to gather reliable information about José Cantos Villasante’s conduct. As a result of this task, Manuel Zarzuelo gathered six letters (PS6135-PS6140) written by different people in 1755. During the process, it was verified that the defendant abandoned Manuela Masilla a few days after they got married and months later he had tried to kill her with a knife. Three years after this happened, José Cantos Villasante wrote a letter to Casimiro González, priest of Villamuriel de Campos (Valladolid). In that letter he confessed his repentance and expressed his wish to go back and live with Manuela Masilla in the company of a daughter from his second marriage. Casimiro González showed the letter to Manuela Masilla and she asked him to write a letter on her behalf (PS6141). Finally, there is a last letter signed by Casimiro González attached to the process documentation. The addressee of this last letter is José Cantos (PS6142). The eight letters were used as exhibit to the process.
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