Rojas Carrión, Juan de

Active 1602-1621

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Person Born Died Gender Person ID
Juan de Rojas Carrión M P0197

Instrument(s) Professional group Social status Social sphere Why is the person listed?
vihuela Violero Artisan Urban Maker Maker (violero)

Years active Place active Century Region
1602-1621 Madrid 16cent/3/late 17cent/1/early Castilla
Biographical information

bordas1995, p. 53: Según AHPM, Protocolos, leg. 1046, fols 19-20: Este violero protestó respecto a las reformas de los exámenes de violeros de 1584. Ni examinador ni veedor, intentó cerrar las tiendas de los violeros que no se habían examinado de los tres instrumentos según las reformas del gremio y de los exámenes de 1584. Llegó dar una carta de examen a Alonso González al que le faltaba el “biolón a imitación de los extrangeros”.
romanillos2002, pp. 347-50
[p. 347] Rojas Carrión, Juan de. The name is also found written as Joan de Roxas Carryon. Juan de Rojas Carrion was born in Madrid. He was the grandson of Juan de Carrión. In 1598 Juan de [Rojas] Carrión received 170 reales for repair work carried out in 1597 on musical instruments for the Royal Household.(1) In 1602 Juan de Rojas Carrión, foreman and examiner for the Guild of violeros of Madrid, declared that his late grandfather, Juan de Carrión, had invented the double-course harp and that he had taught him how to make it and had examined him on the three instruments: a harp, a vihuela and a cello in imitation of the foreign instruments as stipulated in the Ordinances for the Guild of violeros of Madrid. He stated that in the year 1600 he had sent a petition to the Royal Council (Real Consejo) requesting that as he had been examined on the three instruments according to the Ordinances, he should be given the authority to examine the violeros of Madrid who not been examined on the three required instruments. His petition was granted and that led to the closure of some guitar shops. Alonso Gonzalez Camacho's shop was closed as he had not made the cello in imitation of the foreign instruments. He was examined by Juan de Rojas Carrión on the cello and was allowed to reopen his shop in Madrid or anywhere in His Majesty's Kingdom.(2) Juan Núñez Polanco was another violero who had to make a cello in order to keep his shop open.(3) In 1602 Juan de Rojas Carrión valued some musical instruments that had belonged to King Felipe II of Spain.(4) He examined Pablo de Herrera on a double-course harp in 1607.(5) [see Appendix No. 7] Juan de Rojas Carrión was at the meeting of masters of the Guild of violeros who met at Alonso Gonzalez's house in calle Toledo to elect the examiners and overseers for the year of 1608.(6) The accounts presented by Juan de [Rojas] Carrión for
[p. 348]
work that he carried out in the period between 1607 to 1622 show that he bought, repaired, varnished and strung musical instruments for the King, the Royal Chapel and members of the Royal Family. The accounts for 1607 show that he used linseed oil to put lustre on [bowed] vihuelas and in those accounts for 1611-12 that he glued the soundboard on a clabiarpa. In 1620 he made a large bow for His Majesty's lira and he fitted a piece on the soundboard and another piece on the fingerboard. He made a new bridge, pegs, a wooden rose, and polished and strung the lira. In 1622 he took the soundboard off a lira and glued two pieces into it, fitted and glued three pieces in the ribs, glued the back in four places, lined it and polished the new pieces.(7) His expenses for repair work carried out for the King's Chapel from the beginning of 1617 until 1620 amounted to 71 reales.(8) Although other members of the Guild had been informed about the meeting that would take place in 1611 to elect officers for the Guild for the year 1612, only the violeros Juan Núñez Polanco, Antonio Hidalgo and Juan de Rojas Carrión were present at the meeting. Juan de Rojas Carrión and Juan Núñez Polanco elected themselves as examiners and Antonio Hidalgo as superintendent.(9) In 1612 Juan de Rojas Carrión, violero to the King's Chapel, and living in Plazuela de Herradores in Madrid, took on Toribio de la Mora, an orphan about twelve years of age, as an apprentice for a period of five years. It was stipulated in the indentures that the apprentice had to live in the master's house until he learnt the craft. On finishing his apprenticeship his master had to give him a cape, a waistcoat and breeches of whatever colour the apprentice chose, a hat, a doublet, two ruffs, two shirts, a pair of hose with garters and shoes, a sword, a dagger and thirty reales in cash (cumplidos los dichos cinco años le ha de dar un vestido de la color que el niño le quisiere, un sombrero, un jubon, dos cuellos, dos camisas, medias, ligas y zapatos; el vestido se entiende de ferreruelo, ropilla y calçones de mas de las dichas menudencias y una espada y daga y treinta reales en dinero con puntualidad y al punto que acabe de servir y cumplir los dichos cinco años). If after five years of apprenticeship he had not learnt the craft satisfactorily to the level of a journeyman he had to continue with his master until he did so and during that period he had to be paid a journeyman's wage.(10) In 1615 Juan de Rojas Carrión made a contract with Juan de Vergel and the notary Jusepe de Arriaga to repair a cIavichord for the agreed fee of thirty ducats and a pair of silk hose.(11) In order to avoid further costs and legal expenses, he reached a settlement in 1618 with Juan de Vergel, secretary to the Ambassador of France, who had taken Juan de Rojas Carrión to court for not having carried out the terms of the contract made in 1615. He had to return the cIavichord and was allowed to keep the deposit of one hundred reales that he had received in advance for the repair.(12) In 1621 Juan de [Rojas] Carrión stated that his grandfather, Juan de Carrión, who had died fifteen years earlier [he previously stated in 1602 that his grandfather had died by that year] had
[p. 349]
served the Emperor [Carlos V] and His Majesty [Felipe II] and that he also had made and repaired instruments for the Royal Chapel for thirty-two years. He requested that in consideration for services given by his grandfather and himself for all those years his nomination as violero to His Majesty and the Infantes should be made official and entered in the Palace Register. His request was accepted and he was registered as the guitar maker [Pablo de Herrera].(13) In the same year he charged twelve ducats for repair work on the cellos belonging to the King and for supplying the strings.(14) In 1622 Juan de [Rojas] Carrión stated that he had been working for the Royal Household for thirty-four years and that he should be given the job of repairing all the musical instruments except the guitars (a su Magestad pide y suplica mande que el bureo [Palace Council] le de su decreto para que el guardajoyas le da los instrumentos aderezar como los aderezado siempre pues su Magestad le recibio para que los aderezase todos como no sean guitarras que en ello lo recibira por gran bien y merced).'(15) In 1625 Isabel Méndez, a nun from the convent of Las Vallecas in Madrid who was dealing with a pending lawsuit with Juan de [Rojas] Carrión, requested certified information from the Royal Palace in Madrid about the annual earnings that he received as guitar maker to His Majesty.(16) Pablo de Herrera pointed out, in a request he made to the King soliciting a position as escudero de apie, that although his colleague, Juan de [Rojas] Carrión, had not held the position of official violero as long as Pablo de Herrera, he had been favoured with a position en la guarda de a caballo in the Palace.(17) In 1628 Juan de Rojas Carrión agreed to pay Juana Matías Bravo, the widow of Alonso Jiménez who had been saddle-maker to Her Majesty, the sum of 380 reales, worth 12,920 maravedies, for the rent of a room in a house in Plazuela de Herradores. He had to pay it in a lump sum by 24 June 1629 (para el dia de San Juan de junio de 1629).(18) In 1638 he was a witness for Juan Hidalgo de Polanco and testified that he knew his father, the violero Antonio Hidalgo. Juan de Rojas Carrión declared that he was a violero and guarda de a caballo, in the services of the King. He also declared that he was born in Madrid and was living in his own house in Plazuela de Herradores.(l9)

