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By Richard Pym
Drawing generally at the author's archival examine in Spain, this publication is the 1st significant learn in English of the 1st 3 and a part centuries in Spain of a humans, its gypsies or gitanos, who, regardless of their elevation via Spaniards and non-Spaniards alike to culturally iconic prestige within the 19th and 20th centuries, have previously remained mostly invisible to background within the English-speaking international.
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Having specifically forbidden the gypsies to wander the kingdoms in groups, it added that the penalties it set were to be applicable to those found after 60 days ‘without an occupation, or without masters, or together’ (my italics). This, broadly speaking, would continue to be the tenor and force of most subsequent legislation, at least until the eighteenth century. Klein observed additionally of the gypsies that the Mesta ‘was largely instrumental in securing the decree which expelled them from the country’.
They all had homes in the village, it said, where they lived with their wives and 12 children, and had been sentenced ‘without there being any evidence to suggest why they should deserve the said sentence except for the accusation that they are Egyptians and vagabonds, whereas it is clear from the proceedings against them that they practise trades as locksmiths and shoemakers’. 26 In a letter written from Porcuna in Jaén in northern Andalusia in 1674, Manuel Montillo, a priest and lawyer, protested that ‘there is not a village or its surrounding land which is not populated by gypsies, who must have come from other parts’.
Its promotion would rely on a continuing appeal by the monarchs not just to their subjects’ sense of a common identity as Christians, but also to readily aroused fears that the Catholic faith itself might increasingly be under threat, both from without and from within. Both monarchs hoped that the pursuit of religious homogeneity – undertaken with a single-mindedness as devout as it was determined, notwithstanding Ferdinand’s Jewish blood on his mother’s side – might help finally to overcome factionalism and discord in Castile.
The Gypsies of Early Modern Spain by Richard Pym