Corporate Body - Cámara de Castilla (España)

Cámara de Castilla (España)

Identification

Type:

Corporate Body

Preferred form:

Cámara de Castilla (España)Other forms

Fechas de Existencia:

from 1323 to 1834

History:

The Chamber of Castile is an organism born from the Council of Castile, whose mission is to counsel the King on the matters that fall exclusively within its purview. With respect to the creation date, its origin is rather imprecise. Nevertheless, it becomes thoroughly accepted in terms of its function, since it is regarded as the practice of grace, mercy and the ultimate distribution of privilege, namely the essence of the Antique Régime. Segregated from the Royal Council of Castile for this purpose, it will evolve into a specialized organism under the reign of the Catholic Monarchs. The subsequent instructions by Charles V, especially those of 1528, fully consolidate it. The increasing complexity and the progressive accumulation of powers in the course of the 16th century perfectly illustrate the Chamber’s subtle practice of distribution of benefits in the mosaic of shared powers which characterized Castilian Monarchy. With this purpose in mind and an added intention to shell the Chamber of Castile with an institutional armature, Philip II will issue the Instruction of 6-I-1588, which is the most relevant instruction featured in its corpus of standards.

As wide was the range of competences it assumed over the centuries as the “voluntad regia” in the Antique Régime. The grace and mercy encompassed the concession of titles of nobility, nobilities, encomiendas*, legitimizations, naturalizations, duties, civil and ecclesiastic benefits, as well as the far-reaching practice of forgiveness and, of course, the vast body of licenses of primogeniture foundation and modification, book printing, among others. The prosecutors’ requests were submitted and sent by the Court.

As part of the “polysynodial system” of the Spanish central Administration, the Chamber of Castile and the rest of the Councils were abolished by Royal Decree of 24-III-1834.

*Encomienda: a labor system in Spain which rewarded conquerors with the labor of a particular group of people.

Internal Structure-Genealogy:

Its original structure was very simple: two or more Councils which were part of the Royal Council and a royal Secretary who dealt with the matters of grace, mercy and royal patronage. Having fully consolidated the Chamber as an autonomous conciliar organism, the Philippine reform (1588) also fixed the staff: a President who also chaired the Royal Council, several councilors and three Secretaries, namely the Secretary of Chamber or Grace, that of Justice Purposes and of Royal Patronage. These Secretariats, defined in order to rationalize and separate the different affairs, will constitute the real armature of the Council. Although no structural changes were implemented throughout the 17th century, the 18th century set a milestone in the organizational scheme of the Chamber and the other Councils, since its territorial jurisdiction reached the Crown of Aragon with the help of the new Secretariat. The Chamber and the Royal Council will exist side by side and its Secretariats will fuse and undergo changes during a period characterized by political and administrative fluctuation.

Context:

The documentation incorporated in the fond of the Council of the Chamber of Castile has a constitutional origin and is held in the General Archive of Simancas (in Spanish "Archivo General de Simancas") and the National Historic Archive (in Spanish "Archivo Histórico Nacional").

Mandates/Legal Sources

Description:

-Instrucción de Felipe II del 6-I-1588 por la que se organiza la Cámara de Castilla.

-Real Decreto del 24-III-1834 que pone fin al régimen polisinodial del Antiguo Régimen.

Sources

Código de Referencia de PARES: ES.28079.AHN/1.1.1//

Código de Referencia de PARES: ES.47161.AGS/2.1//

Related Authorities

Consejo de Castilla (España)  ( Resulted from the separation of; La Cámara de Castilla es un organismo nacido del Consejo de Castilla pero es segregada del Consejo Real de Castilla para cumplir con su función de otorgar gracias y mercedes del rey )

Associative relations :

Junta de Vestir la Casa (España)  ( Related by administrative processing; La Junta de Vestir la Casa no parecía tener ninguna vinculación con la Cámara de Castilla, sin embargo, sus despachos eran refrendados, hasta el año 1668, por el Secretario de Justicia de la Cámara. )