Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance Essay

1631 Words Dec 27th, 2010 7 Pages
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
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The only condition was that Noguerol would return to Spain with Catalina in hope of reuniting with her children. However, they were unaware of the fate that beholds Noguerol’s nobility once they reach Spain.
Despite Noguerol’s wealth and fame, he was confined and thrown in prison. Wealth was either willed or earned through one’s fruit of labor. Noguerol gave up his youth to earn his wealth. For his accomplishments and service to His Majesty, Noguerol had “savored his wealth and all the benefits due to him from his encomienda” (Cooks 20). He was a hidalgo with numerous servants and slaves to do his bidding. This is a perfect example of wealthy Spaniards authority over the minorities. Moreover, when he married Catalina, her luxurious dowry enhanced his financial status tremendously. He enjoyed his wife’s wealth, but legally she still had claimed to it. One would think that a wealthy criminal, such as Noguerol, would buy his way out of prison but the laws of Colonial Latin America were strict. Instead, he was forced to pay Beatriz 100,000 maravedis each year, for her maintenance and legal fees (Cooks 64). His own wealth became his enemy. During the trial, Dona Beatriz became persistent that Noguerol should be punished more and heavily fined due to his wealth. She claimed that he should return her dowry and half his income; a right that every “widow” had. Also, the court ruled that Noguerol had to pay a fine of…