Chapter Five
Further Proceedings (1533-1534)

Testimony of
Diego Hernandez

Toledo, August 11, 1533

     Doctor (Diego de) Albornoz preached in 1525 or 1526 in Santiuste (1) before the archbishop(of Toledo, Alonso Fonseca) and severely reprimanded the doctors because they did not preach, describing them in the words of Isaiah (56:10) as dumb dogs, not able to bark. It grieved him to think, (he said), that for lack of doctrine the herd was perishing and that because of their disregard, Satan was carrying off many sheep and why did not they call out (to save the flock'? ) When the sermon was over, Doctor Vergara, greatly offended, took Doctor Albornoz aside and in the presence of several letrados, rebuked him severely for what he had said. What responsibility did one have toward others? Vergara asked. One should perform the duties of his office and not tend to the business of others. Everyone knew what he was supposed to do, and other such words (Vergara spoke).

     Doctor Albornoz excused himself by saying, "Do not dispute with me, sir, I have said nothing. It was not I who spoke, but the Holy Spirit which spoke within me and made me speak as I did. " To this Doctor Vergara replied, "I deny your Holy Spirit," or "I don't believe in your Holy Spirit, " or "I don't believe in that Holy Spirit

1. The Church of San Justo y Pastor at Alcala.



which makes you speak and preach such doctrine; it seems to me that whereas the mouths of the good are clean, the mouths of the wicked are foul and unclean. " (2) I (Diego Hernandez) do not consider these to be Christian words, but the most corrupt words, which do not come from a clean spirit, but from one bespattered in blood. Not to believe in the Holy Spirit is not far from being a Greek. (3) I did not hear this (conversation of Vergara's) myself. I heard (about) it from maestro (Pedro) Alejandro, who is a doctor (of theology at Alcala) and who, I believe, was present.... In the college of theologians, where he and I were colegiales, he told me and the other maestros (about this).

Testimony of
Juan de Vitoria

Medina del Campo, September 17, 1533

     About four or five years ago this witness was in Las Navas with don Pedro de Avila, lord of that place. This witness spoke harshly of Erasmus, and don Pedro, speaking well of Erasmus, showed this witness a book ... in which book he showed this witness a letter written by Erasmus to Doctor Vergara, secretary of the very reverend lord archbishop of Toledo, the salutation of which read, "Juan de Vergara, excellent or supreme theologian. " This witness read the said letter but he does not recall the contents of it nor does he recall if it was signed with Erasmus' name. However, don Pedro told him that the letter was from Erasmus, and this witness believes don Pedro will have this letter in the said book.

2. Psalms, 50:19; 109:2. Proverbs, 10:31-32. Titus, 1:15.
3. The Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches hold divergent views on the Holy Spirit. In Roman Catholic theology as expressed in both the Athanasian and the Nicene Creeds, the Holy Spirit proceeds from both Father and Son. The Greek Orthodox view involves the theory of a derivative procession of the Holy Spirit: from Father, through Son, to the Holy Spirit. For a brief and lucid analysis of the history and theology involved in this problem, see J. A. Bigg, Saint Anselm of Canterbury, London, 1896, p. 180.


Testimony of
Inquisitor Alonso Mejia(4)

Toledo, September 23, 1533

     He said that about two years ago, when this witness was in the choir of the holy church of this city, in his chair as a canon, Francisco de Silva, a canon of the said holy church, who occupied a chair three or four chairs below this witness, came alongside this witness' chair and asked how the Tovar affair was getting on. This witness told him how the case was going. Then Francisco de Silva said, "Well, Tovar is a saint in comparison with his brother Doctor Vergara. " This witness asked how he knew this, and Francisco de Silva replied that he considered Vergara to be a great heretic because he never saw Vergara hear mass in all the time he was in the house of his master the archbishop of Toledo, even though .Vergara's apartment faced on the door of the room where mass was said for the archbishop. Nor did Francisco de Silva ever see Vergara pray the canonical hours all during this time.... However, after they seized Vergara's brother Tovar, from that time on he saw Vergara hear mass and pray in his breviary.

