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History of Bornos, White Town of Cádiz (Andalusia).
It could be that man settled in these lands in the Lower or Middle Paleolithic, but with certainty we can date, thanks to the remains found, the settlement of this area in the Upper Paleolithic, 30,000 years ago. Within these remains, the ones that appear most frequently are the carved stone tools they used to hunt, clean skins, etc.

After the last ice age, the climate softens and this leads us directly to the "Neolithic revolution", in which man completely changes his way of life becoming a farmer, rancher and other sedentary activities. In Bornos, there are hardly any remains from this stage, but the richness of the Paleolithic material found makes us think that there was also a developed Neolithic, a fact that can be demonstrated when systematic archaeological excavations are carried out.

As agriculture developed, the need to improve utensils arose and the advantages of metal over stone were soon discovered. The techniques used in the use of metals come from the eastern Mediterranean and are perfected in Andalusia thanks to its mineral wealth, reaching its maximum splendor around the year 1000 BC. C. with the development of the Tartessian culture. Related to this stage, a magnificent bronze sword has been found in Bornos, dated in the year 900 a. C., whose importance lies in being the first found in the province of Cádiz. This sword is on display at the Archaeological Museum of Jerez de la Frontera.



Before the arrival of the Romans in the south of the peninsula, it was inhabited by a conglomerate of peoples influenced by different cultures, which would give rise to a flourishing Iberian civilization.

The passage from this Iberian to the Roman civilization can be observed in the Bornos area through the ruins of Carissa Aurelia, located about 3 km west of Bornos. First of all, thanks to the discovery of some lions carved in stone, we can know that there was an important Iberian population center there. Apparently, this type of sculpture was placed on funerary monuments, fulfilling a symbolic function of defense of the deceased, which is a custom of Eastern origin. Along with these sumptuous images, paid for by a ruling and powerful social class, there are small figurines, possibly votive offerings deposited in tombs of a lower social class. We also found remains of pottery made on a wheel and decorated with horizontal bands. All these remains make us think of an advanced standard of living, with a society of great economic prosperity, based on agriculture, livestock and commerce.

Subsequently, the Roman influence spread and over the years, Carissa became an important Roman city. According to Pliny, we know that Carissa had, within the Roman administrative system, the category of Municipality, which means that its traditional administrative and legal organization was respected, although it was dependent on the Governor of Bética. Later, during the government of Vespasian, the right of citizenship was extended throughout this territory, leaving Carissa as a Municipality to become "Cives romani" which gave it the privilege of minting money. Numerous archaeological and sculptural remains from this Roman period have been found in Carissa, although most are in private collections, among which are: fragments of inscriptions; a small bronze sculpture representing a nude Venus; two female marble sculptures representing water nymphs; a bust of the goddess Ceres with traces of polychromy; a female head, currently on display at the Town Hall; abundant coins and remains of ceramics.

The last stage of Carissa corresponds to the decline of the Roman imperial power, which brings as a consequence the entry of the barbarian invaders and the establishment and permanence of the Visigoths until the arrival of the Arabs. From this moment some archaeological remains have been found, among which stands out a tombstone that refers to the relics of various saints and that, at present, is embedded in the façade of the Parish Church.




Carissa disappeared definitively with the Arabs and the town began to settle around a fortified tower that would later be the Castle of Bornos. Said population would be included in the Arab province of Medina, then called Saduna and, although many documents are not preserved, we assume that Bornos had a peaceful life at that time, with a small population that would be dedicated mainly to agriculture. Regarding this last aspect, it should be remembered that the cultivation of the countryside experiences a remarkable development thanks to the abundance of water that Bornos always had and the great knowledge that the Arabs had of various irrigation systems (ditches and waterwheels).

Bornos will go through the different stages of Islamic domination that the peninsula suffered. Thus, after the caliphate, the first Taifa kingdoms will appear and the Arabs will lead a series of internal struggles for power until the Almoravids will once again achieve unification. Subsequently, a period of decline will begin and the second Taifa kingdoms will emerge until the Almohads impose their authority over the different Taifas. But in the 12th century, the forces of the Almohads were greatly weakened and there was a decline that gave the Christian kingdoms in the north of the peninsula an advantage. This expansion culminated in 1248, when Fernando III took Seville.

