Chapter Six
Vergara Answers His Accusers

Toledo, March 6, 1534

     For many months the Toledo inquisitors had delayed their formal presentation of charges against Vergara, hoping always to find more "evidence" against him. Vergara repeatedly had demanded that the charges be presented, and the Council itself, as well as the archbishop of Toledo, had begun to press the Toledo inquisitors to proceed with publication of the official charges. Finally, publication was made on November 8, 1533 (fols. 194r-201r), and Vergara replied immediately to each of the unidentified witnesses against him, some of whom he was able to identify by name (201r-204r). It was not until four months later, however, that Vergara completed his lengthy written reply to all the details of the accusations made against him by all the witnesses who had appeared. On March 6, 1534, Vergara presented his written defense to the Toledo inquisitors. It was an impressive performance (257r-291v).

     I, Doctor Vergara, wishing to reply to the statements of witnesses given me in publication last November 8 in my case with the Fiscal of this Holy Office, state: first, that because of the time I was detained in this jail, I appealed against my unjust imprisonment to their lordships of the Council of the Holy General Inquisition (on June 26, 1533), and ... while my appeal was still pending, my imprisonment was made more severe and was aggravated. From this innovation (in legal procedure 1, as it was done in prejudice against my appeal, I made a new appeal on the 18th or 20th of July.(1)

1. July 19 (1533).



     Their lordships of the Council were requested and solicited many times for their reply to my appeals. It appears they did not give a reply; rather, while they replied (in regard) to other matters of this case, they glossed over my appeals. Finally at my insistence and urging, a petition of mine was sent to the Council, expressing my dissatisfaction and asking them to order that a reply be made to my appeals, by replying at the bottom of my petition. And thus almost three months went by... until a reply was brought from their lordships which was read to me on September 26, 1533, and was dated in Madrid four or five days earlier (September 22). This reply was equivocal (and seemed to be an attempt to evade my appeals) ... by saying that in spite of my appeals they were referring the case back to the inquisitors of Toledo. They said nothing about confirming or revoking my imprisonment, on which point I had particularly made my appeal, and not on the case itself, which could very well have proceeded without my being imprisoned in this fashion. For we know that other and more serious cases have been tried here with the accused being allowed the freedom of the city, although some of them probably had less honor to lose (by the shame of imprisonment) than do I.

     At the time this reply (from the Council) was read to me, I, considering that if I replied to it I would have to wait another three months for their reply, told the inquisitors that in view of their lordships' reply, since no more could be done, I therefore asked for publication (of the charges against me). I asked for publication with the understanding that this request did not mean I was withdrawing my appeals ... and with this proviso I requested again (and again) that publication be made. Therefore I state that under this same protestation I now reply to the publication, and that neither by this act nor by any other which may occur in this audience do I give up any appeals to which a reply has not yet been made.

     Under this protestation, and submitting all that is said here and at any other time in this case ... to the correction of the holy mother Church, I state that the statements of witnesses contained in the said publication do not prejudice me or work against me. Rather, many of them depose clearly in my favor. As for those who do not depose in


     my favor, no faith or credit should be given to them for reasons which I shall state below.

     It appears clear from the publication of witnesses against my brother, bachiller Bernardino de Tovar, and from the written list of propositions which Inquisitor Mejia sent to my lord the archbishop at the time of Tovar's imprisonment, that ... the first witness (against me) is Francisca Hernandez, to whose charges - as well as those made by her servant (Maria Ramirez), the second witness - I by rights ought not even reply.

     For some time it should have been clear that these women are notorious false witnesses. And it is a matter of great wonder that it is permitted that anyone be defamed or vexed by such witnesses. These women testified more than three years ago, and in the three years since they testified, it is to be assumed that the corroborating witnesses named by them having been carefully examined. They must have named some corroborating witnesses, because on all the occasions when I spoke to this Francisca Hernandez, which must be four or five times in my whole life, there were various other persons present. Now if these persons refute her story, I do not know why any credence is given to her statements. If (on the other hand) they support her story, why are their statements not also given in the publication (of charges against me)? This is one of God's great mysteries: that two chippies (2) like these, in notorious agreement to avenge themselves on their enemies, are enough to do so much harm and damage to so many decent persons, and that the great weight at suspicion and evidence which contradicts their testimony, has not been sufficient to discredit them.

     It is manifestly clear that Francisca Hernandez is a hypocrite and liar, and that she is a capital enemy of my brother (Tovar j whom she blames for all her misfortunes. It is manifestly clear that her antagonism 10 Tovar resulted from my actions. It is manifestly clear that the convolutions of her testimony in regard to time and place, and many other matters, condemn her in everything she has said against Tovar. It is manifestly clear that her own devotees and admirers show

2. "Mujercillas."


     her to be a liar. It is manifestly clear that she was a prisoner for two years and said nothing, until she found put before her (by the inquisitors themselves) the accusations which she then made, in the manner to be described below. In addition, she clearly appears to have induced her servant (Maria Ramirez) to concur with her in all the testimony she has given. Despite all this and more ... the testimonies of these two still stand up in order to cause such great harm. It is certainly true, as I have believed, that neither these women nor the other witnesses in this publication -- whose testimony is of little moment - were sufficient to bring this ignominy upon me, had there not intervened the suspicion about my letters and counsel to Tovar. (3) Since the latter charges came to nothing, it has been necessary to give substance to these others. But the truth of this matter must already be so well known that I will need to spend but little time in proofs.

     Coming to the statements of the first witness (Francisca Hernandez), before listing them here, I state generally that no faith or credit of any kind should be given to these statements, for many reasons.