Testimony of
Francisco de Silva

Toledo, September 25, 1533

     He said that about six or seven years ago, when the archbishop of Toledo was in Valladolid with the court ... the archbishop had his quarters in an apartment whose bedroom gave out on a room where

4. Here we have the unusual (and rank) phenomenon of one of the trial judges appearing as a witness against the defendant, and repeating unsubstantiated gossip. See the testimony of Francisco de Silva, which follows this.


mass was said; and opposite where the altar was placed was the door, in a straight line with the chamber where Doctor Vergara had his quarters.... This witness often saw that when mass was being said in the said room, the hanging before the door of Doctor Vergara's room was not raised ... (so that) Vergara could not hear the masses that were being said. And this witness saw this many times, knowing that Doctor Vergara was in the said room at the time mass was being said, and he never saw the hanging raised so that Vergara could hear mass, notwithstanding the fact that sometimes this witness saw Vergara come out to the said room and hear mass in it and that this witness also saw Vergara hear mass in other places where the archbishop went to mass.

     Silva's story did not quite fit all the details given in the testimony of trial judge and Inquisitor Mejia. So Inquisitor Vaguer then asked Silva if the latter had said he had never seen Vergara hear mass or pray until after the seizure of Tovar and that therefore he considered Tovar to be a saint in comparison with Vergara. Silva replied that although he recalled telling one of the inquisitors in the choir at Toledo about Vergara's failure to hear mass on certain occasions, he never made any remark to the effect that Vergara never said mass until after Tovar's imprisonment, nor did he ever say he considered Tovar to be a saint in comparison with Vergara. In fact, said Silva, in the five years he had known Vergara, he had never seen Vergara commit any bad example other than the one mentioned above.

Testimony of
Bernardino de Tovar

     When the Toledo inquisitors questioned Tovar on December 10, 1529, (5) before Tovar's imprisonment, Tovar stated that he knew the library of Doctor Vergara included a book by Oecolampadius. Now, with Vergara regularly appealing to the Council against the

5. Not on December 2, as appears in Marcel Bataillon, Erasmo y Espana, Mexico, 1950, vol. ii, p. 14, n. 3.


delays in his case, and feeling the pressure of outside influences in behalf of Vergara, the inquisitors questioned Tovar more extensively on the matter of Lutheran books in Vergara's library.

Toledo, October 9, 1533

     This witness said he did not have Oecolampadius' book here in Toledo but in Alcala where this witness had placed it among the books of his brother Doctor Vergara, because as Doctor Vergara was absent from Alcala this witness had charge of his books. There were (regularly) brought to this witness from Flanders certain bound books of holy doctors, and along with them came the said Oecolampadius in a separate binding, and so it remained there until this witness sent it to the Council of the Inquisition.

     Asked if the book by Oecolampadius and the others he mentioned were sent (from Flanders) for this witness or for his brother Doctor Vergara, he said that the person who undertook to send them did not know Doctor Vergara and did not send the books for him, but for this witness, and he wrote from Flanders that such books were read and sold publicly.

     Asked who this person was who sent him the said books, he replied that he wrote to Burgos to one Diego del Castillo who had some contacts in Flanders, because at that time books came here (to Spain) only with great difficulty. So he sent a note to Castillo, asking him to send to Flanders, since he (Castillo) had acquaintances there in Flanders, and have certain books by Catholic doctors purchased there. At the end of his note to Castillo, this witness said he would like to have any other new books which could be bought without creating suspicion, and which dealt with matters of Holy Scripture.... This is why, in the note from Flanders which the said Diego del Castillo sent to this witness at Alcala, he spoke of how those books which came, and which this witness had not asked for, were bought, sold and read publicly in Flanders. Asked how much time had elapsed between the time he received the said book of Oecolampadius until he sent it to the Council of the Inquisition, he replied that he does not remember, but he thinks it was probably more than two years, and that his brother Doctor


Vergara wrote him from Madrid about three of four years ago about the books and told him how in Madrid they had ordered or published an edict against the possession of suspicious books and that they should be brought before the Inquisition. Therefore, Doctor Vergara wrote to tell this witness not to wait for the publication of the said edict in Alcala but to go through the books in Vergara's house, as well as those which had been sent to this witness from Flanders.