The noble evolution of Bornos began in 1258 with the donation made by Alfonso X "el Sabio" to Per del Castel for a Wheeled Privilege, as a reward for services rendered to the Crown; shortly after it became a royal town again and in 1304 King Fernando IV ceded the Plaza de Bornos to Fernando Pérez Ponce; in 1323 the domain passed to the lords of Marchena, the Ponce de León, until it was sold to two Sevillian aldermen: Alfonso Fernández Marmolejo and Martín Fernández Cerón (1387); only the first made the purchase price effective, so in 1398 he was able to enforce his rights and sold Bornos, its castle and its district, for 3,000 doubles, to the Mayor of Andalusia D. Per Afán de Ribera I. Which wants It should be said that in 1998 the VI Centenary of this event was commemorated, which had so much to do with Bornos, to the point that the Villa's Coat of Arms fully coincides with that of the Ribera family.

Ribera's lineage comes from Galicia; the first grandfather of the first Per Afán, Lope López de Ribera, settled in Seville at the beginning of the s. XIV and received some estates; his son, Ruy López de Ribera, received control of two villages: Huédar and Estercolinas (now Olivares and Hinojos). But the authentic forger of the lineage was D. Per Afán de Ribera I, nicknamed "El Viejo", since he lived 105 years (1318-1423). In 1380, King Juan I granted him the castle of Las Aguzaderas, by exchange of some houses in Seville; The barter is justified because the aforementioned castle is a border place and D. Per Afán is a very suitable person for its defense. From then on, his figure only grew in political importance and he was successively Knight Twenty-four of Seville (1384), Captain General of the Fleet in the siege of Lisbon (1385), Notary and Mayor of Andalusia (1386). ).

The title of Adelantado, in addition to involving the defense of the border of the Kingdom of Castile against the Nasrid of Granada, entailed high political, legal, governmental, etc., attributions, since it symbolized royal power in the absence of the King. Parallel to this political rise, he is acquiring the first territories that he incorporates into his house; Thus, between 1394 and 1396, he bought the place of Espera and in 1398, Bornos. These and many others are included in a mayorazgo instituted in 1411 (the mayorazgo is a legal concept of inheritance law, by which the assets contained therein were linked to the person who came to succeed the previous owner or lord of the property). themselves; usually the firstborn). Between 1421 and 1423 the testamentary dispositions of D. Per Afán de Ribera I were dictated, confirming the eldership and granting it to the eldest son of his second marriage, D. Diego Gómez de Ribera; this expanded the patrimony of the house of Ribera. In 1434, he died in the siege of Álora and his son, D. Per Afán de Ribera II (1420-1456) succeeded him; He contracted two marriages throughout his life: the first, with a daughter of the lords of Aguilar, with large domains in Córdoba; the second, with Dª. María de Mendoza, daughter of the famous writer D. Iñigo López de Mendoza, Marqués de Santillana.

Don Per Afán de Ribera II founded in 1447 an estate in favor of his daughter Dª. Beatriz de Ribera, in which Bornos remains as a freely available asset. Upon the death of D. Per Afán, his succession poses not a few problems, as he lacks male offspring; therefore, Mrs. María de Mendoza, the second wife, arranges the marriage of Dª. Beatriz with D. Pedro Enríquez, second son of the Major Admiral of Castilla. From then on, in order not to lose the Ribera lineage, both surnames will be unified. Mrs. Beatriz dies prematurely and D. Pedro Enríquez marries his deceased wife's sister Dª. Catalina de Ribera, who was the founder of the Hospital de las Cinco Llagas in Seville, the current headquarters of the Andalusian Autonomous Parliament. From both marriages there were descendants, the eldership happening in the person of D. Francisco Enríquez de Ribera (eldest son of the first marriage), whose remains are deposited in the old Convent of Franciscan Clarisas nuns of Bornos, Corpus Christi, together with those of his wife Mrs. Leonor Ponce de Leon. Bornos continues to be freely available, which forced an agreement between D. Francisco Enríquez de Ribera and Dª. Catalina de Ribera, in favor of her sons D. Fadrique and D. Fernando, being for D. Francisco the domain over Bornos. He died (1509) without descendants, granting in his will numerous mandates over Bornos to the Hieronymite monks of the Monastery of Santa María del Rosario, which he had founded in Bornos in 1505; this gave rise to a complicated and lengthy lawsuit with his successor, his half-brother D. Fadrique. This was the first Marquis of Tarifa, by concession of Queen Dª. Joan in 1514.



