Robert Stevenson, in his classic study of Spanish Cathedral Music in the Golden Age (1961), charts Francisco Guerrero’s biography in some detail. He established from Guerrero’s correspondence with the chapter of Seville Cathedral that in 1581-2 he journeyed to Rome to publish his second book of Masses and the Liber vesperarum. However, Stevenson noted that during the journey to Rome Guerrero was ‘delayed for six months for some strange reason’ (Stevenson 1961: 162). It can now be shown that for at least two months of that time, in the late summer and early autumn of 1581, the composer was staying at the Jeronymite monastery of Sant Jeroni de la Murtra just outside Barcelona. According to a detailed chronicle of life at the monastery, completed in the early seventeenth century by Francesc Talet, Jeronymite monk and corrector de cant (similar in role to a cathedral succentor), Guerrero resided there, together with other noteworthy travellers, including an Italian cardinal, while he waited to set sail to Rome. Talet’s diary records the presence of Cardinal Alessandro Riario (1543-1585) between 21 July and 8 September 1581, during which time he showed the composer special favour: ‘[The monks] strove to accommodate not only Cardinal [Riario] and his retinue, but also many Spaniards en route for Rome, in the best rooms they could, including in particular Francisco de Guerrero, chapel master of Seville Cathedral, to whom the Cardinal showed great favour and generosity, inviting him to eat at his table, and to be his constant companion’ [‘No solo lo dit cardenal [Riario] y tota sa gent, però encara molts espanyols que anaven a Roma procuraren acomodar en altres aposentos lo millor que pogueren, y en particular al señor Francisco Guerrero, mestre de capella de la yglesia major de Sevilla, al qual lo cardenal feya molt favor y regalo, menjant en su taula y anant de ordinari ab sa companyía’; Talet, Crònica: 630]. Cardinal Riario had been sent to Spain as papal legate to speak with Philip II who earlier in 1581 had been crowned King of Portugal following the death without issue of Cardinal Enrique of Portugal. Philip’s military actions to secure the Portuguese throne were viewed with displeasure and some anxiety by the papacy: since Enrique was a cardinal at the time of his death, it could have been argued that Portugal belonged to the Church. Riario was sent ostensibly to broker peace between Spain and Portugal, but in reality to test the political waters, without success. On his return journey, he awaited passage to Rome at the monastery in the comfort of the purpose-built hostal for travelling visitors. Ships bound for Italy left from nearby Badalona, usually under the captaincy of members of the celebrated Doria family. Guerrero did not form part of the Cardinal’s entourage, and may have arrived earlier at the monastery, although it seems highly likely that Guerrero and the Cardinal sailed on the same ship to Rome. In a letter to the Seville Cathedral chapter of 13 November 1581, Guerrero mentions that he had encountered the protection of ‘illustrious cardinals’; Alessandro Riario must have been one such cardinal, although he is not mentioned by name. Thus, one reason for the composer’s delay in reaching Rome was his extended sojourn at the Jeronymite monastery near Barcelona. Might he have taken advantage of the tranquillity of several months of monastic life to finish preparing the musical material for his Liber secundus missarum and his Liber vesperarum, which he had struggled to do while still in Seville? He had already delayed his departure from Seville for over two years during which time he had neglected the choirboys in his care and often failed to give the statutory daily lesson in contrapunto. Is it also possible that he left the monastery, where polyphony was performed on a regular basis, copies of some of his music, in particular one of the Marian Masses from the Liber secundum missarum (1582)? Not long after Guerrero’s sojourn, when fra Lorens Daviu (1582-5) presided over the monastery, Talet recorded that the monks were practising a polyphonic Mass for the feast of the Immaculate Conception during the visit to the monastery of the royal capellán mayor, don Jorge de Teyde [‘Al temps que aquest senyor don Jorge de Teyde passava per davant lo corredor de la Obra Nueva, estavan uns quants religiosos cantant y proveint una missa a cant de orgue per a la festa de la Conceptió de Nostra Senyora [...]’ (Talet, Crònica: 672)].