This work underlines the close association of interests between the ecclesiastical sources of credit and the social elite of the Archbishopric of Mexico. Although the availability of credit was not restricted to the top members of the socio-economic hierarchy, the wealthiest money-lending religious institutions showed a marked preference for that group. Large merchants, choice members of the local and viceregal bureaucracy, and considerable range of rural property owners received preferential treatment from credit institutions in the allocation of their loans. The author provides data on the operations of the Juzgado de Capellanías, and several confraternities and nunneries of the capital of the Vice-royalty in the last two decades of the eighteenth century.
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