Zumalakarregi, Tomas (1788-1835)

Despite how much has been written about the Gipuzkoan caudillo, given the passions that the Carlists still arouse, it is difficult to know exactly his true personality.

Those who dealt with him more directly could be suspected, because they were people close to him. Thus, the Scottish captain Henningsen, a Carlist spearman, says (1836) that he was "precise and brusque in his conversation, sad and serene in his manners, the natural fruit of the great and innumerable dangers suffered throughout his career" . His biographer and assistant, JA Zaratiegui, describes him as "strong with the proud..., affable and simple with modest people." Which explains his little sympathy for the Carlist Court and his harsh letters to the Governing Board of Navarre in order to get rid of chaplains and "animals that eat and devour this poor country".

The comments of his opponents generally highlight his toughness and obscurantism, forgetting his impeccable honesty. Even today, JP Fusi (1988) symbolizes his arrival in the world with the "birth of black Spain." To the controversy over personal conduct we must add the perennial controversy over his status as defender of the Basque Fueros (to which he does not allude in his writings), a sterile controversy, obviously, due to the global nature of the legitimist ideology in which the foral legal was inserted as a substantial element -implicit or explicit- of it. Another thing will be the interpretation that the traditionalist or pre-nationalist authors (Chaho, Hiribarren), or Basque nationalism itself made of the Carlist general, mythologized by history and successive military defeats (1839, 1876).