jofre isaac - The Boclnes gained a new neighbor in the...

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The Boclónes gained a new neighbor in the summer of 1147. Jofre Isaac was an up and coming young shoemaker with a shop a short distance away, on the Zapatería. He came from an even older Huescan family than the Boclónes, though not of the same social circle. He was a nephew of Isaac the shoemaker, who was in turn the son of Ium Tob the shoemaker. It is unknown when the family converted, but it not unlikely that it was shortly after the conquest, when a learned co-religionist of Huesca accepted Christianity, taking the baptismal name of Petrus Alfonsus. It seems probable that Isaac converted shortly after the Christian conquest of the city, and a short time after the birth of his eldest son, perhaps in order to avoid expulsion from the inner city. Although there is little evidence concerning the status and standing of new Christians, Jofre Isaac was not the class of person one might have expected to move into the Houses on the Hill. A curious combination of circumstances had allowed him to do so. Jofre and his wife Calveta had made their start in life in 1140, when they had purchased a modest huerto (garden or orchard) in the district of Almeriz from a member of a Jacan family recently arrived in Huesca. This purchase provided Jofre with additional acquaintances in Jaca. It is quite probable that he had already come into contact with Guillem of Jaca when Guillem, his brother Borrell, and his father-in-law Lambert were buying up property in Huesca, and before Juan Boclón had acquired the bulk of Guillem's property between Campaneros and the Pellicería. It would have been in his interest to extend his circle of contacts as widely and as quickly as possible, particularly since his family's conversion would have would have limited his matrimonial opportunities to quite another circle from that in which the family had previously been established. At any rate, when Calveta died in about 1144, Jofre headed for Jaca to acquire a new wife. It is uncertain what influence he may have had, but he succeeded in gaining the hand of Oropesa, the daughter of Guillem of Jaca and doña Boneta of Jaca. Jofre gained a great deal of prestige from an alliance with such a distinguished family and won entry into a kindred who controlled a great deal of land in and about Huesca. He soon began to reap the benefits of this new alliance. In August of 1146, Jofre and Oropesa bought the equivalent of two and a third fields near Huesca for the quite modest sum of 35 solidi. The seller was Borrel of Jaca, Guillem of Jaca's brother and close associate. In December of the same year, they managed to acquire a one-third interest in another thirteen fields for the reasonable price of 150 solidi. The lands had belonged to Lambert of Jaca, and the seller in this case was Ramón of Provins, husband of Oropesa's half- sister, Poncia of Jaca. It is clear that Guillem's family wished to see Oropesa well-situated, and were willing to provide the couple with good lands in Huesca at low prices in order to give them a start in
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jofre isaac - The Boclnes gained a new neighbor in the...

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