     First, because the witness is a woman. Second, because she is a criminal person, a perjurer, hypocrite, liar and cheat.... Third, because she is and has been a capital enemy of my brother bachiller Tovar ever since he withdrew from her influence and began to rebuke her teachings in absentia, at a time when she was at the height of her authority. From that time on she began to lose it.... Fourth, because the said Francisca Hernandez likewise has been and is my capital enemy. The cause of her enmity with Tovar originated mainly from me, because I separated him from his obedience and subjection to her. From the first day that Tovar gave up for her, in Salamanca, his studies and habit, she knew very well how I wrote him rebuking him for his light-mindedness, and how for this reason I stopped providing

3. Vergara is surely right on this point. The inquisitors had been frustrated in their efforts to imprison him until they uncovered the secret correspondence between him and Tovar. Also, for quite some time after seizing Vergara, the Toledo inquisitors kept up the fiction that the only reason for detaining him was to ascertain the details of his letter smuggling and his general suborning of the Holy Office.


     for him as I had done before. Afterward, since I wanted to leave for Flanders, I worked to make sure they were separated before I left, and in order better to achieve this I offered him one of the two benefices which I held, in which he must take up residence. This will be recalled by don Francisco de Mendoza, who is now bishop of Zamora. For when I was going with his lordship to Galicia, at the time his majesty (Charles V) was taking a different road to embark for Flanders, as we were passing through Valladolid where Francisca Hernandez and Tovar were living at the time, I begged don Francisco de Mendoza, in the monastery of San Benito in Valladolid, to talk to Tovar and make him give up that woman. His lordship, as a favor to me, spoke to Tovar while walking through a cloister of the said monastery. And I even remember how his lordship jokingly asked Tovar if his love affair with her was going well, although he expressed it in a more courtly fashion. But in the end he could do nothing to make Tovar change his plans, so I left Tovar in Valladolid and I went to Flanders.

     Over two years later, arriving from Flanders in Valladolid (in 1522), I learned that Tovar was in a nearby village because, it was said, he and others were forbidden to be where Francisca was, and so they all remained as close by as they could, under her authority and direction. So I went to Tovar and again importuned him to give up his foolishness and to come away with me to live in Alcala. He accepted my suggestion because he was already coming to recognize the farce. However, he asked me first, as a matter of courtesy, that I show some civility to her and to (Antonio de) Medrano so they would not be dissatisfied, and that I talk to them about this. So I went to the home of Francisca Hernandez one or two times, and another time I went to Montesser, which is a house near Valladolid where Medrano was living. As they showed no satisfaction whatever with what I had to say, finally making no effort to pursue the matter further, I arranged with Tovar for him to go right away to Alcala, which he did while Francisca was saying that the devil had carried off one of the company.

     After this, Tovar in Alcala wrote Francisca a long letter rebuking her harshly for her activities, as is made clear in the interrogatory. It happened that Francisca Hernandez was brought as a prisoner to this


     jail, where she was held for about two years without making any denunciations about anything, as appears from the record of her statements. After the passage of these two years it seems, from what one can infer from the clear indications, that she was questioned - in accordance with the style of the Holy Office - and directed to state what she knew about Tovar, as a person to whom some people referred as an Illuminist, and she was advised in detail of the propositions held by the Illuminists, in order that she might see if she knew anything of such matters.

     Never did she have a better opportunity (for revenge), and ... for every proposition listed in the edict (of 1525, which was read to her), she followed them down the line, denouncing (Tovar) without regard to time, place, or circumstance.... The same thing happened with the other two witnesses who spoke against Tovar at that time ...

     (and who) deposed about things which are supposed to have happened many years after Tovar stopped seeing Francisca Hernandez. It appears clear also that they deliberately agreed on their testimony article by article. The only exception is where one of them said that Tovar had Lutheran books; (she later realized) that if Tovar did have such books while in her company, he could hardly hide them from the others. So she changed (her testimony to read) "tracts" instead of "books, " and said that Tovar had Lutheran tracts, which could presumably be carried hidden on one's person. But at the time of which she speaks there was not and could not have been any memoria de letra of Luther's in the whole kingdom. And if more suggestions had been placed before her she would have affirmed these too, and from the manner of her deposition it appears she induced her servant (Maria Ramirez) who shared her cell, to corroborate her accusations. Since the servant had not known Tovar she could testify only on hearsay, but it is perfectly clear by her words that she had been instructed by her mistress as to how to testify. And in this way it can be discerned that she decided at that time to take her revenge on me, attributing to me first those filthy charges which she had been taught, which it appeared to her were sufficient for the four or five times she saw me. Then afterward she added to them little by little as she was questioned on subsequent occasions, as is apparent from her testimonies, availing herself of everything that came to her mind


from any source, including Lutheranism as well as other things, and instructing her servant, point by point, to do likewise without regard to time, nor correctness, nor any truth at all.

     I will now answer the accusations of Francisca Hernandez point by point.) She said that Doctor Vergara held the opinions of Luther to be very good, and he favored them and said that except for Luther's rejection of confession, all of Luther's other opinions seemed very good, and this witness believes that Doctor Vergara had some of Luther's writings because she heard Doctor Vergara say so.

     Replying to this first part, I state that it is not true and should not be given any credit at all. First, because it is unique and singular I and nobody else substantiates it), except for the second witness, who is the servant of the first one and was instructed by her mistress in what to say. Also, because this woman, who had not seen my brother Tovar since the year 1520, accused him first of saying the same words, claiming that she heard him maintain and approve all the opinions of Luther, when it is perfectly obvious that at the ( only) time she could have heard Tovar say anything (that is, 1520 or before), there was not and could not have been in Spain any particular news about the opinions of Luther, nor any of his erroneous books, because the sect was just beginning in Germany and all that was heard in Spain was a general rumor about a heretic who was rising in Germany.

     Furthermore, there were other clerics with Tovar in the company of this witness (Francisca Hernandez). They all formed a tight little society, and yet they never saw a line of Luther's and never heard a word of his, as one can see from the trial of Tovar. And even supposing that at the said time of which she deposed against Tovar, the opinions of Luther had been known in detail, and Tovar thus had been able to talk about them - which was not the case - the fact still remains that Tovar and I had not talked with or seen each other for many years before that time. So how could we both have been talking not only about the same thing, but in identical language, which this witness attributes to us in such a number of propositions? For since the year 1510 when Tovar went to study at Salamanca, until the year 1520, when I passed through Valladolid, at the time


     when Tovar (I believe) was no longer entering the house of this witness (Francisca Hernandez), I never saw Tovar nor he me ... except for one or two days in 1515 or 1516 when Tovar, at that time a lay student, passed through Alcala and saw me and spoke with me in the colegio, at which time there was as yet no Luther in the world nor had anybody heard his name.

