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La Villa de Don Fadrique (Municipality, Castilla-La Mancha, Spain)

Last modified: 2020-04-01 by ivan sache
Keywords: la villa de don fadrique |
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Presentation of La Villa de Don Fadrique

The municipality of La Villa de Don Fadrique (3,723 inhabitants in 2018; 8,300 ha; municipal website) is located 90 km south-east of Toledo and 20 km of Quintanar de la Orden.

La Villa de Don Fadrique was re-settled by the Order of Saint James after the Christian reconquest of the region. Originally known as La Puebla de la Isla (The Island's Village), the town was granted the status of villa on 25 April 1443 by Infante Fadrique of Castile, who renamed it to La Puebla de Don Fadrique.
Fadrique (1334-1358) was the illegitimate son of King Alfonso XI and Leonor de Guzmán; his gemel, Enrique, became King of Castile as Henry II. Aged 8, Fadrique was appointed the second Master of the Order of Saint James.
La Puebla de Don Fadrique belonged to the Order of Saint James for the next five centuries. Two posts still remain from the delimitation with the neighboring town of Villacañas. La Puebla de Don Fadrique was also on the border with the possessions of the Order of Saint John de Jerusalem, which had its capital in Consuegra, to be subsequently transferred to Alcázar de San Juan.
The town was renamed to La Villa de Don Fadrique on 27 June 1916 by Alfonso XIII to end confusion with the town of the same name located in the Province of Granada. The inhabitants of the neighboring villages still called it La Puebla, nicknamed La Puebla primera (The first village [on the way from Villacañas to Quintanar del Orden]), as opposed to La Puebla de Amoradiel, La Puebla segunda (The second village).

In 1932, La Villa de Don Fabrique was the scen of a peasant's riot celebrated by the poet Rafael Alberti in Amnistía de clase.
On 6 July 1932, the day laborers revolted against the 12 landlords who owned 85% of the municipal territory; one-third of the town's population, then close to 5,000, depended on land renting. The laborers went on strike, asking for a resting day for every 15 worked days, a rise in their wages and the ban of laborers from other villages when they were themselves unemployed - as prescribed by the Municipal Law adopted less than one month after the proclamation of the Republic. Violence broke out early in the morning of 7 July. The mainstream press of the time (ABC, La Vanguardia, El Castellano) accused the workers of having initiated the riot and burned several barns and grain stores. The worker's press (El Obrero), however, reported that the landlord had started shooting the women gathered on the square from the church bell-tower. The insurgents cut the telephone and telegraph lines as well as road access to the town, which was a big mistake; the landlords had already cabled to the Governor and the Civil Guard, while the insurgents could not call for any help. On 8 July, 150 civil guards coming from Toledo and two neighboring villages stopped the street fighting. The death toll of the event was high: one Civil Guard, one landlords and two laborers were killed, including the brother of the former Communist Mayor.
The repression was very severe; the right camp at the Cortes highlighted the event as evidence of the Communist threat, and the town remained nicknamed for decades Little Russia or Lenin Town.
[Público, 15 December 2013]

Ivan Sache, 9 September 2019


Symbols of La Villa de Don Fadrique

The flag of La Villa de Don Fadrique (photo, photo) is prescribed by an Order issued on 5 April 1999 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 16 April 1999 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 22, p. 2,505 (text).
The flag is described as follows:

Flag: Rectangular panel, twice longer than wide (3:2), vertically divided in the middle, at hoist, white charged with a red Cross of Saint James, at fly, green charged with two fesses wavy argent and azure. The shield surmounted by Royal crown closed [this does not make sense].

The Royal Academy of History validated the proposed flag.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 197:2, 344-345. 2000]

The coat of arms of La Villa de Don Fadrique is prescribed by Decree No. 115 issued on 27 Octobr 1986 by the Government of Castilla-La Mancha and published on 4 November 1986 in the official gazette of Castilla-La Mancha, No. 46, p. 1,851 (text).
The coat of arms is described as follows:

Coat of arms: Per fess, 1. Vert waves argent and azure, 2. Argent a Cross of Saint James gules. The shield surmounted by Royal crown closed.

The Royal Academy of History rejected the arms originally proposed as "Per pale, 1. Vert waves argent and azure, 2a. Gules a crancelín or and gems, 2b. Argent a Cross of Saint James gules. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed."
The waves represent rivers Cigüela and Riánsares, which form the "island" for which the town was originally named. The crancelin (crown per bend) representing Infante Fadrique should be suppressed, since this charge is unknown to Spanish heraldry and with little connection, if any, wirth Fadrique. Accordingly, the Academy proposed the design that was eventually adopted.
[Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 183:2, 319. 1996]

The daily YA (Toledo) published on 21 March 1982 arms designed by Fernando Mendoza Díaz-Maroto in a memoir submitted in 1981 to the Municipal Council, "Per pale, 1. Gules a castle or, 2. Argent a lion rampant gules. Grafted in base, Argent a Cross of Saint James gules. The shield surmounted by a Royal crown closed".
The 1st and 2nd quarters feature the arms of Castile and León, respectively, probably to represent Infante Fadeique. The base quarter recalls that Fadrique was master of the Order of Saint James.
[José Luis Ruz Márquez & Ventura Leblic García. Heraldica municipal de la Provincia de Toledo. 1983]

Ivan Sache, 9 September 2019


 
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