Henry Charles Lea collection of Inquisition manuscripts
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Henry Charles Lea was a Philadelphian publisher, civil and public rights activist, mathematician, and and ecclesiastical historian. He was born to Isaac Lea, a publisher in Philadelphia, and Frances Anne Carey, the daughter of his partner at his publishing firm, on September 19, 1825. Mr. Lea was tutored by the theoretical mathematician Eugenius Nulty and under his tutelage wrote several papers on various topics in science and mathematics at a young age. On May 27, 1850, Henry Charles Lea married his wife Anna Caroline Jaudon, who was also his first cousin. Together they had two children, Nina Lea and Arthur Henry Lea. At a young age, Mr. Lea had begun working at his father's publishing firm, which underwent many name changes throughout its existence. During these years he suffered a nervous breakdown and abandoned his study of science and mathetics. Eventually, after reading through some medieval French memoirs, he became interested in medievil history and ultimately decided to become a historian. He focused on ecclesiastical history of the Middle Ages and became a leading scholar on the Spanish Inquisition. He wrote several books on these topics, many of which are still renowned for their research today. During his time as a historian, he also earned honorary degrees from Harvard, Princeton, and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as from the Giessen in Moscow.
During the Civil War, Henry Charles Lea was a member of the Union League of Philadelphia and oversaw its publication committee. Under the Enrollment Act in 1863, he was appointed as one of the Bounty Commissioners and, through this position, became involved with recruiting African American regiments for the Union. In 1881, he was chosen to be the president of the National Republican League and the next year, he was president of the Association of Republicans and Independents. He was also an active civil and public rights activist, involved in issues such as the placement of City Hall in Philadelphia and in the opposition of opening of a slaughterhouse along the Schuylkill River.
On October 24, 1909, Henry Charles Lea died in Philadelphia and was buried at the Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Source: "Henry Charles Lea and the Libraries within a Library," by Edward Peters.
This collection consists of original manuscripts previously stored with copies of manuscripts made for Henry Charles Lea at various archives in Europe. The majority of the documents in the collection are from Inquisition trials, arranged by the name of the defendant, including records of the trials of 13 women and one man accused of heresy, held in Toledo; the trial of Francesco Barozzi, accused of witchcraft, held in Venice in 1587; and the trial of Friar Thomas Maldonado, accused of fornication, held in Mexico City in 1594.
A small amount of correspondence follows, arranged by name of author, comprising a 1533 letter from Fiscal Miguel de Galbe to the Inquisitor General; 1807 correspondence between the viceroy of Mexico, José de Iturrigaray, and the Mexican Tribunal of the Inquisition by which the viceroy sought to determine the actual boundaries between the Spanish territory of Texas and the territory of Louisiana, recently acquired by the United States; and a 1773 letter from the chaplain of Quechula, Josef Nicolás Marqués, reporting a denunciation to the inquisitor Juliàn Vicente González Andia.
A small number of other manuscripts are arranged alphabetically: a discourse (discorso) by Angelo Gioccatana (anagrammatic pen name for Gaetano Niccolò Ageta) on the history and role of the Inquisition in the Kingdom of Sicily and Naples, given in Naples in 1691; a 1579 edict (edicto) of the Inquisition in Mexico stating its authority, purpose, and expectations of the public; a highly calligraphic document (Escrito curioso) consisting of a short theological treatise in Spanish followed by religiously themed illustrations, acrostics, poems, odes, and elegies, all in Latin; and a 1767 royal decree (real cédula) proclaiming royal jurisdiction (as opposed to ecclesiastical jurisdiction) over bigamy in Spanish America. The remaining documents are miscellaneous French documents related to the balance of power between the Pope and European monarchs and to the Kingdoms of Aragon and Navarra, including references to Moors and Christians in the 8th and 9th centuries; and an unidentified index of Italian books.
3 oversize items are stored with the collection: a letter (prior to 1728) of Juan de Archederra, Bishop of Nueva Segovia (Philippines), to Francisco Garzarón, inquisitor of Mexico, concerning a edict of the Emperor of China; a 1724 denunciation to the Inquisition of a Jansenist in China; and a papal brief of 1692 from Innocent XI listing the powers and permissions granted (facultates concessae) to Guglielmo Basserio in his post as apostolic vicar.
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Nicole Love
- Finding Aid Date
- 2015 April 1
- Access Restrictions
This collection is open for research use.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.