LENITZ, Valley of

Dispute over the capital of the valley. Although it is not clear which of the villages, Arechavaleta or Escoriaza, became the head of the valley of Léniz after the separation from Mondragón, the facts indicate that it was the former, i.e. Arechavaleta. Such are the existence of the valley's prison with stocks and pillory in it: the fact that the boasts or displays of weapons and warriors were constantly held there: the fact that it was customary to hold the hearings of justice for the inhabitants of the valley itself in Arechavaleta: the fact that the archive of the papers of the whole territory remained in the same village. All these circumstances together demonstrate, if not a true capital, a certain pre-eminence over Escoriaza, even if the latter did not wish to recognise it after it had obtained the title of villa, and acquired some greater importance. For this reason there were undoubtedly several differences the two towns, stemming from their mutual rivalry and desire to overcome each other. In the year 1493, in fact, a lawsuit began them before the Count of Oñate, their lord, over the possession in which Arechavaleta claimed to hold the hearings of his court in his town square, and to have a prison, pillory, gallows and stocks, as signs of jurisdiction. The Count ruled on this incident, protecting Arechavaleta in the possession of the said acts; the sentence, taken on appeal to the Royal Chancery of Valladolid, was confirmed by this court by sentences of hearing and review pronounced in the writs of 1495 and 1496. It was d by them at the same time that the town councils of the valley could be held in any part of it, wherever the majority of the municipal government agreed; and the royal utory letter comprising this business was issued on 15 November 1498.