LENITZ, Valley of

Differences with Mondragón-Arrasate. The various Castilian kings granted the inhabitants of Léniz the use and exploitation of their , mountains, exidos, rivers and other lands; by virtue of which they enjoyed them, using them and their products jointly. Mondragón, at the time of obtaining the grant of the villazgo, received equal graces and privileges from the generosity of King Alfonso the Wise; as a result of which there were some differences the inhabitants of the valley and those of the said town. For this reason, the same monarch addressed a royal decree to the former from Valladolid on 30 July 1280, which read as follows. "You know that the settlers of my council of Mondragon sent me a complaint that the tenant farmers of the district of Leniz were claiming many homes in the district of Leniz as their own, both in the rivers, and in the mountains, and in the pastures, and in the exidos, and in the other lands that they claimed as their inheritances, and in other things, in such a way that they cannot help themselves, nor dare to farm them as they should. And this I do not hold that the rivers, and the , and the pastures, and the mountains, and my estates are mine, and none of them can have more than what the king gave them or granted them, and if anyone has an inheritance in a river or in a mountain, or in a meadow, or in an estate set apart by abolition or by purchase or by marriage, or that the king gave him, or if they can that they have it rightly for any other reason that they should have it, I hold that they should have it: But whoever does not have it in any of these ways, I do not want him to justify it or defend it as his own. And I command that my mountains, and the , and the rivers, and the pastures, and the outskirts, and the entrances and exits that the council of my settlers of Mondragon may have them and use them in whatever way they can best serve them, just as I gave them to them and granted them, etc.". This means that, in order for the inhabitants of the valley of Léniz to consider the lands of the same to be theirs, it was necessary for them to the just title of their acquisition, such as purchase, dowry, hereditary succession or other similar; and that in the event of not being able to provide such proof, they were awarded in favour of the settlers of Mondragon. This privilege was confirmed by D. Fernando IV in San Esteban de Gormaz on 2nd April 1302, D. Alonso XI in Vitoria on 16th September 1317 and 28th March 1332, D. Enrique II in the courts of Toro on 4th September 1371, D. Enrique III in Palencia on 3rd August 1403, and other subsequent monarchs.