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Nuevas Poblaciones de Sierra Morena y Andalucía (Andalusia, Spain)

Last modified: 2017-02-04 by ivan sache
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Modern flag of Nuevas Poblaciones de Sierra Morena y Andalucía - Image from the Símbolos de Andalucía website, 22 January 2017


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Presentation of Nuevas Poblaciones de Sierra Morena y Andalucía

The New Settlements of Sierra Morena and Andalusia were established by Royal Letters (text) signed on 5 July 1767 in Madrid by King Charles III. The document contains "instructions and the settlement charter to be applied in those [settlements] newly established in the Sierra Morena with natives and Roman Catholic foreigners".

The Preamble of the Letters states that Pablo de Olavide, Knight of the Order of St. James, "Assistant" of the king in Seville and Intendent of the Army of Andalusia, is appointed Superintendant General in charge of the direction of the new settlements to be established in Sierra Morena. The king "proposes" that Juan Gaspar de Thurriégel, of Bavarian citizenship and Roman Catholic religion, introduces 6,000 Roman Catholic, German and Flemish colonists in the kingdom.
§ 4 gives for first task to the Superintendant the selection of sites where the settlements will be established; the sites should be "healthy, well ventilated and without stagnant water". Scale maps should be drawn. § 5 states that each settlement could amount to 15, 20 or 30 houses.
§ 8 allocates 50 fanegas of arable land; in each settlement, irrigated land shall be equally shared among the colonists.
§ 13 specifies the distance between to settlement to "more or less 1/4 or 1/8 of a league, depending on the location and fertility of the places".
§ 14 prescribes that every three to four, or even five, settlements shall form a Council with a Representative of each settlement, appoint a parish priest, and elect a mayor and a "personero". § 15 prescribes that "in a suitable place" shall be built a church with a dwelling and door, for the priest, a Council hall, and a jail.
§ 25 lists as potential sites for the establishment of the new settlements the territories of Espiel, Hornachuelos, Fuenteovejuna, Alanís, El Santuario de la Cabeza, La Peñuela, La Aldeguela and La Dehesa de Marinmalo, as well as all places of the Sierra deemed suitable by the Superintendant.
§ 28 allows the superintendant to introduce Spanish colonists to the new settlements, excluding those coming from the Kingdoms of Córdoba, Jaén and Seville, and from the Province of La Mancha, to prevent depopulation of these areas.
§ 41 grants to each household two cows, five sheep, five goats, five hens, a rooster and a pregnant swine.
§ 49 states that the colonists, their children and foreign servants shall stay in the allocated house for at least 10 years.

Johan Kaspar von Thürriegel (1722-?) was hired to orgaBavaria, Thürriegel attempted to establish his own regiment, to no avail. In 1762, he proposed to the Spanish ambassador in the Low Countries, the Marquis of Fuente Fuerte, to hire colonists for the Spanish colonies in America; the offer was forwarded to Charles III, to no avail. Thürriegel went to Vienna, where he met the Spanish ambassador, Count Mahony; with the count's recommendation, the adventurer reappeared at the Madrid court in May 1766. Thürriegel announced diverse projects, such as the set-up of a sword manufacture using the Solingen process; estimated by the higher society, he claimed to be the son of a Countess of Schwänenfeld, an alleged bastard descendant of Charles VII of Bavaria. In 1767, he proposed to hire 900 Bavarian soldiers per year for the Spanish army, until his "mediation" was denied by the Bavarian government, and, once again, 6,000 colonists for Puerto Rico and Peru. The Council of Castile, however, based on a report submitted on 30 October 1766 by Pablo de Olavide, decided that those colonists would be more useful in Spain than in America.
Thürriegel, once commissioned by the king to organize the emigration, faced more and more difficulties. Accused of misappropriation of funds and smuggling, he lost all credits from all his supporters and "commercial" partners, such as the Thibal brothers, from Montpellier (France), who organized the transport by sea of the colonists to Andalusia and eventually sued him. On 13 November 1769, Thürriegel presented his accounts and required the paiement of a balance outstanding of more than 760,000 reales. Bankrupted, Thürriegel was jailed in 1785 in Pamplona. He escaped and went to Aranjuez, hoping that the new king, Charles IV, would pardon him. Back to jail, the adventurer died at an unknown date in the 1790s.
[José María Suárez Gallego. La azarosa vida del aventurero Johan Kaspar von Thürriegel]

Ivan Sache, 22 January 2017


Modern symbols of Nuevas Poblaciones de Sierra Morena y Andalucía

The New Settlements established by Olavide and still populated are the following:
- Province of Jaén: Aldeaquemada, Arquillos, Carboneros, La Carolina, Guarromán, Montizón, and Santa Elena.
- Province of Córdoba: La Carlota, Fuente Palmera (including the submunicipal entities of Fuente Carreteros and Ochavillo del Río), and San Sebastián de los Ballesteros.
- Province of Seville: La Luisiana and Cañada Rosal.
- Province of Ciudad Real: Almuradiel.

The anthropologist Julio Caro Baroja (1914-1995) and local scholars promoted the establishment of a Cultural Community of the New Settlements. The first Historical Congress on the New Settlements was organized in 1983. During the Third Congress, held in 1988 in Guarromán, the Tree of the New Settlements was planted in a mix of soil coming from all the settlements. At the same time, Francisco García Martinez, Mayor of Guarromán, commissioned Josí María Suárez Gallego, official Chronicler of Guarromán (biography), to design a flag and emblem for the Community.
The flag of the Cultural Community of the New Settlements of Sierra Morena and Andalusia is horizontally divided celestial blue-white-green (1:2:1), charged in the middle with the Tree of the New Settlements superimposed with Charles' III crowned monogram. Presented by his author on 8 December 1990 during the Fourth Congress, the flag was inaugurated on 28 February 1991 in Guarromán, and has been used since then in all events related with the Community.

The white stripe, recalling the arms of Charles III, is bordered "in the north" by the celestial blue stripe, with the colour of the Immaculate Conception, the patron saint of the New Settlements, and, "in the south", with a green stripe representing Islam. "Two cultures, two worships, two worlds opposed during the history are therefore united in a flag".
[Josí María Suárez Gallego. Epílogo a modo de homenaje a Julio Caro Baroja, 23 January 2015]

Ivan Sache, 22 January 2017