A rare glimpse into the personality of King Philip II of Spain: the last will of one of the most powerful men of the Middle Ages

Philip II Will and Codicil

Spain — 1594

Philip II Will and Codicil

Philip II Will and Codicil

Spain — 1594

  1. The testament of Philip II (1527–98) represents a rare glimpse into the King's personality

  2. The King gave directions for the succession of the Spanish monarchy and the maintenance of his children

  3. An artifact of the later years of the King's rule when he lived, stricken with gout, at El Escorial Monastery

Philip II Will and Codicil

Alternative Titles:
  • Testamento y Codicilo de Felipe II
Philip II Will and Codicil – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
Philip II Will and Codicil – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
Philip II Will and Codicil – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
Philip II Will and Codicil – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
Philip II Will and Codicil – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
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  1. Short Description
  2. Codicology

Short Description

The last will of the Spanish King: Philip II composed his testament four years before his death in 1598. The famous builder of the royal monastery at El Escorial and passionate patron and collector of art, expanded his last will and testament three years later with an addendum. On a total of 74 pages, Philip II gave directions for the survival of the Spanish monarchy, his successors, and the maintenance of his children, his favorite daughter Isabel Clara Eugenia above all. The testament of this great king is an Impressive document of his piety and his perception of sovereignty while also giving an intimate glimpse into the personality of Philip. A truly exciting document!

Philip II Will and Codicil

The last will of the Spanish King: Philip II composed his testament four years before his death in 1598. The famous builder of the royal monastery at El Escorial and passionate patron and collector of art expanded his last will and testament three years later with an addendum. On a total of 74 pages, Philip II gave directions for the survival of the Spanish monarchy, his successors, and the maintenance of his children, his favorite daughter Isabel Clara Eugenia above all. The testament of this great king is an Impressive document of his piety and his perception of sovereignty while also giving an intimate glimpse into the personality of Philip. A truly exciting document!

The 49 Most Important Matters

This treasure has been housed up to this day in the Library of the Royal Palace in Madrid. The last will and testament of the Spanish King is 74 pages, legitimized by a signature from his own hand. Philip II laid out 49 clauses or matters that pertained to him as a private person, but also in his position as the sovereign of the Spanish Empire. After the typical stipulations for the repayment of debts and donations, the profession of faith, and the burial arrangements, the focus of these official and simultaneously intimate documents lies in the maintenance of his progeny the division of his legacy.

The Last Years at El Escorial

Philip II (1527–1598), the Spanish King, is known above all as the builder of El Escorial. This impressive royal monastery in the hills northwest of Madrid is consecrated to Saint Lawrence and as a result is known as San Lorenzo de El Escorial. Philip II lived out the last years of his life there. Afflicted by gout and bound to a wheel chair as a result, the King was under the loving care of his favorite daughter before he finally died on September 13th, 1598.

His Heir Philip III and the Favorite Daughter

Isabel Clara Eugenia, his favorite daughter, is also the one who is mentioned the most in the King’s will. The first part of the document, written in Latin, is primarily concerned with the Spanish Monarchy. Philip regulated the wholeness of the national heritage and the continuance of the union between the crowns of Castile and Portugal. The second part is addressed to his son Philip, the heir and successor as King Philip III. Here we find information on the line of succession. In the addendum, there are additional clauses stipulating the nuptials of Isabel Clara Eugenia and specified the Netherlands as her dowry.

A Simultaneously Official and Personal Document

The testament of Philip II is a personal and intimate document, which in spite of its strict outer appearance and the typical formulations, gives a deep impression of the spiritual and emotional state of the King. The Spanish King already wrote his will in 1594, four years before his death and made arrangements three years later to ensure that his favorite daughter was well taken care of. An incomprehensibly valuable treasure regarding the significant historical personality of Philip II!

Codicology

Alternative Titles
Testamento y Codicilo de Felipe II
Size / Format
68 pages / 31.5 x 22.0 cm
Origin
Spain
Date
1594
Language
Artist / School

1 available facsimile edition(s) of „Philip II Will and Codicil“

Testamento y Codicilo de Felipe II
Philip II Will and Codicil – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
Philip II Will and Codicil – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
Philip II Will and Codicil – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
Philip II Will and Codicil – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
Philip II Will and Codicil – Biblioteca del Palacio Real (Madrid, Spain)
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Testamento y Codicilo de Felipe II

1 volume: Exact reproduction of the original document (extent, color and size)
Publisher
Testimonio Compañía Editorial – Madrid, 1997
Binding
Hand stitched and bound in maroon goatskin stamped in gold on both sides.
Commentary
1 volume by José Luis Rodriguez de Diego
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: € (under 1,000€)
Edition available
Price: Login here!
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