Villa Flor

The village of Villa Flor mentioned in the trial most likely refers to a village located in northwestern Portugal, in what is now known as the district of Bragança.  Though most evidence suggests that the village is in Portugal, there are two other possibilities.  The testimonies of witnesses in Manuel Anrríguez’s trial mention that he spent a great deal of time in Medina del Campo, a village in what is now the community of Castilla-León.  It is therefore possible that Villa Flor refers to the village of Villaflor, in what is now the province of Ávila, Castilla-León, and Vilaflor, given its proximity to Medina del Campo.  Furthermore, the testimonies mention that Manuel Anrríguez arrived in the Viceroyality of Peru with a cleric from the Canary Islands.  This suggests the possibility that Villa Flor refers to Vilaflor, a village in the center of the island of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, in the Canary Islands.  Though the trial repeatedly mentions Manuel Anrríguez’s Portuguese nationality, we cannot immediately conclude that Manuel Anrríguez was a native of Portugal; most New Christians, whether from Portugal or not, were called Portuguese.  After the 1492 expulsion of Jews from Spain, most preferred to cross the border into Portugal than convert; however, under the threat of expulsion from Portugal in 1497, the majority of these Jews converted to Christianity.  Consequently, Portugal had a very large population of New Christians, many of whom (including some involved in the Complicity, or their parents) freely returned to Spain.  As a result, “Portuguese” and “New Christian” became almost interchangeable terms; even the descendants of New Christians in Spain, regardless of their Spanish nationality, were referred to as Portuguese.  Therefore, though Manuel Anrríguez is referred to as a “Portuguese” in the trial, we cannot immediately conclude that his hometown of Villa Flor is, in fact, a Portuguese village.

Silverblatt, Irene. Modern Inquisitions: Peru and the Colonial Origins of the Civilized World. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2004.