History of Lanzarote XV century

The Bishopric of Rubicón wasn't the first one to exist on the Canary Islands. Around 1345 existed on Gran Canaria the Bishopric of Telde, founded by Mallorca. Around 1351 twelve natives were taken to Europe to be "educated".
At the beginning of the century, the island had about 800 inhabitants, but after the invasions and the slavery, Juan de Bethencourt met only 300 of them. (There is a therory, that Juan de Bethencourt arrived to the islands before July 1402).

When Juan de Bethencourt arrived to Lanzarote, the island was ruled by Guadarfia, son of Guanarame and the queen Ico. Guadarfia and Bethencourt made a peace agreement, in which Guadarfia was recognized as independent, allied prince, in exchange of this, the spanish fleet would protect the island from pirat attacks. Some time later, Bethencourt received the permission to build a castle, which he called Rubicón.
In the time Juan de Bethencourt conquering other lands, he left the castle in charge of Bertin de Berneval. One day, Bertin saw a ship (the Guianda) arriving to the island Lobos and asked it's captain, Francisco Calvo, to give him 30 men who should help him to catch 40 islanders . These he wanted to sell to Europe. To this, Calvo answered:
"Bertin de Berneval is taking a right, that isn't his; don't listen to him, and may God not permit, that the so called friends of this generous gentlmen Juan de Bethencourt and Gadifer de la Salle commit treachery or the tyranny of devastating this country, stealing away the property of a few islanders who have given themselves faithfully into their hands hoping for some protection."
At this time, Gadifer de la Salle was on the island Lobos hunting for sea dogsls, to use their leather for shoes.
When another ship arrived to the island La Graciosa (the Tajamar with it's captain Fernando de Ordoņez), Bertin made the same proposition again, but this time succesfully. At October 14th , islanders informed him, that pirats where approaching at the north-shore; then Bertin brought the people together in the big village, promising to protect them, but at night, he captured 24 of them and only one could escape.
Meanwhile Gadifer was on the island Lobos, without food and almost no water, Bertin tyrannicided people, taped women and somehow managed to blame Gadifer about all this, as well as of the roberies and treachery occuring in this land.
Henry III conceded the investiture of the Canary Kingdom to Juan de Bethencourt. After this, Gadifer was send to Lanzarote, to find out how things were going on over there. He found this the people feeling like this:
"What kind of men are these European? What faith, wath religion can be theirs, when at the same time they praise His Holiness, they betray us and do the same among themselves.? They assure us, that we have an immortal soul, and that we all have the same father, but at the same time, they despise us like low creatures, sell us as slaves, treat us like barbarians and infidels, without considering how much we have honoured them , and that we haven't failed to any pact, nor have we denied our innocence "
The unsatisfaction and presure increased to the point, that one islander, called Ache, prepared a plan: recognising that Guadarfia's kingdom was breaking down, he wanted to pact with the french, to defeat Guadarfia, and then unite the entire island to expel the european.
On November 24th , Ache let Gadifer know, that Guadarfia was staying at the Castle of Zonzomas, with 50 of his men. Together with 20 soldiers, Gadifer attacked the castle at sunrise, but the islanders resisted and hurt and killed many european. Then, the islanders left the castle to make a counter attack, but that was an error, and most of them died by arrows and swords.
Guadarfia and his confidant Alby became Gadifer's prisoners. When Gadifer saw his dead and wounded men, in a fit of rage he tried to kill Alby, but Guadarfia stopped him saying :
"Oh, European, don't be unfair... Alby is innocent... Alby had no part in your people's disgrace, and I, I will give you my head if you do find him guilty. What else can I do, than offer you the real prisoner. Gadifer took both men to the Castle of Rubicón. There they met Ache who had the insolence to present himself to Guadarfia and offend him. Then Guadarfia just said:
Foro Trono queue..." which means " Oh, damned traitor"
After this happened, Ache was proclaimed King of Titheroygatra.
Now it was time to go on with the second part of Ache's plan. For this, he asked for some european soldiers to collect wheat from the farmers. They where attacked by some men from an ambush, but they could escape. The french heared about this incident and captured an islander, cut his head off and exposed it on a high mountain.
Meanwhile Guadarfia could loosen his chains and could escape from Rubicón. He went to his people and ordered to bring him Ache, the traitor, who was brought to him, the real King of Tytheroygatra, immediatly. He ended stoned and burned on a pile.

