Unique Late Fifteenth-Century Spanish Indulgence

Innocent VIII (b. 1432, r. 1484–1492).
[Indulgence Promoting the Crusade against Granada and Formula for the Dead, in Spanish].
Conoscida cosa sea atodos los que le presente vieren que nuestro muy santo padre Inocencio octavo prorrogo yde nuevo conçedio agora otra vez la santa cruzada.
Toledo or Huete: Alvaro de Castro, 1490.
Broadside, printed on vellum. (07047)

This unique Spanish indulgence was originally sold in order to grant the remission of sins to the souls of deceased family members. It also raised money for the “holy crusade” against the Muslim inhabitants of the southern province of Granada. One-third of the proceeds went directly to the military campaign.

Although the printer Alvaro de Castro normally worked in Huete, he likely printed this indulgence under the close supervision of the Archbishop at Toledo in 1490, just two years prior to the final reconquest of the last Muslim territories in Spain. The signature of the buyer, originally written in the provided space, is no longer legible. In the lower margin is the commissary’s autograph endorsement and the remains of the wax seal of the Holy Office.