Monday, 2 March 2020

Genealogical Oddities (LVIII): Thomas Fowler Did Not Expect The Spanish Inquisition

Who was Thomas Fowler, an English merchant active in Spain during the reign of King Carlos II? A 'Don Thomas Fauler', stated to be an Englishman residing in the city of Seville, granted a power of attorney in Madrid on 21 May 1680 before notary Felipe Antonio González de Montalvo (which instrument was witnessed by one Alejandro Tromorton, or Alexander Throgmorton). Fowler/Fauler was caught up in the Inquisition's prosecution of Antonio Lemos or Lemús, whose assets were confiscated as part of the Inquisition's prosecution of him. Our English friend owed Lemos 17,000 reales, which debt the Inquisition now wished to call in, sooner rather than later. Suddenly Fauler found himself not in the placid enjoyment of a debt to a Spanish merchant, but rather on the receiving end of legal actions from the Inquisition. How unexpected!

He may or may not have been the same man as a Thomas Fauler whose assets in the Canary Islands were confiscated in 1657, as part of Spanish reprisals against Oliver Cromwell for Commonwealth attacks on Spain. In any case, the Fauler of interest to is is indicated by the Inquisition proceedings to have been a resident of Antequera by 1683. Perhaps some record in the National Archives at Kew would reveal his origin? Is anyone across the Channel missing a Thomas from their extended Fowler family tree?

SOURCES: Archivo Histórico Nacional, Madrid: Inquisición,4680,9 · For the list of English merchants with assets confiscated in 1657, "Guerra Económica Y Comercio Europeo en España, 1624-1674. Las Grandes Represalias Y La Lucha Contra El Contrabando", Ángel Alloza Aparicio [In: Hispania, LXV/1, num. 219 (2005)]