The Basque señoríos were medieval hereditary land titles over an area called señorío (Lordship), recognized by a king to former basque chieftains in relation to the concept of manorialism in exchange for sworn allegiance. The Basque term is jaurerria (pronounced [xauˈɾeria]), means "lord's country" and usually relates to the señoríos of the Basque Country. Either term frequently refers to the most important of these, the Bizkaiko Jaurerria or Señorío de Vizcaya (Lordship of Biscay) as it is known in Spanish. Most other Basque jauerriak were much smaller, such as the Oñatiko Jaurerria (Señorío de Oñate).
This title conferred considerable powers into the hands of the Lord of Vizcaya which in other area were directly controlled by the king. A señor was the judicial and military high authority, was entitled to rule directly without referring to the king, had the power to appoint civil servants and was entitled to collect taxes.
- the Lur Laua or Tierra Llana, the "flat" (i.e. not fortified) lands of Biscay which were organised in elizates.
- the chartered cities and towns of Biscay: Balmaseda, Bermeo, Bilbao, Durango, Ermua, Gernika, Lanestosa, Lekeitio, Markina, Ondarroa, Otxandio, Portugalete, Plentzia and Urduña.
After the Kingdom of Navarre disintegrated during the 12th century and a big part of it was annexed by Castile, titles over lands were awarded to the nobility by the Kings of Castile. They continued to exist in various forms until 1876 when the Basque foral rights or fueros were abolished.
Lords of Biscay
The Legendary Lords
According to the 14th century historian Lope García de Salazar, there were five Lords prior to those known to us from the historical record:
- Jaun Lope Zuria ("Lord Lope the White"), also known simply as Jaun Zuria ("the white lord"), or Don Blanco or Don Zurián in Spanish. He is said to have beaten the Asturians and Leonese in the Battle of Padura in 840 and subsequently honoured with the title of Lord of Biscay in 888 by the Biscaynes.
- 909-920 Munso/Nunso López, son of Jaun Zuria.
- 920-924 Ínigo Esquira "El Zurdo", son of Munso López
- 924-931 Lope II Íñiguez, also known as Lope Díaz "El Lindo" and son of Ínigo Esquira.
- 931-993 Sancho López, son of Lope II Íñiguez.
House of Haro
The House of Haro was the most powerful family of Castile at that time and strongly supported the expansionist policies of Alfonso VI of Castile. As a reward, Íñigo López was named the first Lord of Biscay.
- 1040-1077 Íñigo López "Ezquerra" ("The Left"). He appears in documents as Comes Enneco Lopiz Vizcayensis but little is known about his life except that he gave the castle and church of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña and that he was married to Toda Ortiz with whom he had five children.
- 1077-1093 Lope Íñiguez, son of Íñigo López. According to documents in the monastery of San Millán de la Cogolla he supported Alfonso VI of Castile who annexed Álava, the Rioja and parts of Biscay and Gipuzkoa following the assassination of Sancho IV of Navarre. In return, Lope Íñiguez was given additional lands to enlarge his señorío. He was married to Tecla Díaz, daughter of Diego Álvarez de Oca with whom he had five children.
- 1093-1124 Diego López I de Haro "El Blanco" ("the white"), son of Lope Íñiguez. He fought against the Cid alongside the king and in return was granted to settlement of Haro by Alfonso VI of Castile. He was the first to take the title de Haro and built a castle in an unknown location in Haro. He was married to Lady Almicena, daughter of the Lord of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port with whom he had one child.
- 1124-1170 Lope Díaz I de Haro
- 1170-1214 Diego López II de Haro "El Bueno"
- 1214-1236 Lope Díaz II de Haro "Cabeza Brava" ("the hothead")
- 1236-1254 Diego López III de Haro
- 1254-1288 Lope Díaz III de Haro
- 1288-1289 Diego López IV de Haro
- 1289-1295 María II Díaz de Haro, first reign
- 1295-1310 Diego López V de Haro "El Intruso" ("the intruder")
- 1310-1322 María II Díaz de Haro, second reign
- 1322-1326 Juan de Haro "El Tuerto" ("one-eyed")
- 1326-1333 María II Díaz de Haro, third reign
House of Burgundy
- 1333-1334 Alfonso XI of Castile
House of Haro and Lara
- 1334-1349 María Díaz II de Haro with Juan Núñez de Lara
- 1334-1350 Juan Núñez de Lara
- 1350-1355 Nuño de Lara
- 1355-1359 Juana de Lara
House of Trastámara
Lords of Gipuzkoa
The Señorío de Guipúzcoa, as it is known in Spanish, was annexed by Alfonso VIII of Castile early on in 1200.
Lords of Álava
Álava was a señorío from about 1100 onwards when the titles to the Señorío de Álava were awarded by Queen Urraca of Castile, later by the Kings of Navarre before falling back to the Castilian crown. The last areas of the Señorío de Álava, as it is known in Spanish, were annexed by Alfonso XI of Castile in 1332.
Lords of Oñati
Between 1149 and 1845 the Lords of Oñati all hailed from the Gebara (Guevara in Spanish) family. Their titles as Lords of Oñati were originally conferred by the Kings of Navarre and after the annexation of Gipuzkoa in 1201 by the Kings of Castile. The title was lost in 1845 when Oñati was incorporated into the province of Gipuzkoa. Some members of the Gebara family included:
- Pedro Vélez de Guevara
- Íñigo Vélez de Guevara (1566–1644)
- Beltrán Vélez de Guevara (?-1652)
- Íñigo Vélez de Guevara (1642–1699)
||This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. (April 2009)|
- Kasper, M. Baskische Geschichte Primus: 1997
- Foundation for Medieval Genealogy