Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance Essay

Topics: Marriage, Spain, Catholic Church Pages: 4 (1630 words) Published: October 18, 2010
No one escapes the consequences for their actions
It all took place more than 400 years ago. Francisco Noguerol de Ulloa was sentenced to exile for three years, forced to pay a minimal fine to His Majesty, and was forbidden to see his second wife, Catalina. The crime he, unintentionally, committed was bigamy, marriage to two wives. Noguerol was a rich man, a devout Catholic and a high – ranking political and social being. Yet he was convicted of bigamy and was thrown in prison like an ordinary criminal. The source of his downfall was two scheming nuns. During the sixteenth century, wealth, religious values, and political status played a significant role in Colonial Latin America. Women and their chastity were honored; Catholic Churches were protected from any scandals; and the Spaniards abided by the court. There was a sense of dominancy in Spain. In Francisco Noguerol’s case, wealth, gender, religious status, or his political position did not affect the outcome of the case, as the punishment was sufficient. Noguerol’s wealth, religious values, and political positions were threatened when he learned that his first wife, Dona Beatriz de Villasur, was alive. At a young age, Noguerol was a victim of a loveless arranged marriage with Beatriz, a woman with wealth and social prominence. She came with a large dowry and proved financially useful for Noguerol’s mother. During the sixteenth century, a marriage was not just between two people, but it was a union of two families. However, the marriage was a failure. Noguerol abandoned his wife and fled to Peru. After some time, he received an unexpected letter from his sisters, who were nuns, to inform him that Beatriz had died; the source to Noguerol’s downfall. In those times, it was necessary to show evidence of such an event, like the letters he received. Soon it became a common knowledge among the Spaniards of Beatriz’s death. Francisco Noguerol was “one of the most eligible bachelors in the land” (Cooks 32)....
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