Alcalde: a magistrate, holder of one of the chief offices of a city, villa, or town council. In pueblos sujetos (subject towns), the alcalde was the chief officer.
Alcalde mayor, or corregidor: the chief magistrate and governor of a district
Alférez real: royal standard bearer who was second in authority in the ayuntamiento
Asesor: legal advisor named to act in judicial matters for an official, such as the viceroy or intendant
Audiencia: a high court of appeals for civil and criminal cases that also functioned as the real acuerdo (advisory council) to the chief executive officer. Audiencia was also the name of the territory of that high court. New Spain had two audiencias, the Audiencia of Mexico and the Audiencia of Guadalajara
Ayuntamiento: the principal self-governing body of a city and its hinterland
Cabildo: there were two types, the cabildo eclesiástico (cathedral chapter) and the cabildo civil (town council)
Capitular: a member of an ayuntamiento
Casta: a Castilian word to designate groups of people or animals. By the eighteenth century, the poorer elements of society, usually mulatos, came to be known collectively as castas.
Ciudad: a city that possessed autonomous government and had jurisdiction over the urban areas as well as its hinterlands
Compromisarios: electors chosen at the parish level
Corregidor: a magistrate and governing official of a district or province called a corregimiento
Criollo: literally meaning “native of,” a term that was applied to persons, animals, and products of an area. In the eighteenth century the term was used to mean a person of Spanish ancestry born in America.
Cura: the pastor of a parish often called in English the parish priest
Derecho indiano: the laws of the Indies
Fiel ejecutor: city inspector of weights and measures in charge of the supply of foodstuffs and of establishing appropriate market prices
Fueros: special judicial privileges granted to regions in Spain that possessed their own code of laws or, in America, the special legal status of members of groups or corporations, such as the Indians, the Church, and the military