     Thus it appears clear that there can be no basis (in truth) for the conformity of speech which this witness pretends she heard from the both of us ... in all her accusations against us.... Furthermore (her charges have no validity) because in the exception which she says I made in praising Luther's opinions, it is obvious that she made this exception in order to make her general charge appear more plausible, or else she did it in reply to a question in which she was asked to be specific, and since she did not know enough to list any specific opinion (of Luther's), it seemed simpler to her to give instead an exception.... So she chose the most harmless and least likely exception she could think of, for it is clear that the least serious and least scandalous opinion of Luther is his opinion of confession, namely that confession is of positive law, as other and Catholic doctors have also said. (And so, all this amounts to is that she charges me with approving all the really blasphemous ideas of Luther, except for the one idea of his to which there is no really serious objection.) Furthermore, the statement made by witness number seven (Pedro Ortiz) is clearly opposed to this exception that she makes. (4) Also, this same witness (Francisca Hernandez) contradicts her own testimony on this matter of the exception when she says that I held certain opinions of Tovar's, among them the opinion that confession is of positive law.... Furthermore, it is by no means likely that I, having always been an enemy of these beatas and a disbeliever in their beaterias, and the greatest speaker against them in the world, would go to communicate my opinions, good or bad, with this

4. As indeed it is. Francisca Hernandez claimed that Vergara did not approve of Luther's position on confession. Vergara himself stated that Luther's position on confession is that confession is of positive law, a view which Pedro Ortiz, witness number seven, claimed Vergara persisted in maintaining over Ortiz' most strenuous objections.


woman, especially after I had just taken Tovar away from her, to her great annoyance and dissatisfaction.

     This witness said also that Doctor Vergara held the same opinion as another person regarding the bulls and indulgences of our very holy father, making fun of them as the other person did. The opinion which this witness says the other person held about indulgences is this: that what Luther said about the bulls granted by our very holy father to faithful Christians ... was that they are a joke, and that this is correct, and that the person in question said in a laughing and mocking way, "They can't make me believe that when the money clinks in the chest a spirit flies out of Purgatory, or that those indulgences are of any benefit to faithful Christians. " To this second charge I state that the whole thing is a joke and a lie, and does me no harm. First, because except for the servant (Maria Ramirez), it is unique and singular. Also, because as it appears from the reply presented to the publication against Tovar, this witness took the opportunity to speak this lie as a charge against Tovar.... Then, in testifying against me, she decided to avail herself of the same charge, as she does with everything she has heard anywhere at all. Also, at the time in which she could have spoken with Tovar, it was not known that this was one of Luther's opinions, nor had Tovar and I seen each other for many years. (Yet we supposedly) were in complete agreement, not only in the words we used, but even in the way we mocked and laughed and used the same example of the clink of a coin. It is hardly likely that in the house of a strange woman and in the presence of strangers I would do such cackling, nor is this my manner of conversation.

     In regard to my supposedly having said, "They can't make me believe that with the clink of the coin, the soul leaves Purgatory, " I state that since the sense or substance of these words is Catholic, it is hardly to be believed that I would attribute this remark to Luther, and it is much less likely that Tovar (would attribute it to Luther either) before such an opinion was known to be Luther's. For it is certain that we are not obligated to believe that in buying a bull for the dead ... the soul promptly leaves Purgatory.... (Vergara then goes on to quote the opinions of various Catholic doctors on this point.) And this is in accordance with the style of the bulls for the dead


themselves, and in accordance also with the opinions of ancient and modern Catholic doctors, as Pope Adrian VI points out.... It is even in accord with the opinions held nowadays at (the University of) Paris.... So I could not have attributed to Luther an opinion so old and common and so Catholic as this one.

     This witness likewise said she believes that Doctor Vergara holds and believes the same propositions which she had stated were held by a certain other person (that is, Tovar), because this witness so gathered from the words she heard Doctor Vergara speak. This witness also said that Doctor Vergara greatly favored Luther's teachings, approving both Luther's person and ideas, and this witness recalls that Doctor Vergara held the same opinion as the person in question in saying that oral prayer was not necessary.

     I say that this third part of the accusation does not work against me either, nor is it true. First, because it likewise is singular, except for the usual agreement by the maid (Maria Ramirez). Also, because these propositions are the same ones of which this witness accused Tovar, and the truth of them is belied by the timing ... and many other circumstances (already discussed).... Not without reason did they (the Inquisitors) fail to specify the said propositions in detail in the publication, although afterward they were given to me on the side, in reply to a petition by me. But because the wickedness of these two women is already so well known, nobody should pay attention to these or any other parts of their story. Further, this part of the accusation talks of one's opinions and says that it was based on what I said. If I had talked about such matters with this woman (which I did not), it could be that she gave to my words an interpretation just the opposite of what I meant. Further, the fifth section of her accusation clearly contradicts this ( third) section, as will appear (below) .

     In regard to what she says about oral prayer, I say that never in my life did there come to my attention this or any other proposition against oral prayer until I saw it in the statement of this witness against Tovar.... Even if I had said that oral prayer was not necessary, it would not be badly said, for the prayer we are obligated to make ... is principally mental prayer, which obligation all Christians perform,


except for those who have a special positive precept of oral prayer, such as those who are ordained and beneficed and those to whom it is given as penance, or who are ordered to pray orally.... (Vergara goes on to point out, in Latin, the utility of oral prayer in stimulating mental prayer, and how many saints emphasize the primary importance of mental prayer, such as Saint Augustine. All this, he says, is common knowledge; only ignoramuses do not understand it.)

     Likewise this witness says she recalls having heard Doctor Vergara say there were two superfluous saints in the world who did little service to God. They were the santa inquisicion and the santa cruzada, and (this witness claims she) rebuked him for his opinions about papal power and bulls and for what he said about the Inquisition.

