LENITZ, Valley of

Incorporation into Gipuzkoa. It seems that the last royal order was also ineffective due to the opposition made by the Count of Oñati, through whose efforts the valley was forced to join the brotherhood of Vitoria and the land of Alava, in whose union it was in the year 1495. Thus, the general meeting of the Santa María del Campo agreed that the valley of Léniz should be part of the union of Guipúzcoa. Consequently, the corresponding letter patent was issued for its ution in Burgos on 20 August of the same year. In compliance with this, the province and the valley granted a deed of agreement at the private meeting held in the place of Usarraga on 29th April 1497, under the conditions of which the annexation of the latter to the former was immediately carried out. The main chapters of this contract are summarised by Gorosábel as follows: 1.° That the inhabitants and residents of the valley of Léniz were to be governed entirely by the same provincial laws and ordinances as the rest of Guipúzcoa. 2º That the valley of Léniz at one with the town of Salinas should have a mayor of a brotherhood of their own choosing. 3º That the said valley should send its procurators to all the general and particular assemblies of the province. 4º That the valley was then headed by forty-five fires for the contribution of expenses in the provincial bonfire, except for the subsequent modification. 5º That this valley did not enjoy the prerogative of holding general assemblies of the province in its territory; but that for its needs or defence it could give a surname like the other towns of the province. 6. That the corregidor of the latter should have the same jurisdiction in the valley of Léniz as in the other towns and places of Guipúzcoa, no more and no less. In spite of this agreement having been granted, some few inhabitants of this valley were opposed to passing through its context; therefore, it was necessary to appeal to the king in order to obtain its confirmation and oblige the disobedient ones to observe it. This was done by royal decree issued in Medina del Campo on 30 June 1497, which not only ordered the annexation of the valley to be carried out under the agreed terms, but also established penalties against those who contravened it. By virtue of this, all the inhabitants and residents of Léniz, summoned by commissioners appointed on behalf of the province, unanimously rendered their obedience, individually ratified the incorporation, and swore an oath not to break it in any way. Comparing the time of this aggregation of the valley of Léniz to the province of Guipúzcoa with that in which its reversion to the crown took place, it can be seen that this took place while the valley was still under the dependence and dominion of the Count of Oñate; which explains quite clearly the origin or reason for the lawsuit begun against the latter in the same year of 1497.