Family Barerra, 1495

Many changes have taken place over the last few years in vilanova maris as well as in Barcelona and I am not certain how I feel about them. Many of my husband’s business acquaintances who are conversos have been taken for questioning. I am almost certain that most of them were not sincere in their conversions and were still practicing Judaism.  Still it saddens me that I will most likely never see them again. They were kind people. Before the marriage of our King and Queen in the year 1469, which resulted in Castile and Aragon uniting, we did not have to worry as much about whether or not our friends were Jews. Although some found our actions suspicious, it was possible for us to do business with the Jewish people and to be friends with them. However, our monarchs are devout catholics and have forced the Jews to convert or be expelled. I also fear that, because my family has done business with conversos, I will be suspected as a supporter of their illegal deeds. Every day I fear that the inquisitors will come and take me or my husband away from our family. I have heard awful stories about what happens to people when they are taken for questioning. I can only hope that they are not true. Additionally worrisome is the fact that my husband also has a few Muslim customers. Recently our King and Queen’s armies defeated the Kingdom of Granada. I am not sure how this will affect my business. It appears that, at least for the time being, things are peaceful with the Muslims. I hope that it stays that way.  Otherwise I am at risk of losing even more customers than I already have if they are expelled as the Jews have been. I pray that I will still have enough business once all the non-Christians are converted or forced to leave.[1]

-Monserrat Barrera, 1495

[1] In addition to the websites that are hyperlinked above The Mediterranean in History, edited by David Abulafua (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2003) was consulted when writing this blog.


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