     I state that this fourth part of the accusation is not true either, nor should any credit be given it. First, because except for her maid, the charge is unique and singular. Also, because by repeating this old saying in modified form, she sought to please the Inquisition, although in a guileful way, and to gain credit for herself. It is hardly likely that this chippy should venture to rebuke me, especially since I was a stranger and had never been on familiar terms with her. Furthermore, according to the affirmations of all those who have had dealings with this woman, her manner and custom when someone was talking to her about matters of literature, no matter how frivolous, was to listen in silence and not to speak a word (so that people would not realize what an ignoramus she is).... And now she claims to have rebuked me, when even from the testimony of her maid it appears that she and I disputed extensively over the matter. There isn't a man who knows her who would not laugh at such an idea (as her rebuking me). Furthermore, these same words about the santa inquisicion and santa cruzada were deposed by this woman against Tovar, and she said she heard him speak them more than two years before (she heard them from) me, when Tovar and I had not seen or spoken with each other for many years previous, as I have stated. It is clear ... that this woman is availing herself of all the jokes she has ever heard anywhere, and bringing them into her testimony as they occur to her.


     This witness also said she heard a certain person say that papal bulls were a joke and ... that the Moor of Granada who had bought a bull for two reales (sold it again for one real) ... and that they were better off as Moors than they were after becoming Christians, and that he showed better sense in selling that bull for one real than the Christians did in buying them., for we do not buy them to sell. This witness claims she heard Doctor Vergara say the same thing, adding, "They expect me to believe or understand that at the clink of the coin the soul leaves Purgatory, " placing his hands one over the other like someone counting money. This witness also claims she knows that Doctor Vergara holds all the opinions of the Illuminists, because she heard him express and maintain them, and she believes Doctor Vergara does much harm because he is a man of considerable standing, and she heard him say that praying and fasts were superstitious practices ordained for ignoramuses.

     I say that this fifth charge and those which follow are clearly not spontaneous depositions, but rather are replies given under questioning and re-questioning of this woman.... This is why I asked in my petition that it be stated whether this witness deposed on several occasions or only once, and the month or months in which she deposed.... Not only was this information denied me, but I think that although the charges made by this witness are given me under the date of 1530, many of them were made at a later time, such as the fourth part of the charge made by the maid Maria Ramirez in the year 1532. (5) I am persuaded to this view because I see that in this fourth charge of Maria Ramirez, as in all those which follow, the maid no longer conforms with any of the new charges, or any of the additions (to the old ones, made by Francisca Hernandez).... From this it may be assumed that by then (1532) the maid and mistress were separated, according as it is said that in Medina del Campo their lordships of the Council separated them to examine them in 1532, which coincides with the time of the said deposition of the fourth section, by the maid. Therefore I state that the maid no longer con-

5. Vergara is quite correct. The charge in question was that Vergara said he would never believe that by spending two reales on a bull, one was absolved of guilt and punishment.


forms with any of the new accusations added by her mistress (Francisca Hernandez in 1532).

     How is it possible that both these women, so long as they were in jail together, had such excellent memories about what they heard me say, that they both seemed to talk through one mouth? But after they were separated the maid's testimony conforms with none of the additions made by her mistress to the same charges, nor to any at the new charges invented by her mistress. What could be more manifest and palpable than this? For it God willed to reveal this wickedness so clearly, why are such testimonies as these used to defame a person such as myself? All the witnesses tram here on carry no more weight than a feather.... This talk that she mentions about the Moor of Granada is an addition she made to what she said about bulls and the clink of the coin.... The maid conforms with the thirst halt at the story, which is what they both deposed at the time they were together. But as to the second half (about the Moor of Granada), which was added by this witness after she and her maid were separated, the maid does not even mention this charge. The same will be found to be true at all the additions and declarations made later by this witness.... She also adds new things to her charge about the clink of the coin, namely that I put one hand over the other like someone counting money. Her maid does not concur with her in this addition either.

     This witness says she knows that Doctor Vergara holds all the opinions at the Illuminists, because she heard him talk about and maintain them. This charge reveals even more clearly and places before our eyes the wickedness and conspiratorial behavior at these women. In order to appreciate it, it should be noted that the Illuminist opinions spoken of here are the propositions which this witness charged against Tovar ... following which she said she believed that I also held the same propositions, because she gathered this from my words. When she made that charge she could not avail herself at the support of her maid - although she must have had her with her at that time - because since the maid had not known Tovar she could not attribute the said propositions to him, nor could she depose against me ... (to the same effect) as her mistress did.


     This witness says she heard me speak about and maintain all the propositions of the Illuminists.... Where did this woman learn which were the propositions of the Illuminists ... if she did not see them all listed together in the edict (of 1525)?.. How else could she have (claimed to have) found them in me, all together and organized in the same way as the edict itself, so many years before the said edict was issued? According to what she says above she heard me say these things in the year 1522 or 1523 when there was no account of such propositions or edicts, and when I had only recently returned from Flanders, where there was no knowledge of such things either.

     Of such foolishness of chippies I do not believe there has been a greater enemy in the world than myself-... Truly I believe there is not in this kingdom any man who knows me who does not consider that calling Doctor Vergara an Illuminist is like calling a black man a white man.... I swear in God's name that the first time Illuminist propositions came to my ears and my attention, was when I saw them listed in the statement of this witness against Tovar.... For most of the period with which these matters deal I was outside the kingdom. When I was here I was always too busy and never heard these Illuminist errors and never heard about them, nor did I know anything about them.

     She also says she heard me say that prayers and fasting were superstitious things and ordained for ignoramuses. I state that this is taken from the said edict (of 1525 against the Illuminists) ... and that her maid does not confirm her in this point either.... It is a matter of the greatest indignity that such idiocies as these stand in opposition to a man like myself, and that merely because a witness such as this one says them, that in itself is not sufficient to brand her as a liar and perjurer in everything she says.

     This witness also said she believes that certain persons know of many things about which Doctor Vergara spoke in the presence of this witness and that those things of which Vergara spoke appeared bad to this witness, although she does not recall them. I state that this sixth part does nothing against me. Rather it is in my favor, since it is certain that these persons of whom she speaks must already have been examined and that all of them must have given the lie to this


witness. Otherwise their statements (supporting her) would have been given in this publication of charges.