From the conclusion of the Reconquista, a great change in the Spanish nobility takes place. The quintessential warrior is transformed (in this case, precisely, in the person of D. Fadrique Enríquez de Ribera) into the educated and modern nobleman, patron of artists, interested in art and culture in its most diverse manifestations. Indeed, D. Fadrique made a famous trip to the Holy Land (1518-1520), starting from Bornos, making a journey through Europe, more specifically through Italy, which he crossed twice, reaching great knowledge of the Renaissance; and that he later applied to his domains in Andalusia, seeing his Palaces of Bornos and Seville especially favoured.

Don Fadrique died in 1539, succeeded by his nephew D. Pedro Enríquez de Ribera, who adopted the name of Per Afán de Ribera, in honor of the forger of the lineage. This was the first Duke of Alcalá de los Gazules in 1558 by concession of Felipe II. D. Per Afán de Ribera III is succeeded by his brother D. Fernando Enríquez de Ribera, since the former lacked legitimate descent. D. Fernando is succeeded by his daughter Dª. María Enríquez and to her (after a long lawsuit filed by several male descendants on the succession) Dª. Ana María Luisa Enríquez de Ribera y Portocarrero, married to a Duke of Medinaceli. In this way, the house of the Dukes of Alcalá, formerly of the Adelantados Mayores of Andalusia, as well as all its territories and domains, became part of the Ducal House of Medinaceli, as it was the highest rank in the Spanish noble hierarchy. , descending in a direct line from King (Alfonso X "el Sabio"), with the right to the throne.

Focusing on Bornos, we can say that this town was the authentic cradle of the Ribera family and of the Adelantados Mayores of Andalusia, many of them residing in Bornos during the Middle Ages, and preferring it to other houses and other possessions. Precisely because of this strong link, Bornos is the authentic cradle of the Renaissance in Lower Andalusia (affirmation made by the Professor of History, Mr. Antonio Sánchez González, Director of the Archive of the Ducal House of Medinaceli), because the Ribera family is the one that best it adapts to the Renaissance compared to other nobles of the time, such as the Ponce de León (Dukes of Arcos), the Medina-Sidonia or the Medinaceli themselves, before the union of the two lineages. Bornos is the great beneficiary of this evolution of the Ribera family, which is exemplified in the transformation of the Castillo del Fontanar, designed for defense, into a richly ornamented palace with works of art from Italy and, also, from the hands of renowned artists who were brought to the effect, such as Benvenuto Tortello, Giuliano Meniquini, Baltasar Barón, Hernán Ruiz, Gil de Ontañón, Alonso Rodríguez, Diego de Riaño, etc. Another tangible example of this work is found in the large number of buildings and institutions founded at the time, such as the Corpus Christi Convent or the College of Blood.

Another inheritance left by the Enríquez de Ribera, specifically the Pilgrim to the Holy Land, D. Fadrique, was the first of the religious practice of the Via Crucis: D. Fadrique, according to his book, measured the distance between the Praetorium of the Palace from Pontius Pilate (place from which Christ departed with the Cross), to Mount Calvary (place of his Crucifixion); On his return, he calculated this distance in Bornos, starting from the door of the Monastery of Santa María del Rosario to a point where he raised a small temple (later called Cruz de Esperilla), erecting the first Via Crucis in Spain. In his house in Seville, he did the same from the door of the Palacio de los Adelantados (known today, and for that reason, as Casa de Pilatos) to a shrine that already existed (the Cruz del Campo).

