Jeroni Pujades (1568 - ca. 1650)

Additional conjectures to support "The Pujades Affair"!


(still under construction)

               The esoteric "time capsule" remained  hermetic for almost 400 years, partially because scholars don't want to remember this dark period of Catalan history, and because they are distracted by the strange style of Pujades. They are easily fooled, like the Inquisitors he needed to keep off his back, because he had to disguise some of his findings. Which is comparable to the esoteric articles of Johannes Kepler, and apparently typical for the period. That's also why Pujades had the good sense to add a Catholic explanation for switching from Catalan to Spanish, which is an ominous prognosis of the actual consequences:

"The prelates, doctors, teachers and writers must conform themselves to the benefit and advantage of the subjects, listeners, pupils or readers, even if they are scorned, despised and, as Saint Paul says, excommunicated and anathematized".

            On a lighter side, to entertain his Catalan readers, he explains in the prologue that King Chico of Granada replied, when accused of refusing to speak Spanish, which he could perfectly: "I can't risk doing something ugly". After this ambiguous joke, Pujades adds that Aulus Albinus describes some battles in Greek, although his native tongue was Latin, because it would excuse his mistakes.

            Our conclusions eliminated de Marca's immense ambition, and his alleged plagiarism, which are perpetuated in Catholic and Spanish publications. If they were friends, as we hope to have shown, Baluze becomes the person of interest: He published de Marca's works posthumously, and could have easily edited out some references to Pujades. According to the Michaud (1), Baluze accused de Marca of "lacking sincerity", and that the "opinions he professed were always calculating". An example of Baluze's own ambitions is that he printed his name much larger than de Marca's, although he was merely the editor. That this was calculating is supported by the fact that he had Colbert's name printed even larger, which got him the job as his librarian. The slander of Pujades as "ignorant" would also be a good argument to a printer, if he hesitated to remove the Crónica as an important accessere!

            All we know, according to the encyclopedias, is that Pujades died either in 1635 or around 1650, although the evidence supports the latter. But other arguments are overlooked completely: De Marca was from Béarn in the high Pyrenees, which is world-famous for the sauce Béarnaise, but its tolerance towards the Protestants is rarely mentioned. Henri IV was a Huguenot from Navarre, and one of the most popular kings of France. His son was Louis XIII, king of France and Navarre, which must have given de Marca considerable prestige at the court. According to his biographer Gaquère (2), de Marca served in the city council of Pau, all Calvinists, and revealed a Protestant inclination in an early work on transubstantiation, which opposes Thomas Aquinas. 

Inserted temporarily and under construction: The possible Protestant sympathies of Pujades continue with Mazarin, who recommended Colbert to Louis XIV, whose family was Jansenist with Protestant inclinations, including his youngest son  Jacques-Nicolas Colbert, who became archbishop of Rouen in 1696. (see Catholic Encyclopedia) 

            Pierre de Marca, who was disliked by Rome for his work on Gallicanism, spoke Catalan quite well, and was very popular as the "Intendant" of Catalonia. It is rarely mentioned that he took a retreat at Montserrat, like an hermit, and when he recovered from a severe illness, the locals sent:  "Twelve Capuccine monks and twelve young girls, all on bare feet" on a pilgrimage to thank the Black Madonna for his recovery. Yet none of this popularity is ever mentioned by Catholic encyclopedias, only by the French Michaud!

