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History of Arjonilla

HISTORY OF ARJONILLA

The town is in a first-class archaeological zone, the cradle of the Iberian civilization, where multiple Iberian settlements and funerary nuclei, such as the nearby Cerro Venate, have been discovered. During the Medieval period, Arjonilla was closely linked to the Order of Calatrava in the area, since Fernando III, in 1228, granted the fortress of Martos, including its terms of the towns of Porcuna and Vívoras, to the Order.

However, the conquest of Arjona and Arjonilla did not take place until 1244, when the town was completely surrounded by Christian territory after the capture of Porcuna in 1240. In 1254, Alfonso X granted it to the Council of Jaén together with Porcuna. In 1282, Sancho IV revoked this concession made by his father and Arjonilla was handed over to the Archdeacon of Úbeda, Gonzalo Pérez, forming a Manor that lasted only until 1331, the year in which the town was sold by the Archdeacon himself to Arjona for 8,000 maravedís and 200 cahices of salt.

In 1371 and 1390, the independence of the Council of Arjona was ratified by the Castilian Monarchs, Enrique II and Enrique III. Despite this, at the beginning of the fifteenth century, Enrique III himself handed over Arjona and Arjonilla to the Constable of Castile, Ruy López Dávalos for his merits. The figure of the constable fell into disgrace, and before his death in 1423, Juan II distributed his possessions, granting Arjona and Arjonilla, together with the title of Duke, to Fadrique Enríquez de Castilla. This was the first Duchy granted in Castile.

Fadrique Enríquez de Castilla played between the interests of the Castilian Monarch, Juan II and the Infantes de Aragón until, in 1429, he tried to capture Enrique, heir to the throne of Castile. His attempt failed and, in 1430, he was captured and killed by Juan II. Arjona and Arjonilla passed to Fadrique de Luna, son of Martín ‘el Joven’ of the Crown of Aragon, who fled to Castile pursued by King Alfonso V ‘the Magnanimous’ in 1430. It did not take long for him to fall from grace. In 1434, he was captured by Juan II and Arjona and Arjonilla went to the new Constable of Castile, Álvaro de Luna.

It did not take long for Arjona and Arjonilla to change hands, and in that same year it was exchanged for the town of Maqueda and the castle and village of San Silvestre, which were in the hands of Luis González de Guzmán, Master of the Order of Calatrava. But King Juan II of Castile forced the Order of Calatrava to rebuild and defend the castle by Royal Order in 1434.

Finally, in 1553 Carlos I granted the title of town and jurisdictional independence to Arjonilla, leading to a long dispute over its territorial demarcation from Arjona. During the eighteenth century, the town participated in the War of Succession, with the contribution of 40 local men in favor of Felipe V. The area also played a leading role in the War of Independence in the nineteenth century when a skirmish occurred in Amarguillos against the French.

Industrial activity began in Arjonilla at the beginning of the twentieth century.

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