Charles V and the Castilian Assembly of the Clergy

Negotiations for the Ecclesiastical Subsidy


The Castilian Assembly of the Clergy has been overlooked in the scholarship on church-state relations and representative institutions in the early modern period. This oversight has distorted our understanding of political practice, royal finance, and church-state relations in sixteenth-century Castile. By examining the negotiations for subsidies between the crown and the Assembly, this book illuminates the dynamics between church and state and the limits of royal control over the church, and it challenges long-held conventions about the monolithic structure of the Spanish church and its subservience to the crown. The negotiations for subsidies also demonstrate the importance of consensus in the political process and how the Assembly sustained itself and its privileges for centuries through collaboration with the crown.
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Biographical Note

Sean T. Perrone, Ph.D. (1997) in History, University of Wisconsin-Madison, is Associate Professor of History at Saint Anselm College.

Review Quotes

"This is a carefully researched and clearly argued study that makes an important contribution to our understanding of royal finance, governance, political practice, and church-state relations in sixteenth-century Castile." Helen Rawlings, University of Leicester. In: The Catholic Historical Review, Vol. 96, No. 2 (April 2010)

Perrone "tells this detailed story artfully and draws important conclusions, addressing not only Charles's challenges within Spain but also those with the papacy ... He makes clear that the battle between church and state in Castile was part of a larger, international dynamic of diplomacy, money, and faith". Ruth MacKay, Stanford University. In: Sixteenth Century Journal XL/3 (2009), p. 773.

... groundbreaking study ... The history of Church-State relations in early modern Castile will need to be
revised with this new information."
Fernando Cervantes, University of Bristol.In: Parliaments, Estates and Representation, Vol. 30, No 1 (April 2010), p. 92-94

Table of contents

List of Tables and Maps


1. Structure of the Assembly
2. Negotiations for the Subsidy of 1530
3. Clerical Resistance and the Suspension of Holy Offices
4. Negotiations for the Subsidy, 1533–1534
5. Verification and Redistribution of the Subsidy, 1540–1542
6. Negotiations for the Subsidy of 1546
7. The Failed Negotiations for the Subsidy of 1555
8. Spanish Diplomacy and the Church Subsidy
9. Conclusion



All those interested in church history, church-state relations, cathedral chapters, representative institutions, political history, governance, finance, as well as state-building and absolutism.


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