     This witness likewise said ... that a certain person placed the defect in the bulls (themselves, and not in the persons receiving them). She knows that he placed the defect in the pope and not in the persons, and this witness knows the same thing (to have been said) by Doctor Vergara ... because she heard him speak thus in talking indulgences. She recalls Vergara ... praising Luther and saying that the pope was persecuting Luther because Luther rebuked the pope's teachings, and not because Luther's teachings were not from God.

     I state that all this, which is stated in this seventh part, is likewise given in reply to a (specific) question, and the maid does not conform with this either.... This woman does not know what it means to place the defect in the pope or in persons. The fact of the matter is that at the time the above mentioned propositions were sent to my lord the archbishop as (part of the testimony) of this witness against Tovar, I, believing Tovar might have spoken on such subjects (but in the proper sense), discussed the matter at the court with the lordships of the Council of the Inquisition. I said that many of these propositions could carry the proper sense. Especially in the matter of indulgences, I said among other things that it could be that the defect might be placed more in the persons who buy the bulls than in the power of the pope who grants them. But this is not all I said. And from this (remark of mine) the opportunity was taken to ask this witness if Tovar placed the defect in the power of the pope or in the persons who take the bulls, and the same question was asked her about me. She replied that it was (placed by Tovar and by me) in the power of the pope and that she had heard me say so.

     But, according to this question, put in such a bald way, it appears it is assumed that it is erroneous to place the defect in the power of the pope and to say that a person buying the bull fails to gain the indulgence which it carries because of a defect in the power of the pope and not because of a defect in the person himself. It is a matter of great sorrow that theological matters have come to such a state that the most healthy opinions of holy and Catholic doctors are dishonored and brought to the Inquisition in this manner. See Altissiodorense, Saint Thomas, Saint Bonaventure, Gerson and


others. More briefly, see the "Quaestiones de Indulgentiis" of Pope Adrian, which alleges all this. And you will see that in saying it, there is no heresy or error at all, because the granting of indulgences requires sufficient cause ... and thus they conclude that when a rich man and a poor man buy the same bull of plenary indulgence, the rich man does not gain it if the two reales (he pays) mean nothing to him. However, the poor man who takes (the money) from his living expenses, does gain (the indulgence). The rich man does gain apart of the indulgence, proportionate to his contribution, but the rich man's not gaining (the plenary indulgence) proceeds from papal defect, as the pope cannot voluntarily dissipate the treasure of the Church, since God is the dispenser of that.

     What she further says in this part, about the reason I gave for the pope's pursuing Luther... (is another of her lies, and is not supported by her maid, either).

     This witness likewise said she heard the said person speak the above mentioned propositions about nine or ten years before, and this was in Valladolid in a certain house in that city and that this was after Doctor Vergara returned from Flanders, when she heard him maintain these opinions. I state that this eighth part works in my favor, inasmuch as it indicates the time at which she claims to have heard Tovar say these things, as well as the time she claims to have heard them from me. It is to be noted that in indicating these times, this witness sought to reduce as much as possible (the length of time between her accusations and the year the events in question supposedly transpired; that is, to give as late a date as possible for the events in question), especially insofar as Tovar was concerned, whom she had not seen for a longer time (than she had seen me). The reason she reduced this time period was to make it appear that these remarks were made at a more plausible time. But she could not (postdate these remarks) any more than she did, because it is well known that she could not have seen Tovar at any time after the time indicated here (1520). So the best she could do was to give the impression that all these remarks of Tovar were made during the last days she saw him. It is hardly likely that since she and Tovar had been together for three years or more, that all this talk came only at the last moment. But leaving that aside, and accepting her statement


as to the time, I state that the (latest) time she claims to have heard Tovar say these things would be either 1520 or 1521, although I doubt it could have been the latter. For from the year 1520, from what I am advised, they did not see or speak with each other again....

     And at that time there was no information about Illuminists or Illuminism, nor were their propositions known in such detail until the issuance of the edict (against them five years later, in 1525).

     Furthermore, Tovar did not enter the kingdom of Toledo, where the Illuminist movement is said to have been located, for the ten years preceding (1520), except once or twice in 1515 or 1516 when he was a lay student (at Salamanca, and stopped off to visit me in Alcala).

     In regard to myself, she says she heard me say the same thing after my return from Flanders.... I returned from Flanders to Valladolid ...with the court in September or October of 1522, which was when I arranged to take Tovar away from the little village (outside Valladolid) where this woman was having him remain ... and for this reason I spoke to her at that time in the presence of others.... Well then, how could I have brought from Flanders any Illuminist propositions, much less so many and such complete propositions as she attributes to me? Then in 1523, Tovar having already gone to Alcala, I, at his request - because of good breeding he did not want to remain on bad terms with his former companions - visited this woman publicly two or three times, in the presence of strangers whom I did not know. This was around April or May of 1523. I never again saw her or spoke to her, nor she me. When the court left Valladolid that year I went to Alcala, where I remained until March 10, 1524, when I left for the court at Burgos in the service of the archbishop, where (with the archbishop) I have resided until now, in the court and outside of it, where the archbishop has been.

     So, granting that she is speaking (in her accusations against me) of the last time that I saw her (in 1523), it is still clear that there was no public talk about Illuminism at that time (since this is still two years before the edict of 1525). As for my supposed praises of Luther, although I could by 1523 have known of his teachings, especially since I had recently been in Flanders and Germany... (the fact remains) that she claims she heard me say the same things and in


the exact same words that Tovar (is supposed to have) used two or three years before (in 1520) BEFORE I went to Germany. So I could not have brought recently from Germany the same words she had heard from Tovar so long before; nor could Tovar have heard those words from me, since this witness says she heard Tovar say these things before I went to Germany, and I had not seen Tovar for ten years.

     Also, this woman's maid, deposing on the same topic, says she saw how her mistress rebuked me for the said propositions, and in the second part of her statement she says that this happened six or more years before the time of her deposition. Well, let us take those six years.... I state that the time of which the maid says she heard me speak about what her mistress claims I spoke, would (therefore) be in August of 1524, since she (Maria Ramirez) made this accusation in August of 1530.... According to what her mistress says, this same event took place in September or October of 1522 when I returned from Flanders, or if one wants to stretch it out to the last time I spoke with her, it would be in April or May of 1523 (and so there exists this discrepancy between the two witnesses amounting to a minimum of sixteen months and a maximum of almost two years).

