Romantic Bandit

Definition and characteristics of the phenomenon of banditry

There have been many definitions have been given for the word brigand. From Roman viene the voz bandit, derived from the Latin word bannitus (exiled), which applied to those who, forced the voluntarily, deviated from civil society to make life in the mountains and deserts, becoming what we now call bandits, that is clearly dedicated to theft, in continuous struggle against authority and laws. Another term is to grassatores or mobile, thieves who used to take refuge in the mountains, woods and forests and engaged in looting at gunpoint to pedestrians to pass through the outskirts of cities. And finally, there was another kind of evil scarier: they were called assassins, of sicca, Broadleaf knife and very sharp with murdering their victims before stripping.

bandolero1 Bandolerismo Romántico

If the phenomenon of banditry stripped of all clothing verbal, without looking for its causes and consequences, prosecute without a priori, we only have men who assault, rob, kill, extort ... usually in the field. However, for romantic writers, banditry has little to do with the situation that oppresses workers. Reaction is a single character which may not lacking reasons of justice and / or vengeance. The focus romantic travelers in Andalusia because here are created better than in other regions fictional images of this movement, from the canyons to the tangled glens, from the farm to the roads full of crosses.

Some writers see ethnicist nationalist bandits resistant elements of national sentiment against the foreign yoke and others believe, in the case of banditry Andalusian, its origin lies in the identity of this people; would be a genuine manifestation of being Andalusian, in a backward society, refractory to modernization.

For regeneracionistas of late nineteenth century, banditry was the response of a backward society landlordism. The bandits are evolving from simple criminals heroes. Among these thinkers emphasize Zugasti, García Home, Bernardo de Quiros and Ardila. For many foreigners Hispanists, banditry is a phenomenon of a backward, given in Andalusia more extensively than in other regions because Andalusia is a backward region.

bandolero3 Bandolerismo Romántico

For some writers of the post-Franco, banditry is a crime like any other, which was particularly virulent in the nineteenth century, and may even compare it to other recent movements such as the maquis. Researchers write as Pitt Rivers: "The bandits have taken different political colors according to the times. The postwar period were originally Republican Forces officers ... They were called Saw Red ". According to Professor bandit Nadal is the term used in Civilcomo Guard reports a projection of common crime early twentieth century. This teacher, along with many, flatly rejects the rating of bandits to de1936 anti maquis members to 1950.

Most of the bandits were from families of very low economic profile. However, in the last decades of the nineteenth century, their relationship is, rather, with prosperity; although it is difficult to generalize, bandits no longer belong to the impoverished classes. For example, under the heading of "The Merinos" had partners of the mining company; Camargo Joaquin "El VIVILLO" inherited some land from their parents, was picador and smuggler and had a brother who was privateer; Family of Francisco Flores Arocha was known in his village for the collective nickname "Marquis parakeets" and his neighbors took for granted that was the one with more money in the village; "Long Steps" was a farmer and a stalker in El Burgo and his family says Bernardo de Quirós who lived in relative comfort, cultivating a tierrecillas.

bandolero2 Bandolerismo Romántico

Spatial and temporal location of banditry Andalusian

The phenomenon of banditry in Andalusia lasted almost all of it, but, fundamentally, the places in which the authority was more relaxed, in areas away from the centers of power, relief, etc.… Many items stolen in the north of the province of Cordoba in the first third of the nineteenth century, by Manuel Moreno, sought asylum at the border of Portugal and how the idea of ​​the City of Pozoblanco items musketeers form was supported by the Court of Cáceres and dismissed by the Chancery of Granada. Historians as important as Bernaldo de Quirós and José Santos Torres believe that the location of activities were always bandoleriles south of the Guadalquivir, the triangle Osuna, Lucena, Antequera, a second wider area, that integrate land Córdoba Triangle, Sevilla and Malaga. Manuel Bernal makes this triangle into a quadrilateral with Gibraltar, Granada, Cordoba and Seville as vertices of the same.