In the year 1403, 80 islanders where baptized, and a few days later spanish ships were seen near to La Graciosa, with Juan de Bethencourt, 36 soldier, 44 crossbowmen and a huge amount of supplies and ammunition.
In the middle of August a small boat appeared near to La Graciosa, the one, in which the accomplices of Bertin de Berneval had esceped, demonstrating the news, that they had shipwrecked at the shores of Marocco.
In 1403, the first day of Lent, Guadarfia was baptized, surrendering at last to the conqueror Bethencourt. He's been given the name of Luis .
Around 1404 Juan de Bethencourt brought together 200 persons, Canarian and European, to make the first parliament. To them he said:
"My friends and brothers in the name of Jesus Christ. Who cannot see, that this country and even ourselfes have been blessed by the All-powerful? God has made us instruments of a big and wonderful work. We have brought the real faith to the barbarians of four beautiful islands, praising so our weapons and the Lord. We shall congratulate ourselfes, and I hope, that this invisible divinity, that has directed our arms and has cut the laurels to crown this conquest, let us finish this enterprise inspiring our harts with a feeling of peace and charity. I have called you to this fortress, to express this gratitud that has invaded my soul and to comunicate you what plans I have for the political and economic goverment of my state. You know that I have named for deputy and governor my cousin Maciot de Bethencourt, whom I transmit from this day on all my authority, so he may rule business in this land, in peace or in war, in the way I asked him to, in order to my interests and to the happiness of this country. Will you promise me, that you will obey him and do wat he says, as the man who will represent me and my house? As you might know, if have distributed my lands to Maciot, in order to show his dignity and to build new decent churches on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote. But religion doesn't mean to have ostentatious buildings, so I beg you to be good christians, loving, fearing and serving God our Lord. I will leave you to bring you back a bishop, to watch over our spiritual government of this recent church.This is the force that takes me to Spain and Rome. Pray to the Lord, to concede me a long life until I achieve it.... And you, my beloved vassals, small and big, plebeians and nobles, if you have anything to ask me for or to warn me of, if you find something in my actitude you would complain about, please speak up. I wish to do justice and right to all."

Juan de Bethencourt went to Rome to ask the pope Inocencio VII the bishopric for the Canary Islands. The Pope was captivated by the legends of the Happy Islands and talked a long time to the conqueror.

Juan de Bethencourt died in 1425 at the age of 66 years.

The arrival of the Bishop Alberto de Las Casas was a great event and people from all places came to see the representative of the Church.
Guadarfia had a young and beautiful daughter who was united to Maciot. Her name was Teguise and Maciot used this name for a big village called by the natives "Acatife".
Don Alberto de Las Casas died before 1414 and he was honoured for the good work he had done at the front of the Canarian Bishopric. He was inherited by the franciscan Fray Alonso de San Lucar de Barrameda, who never showed up at the islands, creating a big anger to Maciot. After this fault, the decay of Maciot's regency started. Probably advised by his vassals, he chose the way of tyranny. The rumor was going around, that Juan de Bethencourt had died, and that Maciot was no one without his cousin. This, the absence of the bishop and the lost of respect from his vassals, where some reasons, why he began to sell islanders to Europe. Some time later arrived a new bishop to Lanzarote, Fray Mendo de Viedma, who, seeing all this injustice, asked Maciot to stop and to think all over, but he didn't listen. These offences came to the king's, Don Juan II, ears. The Crown ordered three ships to be send from San Lucar to the islands, to prove Maciot's guilt.