            That he spoke Catalan suggests that he may have spent much time in the region before his official arrival in 1644.  Pujades could have introduced him to Margarit to set up his visit to Paris in 1641. Although there is no evidence, de Marca may have known Pujades as early as 1617 because they were both doctors of canon and civil law, and shared a passion for history. According to the Classic Encyclopedia, " 1617, at the age of twenty-three, (de Marca) had set to work looking through archives, copying charters, and corresponding with the principal men of learning of his time, the brothers Dupuy, Andre Duchesne and Jean Besly, whom he visited in Poitou..." The editors of the Crónica may have given us an important hint: They say that because of the flosculo, Pujades may have had in de Marca an "influential friend or literary relation in Paris". This takes us to the "Histoire de Béarn", folio (Paris, 1640), which they identify as one of the plagiarisms. Gaquère shows from de Marca's correspondence that he started the work on Béarn in 1617 and completed it in 1633. This allows the following conjecture: When young de Marca corresponded with "principal men of learning", he contacted and visited Pujades as well because the "Coronica" of 1609 contained information about Béarn. Hence, Pujades may have even become his mentor, perhaps some time in the early 1620's. His first piece of advise was probably to pretend religious exaltation to pacify the Church, because it is a great tool to advance a career. Baluze describes it as "calculating" and "lacking sincerity", because that's how De Marca became archbishop of Toulouse, without ever living there, and finally archbishop of Paris. According to the Catholic encyclopedias:  He became bishop "without even having taken minor holy orders", and wrote a major work in defense of Gallicanism that "strongly displeased the papacy". That such an insincere Catholic could become the Archbishop of Paris was only possible because Louis XIV believed "l'état c'est moi!" and empowered himself to name the bishops and archbishops. This reduced the "bulls" of the Vatican to a symbolic act, and would explain why Catholic encyclopedias have such little regard for de Marca.  

            Eulàlia Miralles is probably the first modern scholar to dedicate some serious time to the controversial "Pujades Affair". But why is the name of Fornés crossed out, including Indigno frayle menor below it?  And why did Miralles fail to mention "Jhs Maria Fransisco"?  At left is sketched copy from volume II, ms. Esp. 118 and at right is an actual photo of the first page of volume III, Esp. 119 (Barcelona, vol. V). The different handwriting suggests that it is not a signature by a certain 'Jesus Maria francisco', but in all probability a monastery.

           Nevertheless, we can't ignore the possibility that it is the name of a poor Franciscan friar who had to travel through enemy territory in Llerida -- to visit Pujades! Perhaps, Fornés was a well-known "French connection" and decided that the use of friar Jesus Maria was safer. One signature is probably in the hand of Fornés, and the other of friar Jesus. If Pujades was hiding out in Lleida, Fornés may have shown or sent him the folded manuscripts with his changes for approval. That a large part of Esp. 119 is not in the handwriting of Pujades indicates that he had Franciscan support decades earlier, probably as scribes and editors. Let's remember that when Pierre de Marca allegedly robbed those manuscripts, he was in the company of armed men and had no reason to conceal anything. The fact that Esp. 119 and 120 are folded, and that Fornés worked with both, gives our clandestine scenario substantial support. There is, however, one flaw in our hypothesis: These are the only two manuscripts that were copied for the Barcelona edition. But would the Bibliothèque Royale give a scribe the permission to check it out? 

                Today, the existence of two active, opposing factions during the Catalan revolution is largely ignored by Catalan historians. As if, perhaps, both sides agreed after the "Peace of the Pyrenees" to bury the past. Other wars with France followed, beginning with an invasion in 1696, and the twelve years as subjects of France were quite embarrassing and never brought up again. Now that a few centuries have passed, the protagonists of this tragic period deserve to be better understood -- and vindicated. 

                In his biography of de Marca, Gaquère mentions Margarit by name twice. During the French siege of Salces in 1639, Olivares reacted with such brutality that "Catalonia was on fire". He dates his meeting with Louis XIII  one year earlier, and mentions the terms: 

"A treaty signed on December 16, 1640, stipulated that the Catalans provide nine children of the best families as hostages. This made Barcelona, for twelve years, until Catalonia was retaken by the Spaniards in 1652, a French city and the center of resistance against Spain. The soul of this revolt was a noble Catalan: Don Margarit." (p.208)


