The Treasury - Rare and Antiquarian Books


7970. UNIQUE MASSIVE EARLY PORTUGUESE BOOK FROM THE MILITARY RELIGIOUS ORDER OF CHRIST, SUCCESSOR TO THE KNIGHTS TEMPLARS, 1731-1735. This entirely handwritten book is the official archives of the Comenda of Pombal, Portugal under the jurisdiction of the Order Of Christ, the successor order to the Knights Templars which had also been centered in this area. The book is a massive handwritten document of around 100,000 words, written by the judge of the Comenda. Much of the text deals with court cases brought before the comenda and the resulting sentences.

On the spine: Tombo Archive Comenda Pombal 1731.

A Comenda was a benefaction given by the King, which entailed jurisdiction over a certain area with responsibilities for its well being. The Comenda here had its jurisdictional center in the church of Sao Martinho (Saint Martin) in the village of Pombal, the modern town of Pombal in North central Portugal. The Comenda de Pombal was associated with the Ordem de Cristo. This Order of Christ was a Military Order, like the Templars. In fact they were the perpetuation of the Templars. When the Templars were disbanded by the Pope the Portuguese king at the time managed to transfer their goods to this new Military Order he founded. The area around Pombal had a long association with the Templars and then the Order of Christ.

The title page reads: TOMBO DA COMMENDA DE SAO MARTI NHO DA VILLA DE POMBALFEYTO NO ANNO DE MILE SETECENTOS TRINTA E TRIS A INSTANCIA do EXCELLENTISSIMO CONDE da Calheta Reposteiro mor (an honorific title of the Count of Calheta which literally means the one in honorific charge to open the doors and windows to the king) AFONSO DE VASCO CELLOS ESOUZA COMMENDADOR da mesma comenda de que soy Juiz O DOUTOR ANTONIO VIEIRA DE FREITAS.

This translates as: Archive of the Commenda of Sao Martinho of the village of Pombalfeyto in the year of one thousand seven hundred thirty and three by request of the most excellent Count of Calheta Afonso de Vasco (this was Afonso de Vasconcelos e Sousa Cunha Camara Faro e Veiga, 5th Count of Calheta, a town of the island of Madeira, born 17.1.1664, died Lisboa, S. Jose 2.2.1734) Celios e Souza, director of this same Comenda of which I am the judge the Doctor (of law) Antonio Vieira de Freitas (the writer of this archive)

A massive and unique one of a kind early handwritten historical document from the Order of Christ, the famous military religious order and direct successor to The Knights Templars. Dimensions: 12 x 17 x 4 inches. Weight: 15 lbs. In generally excellent condition with tight binding and all text legible. Provenance: An extensive North Eastern collection, acquired at an upscale estate sale in the 1980's.