In the S. XVII would reach a deep economic and social depression; This would begin at the beginning of the century with a great plague epidemic that strongly affected Bornos. On July 4, 1649, the day of San Laureano, the epidemic ceased; becoming the said saint the current patron of the town. This crisis affected all sectors of society; The large manor houses were subject to bankruptcy, due in part to mismanagement and in part to great material waste, but the inalienable nature of the patrimony of these señoríos prevented bankruptcy from materializing.

In the S. XVIII there were also waves of epidemics but never as serious as in the previous century. New crops (corn and potato) are introduced and administrative improvements are made. It was a century of reconstruction and prosperity. A very interesting cultural current developed in the Jerónimos Monastery. The figure of Fray Pedro Mariscal, wise friar of the Jerónimos order, born in Benaocaz, who dedicated his life to the study of Bornos and its lands, deserves to be mentioned; among his works is the manuscript "History and antiquities of the town of Bornos and its region", being also the author of an epigraphic inventory, which is preserved in the Colombian Library. Another monk of great merit from this same Monastery was Fray Esteban Rallón, who wrote "Historia de Jerez", a text that has served as the basis for numerous contemporary researchers who carried out, and carry out, studies on this city near Bornos.


The 19th century began in Bornos, as in all of Spain, with a destructive and merciless war; it is the fight against the French invader: the War of Independence. In 1811, the French took over the town and built two defense towers, but Ballesteros, using the surprise factor, managed to recover the town. Months later, General Conroux was stationed in Bornos, as a key point for the defense of Guadalete.

In 1812, Bornos lives a period of peace. In 1813 the limits of the Province were created, establishing the following parties: Cádiz, Jerez, El Puerto de Santa María, Algeciras and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. In 1820, once the constitutional system had been reestablished, a new territorial division was decreed, which is the one in force today.

Through the work "Diario del viaje a Bornos y a Ubrique", by Frasquita Larrea, we can affirm that the situation is similar to that of previous centuries: the population is dedicated to agricultural work and the soil continues to be, for the most part, part, property of the nobility. The municipality has communal land and its own; The first are, generally, not very productive, dedicated to the common use of the neighbors: collecting firewood, taking the cattle to graze, etc. Own lands are the best pieces of that common land that, because they are arable, are leased to peasants at auction, normally for three years. The income from these leases covers the expenses of the municipality.

It is now when the process of dissolution of the manorial regime, started in the reign of Felipe V and continued by Carlos III and Carlos IV, reaches its culminating point, since in 1837 the new manorial law determines that the manors pass to private property. It was thought that land, being reduced to private property, would enter fully into the economic process. By being able to sell and divide, social structures would be changed, which should lead to a major transformation of agriculture. In addition, the State collected for itself all the jurisdictions, as well as the rights and income. This meant the end of the lordships.

The passage of seigneurial lands to private property gave rise to a long series of lawsuits, since the lords had frequently appropriated part of the communal lands. In the aforementioned year of 1837, Bornos had, for this reason, a lawsuit with the Ducal House of Medinaceli: the residents claimed that "the three meadows called Cerro de la Horca, La Sanguijuela and El Lecho have usurped them and are of common use of the neighbors". This lawsuit, like most of this type, concluded with the declaration of private ownership of everything that the lord enjoyed in that term. With the lawsuits resolved and with submissive town councils, the nobles became the largest agricultural owners in western Andalusia. However, the disentailed lands fell into the hands of the industrial bourgeoisie, the large tenants and the lord's administrators.

These changes did not bring any advantage to the life of the peasants, since the new landowners do not start an improved and rational exploitation; Land is purchased to confirm social prestige and not to improve a production system. This process is linked to the existence of a very cheap workforce: braceros, who work during the harvest season, in exchange for a subsistence wage.

Ecclesiastical property lands undergo a similar process, according to the data preserved in the Historical Archive of Cádiz; Confiscated sales in Bornos were as follows: of a total ceded area of ​​101 Ha., 60.9 Ha. belonged to the clergy and 40.1 Ha. to personal property. These assets were insignificant compared to the 2,809 hectares owned by the House of Medinaceli.