In 1645: "D'Harcourt failed, unfortunately, before Llerida and had no other choice but to retreat to Barcelona, which de Marca, the savior of the city and the homeland, had defended with the help of Don Josep Margarit against a Spanish armada and a vast interior conspiracy". (p.211)

             There are other references to Margarit without mentioning his name, only as governor, especially in regards to the "interior conspiracy". According to Gaquère, de Marca mentions in a letter of June 20, 1646, that he and the governor are aware of their possible assassination, and that de Marca was forced by the military to take ten soldiers for his protection (p.213). The most plausable scenario for de Marca's robbery would have been during 1652, after Pujades had died and Barcelona was under siege by the Spanish army.  There would have been a date during that year when the French-Catalan defeat was foreseeable and de Marca came with his soldiers to save the family of Pujades from reprisals. Perhaps, they had to hide out for a while in Perpignan to where Margarit escaped, and where Pujades had lived for a while.

            There is also the suggestion by Marc Mayer that Dr. José Pujades (i.e. the ardent royalist would have led a double life as 'Josep Pujades', a true Catalan) handed everything to de Marca himself in 1651. Finally, we have the testimony of Villanueva that Pujades gave his manuscripts to de Marca himself and the references to  flosculo meo Parisiensi indicate they were in Paris before 1635 because they are not mentioned in the testament. Curiously, the flosculo contain some good advise from Pujades himself (3):

“Que nadie puede ser buen censsor, ni juez, que no oiga ambas partes. Quado se ofrecerán encontradas opiniones, las referiré; y, si es posible, como lo será las más veses, las consiliaré y reduciré a concordia; y quado no pueda llegar á tanto, puiestos los fundamentos y razones de ambas partes, quedará la decision de la duda a la discresión del lector."

            It seems that the editors followed the advice to the letter by always showing both sides of the controversy. No wonder, because they were enlightened scholars themselves. In spite of their ambiguous suggestions, which imply a closeness of Pujades and Chrétien through the language of the troubadours, and some undefined "religious inclinations" that could favor the Protestants (or Rosicrucians), the findings of Miralles add new perspectives.

            Pujades pioneered a style of historical research by visiting every monastic and secular library to assemble rare documents to question their validity, and to separate historical fact from fiction. De Marca followed in his footsteps and collected (or stole, as some say) additional materials from Catalan monasteries and libraries. This set the standards for the Benedictines (Maurists) and Bollandists (Jesuits) who would copy this method and become leading in medieval research. But there is a major difference, because they were rewriting history in the service of the Church with fissions and fusions to clean up the lives of saints, including the "Acta Santorum".

            It probably relates directly to "The Pujades Affair" that the leading Jesuit scholars Henschen and Papebroch arrived in Paris on August 11, 1662, six weeks after de Marca's death, and "were immediately put in touch" with the "distinguished savants" of Paris. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia they did three months of research in Paris and left for Rouen (see Bollandists, p.633).  Did they take the Crónica from Baluze and hide it there, or did Franciscans fryers save it from the Jesuits? When the celebrated Catalan scholar Dalmases discovered it there in 1696, archbishop of Rouen was Jacques-Nicolas Colbert, the youngest son of Baluze's employer. Which is challenged by another controversy because, according to Dubarat, Racine had exclaimed: 


"The Jesuits had a new triumph when the king nominated de Marca

 as archbishop of Paris..." (Racine, Histoire de Port-Royal, p.CCXVI).


            These words by one of the giants of Western literature demonstrate how difficult it is for us to understand de Marca and his period. In 1656 a document, known as the Formulary, was drawn up by a group of French bishops led by de Marca, regarding the Port-Royal controversy. It was an oath that condemned the five propositions which Cornot had found in Jansen's book Augustinus, and it supported the position of the Jesuits. It is also known that de Marca was educated by the Jesuits before he attended the University of Toulouse, but our above Franciscan conjecture could also mean that Pujades and de Marca were "alumbrados", who included reformed Franciscans and Jesuits. But this paradox could also be explained by the Baroque mentality and practices, where complex alliances with foes were forged for political reasons. A good example is Kepler, a Protestant and their contemporary, who cultivated Jesuit friends as support (and life insurance) for some of his dangerous views of religious controversies.