     Those which seemed to him to be of the wrong type, or not Catholic, he was to send right away to Madrid so that they might be seen in the Council of the Holy Inquisition, which was in Madrid at that time as was Vergara, and this witness did so.

     Asked if he knows whether the said Doctor Vergara read in that book of Oecolampadius and if Vergara knew that the book was in his library, as this witness has said it was, he replied that although all the many doctors of Alcala had read in the said book of Oecolampadius, he is certain that the said Doctor Vergara had not either read or seen it, because at the time the said doctors were reading it, Doctor Vergara was not in Alcala.... This book by Oecolampadius, which was sent to this witness from Flanders, was his "On Isaiah," and the said doctors were reading it to see if it contained any errors.

Testimony of
Gil Lopez de Bejar

      In their depositions against Vergara, Francisca Hernandez and Maria Ramirez had named as a witness to Vergara's heresies the Franciscan friar, Gil Lopez de Bejar, preacher to Emperor Charles V.

      Friar Gil, who was travelling with the imperial court, was located for an interview in Brussels on January 5, 1532. The report of his statements was not received in Toledo, however, until October of the following year, at which time it was included in Vergara's trial. (6)

6. On second thought, this does not make much sense. Surely it did not take almost two years for the testimony of Bejar to reach Spain from Flanders. Most likely it arrived a few months after it was taken, and was then filed away for use on some appropriate occasion - this


Toledo, October 27, 1533

     Friar Gil was asked about certain articles of confession made in Toledo by Francisca Hernandez and her maid Maria Ramirez ... the substance of which is that the said Francisca Hernandez and her maid Maria Ramirez said that Doctor Vergara maintained that indulgences granted by our most holy father were a joke and that oral prayer broke one's head, that mental prayer was sufficient, and that he greatly praised Luther and his opinions. These two women say that the said Friar Gil was present when Doctor Vergara made these remarks.

     Friar Gil replied under oath that he does not remember having been present at any conversations between Doctor Vergara and Francisca Hernandez and her maid Maria Ramirez. Therefore he does not remember hearing Doctor Vergara speak such words before the said two women. However, in general the said Friar Gil did hear Vergara, in other discussions, praise some things about Luther and he advised Vergara, as a friend and neighbor, to be more moderate in his speech.

     He was asked, since he admonished Doctor Vergara as a brother and neighbor, to desist in his praise of some of Luther's teachings, to state under oath the specific points on which he admonished Vergara to desist. He replied that he does not recall any particulars except that Doctor Vergara, in criticizing the great abuses which (he claimed) existed in connection with indulgences, spoke some words which might condemn him, but that he does not recall what those words were.

one. As a matter of fact, the number of marginal notations ("Taken from the trial of so-and-so") which appear in Vergara's trial tell us that the inquisitors of Toledo were combing their files thoroughly for every scrap of incriminating material against Vergara.


Testimony of
Diego Hernandez

Toledo, October 30, 1533

     Asked if he remembers where he and the said maestro (Juan del) Castillo were at the time he heard Castillo say that Vergara was danado and a fino luterano endiosado and how many times and how long ago he heard Castillo say it, he replied that in 1529 he and maestro Castillo were at La Garena, the family estate of Castillo's mother, near Alcala, this witness having come from Guadalajara to see Castillo at La Garena. This was at the time that maestro Castillo had left this kingdom to embark with our lord the emperor when he was going to his coronation (which took place in October, 1520).

     (But) Castillo came back by way of Guadalajara, where this witness was living at the time, and told this witness that the principal reason he had returned was to take this witness with him. From there he then went to the family estate of La Garena and he told this witness (about Vergara's - and everybody else's - Lutheranism) more than three times. Asked if maestro Castillo told him how he knew that Doctor Vergara was a fino luterano ... this witness replied that maestro Castillo did not tell him how he knew, but he told this witness that Vergara and the other persons named by this witness were finos luteranos because he knew that this witness was ill disposed to accept Castillo's (heretical) opinions. So to facilitate persuading this witness to hold such opinions, Castillo told him of the other persons who were finos luteranos.