Regarding the evolution of the Villa, there is a series of data that comes from various censuses and gazetteers, through which it is observed:

An increase in population. The existence of great abundance of drinking and medicinal waters and springs. Agricultural production was based on wheat, barley, chickpeas, broad beans, oil, fruits and vegetables. There were two pottery factories and four oil mills. The existence of several local roads, the best of all of them being the one that led to Arcos. A description of primitive farm implements.

Undoubtedly, the rise of the labor movement in Bornos was the product of the social inequality described. The ideology of this labor movement was, above all, socialist; although the anarchist component was also one more element that was added to the social mass of the most disadvantaged classes.

What we have called the "labor movement in Bornos" manifested itself in two ways: Firstly, Unionism, which gained great strength and, for example, at the end of the s. XIX the A.I.T. It had more than 500 affiliates in the municipality. Secondly, the Workers' Societies or Centers, a direct consequence of the union boom, since most of them were promoted by the General Union of Workers (U.G.T.); There is news of at least three: the Society of Farmers "La Fraternidad"; the Workers' Center "La Lucha es Vida" and the Miscellaneous Trades Center "La Armonía". They met fortnightly or monthly in premises, almost always rented, where they discussed the progress of work in the fields and invited union leaders from neighboring towns to speak on topics such as agrarian reform or work bases; Precisely in the negotiation of these is where they exercised a very important work of pressure, since the companies directly proposed to the employers, on behalf of the workers, some work bases that tried to regulate both the working hours, as well as the salary to be received for each worker category. In the event of not reaching agreements, which happened not infrequently, they used to call strikes as measures of force. In these cases, the City Council almost always ended up mediating, acting as a conciliator between the two positions. These Societies or Centers subsisted well into the 20th century.

The last third of the 19th century was a very troubled time in Bornos: suffice it to say that in November 1872 the Town Hall was set on fire by a group of exalted (little is known about the perpetrators of the event, but, from the correspondence that has remained from At the time, it is speculated that the volume of debts accumulated by the majority of the residents in the Town Hall due to taxes was such that the arsonists wanted to destroy the documentary evidence of these debts, to make it impossible to collect them). The fire caused such enormous disorder and administrative chaos in the following years that the City Hall and the town of Bornos took a long time to recover.

It would also be necessary to highlight, from this same period, the incidents that, during the First Republic (between July and August 1873), led to the declaration of Bornos as an Independent Canton: it all began due to an employer's breach of the work bases that governed that summer; Immediately afterwards, some workers decided to put a drastic end to this situation and go out to the fields to enforce the working day to the letter and in a very expeditious manner: when it ended, they forced all the day laborers to leave their jobs. shotgun tasks. Subsequently, a Public Health Committee, of anarchist ideology, was established, which concluded by declaring Bornos as an Independent Canton. This phenomenon was widespread not only in the Province of Cádiz, but also in the rest of Spain and had its origin in the parliamentary discussion that took place on the Territorial Organization of the State, within the framework of the debates on the Draft Constitution of the Republic. .


The present century will be analyzed very briefly. The current history is the result of a much longer trajectory and, thus, we can say that the present situation derives from the circumstances of past centuries, which, in general, were very deficient in authentic improvements and very poor in changes that favored the situation . of the peasantry; That is why the Andalusian towns, including Bornos, lived a deep cultural and economic backwardness, existing social structures of strong imbalance.

The general situation of the town improved during the dictatorship of Miguel Primo de Rivera. There is a memory that was carried out for the Province of Cádiz between 1923 and 1928. According to said memory: The drinking water supply was made from the El Nacimiento spring, through iron pipes. The sewage is partial. Public lighting is by electricity. Its main wealth is wheat, livestock and olive groves. The smallness of the municipality stands out and the fact that many farmers work on lands in neighboring areas.

And in this time of resurgence and recovery of splendor we plant ourselves in the History of Bornos, to connect it with the present, in which Bornos continues to fight with himself and his circumstances to return to what he was; betting strongly so that this great unknown that is our Villa de Bornos is discovered everywhere; to grow, even if it is in the shadow of other bigger ones, but with its own personality and idiosyncrasies.