              We have shown earlier that de Marca chose Fornés to assist Pujades with his work. We believe he helped with the forewords, because they are usually written last, and with the Third Part to prepare it for the printers. Travel was difficult at the time because Lleida was often under Spanish control, which is no obstacle for a Franciscan fryer. It is possible that de Marca held the originals for security reasons, and whenever Forrnés visited him, he added the new chapters to the manuscripts. Either himself, or he had it done by one of his confratres. The Third part is written in such a fluid style that he obviously copied from drafts that contained the unsightly revisions and corrections. In fact, some chapters were never added and remain as blank pages to this day. The translation of the First Part is illustrated with cut-outs from the Catalan edition, but the rest of the work is fluid and looks basically like a copy of another manuscript, occasionally with chapters in other hands.  When your gatekeeper saw them for the first time in the 1980's, he suspected at first that the French copyist had replaced his Second and Third Part, and surrendered the originals to the Catalans.

             According to Gaquère, de Marca visited a Cistercian monastery in Poblet, near Llerida, in July 1647. He took manuscripts that exposed certain errors of Pliny and Mela, and went on to visit most of the 28 Benedictine monasteries in Catalonia, as well as the libraries of cathedrals and schools. This visit may relate either to the death of Pujades and his legacy, or to specific requests he made for additional material. 

             If we combine the findings of Miralles with those of Angela Serrano, the vindication of Josep Margarit as a Catalan hero and identification as "gran amic", a great friend of de Marca, we have a much better scenario. It would cover two important loose ends of the "Pujades Affair", which is the silence of his four sons from the first marriage, and the fate of his Castilian wife and son José. What if everything is true, from the obituary to the "robbery" by de Marca, and merely seen out of context? What if one of his sons or grandchildren was one of the nine French hostages? What if there is a simple human element, and Pujades had a "domestic dispute" because of his clandestine activities, which his Castilian wife considered treason?  He may have sided with Dr. Fontanella, for example, and during the dispute of the quints warned his colleague of an imminent attack from Spain. On the other hand, Margarit was a local from Castello d'Empuries, and the printer of the 1609 Coronica was a Margarit, and probably a relative in an anti-Castilian nucleus with Pujades, Fontanella,  and de Marca that was created in the 1630's, providing the Baroque plot where we merely need to re-assemble:

            Miquel Pujol i Canelles (5) has studied the diaries of Pujades and notes that they are missing after 1630, although there is evidence that they were continued. He also shows that although Pujades lived comfortably, it became a "leitmotiv" in his later years to feature his poverty in the "Franciscan spirit" as a devotion to the "third rule" of St Francis. According to the "Franciscan connection", Pujades took the Crónica and his documents to work in a secret location. After the revolt of the Catalans, when de Marca arrived officially in Catalonia, Llerida was not a secure location because of the Castilian presence, and Pujades agreed to restrict himself to a few necessary documents, and the rest was removed to Paris -- including the flosculo. When Pujades finally died, de Marca obtained additional documents from his widow, as claimed, or from his son in 1651 (Mayer). He may have used the "force of arms", perhaps with his friend Margarit, but only as a show for the neighbors. Let's not forget that de Marca had to travel with ten soldiers, because he and governor Margarit had been warned of a possible assassination! 