Testimony of
Diego de Albornoz

      Diego Hernandez, testifying in Toledo on August 11, 1533, had accused Vergara of berating Doctor Albornoz for an offensive sermon. When Albornoz defended himself on the ground that the


      Holy Spirit had spoken through him, Vergara (according to Hernandez) replied with a vigorous denial of the Holy Spirit. The inquisitors accordingly sent an agent to Alcala to secure a statement from Albornoz on this point. It must have disappointed them.

Alcala, December 14, 1533

     He was asked if he remembered that preaching one day in 1525 or 1526 in Alcala in the church of San Juste before his lordship the archbishop of Toledo, he rebuked the doctors because they did not preach ... and lamented that for lack of doctrine the herd was perishing and through the doctors' disregard of duty Satan was carrying off many sheep.

     Doctor Albornoz replied that about seven or eight years ago he preached in Santiuste before the archbishop. He does not recall the subject of his sermon except that when he finished the sermon, Doctor Vergara praised the sermon, except that Vergara told him, "Do not bother to rebuke them, for it accomplishes nothing, Do your own job and forget the others." As for the rest of the charge, this witness recalls none of it.

     Albornoz then named four of his colleagues from Alcala as having been present on the occasion described. Under questioning from December 15 to 19 (94v-95v), three of them testified that they never heard Vergara speak the words attributed to him by Diego Hernandez. The fourth witness, Alonso Sanchez, stated that he did hear Vergara say something to the effect that he did not believe in the Holy Spirit.

Testimony of
Cristobal de Gumiel

      On December 15, 1533, Vergara finally revealed, after persistent questioning, that the licentiate Cristobal de Gumiel had been obtaining secret information for Vergara on the proceedings in Tovar's trial (233r-v). Gumiel was jailed by the inquisitors, and on December 20,


1533, he confessed that he had worked through Pedro de Hermosilla, notary of the Toledo tribunal, to procure the secret information which Vergara wanted regarding the trial of Tovar (235r-v). On January 22 of the following year (7) Gumiel revealed more details of these events.

Toledo, January 22, 1534

     After the imprisonment of Tovar) Doctor Vergara wrote to licentiate Gumiel from Madrid, where the court was and where Doctor Vergara was residing. He asked that Gumiel try, with the said bachiller (Hermosilla) to provide that all go well with Tovar. So licentiate Gumiel spoke to bachiller Hermosilla, urging him to try to do what he could in the Tovar matter, since Doctor Vergara would be able to see that (Hermosilla) got some benefice (as a reward).... The said bachiller Hermosilla replied to the said licentiate Gumiel that he would do it.... Later, licentiate Gumiel found out that the publication (of witnesses against Tovar) had been given to bachiller Tovar.

     Gumiel communicated this news to Doctor Vergara, but the said Doctor Vergara (already) knew this from the intelligence he had with his brother (in a secret letter).... The said Doctor Vergara asked Gumiel to find out from Hermosilla the names of the witnesses against Tovar. Hermosilla gave this information to Gumiel, and the latter transmitted it to Doctor Vergara in writing.

     Afterward, Doctor Vergara asked the said licentiate Gumiel to speak again to bachiller Hermosilla and find out what Francisca Hernandez was saying against Vergara (himself). Bachiller Hermosilla said he did not know and could not say, but he believed it was something about indulgences.... Afterward, the said bachiller Hermosilla left Toledo for San Martin de Valdeiglesias. The said Doctor Vergara was not in this city (of Toledo at the time). When he did come (to Toledo, however), he asked licentiate Gumiel to send for Hermosilla. Gumiel wrote to Hermosilla asking him to come to Toledo and (telling him) he would not regret it. So one night Hermo-

7. That is, 1534. The trial records give the date as January 22, 1533, an obvious clerical error.


silla arrived at Gumiel's house (in Toledo I and the two of them went to the cloister where Doctor Vergara was staying.... Hermosilla and Vergara remained alone together; licentiate Gumiel did not know and did not want to know what transpired.

