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Founding Royal ordinance for the Corps of Invalids of New Spain, 1773.

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Founding Royal ordinance for the Corps of Invalids of New Spain


Antonio Maria Bucareli y Ursua (1717-1779, Viceroy of New Spain).

Reglamento formado para el cuerpo de invalidos de Nueva España por el Excmo. Sr. Bailio Fr. D. Antonio Maria Bucareli y Ursua Virrey Governador y Capitan General de ella, aprobado por S. M. en Real Orden de trece de Junio de 1773.

Mexico City, Joseph Antonio de Hogal, 1774.

Folio. [2], 19, [1 blank] pp. Collates: π, A-D2, π.

With the woodcut Royal coat of arms on the title. Signature of Viceroy Bucareli in ink on the final page.

Modern stiff marbled paper covers, leaves remargined in order to match the size of the volume. In linen made-to-measure case with title on front.


Very rare first and only edition of the founding document for the establishment of the Corps of Invalids in the Viceroyalty of New Spain. This Royal ordinance marks a crucial step in the military organisation of the Spanish Americas and greatly expanded the colonial military presence there.
               The Cuerpo de Invalidos consisted of men not fit for field duty due to injury, illness or advanced age. They were assigned to the defence and custody of the coasts and borders of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, a massive area stretching from Panama to Alaska, including California and Mexico. They also served as guardians of the most prolific national buildings. This military reform took place in the context of a major administrative restructuring of the Spanish Americas under King Carlos III, known as the Bourbon Reforms. The Spanish Crown established a standing overseas military, Including the Cuerpo de Invalidos, with the aim of defending its colonial territories. Carlos III created the first Corps of Invalids in Spain in 1764 with the aim of providing a dignified old age to those disabled for active service. With the creation of this type of units, the Crown benefited those people who were under its orders for years. Thus, far from completely separating them from their functions, and in addition to giving them monetary compensation, they were kept working and being participants in the life of their community. They were not separated or discriminated against, and they were considered capable and that they could continue to participate in society. Also, having a Corps of Invalids in the colonies gave the oppressor a significantly larger presence on the streets because men who were not active soldiers were still able to wear a uniform.
               The person to carry out the reforms, and signee of the present document, was Viceroy Antonio María de Bucareli y Ursúa, marqués de Valleheroso y conde de Jerena, who served from 1771 to 1779. The present ordinance provides the rules and regulations of the Corps in 37 points.

Condition: inscription in ink in head margin of title-page. Minor repairs to leaf A2. Otherwise in very good condition.

Reference: Beristáin, Mexico, no.516; Medina, Mexico, no. 8693; not in Palau; Sabin.

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