     Francisca Hernandez likewise said in regard to her statement above that Doctor Vergara held all the opinions of the Illuminists, that Doctor Vergara praised all the ideas of Luther, saying that except for his rejection of confession all the rest of Luther's ideas were good. She also charged that Doctor Vergara maintained that oral prayer was not necessary because he supposedly said that oral prayer only broke one's head. This witness believes, from Vergara's words, that he therefore did not say the Divine Office. She also charged that the said Doctor Vergara held that exterior works of fasting and discipline and alms-giving and all other such things were superfluous, and that he also held other Illuminist ideas which she does not remember. She also said that Doctor Vergara praised those who had liberty and said mass without praying, and that she heard him say this sometimes.

     To these ninth and tenth parts, which are the last of the accusations made by this witness, I say that they both together are false, unique and singular, and also (were made) in reply to questioning and re-questioning ... in accordance with the edict of 1525.... It


appears that this woman believed she was sent away (to Medina del Campo) because she said too little (in her Toledo testimony), and so she later continued, always adding something more until she concluded that she had said everything possible.... However, notice well in this ninth part of her accusation that in none of these additions to her original testimony does her maid conform, as she did when the two of them were together, except only in the reference to oral prayer, on which they both agreed when first questioned (at which time they were in the same cell together). What she says in the tenth and last part about having liberty and saying mass without praying, is taken from her testimony against Tovar. She then later availed herself of this charge to use it also against me.... Nor in this addition to her testimony does her maid conform, because (at the time Francisca made this latter charge, Maria Ramirez) had already been separated from her mistress.

      Vergara concluded his reply to the accusations of Francisca Hernandez by insisting at considerable length that her testimony should be disregarded on the ground that he had clearly established that she was a criminal, liar, perjurer, hypocrite and a vicious person (266r-267r). He then replied to the charges of Francisca's maid, Maria Ramirez, repeating essentially the same points which he had made in his reply to Francisca's testimony (267r-268v). Turning to the third witness against him, friar Francisco Ortiz, Vergara at first failed to identify his accuser, and apparently thought it was Juan de Valdes. Consequently, Vergara's first reply to the charges made by Francisco Ortiz was somewhat confused and off the point (268v-271v). Soon, however, he realized the correct identity of his accuser. Since the third witness was Francisco Ortiz, he said, then the charges of Ortiz are of even less substance. Ortiz, he said, was so blinded by Francisca Hernandez that he would believe anything she told him as inspired from God. Besides, even a cursory examination of his testimony shows clearly that it amounts to nothing at all:

     For the words of the first part of his charge, stripped of their verbiage, are that about six years ago Francisca Hernandez advised him not to communicate with Tovar. This astonished him greatly,


because (he says) Tovar spoke well of Francisca Hernandez. Then he learned from Francisca that Doctor Vergara's errors about bulls and oral prayer had stuck to Tovar. This witness then recalled that when he was talking with me in Alcala I had praised Erasmus as a person who thought nothing of not saying the Divine Office if one Was studying something important.

     All that can be imputed to me in this charge is that I had praised Erasmus' notion of not saying the Divine Office when studying something important. Assuming that I did speak and praise this - which I never did - not only does there not follow any error or suspicion about oral prayer or the obligation of the Divine Office, as this witness chooses to interpret ... but rather the contrary. The obligation of the Divine Office is upheld ... because when one says that one can disregard fasting when he is going hunting, he is not denying the general obligation to fast; rather he is implicitly affirming it.... So likewise when one says it is possible to neglect the Divine Office when one is studying something important, one is not denying the general obligation to say the Office; rather one is (implicitly) affirming it.... Besides, I never spoke or said or even thought such a thing (anyhow). Furthermore, I would take a solemn oath that after friar Francisco (Ortiz) took the habit which he now wears, he never spoke to me nor I to him any word in Alcala, unless it Was (to say hello in passing).

said Vergara, this witness claims he did not under. stand why Francisca Hernandez told him to have no more communication with Tovar, and that it was not until some time later that he learned from Francisca that two of Vergara's errors had stuck to Tovar. This is most peculiar. Why did not Francisca tell Ortiz the reasons for her advice at the time she gave it? And Vergara went on to suggest that probably the reason was that she was mad at Tovar for breaking with her, which was why she told Ortiz to have nothing to do with Tovar. It was not until later that she invented the excuse about Tovar's being stuck with Vergara's errors as the reason for her not wanting Ortiz to have anything to do with Tovar. Furthermore, said Vergara, I am convinced that Francisca invented these charges against Tovar and me only after she had been in jail for two years. I


am quite certain she told Ortiz about these supposed errors of mine by somehow communicating with him in jail. (6) Then, too, Francisco Ortiz reports errors he claims I expressed about papal indulgences and bulls during a conversation we had at Valladolid in 1523, according to his own chronology. But when I was in Valladolid with the archbishop in 1523 Francisco Ortiz was not even there. He was in Burgos.

      In replying to the next witness against him, Vergara properly identified his accuser as friar Bernardino de Flores, and had much to say about his general character and his role in the Comunero revolt of 1520.

     This witness is an infamous and criminal person, guilty of the crime of lese-majeste, for having devoted all his efforts, as he did, to raising up in this kingdom in disservice and rebellion against the emperor and king (Charles V). He stirred up a great part of the kingdom by means of his sermons and by using the word of God to agitate and stir up the people, inciting them to rob, kill, burn, commit sacrilege and other serious and terrible crimes.... He does not even show any repentance or emendation of his crimes; rather he boasts of and prides himself on them more every day. Not many days ago he boasted in the presence of some people about how he, preaching in this city of Toledo, had induced the people to go to attack the castle of Saint Servand, which favored the king's cause, using the authority of Scripture to persuade them to do so.(7)

      Also, this witness is a perjurer and has perjured himself not once but many times. (Furthermore, he has denounced me in a pique of passion because I dressed him down in the presence of the archbishop and others for making stupid remarks).... For a long time he has held

6. There certainly is no question that Francisca Hernandez was communicating with Ortiz in the Toledo jail.
7. There is ample documentary evidence to prove the truth of Vergara's remarks. See the references in Marcel Bataillon, Erasmo y Espana, Mexico, 1950, vol. ii, p. 15, n. 7.


hatred and ill will toward me because my former senor, Cardinal Francisco Ximenez (de Cisneros), on learning that certain bulls renouncing the benefice of the curacy of Pinto had been presented in his (Ximenez') council in favor of this witness, he directed that possession (of the said benefice) not be given to this witness. So Cardinal Ximenez directed me to withhold the bulls for many days and to write the pope (expressing oPposition to the appointment of Flores! ... which I did. (Consequently, Flores was given to understand that I was responsible for holding up his appointment, and that is why he hates me so and takes this opportunity to avenge himself upon me).

