The very rare oration of obedience delivered by Pacheco on behalf of the King of Portugal, of great historical importance being instrumental in the granting of rights by the Pope to Portugal to control and develop all lands in the East, whether known or unknown.
After the capture of Malacca by the Portuguese under Albuquerque in 1511 (which became known in Europe in 1513), King Manuel dispatched letters to Rome informing the Papacy of Portugal’s progress. This mattered greatly to Manuel as there was a perceived need to settle the question of demarcation between Spain and Portugal in this area which was important for control of the Spice Islands.
Pope Leo X, newly elected that Spring, was the son of Lorenzo the Magnificent and effectively the leading Medici and ruler of Florence, who represented the traditional favourable disposition to Portugal of Florentine merchants.
In 1514 Manuel sent an Embassy of obedience to Rome led by Tristão da Cunha. Pacheco, a professor of law, was on this Embassy and delivered the oration of obedience on behalf of Manuel. The Embassy was a great popular success, featuring leopards, Persian horses, slaves from India, and above all a trained elephant which bowed three times before the Pope and squirted water over the population.
More importantly it led to a papal bull, Praecelsae Devotionis in 1514 which gave Portugal ‘the patronage of ecclesiastical benefices in Africa and in all other places beyond the sea, acquired or to be acquired from the infidels”, renewed earlier papal bulls in Portugal’s favour, and “for great security” also granted “All unfrequented [by Christians] places recovered, discovered, found and acquired by Manuel and his successors, from Capes Bojador and Nao to the Indies, and in any place, or region whatsoever, even though perchance unknown to us at present …’
This effectively gave Portugal control of all of the East with its huge wealth and resources.
First edition. Small 4to. (19.8 x 14.7 cm), 8 leaves, title within ornamental woodcut border and with arms of Portugal, disbound, well preserved in chemise and blue morocco-backed box.
Lach 1, 167. Not in Silva or Streit.
Stock ID: 97382