|Author(s)||María del Carmen Bertrodano|
|Addressee(s)||Diego González Pardo|
Letter from María del Carmen Bertrodano to Diego González Pardo.
The author expresses her love to Diego and assures him her firm intention to go on with the engagement. She tells him about her mother´s watch and her confessor´s opposition to the engagement.
On July the 30th 1772, Diego González Pardo, a resident in Seville and administrator of the corn exchange, brought a lawsuit before justice denouncing the coercion María del Carmen Bertrodano was being subjected to not to marry him. He presented a love note proving the young woman´s acquiescence to get married. He asked for the note to be acknowledge as hers by the author and to take her out of her family´s house, since her mother was coercing her and preventing any communication between them from happening. María del Carmen was taken to San Clemente´s convent in order to avoid both parties contacting her. She was asked to verify whether some other notes were also hers, which she did, and she stated her intention to marry Diego Pardo was firm. Her mother, Gertrudis Laurier, assured her daughter had been seduced and she argued the important age gap between the spouses: Diego was more than 60 years old whilst María del Carmen was only 18. Besides, Diego´s criminal past was brought up, although he managed to refute it. He had indeed killed a man who had uttered blasphemies against the Holy Ghost, but he was pardoned on the occasion of the coronation of Fernando VI. On the other hand, although some witnesses believed he had been banished to Portugal for committing certain excesses, the truth was he had travelled as a commissioner of the Council and he was received by princes and noblemen in the Portuguese Court where he had the honour of seating in Infante Don Manuel´s chamber. Finally, he denied he had given his word to marry any other woman, which showed his genuine interest for María del Carmen. When the latter was interrogated, she assured she had not been seduced by her suitor and that the marriage promise was firm. Besides, she stated that her mother had tried to bribe her by offering her a gown, a gold watch, ornaments and a diamond brooch. She was asked to confirm a last letter that Diego Pardo had received from a Teresa Antonia de Abreu Bertrodano. Although she said she had never met in person (she believed she was a cousin who was a nun and lived in the Court), she confirmed she was mentioned in the last paragraphs of the letter, in which Diego Pardo was urged to free the young woman from the engagement. The ruling was favourable to Diego Pardo and they initiated the paperwork to celebrate the wedding.
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