     Licentiate Gumiel said ... that he promised Hermosilla, in Vergara's name, that the archbishop of Toledo would take care of him at the proper time and that Gumiel (himself) would give Hermosilla thirty ducats in two or three installments ... and at the instance of Gumiel, Doctor Vergara gave licentiate Gumiel, on two or three occasions, fifteen thousand maravedis, which Gumiel took and sent to the bachiller Hermosilla.

     Licentiate Gumiel said he told bachiller Hermosilla, on behalf of Doctor Vergara, that he (Vergara) would see to it that the archbishop (of Toledo) provided for Hermosilla and that meanwhile he (Vergara) would arrange for Hermosilla to be given fifteen thousand maravedis each year.

     Licentiate Gumiel said he knows of no person who may have been urged by Doctor Vergara to absent himself (from Spain). Rather, Doctor Vergara once told licentiate Gumiel how distressed he was at the thought ... that he was suspected of having caused Mosen Pascual to leave this kingdom, and he (Vergara) swore that such an idea had never crossed his mind. Rather, he sought to have Mosen (8) Pascual remain with the archbishop of Toledo after the imprisonment of Tovar.... Likewise with (Juan del) Castillo, Vergara swore that he never in his life wrote to or concerned himself with Castillo. And the same suspicion was held against Vergara because a prisoner named Juan or Pedro de Villafana had left Spain. (9) (Vergara also swore) that he had never written to (Juan de) Valdes advising him to leave Spain, but that when Valdes was in Murcia or Cartagena, Vergara wrote him a general letter, fearful lest the letter be lost. (10) Even if it had been lost, one could not gather from it any suggestion by Vergara that it seemed a good idea for Valdes to (leave Spain and) join his brother (Alfonso de Valdes) in

8. That is, Mateo.
9. This must be Gaspar de Villafana.
10. That is, lest it fall into the hands of the wrong people.


     the service of the king (Emperor Charles V), since there was no arrangement in Castile with the archbishop of Toledo (to take care of Valdes). The letter was so general that one could not get the impression from it that (Vergara was advising Valdes) either to leave (the country) or stay in Castile, but that (Vergara was simply telling Valdes) to do as he pleased.

Testimony of Vergara

Toledo, March 2, 1534

     As soon as Tovar was taken prisoner, licentiate Gumiel came to Madrid ... and told this witness how he (Gumiel) had learned that the cause of Tovar's imprisonment was principally Francisca Hernandez, who had accused Tovar of holding all those propositions listed on the paper which licentiate Mejia sent to the archbishop (of Toledo) ... and that likewise the said Francisca Hernandez had accused this witness (Vergara) of three or four things.... Licentiate Gumiel told this witness that he had learned all this from bachiller Hermosilla, who was a very good friend of his and that it had been arranged for Hermosilla to keep him advised of all other matters appropriate to the case.... Then licentiate Gumiel told this witness that Hermosilla was poor and it would be necessary to satisfy him and do something for him. This witness replied that he would see to it that everything possible was done for him (Hermosilla). Licentiate Gumiel replied, giving more details, and giving (Vergara) to understand that it was money Hermosilla needed. This witness was quite upset at what seemed to him like a dirty business, but out of necessity he decided to reply to licentiate Gumiel that he was willing to help with some money, and on ... several occasions this witness gave Gumiel as much as forty ducats.... He also offered to give Hermosilla fifteen thousand maravedis yearly... which he gave through licentiate Gumiel.

     Later, licentiate Gumiel gave this witness a certain memorial of names of witnesses in the Tovar case, but he does not remember if this memorial was in the handwriting of Gumiel or Hermosilla. It


     contained ten or twelve names of witnesses.... Also, he said that licentiate Gumiel, on information from bachiller Hermosilla, told this witness several times how Friar Bernardino (de Flores), priest of Pinto, had deposed against this witness, and that Doctor (Pedro) Ortiz was called to the house of Inquisitor Mejia and questioned, and that (Ortiz) had said nothing of importance.