History of Benitagla


Benitagla was founded by the descendants of the Berber Tribes that settled in the Sierra de los Filabres between the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries in the Nasrid period. The earliest data of Benitagla stretches back to July 1488. On June 23, 1492, the Catholic Monarchs give the towns of Albox, Arboleas, Albanchez and Benitagla to Don Pedro Manrique de Lara, Duke of Nájera, along with all the rights attached thereto. On March 11, 1495, Don Juan Chacón bought these four Villas, a sale that was approved by the Catholic Monarchs in a privilege dated in Ocaña on March 6, 1499.

After Don Juan Chacón died in 1503, Oria and the towns of Albox, Arboleas, Albanchez and Benitagla passed on to his second wife, Doña Inés Manrique, in payment of his dowry as community property. In 1515, Doña Inés sold Oria and the four Villas to Don Pedro Fajardo, first Marquis of Los Vélez. In 1516, in Murcia, the Bachelor Diego Béjar, Mayor of the Marquesado, took possession of Oria and the four Villas in the name of the Marquis.

On April 2, 1572, Antonio Medrano was appointed judge of the population. The demarcation of the Villa took place in that same year under the general regulations given by Felipe II for the distribution of the Moorish goods abandoned after the Christian uprising of 1568. Medrano proceeded to take possession of the houses one by one, in the name of the King. Data from the Duke of Medina Sidonia’s archive tell us that, in 1577, the town had 25 settlers, but later in 1600 Benitagla was totally depopulated.

In 1585, Anton Botia agreed to populate Benitagla with six inhabitants. By 1752, Benitagla (according to data in the Ensenada Census of that date) was still a Lordship belonging to the Baza party.

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