Corporate Body - Real Cancillería de los Reyes de Aragón

Real Cancillería de los Reyes de Aragón



Corporate Body

Preferred form:

Real Cancillería de los Reyes de Aragón

Fechas de Existencia:

from 1257 to 1727


Since the 13th century, the monarchs of Aragon had an organised Chancellery, regulated by successive ordinances partly inspired by the usual standards in the pontifical chancellery. The chancellery was leaded by the chancellor. It also counted on the help of a vice-chancellor, a keeper of the seals, a prothonotary, several public notaries and scribes; in addition, it was formed by some junior employees to poach seals, keep records, etc.

This register has operated in Aragon since 1257, under the King Jaime I's command. The documents emitted by the monarch were copied in chronological order. The King Jaime II assigned two chambers of the Royal Palace of Barcelona to the headquarters of the Royal Archive in 1318, where registers of the Aragonese Chancellery were left. In this way, the documentation, scattered in several deposits so far, was gathered in one single unit.

The monarch Peter the Ceremonious transformed the Royal Archive in a permanent documentation office. He named Pere Perseya, his scribe, archivist in 1346 and fixed his functioning in the Ordinances of 1384. The registers produced by the chancellery of the King and its lieutenants were delivered to the archive in a systematic and uninterrupted way until 1727.

The post of Chancellor was created by Jaime I. At first, he was conceded the conservation and aplication of the royal seal. The post was generally given to a bishop, regarded as the first monarch's counsellor. He presided over the Audience and the regal Chancellery and, in the absence of the monarch, the Royal Council. The attributions for this post were to read, to sign and to send the documents of the regal Chancellery.

The administrative registers produced by the Royal Chancellery entered the Royal Archive numbered and classified in series. Until the 15th century, the registers were unique for all the kingdoms and territories of the Crown of Aragon, with special series for Sardinia, Majorca, Sicily and Naples. This unit broke in the 15th century when registers from the Kingdom of Valencia (1419) and the Kingdom of Aragon (1461) that were sent to the respective royal archives of Valencia and Zaragoza were individualised. The series of Catalonia, Majorca and Sardinia remained in the archive of Barcelona.

These registers were not always delivered sistematically and according to the same criteria. Because of this, the ones that normally had been placed in the Royal Archive of Valencia ended up in the Royal Archive of Barcelona and viceversa.

Furthermore, the registers sent by the King and his Council had remained at the Court since 1620. Later, they were delivered to the General Archive of Simancas


The documentary fonds found in the Royal Chancellery of the Monarchs of Aragon are guarded in the Archive of the Crown of Aragon (Barcelona). Similar fonds are preserved in the rest of archives of the King of Aragon, mainly in the Archive of the Kingdom of Valencia, the State Archive of Palermo and, in a more fragmentary way, in the Archive of the Zaragoza Council and the State Archive of Naples. A significant number of registers is still conserved in the National Historical Archive of Madrid and other isolated registers in other Archives and Libraries, as the Academy of History or the Vatican Archives.

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Fondo documental relacionado con la autoridad.:

Censo-Guía de Archivos de España e Iberoamerica