1. AGPRM, 1-01-1598, sec. Administrativa, file 902. RQ (1987).
2. AHPM, 11-01-1602, Prot: 1046, folios 19-20.
3. AHPM, Examen de Violeros, 16-01-1602, Prot: 1046, folios 27-28.
4. BNM, 13-05-1602, no. 14017.
5. AHPM, Carta de Examen, 2-12-1607, Prot: 2726, folios 587-88.
6. AHPM, Junta de Violeros, 27-12-1607, Prot: 1782, folios 65-66.
7. AS (1986) pp. l26-30. BNM, 1609, 14025 t'°. RQ (1987).
8. AGPRM, 1617-20, Prot: 5236. RQ (1987).
9. AHPM, Nombramiento de Examinadores y Beedores del arte de Violeros, 27-12-1611, Prot: 1792, folios 712r.
10. AHPM, Carta de Aprendiz. 27-06-1612, Prot: 2010, folios 1740-41.
11. AHPM, 1615.
12. AHPM, 31-10-1618, Prot: 1346, nf.
13. AGPRM, 15-05-1621, Expedientes Personales, C'209/5 1. Inforrnation kindly supplied by Beryl Kenyon.
14. AGPRM, 29-09-1621, Expedientes Personales, C 913/30.
15. AGPRM, 29-05-1622, Expedientes Personales, C. 209/51. Inforrnation kindly supplied by Beryl Kenyon.
16. AGPRM, 10-10-1625, Expedientes Personales, C'209/51. Information kindly supplied by Beryl Kenyon.
17. AGPRM, Expedientes personales, C. 507/27, n.d. c.1625.
18. BNM, Obligación de Pago, 1-07-1628, 14042~°8. AS (1986).
19. AHNM, 1638, Expediente de limpieza de sangre, file 354, no. 5. Bib: AB, BS (1989), MN (1958), PR.
Instrumentos tasados por Juan de Rojas Carrión: E-Mn Papeles de Barbieri, 14017

Related persons
Juan de Carrión was his grandson

Source documents
Date Document
1584 Juan de Rojas Carrión denounces Alonso González Camacho (1)

Ref Author Item Pages
bordas1995 Bordas, Cristina. “La construcción de vihuelas y guitarras en Madrid en los siglos XVI y XVII”. La guitarra en la historia 6 (1995): 47-67. 53
romanillos1987 Romanillos, Jose Luis. “The vihuela in Spain and the instrument in the Jacquemart André Museum”. Classical Guitar 5, no. 7 (1987): 39-42. 39-42
romanillos2002 Romanillos, José Luis and Marian Harris Winspear. The Vihuela de mano and the Spanish Guitar: A Dictionary of the Makers of Plucked and Bowed Musical Instruments of Spain (1200-2002). Guijosa (Guadalajara): Sanguino Press, 2002. 347-50