Mesada Eclesiástica

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Mesada Eclesiástica

Mesada Eclesiástica, an assessment amounting to one month's stipend that was imposed on all clergy taking posts in the Spanish Indies beginning in 1626. This assessment fell on all ecclesiastics from the august dean and canons of New World cathedrals to priests or regular clergy serving in the most isolated mission posts. All revenues from mesadas were allocated to pay the salaries of the Council of the Indies. In 1777 Charles III established an additional assessment of a half-year's stipend (Media Anata Eclesiástica) on all clergy having an annual income of more than three hundred pesos—bishops excluded. After 1777 ecclesiastics in this category had to pay both assessments. By 1800 annual income from the two levies combined was approximately 46,000 pesos in Mexico and 30,000 pesos in Peru.

See alsoCharles III of Spain .


Recopilación de leyes de los Reynos de las Indias, 4 vols. (1681; repr. 1973), libro I, título XVII.

Gabriel Martínez Reyes, Finanzas de las 44 Diócesis de Indias, 1515–1816 (1980).

Additional Bibliography

García Pérez, Rafael D. El Consejo de Indias durante los reinados de Carlos III y Carlos IV. Pamplona: Ediciones Universidad de Navarra, 1998.

Taylor, William B. Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishioners in Eighteenth-century Mexico. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1996.

                                      John Jay TePaske

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Mesada Eclesiástica

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