Making a more detailed study can be said that there are four performance bands of brigands in Andalusia:

  • The river Genil, in its middle runs wading through the Sierras Subbéticas, between gorges and malpasillos. From Loja to have on your margins Ecija populations that were the true epicenter of banditry: Benamejí, Palenciana, Alameda, Cockaigne, Badolatosa, La Rambla, Santaella, Steppe, Écija, etc ...
  • The strip of Gibraltar to Granada, namely, the seawall of the Betic Sierras. With such important points as the same Gibraltar, Grazalema, Cortes de la Frontera, Torre Alháquime, Villamartin, Round, Antequera, Alhama, El Borge, Granada ...
  • Una franja casi vertical a Gibraltar, going from point to Carmona and Seville, half in the mountains, to wait and Montellano, half in the flat from this point to Arahal, Carmona and Seville.
  • A fourth stripe could be the central Sierra Morena area , which forms the northern provinces of Cordoba and Jaen.


Bad times for poor families ran laborers in those early nineteenth century: ahead a war against the French invaders, continued political instability and hunger, very hungry and ignorance everywhere.

So, M ª José Exposito “The Tempranillo” grew up in clover, small village in southern dependent Lucena Córdoba, and did so within the Hinojosa family Cobacho. José M ª adopted those surnames of the family that raised, pejorative due to involving the Foundling, Cross, of the Church, Jesus ... etc. There were the abandoned house, and studied the records of baptisms in the parish of San Mateo de Lucena between 1.796 a 1.806, shows that more than one of thirty children named Joseph born in that decade, but only nine of them were called José María.

jose maria Bandolerismo Romántico

The commission of a homicide involved a harsh sentence, capital punishment almost always. It was this fear that prompted José María to flee their homeland and seek refuge in the villages of the Serrania de Ronda, or in the vicinity of Gibraltar. At least, in that match most oral and written documents that have been. This area was good smugglers slip, that the difficulty under orographic and land As experienced, traded their products from the English colony to any point of Andalusia. In Torre Alháquime, a small village near Olvera, fully on the smuggling, Jose Maria met two key figures in the evolution of life: M ª Jerónima French and Frasquito “The Tower”. With Mary Jerónima legitimate married date and place undetermined, probably in the village itself, but it is a fact difficult to prove since the parish archives, unfortunately, was destroyed in the last civil war. He befriends Francisco Salas, alias Frasquito “The Tower”, concuñado of José María. This establishes a relationship of fellowship, even though between them was much age difference. May be this character “teacher”, the steps that will guide young José M ª in his criminal career. The dessert, the student will far exceed, and the supremacy of the character will make indisputable.

Although many documents to ensure that the departure of José María once numbered more than forty, little we know of the names and affiliation of its components. Documents hitherto known speech especially three: Frasquito “The Tower”, Jose Ruiz Germán, alias “Veins” the “Penitas”, and John Knight alias “From law”.


bandolero5 el lero Bandolerismo Romántico

José María finds security in the territory knows perfectly. Do not despise the actions in the countryside, but prefers solitary territories, risk even more severely inclement weather. Andalusian roads have as main route since Roman times Guadalquivir basin united with the rest of the peninsula in northwest-southeast direction and serving as a link to the cities of Cordoba and Seville. But most frequented roads were bandits and domestic routes, more specifically, points near the nodes of communication. In the longitudinal, was a major highway linking the cities of Seville and Granada, and perpendicular to the paths from Seville to Malaga and Cordoba to Malaga. Other roads linking the Campo de Gibraltar to Seville, through Ronda and Osuna. Antequera became a major hub for, uniting the interior with the coast, and the Kingdom of Murcia and the Eastern and Western Andalucia. For this, when José M ª “The Tempranillo” was called the “King of Sierra Morena”, could not be a more appropriate sentence from a literary standpoint, no more wrong from the historic. Jose Maria was not the king of Sierra Morena, as this area was never his usual territory. It is known however that José María were very important people and the people of towns like Badolatosa, Corcoya, Alameda o Jauja, not forget either of Osuna, Hummock, Antequera, Lucena, Montilla, Aguilar, Round, Torre Alháquime, The Gastor, Grazalema ... Except sporadic tours, This was the true natural habitat of José María.

