Dated to the day before his death: an intimate look into the last years of the famous explorer Christopher Columbus

Last days of Christopher Columbus and his Will

Spain — 1504–1506

Last days of Christopher Columbus and his Will

Last days of Christopher Columbus and his Will

Spain — 1504–1506

  1. Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) spent the last two years of his life living in seclusion in Valladolid

  2. During this time he recorded his last will and testament, dated the day before his death on March 20th, 1506

  3. This intimate and legal document offers an unbelievable glimpse into the last years of Columbus's life

Last days of Christopher Columbus and his Will

Alternative Titles:
  • Últimos días de Cristóbal Colón y sus Testamento
  • Last Days of Columbus and his Testaments
Last days of Christopher Columbus and his Will – Real Academia de la Historia (Madrid, Spain) / Archivos Generales (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo General de Indias (Seville, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

Christopher Columbus, the great explorer of the Americas and an important figure of world history as a result, spent the last two years of his life living in seclusion in Valladolid, largely forgotten by the world. He maintained close contacts with his first son Diego in particular, who stood in line as his father’s successor and inheritor of his estate. Christopher Columbus recorded his last will and testament regarding his heirs, the survival of his fame, and his hard-won privileges in a Testament, which was once again ratified and reissued on the day before his death on March 20th, 1506. This simultaneously intimate and legal document offers an unbelievable glimpse into the last years – and last days – of the life of Christopher Columbus along with a variety of other documents and letters!

Last Days of Christopher Columbus and His Will

Christopher Columbus, the great explorer of the Americas and an important figure of world history as a result, spent the last two years of his life living in seclusion in Valladolid, largely forgotten by the world. He maintained close contacts with his first son Diego in particular, who stood in line as his father’s successor and inheritor of his estate. Christopher Columbus recorded his last will and testament regarding his heirs, the survival of his fame, and his hard-won Privileges in a Testament, which was once again ratified and reissued on the day before his death on March 20th, 1506. This simultaneously intimate and legal document offers an unbelievable glimpse into the last years – and last days – of the life of Christopher Columbus along with a variety of other documents and letters!

The Disastrous Final Voyage

Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) began his fourth and final voyage of discovery west across the Atlantic under the Spanish flag in May of 1502. Until his return in November of 1504, he visited the newly-discovered regions of the New World, the continent of America, for the last time and made further expeditions into previously unexplored regions. Columbus, among others, sojourned for a long time on the island of Jamaica up to 1504. In November of that year, the once great explorer returned to Spain sick and defeated.

Solitary Final Years

Things could only go downhill for Columbus after that. Not even three weeks after his return, Queen Isabella, his primary patron, died. Columbus had lost his reputation as a revered hero, seafarer, and explorer by his fourth expedition at the latest, because of his difficulties as governor of Hispaniola and the disastrous balance sheet of his last voyage with nine ships lost, among others. The former hero, who now lived in Valladolid, felt robbed of his glory and pulled back from society. Although he was wealthy, at this time Columbus concerned himself with the restoration and assertion of the privileges, which were bestowed upon him in the famous Capitulations of Santa Fe in 1492. This is supposedly the gist of the last years of his life until his death on the 20th of March, 1504.

An Intimate Glimpse into the Final Years

The compendium regarding the final years of the life of Christopher Columbus contains the Testament of 1506 alongside informative and personal letters and documents from the time of the disembarkment of his last voyage of discovery in 1504 until his death two years later. Columbus already composed a will in 1498. This was ratified once again in an extensive and personal letter on March 19th, 1504, the day before his death. In his Testament, Christopher Columbus brings up his birthplace of Genoa. Additionally, the last will and testament contains a provision for the repayment of a small sum resulting from a deal struck by his father in Genoa in 1470. The mother of his second son, Beatriz Enríquez de Arana, with whom Columbus lived but never married, is also taken into consideration. Above all, Christopher Columbus confirmed his son Diego and his successors as the heirs of the wide-ranging honors and privileges that were granted to him.

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Últimos días de Cristóbal Colón y sus Testamento
Last Days of Columbus and his Testaments
Size / Format
Misc. Documents / 31.0 × 22.0 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
1504–1506
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Last days of Christopher Columbus and his Will“

Últimos días de Cristóbal Colón y sus Testamento
Last days of Christopher Columbus and his Will – Real Academia de la Historia (Madrid, Spain) / Archivos Generales (Simancas, Spain) / Archivo General de Indias (Seville, Spain)
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Últimos días de Cristóbal Colón y sus Testamento

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 1992
Limited Edition
980 copies
Binding
The facsimile is presented in a special file, with a presentation case.
Commentary
1 volume (240 pages) by Demetrio Ramos
Language: Spanish
More Information
Reproduction of the entire original document as detailed as possible (scope, format, colors). The binding may not correspond to the original or current document binding.
Price Category: €€ (1,000€ - 3,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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