THE ROYAL HOUSE OF BOURBON

 

DOC 1. LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT OF CHARLES II OF SPAIN 1700

"Recognising, in accordance with various counsels proffered by Our Ministers of State and Our judiciary to the effect that the reason which has compelled the Lady Anne and the Lady Marie-Therese, both of whom were Queens of France, the one Our aunt and the other Our sister, to renounce Their respective rights to these Our Realms was none other than fear of the consequences for Spain which might ensue from union with the Crown of France; and recognising that, while this cause for concern is no longer a valid one, the right of the closest relative to succeed to the Throne still subsists under the laws of these Realms, and that this claim can now be entered on behalf of the second son of the Dauphin of France, We do herewith, in due observance of these laws, appoint as Our successor (in the eventuality of God calling Us to Himself while We are yet childless) the Duke of Anjou, second son of the Dauphin, and We do name Him heir to all Our Realms and all Our Domains without any exception whatever. And We do command and direct Our subjects and vassals in whatever part of Our Realms and territories that, should We be called away from this life while We are yet denied lawful issue, they shall take and recognise the said Duke of Anjou as their rightful King and Natural lord and shall straightway grant Him possession of the said territories, as soon as He has taken the customary oath of observance of all the laws, charters and customs of these Our Realms and domains. And it being Our intention that, in the interests of the peace of Christendom and of all Europe and of the well-being of these Our Realms, this Crown and that of France shall ever remain sundered, We do declare, with reference to the stipulations made above, that, if the said Duke of Anjou should die before We are Ourselves called to God, or should He accede to the Throne of France and prefer to wear that Crown rather than that of these Our Realms, then the said Crown shall pass to the Duke de Berry, His brother, and the third son of the said Dauphin, and that all the conditions set out above shall pertain in this eventuality; and that, should the Duke de Berry die before We are Ourselves called, or should He accede to the Throne of France, We do declare that it is Our will that this Our Crown pass to the Archduke, second son of Our uncle, the Emperor, passing over, for the same reasons that We have listed above, - and because of the same concern We showed above for the common-weal - the firstborn of the Emperor, Our uncle; and should the Archduke die before We are Ourselves called to the life hereafter, We do declare that is Our will that, in such an eventuality, the Crown pass to the Duke of Savoy and to His heirs. This is Our will and We do command Our subjects that they observe this to the letter and not suffer it to be altered one whit, for it is thus that their own well-being and the orderliness of their own Realm are best served, and We do charge them not to permit the slightest dismembering of this Our Realm nor to permit any lessening whatever of the greatness of this Monarchy which basks in the glory and renown earned by Our forefathers in its service. And, since We do so fervently desire that peace and union subsist between the Emperor, Our uncle and His Most Christian Majesty, and since the peace of Christendom hangs upon this, We do exhort Them and beg They may be pleased to cement the bonds of friendship that do bind them together, by joining the Duke of Anjou and the Archduchess in Holy Matrimony, and grant Europe thereby the peace She so desperately needs.