The pardon is a pardon granted to inmates, by final judgment and irrevocable, laying refers extinguishes the penalty and criminal responsibility. That Jose Maria and the rest of his men in the items they are pardoned, never any doubt, but the truth is that it lacks sufficient information regarding this matter. Among the researchers who have approached the figure of José M ª, and specifically to the question of pardon, Santos Torres none has addressed and dealt with this issue more broadly. Some of the conclusions that this comes Andalusian historian banditry that pardons are there and proven documented, that clemency was not reflected in any written document, despite the reference to the Royal Order of pardon and manifestations of Juan Caballero, that the pardon was granted to José M ª “The Tempranillo” as head of headings, which was granted in the first quarter of 1.832, there are no documents to ensure the overall brokering negotiations Manso, only a strong oral tradition, you know the conditions under which it was agreed that after the pardon and clemency, banditry continued to exist in Andalusia.

Anecdotally, Juan Caballero states that on 23 July all bandits gathered in the chapel of the Fuensanta of Corcoya, accompanied by their families and dressed in their best clothes. From there he moved to Estepa, where they were acclaimed by the public, Estepa's Vicar gave a speech and read the clemency secretary. Finally, bandits surrendered their weapons and horses. No documentary evidence of this fact has been, except the very manifestation of Knight. However, in a curious book that devotes a novena to the Virgin of Fuensanta, provides data on the subject. According to its author, P. Feliciano Calvo, was the shrine of the Fuensanta the venue to celebrate the joyful act of pardon, in which reading was the same Cecilio Antonio Sánchez, clerk of council Estepa.

bandolero Bandolerismo Romántico

A new era begins for José María in late August or early September days 1.832. This radical change is a different attitude towards life. So, Jose Maria is placed in front of a select group of men , of those who were supposed excluding who resigned to continue in that lifestyle and those who dismissed his commander. In all honesty, nothing is known about the functioning of the Game of Andalusian horse, apparently that was his correct name, as appears from his will, and not the pompous Squadron Safety and Security Franco de Andalucía, Fernández and González invention. It is not known the extent of contacts between Jose Maria and the captain general of Granada in concerning the establishment and operation of the Game of Andalusian horse, mainly because D. Javier Abbey will be replaced by the Marqués de las Amarillas and I Duque de Ahumada. This officer had a moral and intellectual stature unusual. He knew perfectly Andalucía, for his many years of residence in Seville and properties that had family near Ronda and Villamartin. He authored a first draft of a specific body building security, history of the Civil Guard, would have revolutionized the foundations of an outdated system, who was unable to fight the scourge of banditry.

The death of José María took place at the farm of the Marquis de Casasaavedra (according to the text of the commander Travesi), or Mantilla Casería , according to Sergeant Bartolo, or in the farmhouse of Buenavista, according to oral tradition. Obviously this is the same site. The Marquis of Casasaavedra named John Mantilla, and was a wealthy landowner who antequerano, but not among the twenty largest taxpayers in the city, their capital far exceeds six hundred acres of land. Buenavista was the name that this farmhouse was known among the most popular classes, and even so-called appears on several occasions during routine surveys that carried the games in pursuit of criminals.

tempranillo segun lewis Bandolerismo Romántico

José M ª El Tempranillo Alameda died in the 22 September 1.833. His body lay for two days and was buried on 24 September. It gave ecclesiastical burial burial flat and funeral mass.


Note: This information has been extracted from the work done by D. Tenor Andrew Chamizo and Doña Maria Carmen Roldán Borrego and published in the book of the Proceedings of the IX Symposium on banditry in Andalusia, with the title "Banditry in Andalusia in the light of eight rounds of case studies".