European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648

By Frances Gardiner Davenport | Go to book overview

12.
The Bull Praecelsae Devotionis (Leo X.). November 3, 1514.

INTRODUCTION.

In March, 1513, Leo X. became pope, and King Emmanuel soon gained his highest favor. A letter from the king to the pope, dated June 6, 1513,1 set forth the Portuguese successes in India, and especially in Malacca, the great emporium of the spice trade, captured by Albuquerque in 1511. The pope's enthusiastic reception of this news and of the later report of Portuguese victories in Morocco greatly pleased the king, who expressed his appreciation by sending to Rome in the spring of 1514 an embassy of obedience of unequalled splendor.2 In return the pope showered favors upon the monarch who had so marvellously enlarged the field of missionary enterprise. Like Julius II., Leo X. sent the king the consecrated golden rose, and granted the requests preferred by the Portuguese ambassadors. When the embassy of obedience left Rome, late in May or early in June, Portuguese affairs remained in the hands of the ordinary ambassador, João de Faria, who obtained further concessions from the pope, among which was the bull of June 7, 1514, which gave to the king the patronage of ecclesiastical benefices in Africa and in all other places beyond the sea, acquired or to be acquired from the infidels, and subjected them to the spiritual jurisdiction of the Order of Christ.3 On November 3, a bull was issued which renewed the earlier donations to Portugal, and amplified them in the way in which the bull of September 26, 1493,4 extended the grants previously made to Castile. The bull of November 3 granted to Portugal the lands and other property acquired from the infidels, not only from capes Bojador and Não to the Indies, but in any region whatsoever, even if then unknown. Thus it appears that Pope Leo X. regarded the demarcation line as confined to one hemisphere, where it served to determine for both powers the route that must be followed to the Indies. For the present bull permitted the Portuguese, following the eastern route, to acquire lands from the infidels, even though these lands were situated more than half-way around the globe. The Portuguese desired

____________________
1
Printed in Rebetto da Silva, Corp. Dipl. Port., I. 196-199, and in Roscoe, Leo the Tenth, vol. I., app., p. xxxiv.
2
For documents relating to this embassy, see Roscoe, op. cit., appendix; MacSwiney de Mashanaglass , Le Portugal et le Saint-Siège, III., appendix; J. Ramos-Coelho, Alguns Documentos ( 1892), pp. 353-356; Rebello da Silva, op. cit., I. 234-243; and Ciutiis, Ambassade Portuguaise. See also the description in Goes, Chronica do Rei D. Alanoel, pt. III., cc. 55-57.
3
The bull is printed in Rebello da Silva, Corp. Dipl. Port., I. 254-257. In regard to the Order of Christ, see Doc. 2, note 14.
4
Doc. 8. This bull had revoked the papal grants to Portugal in so far as they might be interpreted as giving her exclusive claim to the Indies.

-112-

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