* * * * *

      Vergara then replied to the substance of Flores' charges, denying that he had said Saint Augustine did not know what he was talking about in his commentary on the Psalms of David. He might have said that Saint Augustine made some errors in translation because of his weak knowledge of languages, but he certainly said no more than that. If the witness had troubled to look at the writings of the Church fathers he would have found that they often have contrary opinions among themselves. He would also have found that Saint Augustine himself confessed he did not know Hebrew, and that he knew very little Greek either. Just because a man is canonized as a saint it is not to be assumed that everything he ever did or said becomes officially approved doctrine. Only Scripture enjoys such authority. The writings of saints are approved for their general usefulness, and are considered to be worth reading; however, we are not obligated to accept everything in them as indisputable articles of faith. If such were the case we would be expected to accept as authoritative statements of faith a great many contradictory opinions given by the various saints. Insofar as the Quinquagenae of Saint Augustine is concerned, Saint Jerome himself raised a great number


of objections to what he called errors resulting from lack of knowledge of the languages in that particular work of Augustine's. (8) Furthermore, whatever comments Vergara might have made about the books of Solomon, he probably made because he personally translated Solomon from Greek into Latin - as well as other books of Scripture - for the Polyglot Bible, under orders of Cardinal Ximimez.

     If it is heresy to point out the differences in meaning resulting from translation, then Saint Augustine himself was a heretic, for he ... likewise noted such differences.... If it is against the Church to give greater authority to the original texts in the languages in which they were written ... then I do not know why the Church itself orders us to avail ourselves of the Old Testament in the (original) Hebrew text and the New Testament in (the original) Greek.... If it is heretical to turn to the original text and look upon it as being the more accurate .., then Saint Augustine must be a heretic, since he often set aside the Church version and followed the Greek original.... Cardinal Cajetan must be a heretic too ... because he corrected the present text to make it conform with the Greek, changing and altering words and sentences even more than Erasmus, being much less fearful of the (ensuing) calumnies of ignoramuses.... Nicholas of Lira must be a heretic too, for making so many annotated revisions of the Old Testament.... Cardinal Francisco Ximenez must be a heretic too, for having had these annotations printed.... Even Pope Leo X must be a heretic, for in two papal briefs he praised the translation and annotations of Erasmus on the New Testament, calling it a holy work and urging Erasmus to publish it as useful to theologians and to the faith.

8. This particular argument is very similar to the one used by Thomas More in 1520 in defending Erasmus against precisely the same charge. See More's lengthy letter to an unknown monk, in Elizabeth F. Rogers, ed., The Correspondence of Sir Thomas More, Princeton, 1947, pp. 165-206. An abbreviated version of this letter, reminiscent of the method used by Peter Abelard in the Sic et non, appears in James Anthony Froude, Life and Letters of Erasmus, New York, 1894, pp 143-149. See especially p. 145.


      Vergara's reply to the testimony of Tovar, to the effect that a work of Oecolampadius was in Vergara's library, was very brief. He merely pointed out, as Tovar himself had already done, that for many years prior to 1529 he had been absent from Alcala, and Tovar had taken care of his library. Vergara himself had no idea that such a book had been bought by Tovar.

      The next witness, Hernando de Lunar, had accused Tovar of claiming that the canonical hours had been instituted for rogues, that therefore it was not a sin to forego praying the hours, and that Tovar had learned all this from Vergara, who in turn had heard it from Erasmus in Flanders. Vergara answered this charge by pointing out that it conflicted with the accusation made by Francisco Ortiz, that Vergara maintained it was not a sin to pray the hours if one was studying something important. By clear implication this would mean that if one were not studying something important, it would indeed be a sin to neglect saying the Divine Office. Anyway, Vergara added, the whole thing is ridiculous, because nowhere in the writings of Erasmus does the Dutch humanist even suggest anything similar to these comments attributed to him and to Tovar.

      Vergara correctly identified the next witness as Doctor Pedro Ortiz, who had said that Vergara insisted Erasmus was right when he said no council had yet determined that confession was of divine law, whereas Ortiz had insisted that such a decision had been made at the Council of Constance. If such a decision had been made, said Vergara, he was not the only one who did not know of it. A great many famous theologians, such as Saint Bonaventure and Peter Lombard, did not know of it either. And if it is said that they did not know because such a decision was not reached until after their time, at the Council of Constance, Vergara could only invite the inquisitors to examine the records of that council, as he had done himself without finding any such decision recorded there. Nor did Pope Adrian VI find it either, for he expressly said that it is not heretical to deny that confession is of divine law. Even King Henry VIII of England, in his Defense against Luther, said no more than that confession is probably of divine law.


     This witness also said that he (Ortiz) told him (Vergara) that a decision had been made in the time of Alonso Carrillo, and was later confirmed by the pope, in which decision confession was stated to be of divine law, and that the contrary opinion, held by a certain doctor (Pedro de Osma) had been condemned as erroneous. Doctor Vergara then (allegedly) consented to this view (that confession is of divine law) and asked this witness how it was then that Erasmus said what he did about confession if the divine law view had been determined in the said Council of Constance. This witness replied that he believed Erasmus had not seen the decision. Then this witness added in his accusation that it distressed him to see Doctor Vergara such a friend to the doctrine of Erasmus, because Doctor Vergara knows that there are, scattered through Erasmus' works, many dangerous errors against the tradition of the Church ... which he (Ortiz) fears will be accepted by men who read such works, unless they are letrados who can detect such errors and avoid them, or unless such errors are first noted and removed from the works of Erasmus.