We procede now, to describe how the Canary Islands where sold after the arrival of these three ships: Maciot sells the Islands to Pedro Barba de Campos, to the Prince of Portugal and to the Count de Niebla. Pedro Barba de Campos sells his part to Fernan Perez de Sevilla. Fernan Peres de Sevilla to the Count de Niebla. The Count de Niebla to Guillen de Las Casas. Guillen de Las Casas to Hernan Peraza. At this same time, the rightful owner, Juan de Bethencourt leaves in his testament the Canary Islands to his brother Reynaldos. To finish this hawking, some years later, the king Don Enrique IV of Castilla, gave the Canary Islands to Don Martin de Atayde Gonzalez, Count of Atouguia, for accompanying the Infanta Doņa Juana from Portugal to Cordoba to be queen.

Fray Mendo de Viedma was succeeded by Don Fernando Calvetos, secular priest.

After the death of those of Peraza, the state of Canarias is inheritated by Doņa Ines Peraza, but beeing too young, she had to find a husband. In 1445 she married Diego Garcia de Herrera.
In 1476 the people revealed against Diego de Herrera and Doņa Ines because of their continuos reclutings of islanders to fight against the „unfaithful islands". All neighbours of the town came together, going through the streets and shouting, that they where vassals of the Catholic King and they wanted to be ordered and judged only by them. Juan Mayor and Juan Armas left to the spanish court to express the feeling of the people of Lanzarote. Diego de Herrera also embarked as well, chaising the other two and trying to stop them. But when the ships where close to Cordoba, 4 men assaulted Juan Mayor and Juan Armas and took them as their prisioners to Huelva. These men where hired by Pedro Garcia de Herrera, first born son of Diego de Herrera.
When they where put in freedom again, by Doctor Anton Rodriguez de Lillo, they never got their papers back. Even though, they went to the court and explained to the monarchs how poor, miserable and mistreated they where by their rulers. They told them about the high tributes they had to pay and the only belongings they had, where the water coming down from the sky, cheese and some cattle, that if one year the got some bread, they would live two years without it. That they where send to fight against the unfaithful islands and watch over their fortresses.
The Queen gave to Lanzarote her protection and safeguard. She also send a commission leaded by Estevan Perez de Cabitos to examin the rights from Diego de Herrera and Doņa Ines over the Canary Islands.
In revenge Doņa Ines increased the tributes and filled the island with blood. She arrested 12 neighbours, seized all their goods, papers, titles and deeds. Six of them where hanged, and the others would have died as well, if they hadn't the luck to escape towards Sevilla (Pedro and Juan de Aday, Juan Ramon, Francisco Garcia, Bartholome Heneto and Juan Bernal). Their escape wasn't easy. After leaving the island, they got captured by Portugueses who took everything they had taken with them.
In 1477 this decision about the Islands was taken: Diego de Herrera and his wife became a big amount of money and the title of Count and Countess of La Gomera. They where deprived from Tenerife, Canaria and La Palma. In 1485 the cathedral of San Marcial de Rubicon (there it had been for 69 years) was moved to the new church of Santa Ana on Gran Canaria, at the place called la Villa del Real de Las Palmas .

The 22th of June of 1485 Diego de Herrera dies at the age of 60 years on the island of Fuerteventura after a long disease. He left three sons Pedro Garcia de Herrera, Fernan Peraza, Sancho de Herrera and two daughters Doņa Maria de Ayala, wife of Diego de Silva Count of Portalegre and Doņa Constanza Sarmiento, married to Pedro Fernandez de Saavedra, son of the marshall of Zahara. Pedro Garcia de Herrera, even beeing the firstborn, was disinherited. Sancho de Herrera becam 5 parts (of twelve) from the districts of Lanzarote, Fuerteventura, Alegranza, Graciosa, Lobos and Santa Clara. Doņa Maria de Ayala inherited five parts and Doņa Constanza Sarmiento the other three parts. Fernan de Peraza, the favourite son of Doņa Ines, got the islands Gomera and Hierro. He died from his own people from La Gomera, because of the bad treatment he gave them. After the death of Sancho de Herrera, the goverment of Lanzarote goes to his sister Doņa Constanza Sarmiento and her husband Pedro Fernandez de Saavedra. .



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