In the event of Our dying without issue, the said Duke of Anjou shall succeed to all Our Realms and domains, both those attaching to the Crown of Castille and those that do pertain to Aragón and Navarre, and, indeed all of them, both within and without Spain; to wit: in particular the following lands that do attach to the Crown of Castille: Castille itself, Leon, Toledo, Galicia, Seville, Granada, Córdoba, Murcia, Jaén, the outposts of Algeciras, Gibraltar, the Canaries, the Indies, the mainlands and island both on the far shores of the Atlantic in the Americas, and in the South Seas, the Philippines, and all other islands and lands discovered either now or at any time in the future, together with all other rights of whatever kind attaching to the Realm of Castille; and the following that do attach to the Crown of Aragón: Aragón itself, Valencia, Catalonia, Naples, Sicily, Majorca, Sardinia and all other territories and rights of whatever kind that do attach either to the Crown of Aragón or to the Realm of Navarre, together with all lands that belong or shall belong at any time in the future to it in the Low Countries, and all rights and other privileges that have redounded to Us in virtue of Our succession to that Throne. And it is Our will that, when God is pleased to take us from this present life, the said Duke of Anjou shall be called to the Throne and crowned King of all the said lands and territories, all Acts of Abdication and all other legislation to the contrary notwithstanding, (all such acts being held as without foundation and, accordingly, declared null and void). And We do hereby charge all Dignitaries of Our Church, Our Grandees, Dukes, Marquises, Counts, and Gentlemen of quality, and all Our Priors, the Knights-Commander of Our Orders of Chivalry, Our Knights, the Captains-General and judges in Our colonies, the Governors of Our castles and Our country-seats, Our Nobles, and all the Members of Our Councils, justices, Mayors, Bailiffs, Aldermen, Municipal Officers, and all the Yeomen of these Our cities, towns and villages, in all the lands pertaining unto these Our Realms and Domains; and all Our Viceroys and Provincial-Governors, the Governors and Wardens of Our castles, Our Captains and all those Officers who guard the frontiers of Our Kingdoms both here in Spain and overseas, and all Our Ministers and all those who hold office both in the civil service and in both branches of Our armed forces throughout Our Realms, in Castille and in Aragón and Navarre, in Naples, and Sicily, in the Estates of Milan and the Low Countries and in all other lands that do attach to Our Crown, and all Our subjects, vassals and all the indigenous peoples in Our territories, of whatever rank and station, and wherever they reside, who find themselves bound by their duty as vassals and subjects: to accord this Our Will and Decree the obedience which they owe to it, as loyal subjects of a King who is their Natural Lord, in virtue of the oaths of loyalty and allegiance which they have sworn to Our Royal Person and which it was their duty to swear, in which it is decreed that whensoever God is pleased to call Us from the cares of this present life, that they shall take the said Duke of Anjou as their lawful King and the rightful Lord of all Our Realms, domains and possessions, and cleave to Him, should it come to pass that We die without issue; and We charge them, as soon as they shall know of Our death, to comply with the laws of these Our Realms, Domains and Estates, by raising banners for their new King and carrying out all the public Acts prescribed by precedent and custom in each Realm and Province, giving every sign and outward show, performing every ceremony and executing every rite that is in their Realm and Province a token of the loyalty, allegiance and obedience which as vassals and subjects they are in duty bound to afford their King and Natural Lord. And We do hereby command the Wardens of Our fortresses and castles and the Governors of our country-seats and their lieutenants in all the cities, townships and villages of our Realms and all the uninhabited places therein to pay homage to the said Duke of Anjou as is laid down in the Laws of the Realm and the ancient rights and privileges of Spain, Castille, Aragón and Navarre and all the lands pertaining thereunto; and We do command that this be likewise performed in the Estates of Milan and all other Domains and territories under Our Crown in accordance with the traditions and customs of the particular provinces in honour of the Duke of Anjou, and to keep the said tokens of homage and fealty for as long as they are commanded to do so and then to hand them over to the person appointed, whose name and identity shall be communicated to them either in writing or by word of mouth. All this do We command them to perform without any departure whatever from the letter of this Our Will, and to do so, on pain of the grim fate that befalls all traitors to the State and all those who are unheedful of the wishes of their Sovereign and Natural Lord and who break and shatter oaths of loyalty and allegiance and disregard those acts of homage to which they have pledged their faith.

This tallies with the originals of the Will of Our Lord, the King (R.I.P.). Madrid, second day of November, seventeen hundred. Don Antonio de Ubilla y Medina.

This copy tallies with the one from which it was taken and which I handed to His Excellency Don Manuel Arias, Governor of the Council of State, to which fact 1, Don Rafael Saenz Maza, secretary to His Majesty and senior clerk to the Council, do hereby bear witness. Madrid, third day of November, seventeen hundred.

Taken from SPAIN UNDER THE BOURBONS, Edited and Translated with a critical introduction by W. N. Hargreaves-Mawdsley, MA, Dphil, FRHistS, Prof of History, Brandon University, Canada, London, Macmillan, 1973, quoting from Fausto Nicolini, L'Europa durante la guerra di successione di Spagna, Naples, 1937-39, 3 vols, vol. I, pp. 167-8.

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