     I reply that this charge actually is favorable to me, because the witness himself says that when he told me a determination had been made (that confession is of divine law) ... I accepted it as such....

     However, because I stated above that I did not and still do not know of any such decision, I here state that this story he tells about Archbishop Alonso Carrillo - according to my understanding - had to do with (proceedings) against a certain maestro (Pedro de Osma) who denied that sin is to be confessed in the heart and that it did not have to do (with the question) of under which law (divine or positive) confession may be necessary.

     In regard to this witness' statement that it distressed him to see me such a friend of the doctrines of Erasmus, because Erasmus' doctrine was so permeated with errors, I can only reply that this witness is of such an opinion because he was one of the members of the conspiracy against Erasmus in (the University of) Paris.

     Another witness (Gaspar de Lucena) stated ... that Doctor Vergara asked him about maestro (Juan del) Castillo, brother of Gaspar de Lucena ... and this witness replied that he believed Castillo was in Rome, because he had heard so, and Doctor Vergara told him (
about an informacion sent by the Inquisition to effect Castillo's seizure in


     Paris) ... and Doctor Vergara gave some letters of Castillo to a certain person (namely, Lucena).

     I state that this witness says nothing against me, nor do I know for what purpose his statement is included here, unless it is to give the impression that there was some intelligence between me and this maestro Castillo. Well, I say that (1 have never spoken a word with Castillo nor ever written him even a line, nor he me).... If among the letters which customarily came to me in the packets from Rome or anywhere else, any of them were from Castillo, it could well be that I delivered them to whatever person came for them, without knowing by whom they were written. Even if I did know, that would be no reason for me not to deliver them, as I did with all the other letters that came through my hands.

      The next witness, Diego Hernandez, had accused Vergara of several things. He had charged that Vergara did not hear mass, that Vergara was a danado follower of Tovar and an endiosado Lutheran, and that Vergara, in rebuking a sermon given by Doctor Albornoz, had said he did not believe in the Holy Spirit. Vergara, in his reply, does not mention Diego Hernandez by name, and he may have confused him with someone else.

     To this witness I reply that no greater proof of his enmity toward me is needed than the fact that on three different occasions he came to depose against me about such silly hearsay things as these. It was public knowledge that this witness was my enemy and did not even talk to me, and that he had not spoken to me for two years, which caused many people to gossip about it, and he went around complaining about me to everybody. He claims that other persons (also) heard me say the things of which he accuses me. One assumes, therefore, that these persons were called and questioned on these points. But since in their statements no such charges are made against me, then it is certain that they prove this witness to be a liar.

     Anyone who says that another person does not pray must be his roommate and (constant bosom companion) ... which this witness never was to me.... As for hearing mass, I admit that probably he very seldom saw me hear mass, because it was a wonder if he ever came to


mass himself. Having lived more than three years in the same house where I lived and where masses were regularly said and heard (and practically never going to mass himself), he must be making these charges on the basis of hearsay.

     According to this witness' hearsay evidence, I am the follower of some (heretical) person. I do not know who this person is. (9) Therefore I cannot reply except to say that there are not many people in this kingdom whose follower I would esteem being.... (As for) Lutheranism, this witness does not know what it means. Nor do I know what "endiosado" means, except that it seems to be the opposite of "endiablado." So the latter word must sound good to this witness, since the opposite sounds bad to him.

     The story this witness tells of the preacher (whom 1 supposedly rebuked) .., is an imbecility not worth a reply.... Since the preacher himself confessed he did not know what he was saying, as this witness tells it, it is not to be believed that he was speaking through the Holy Spirit ... for those who speak through Him know that the Holy Spirit is moving them, as this preacher claims was the case with him.... It is those who are possessed by the devil who regularly talk without knowing what they are saying, since the evil spirit moves their tongue. But I do not know who this preacher may be, nor what this witness is talking about.

     The next witness, friar Gil Lopez de Bejar, had been named by Francisca Hernandez and Maria Ramirez as a witness to the heresies of which they had accused Vergara. Questioned on this point, friar Gil could recall nothing to substantiate the claims of the two women.

      He did, however, say that he had heard Vergara, in the past, praise some things about Luther and he had advised Vergara, as a friend, to be more moderate in his speech. However, friar Gil could remember no specific points on which Vergara had praised Luther.

      In his reply to this witness, Vergara pointed out the vague nature of the charges, and guessed correctly that friar Gil's testimony could have resulted only from his having been named by Francisca Hernandez as one who might substantiate some of her charges. It was also

9. It was Tovar, according to Diego Hernandez.


obvious to Vergara that since the witness gave no particulars of time and place he did not substantiate the story given out by Francisca, but rather gave the lie to it. Then Vergara went on to make some comments on Luther and Lutheranism.

     At first, when Luther only spoke of the need for reform in the Church ... everybody approved of him. The same persons who now write against him confess in their books that at first they were drawn to him. Almost the same thing happened in Spain in the matter of the comunero revolt; at first when these (revolutionaries) seemed only to be striving for certain reforms, everyone favored them. But later, when they began to behave in a shameful and reckless way, people of good sense withdrew from them and opposed them. There was nothing more common at first than for some people to say. that Luthers were bound to develop, while others said "Luther is right in what he says, " while yet others observed that Luther did well to burn the books of canons and decretals because they were not being used; in those days nobody was scandalized by such remarks.... (Even so, I have no recollection of having said anything which might even remotely resemble the charges made by this witness.)

      Vergara brushed off the remaining charges in summary fashion. He ridiculed the accusation of Francisco de Silva that Vergara never raised the hanging before his door so that he could hear mass; this, he said, was a sorry example of someone trying too hard to find something to serve as an accusation. He denied that he had attempted to have the Doctrina Cristiana of Juan de Valdes approved without regard to its contents; he insisted he had directed that the book be examined very carefully and any errors be pruned from it. And, Vergara concluded, he had now replied to all the charges against him and had shown how baseless they were. From Vergara's point of view the whole affair was virtually over, and his liberty should be a matter of only a short delay. From the point of view of his captors, how. ever, there was a great deal more to come.