            With the original volumes of the Crónica in his possession, de Marca had Fornés complete the work according to the manuscripts and notes of Pujades. These documents will probably be found some day, along with the missing diaries, which should generally confirm this conjecture. This would reconcile every bit of information we have so far, every piece of the puzzle, and explain why the editors refrained from identifying the second wife of Pujades as Castilian. Because this is such a twisted tale, with many Cervantesque elements, the remaining mystery could easily be symbolized with Christian Rosenkreutz, which was great reading when Pujades was at his prime. In an era that was marked by Luther's Reformation, and the Catholic counter-reformation, many religious circles will have been intrigued by the Rosicrucian manifestoes and writings, and probably discussed them with interest. The esoteric implications at Sant Pere de Roda, located above Roses, and the cape of the Cross, where the discoveries of Pujades led us to the empty tomb of St. Peter at the Vatican seem to connect directly! This final scenario may be a bit "over the top" for modern scholars, but is certainly consistent with Baroque humor and the style of Pujades, and a spectacular conclusion for a Hollywood movie. The screenplay is in the works! A hero like Indiana Jones digs up the tomb of Christian Rosenkreutz and finds the bones of Pujades and the missing diaries.

            Finally, it must be said that this essay reveals clearly that this writer is not an established historian, only a passionate aficionado of the truth, which permits him to challenge the experts, and force them (with all due respect) to take a new, unbiased look at Pujades. Another limitation is that he is building this site in "vulgar English", a language he only learned as fourth, which helps him understand the predicament of Pujades. Until the early 17th century, Spain was the ruling world power, and Spanish as important as English today.

            Now that Google has digitized the Crónica, it should be easy for a young, talented Castilian or bi-lingual Catalan writer to edit the work of Pujades and publish it once again, to be followed by a qualified English translation! To enrich our history, to perpetuate the truth for future generations, and to honor the noble Catalan Dr. Jeroni Pujades. Nevertheless, we cannot exclude the possibility that scholars will examine the Crónica in greater detail and propose an entirely new conclusions decades or centuries from now. What if the erudite Francesc Fornés turns out to be the inventor of the "time capsule"? It would be worthwhile to examine Peter's three denials and the false claims of the Nymph's in Plutarch's riddle!



There is another issue that needs to be addressed: In volume 2, tome IV (1632), which was published in the same year as the last volume 6, tome VIII, the editors offer another surprise:  “...el erudito Mr. Tastu, literato francés oriundo de Cataluña...” is comparing the flawed Taberner copy with the original manuscripts 5-8 at the Bibliothèque Royale in Paris. This French literate and Catalan by birth mentions the discovery of the flosculo and other documents, but there is no mention of the change of hands in tomes VII and VIII, which he would have surely noticed and told the editors! Nor did he add the missing church of the 55 at Santa Maria de Meja! churches The editors announced a tome IX with appendices and corrections, which apparently was never realized. In view of our conjectures, it could have been a political decision to withhold the truth about "The Pujades Affair" and allow the revised advertencia in tome VIII to appease the conservatives and advance their careers. 



(Back to Pujades Affair)



                1.   Michaud, Biographie Universelle, Nouvelle Edition, Paris, (no date) p.446 under de Marca

                2.   Gaquère, Chanone Francois, Pierre de Marca, Sa Vie, ses Oevres, son Gallicanisme, (Paris, 1932).

                3.   Marc Mayer, Xavier Espluga, Alejandra Guzmàn, L’epigrafia a la Corònica de Jeroni Pujades (1569-1636), (Barcelona, 2004), pp.224-25: “Que nadie puede ser buen censor, ni juez, que no oiga ambas partes. Quado se ofrecerán encontradas opiniones, las referiré; y, si es posible, como lo será las más veses, las consiliaré y reduciré a concordia; y quado no pueda llegar á tanto, puiestos los fundamentos y razones de ambas partes, quedará la decision de la duda a la discresión del lector."

                4.   Harald Zimmermann, Das Mittelalter, 1. Teil, (Braunschweig, 1975), p.126

                5.   Miquel Pujol i Canelles, Aportació a la biografia de Jeroni Pujades, Una biblioteca particular de començament del segle XVII, no date. Available on-line:



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