Manuela Malasaña

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Malasaña

Manuela Malasaña Oñoro, a 15-year-old seamstress from Madrid, Spain, was one of the townspeople who lost their lives during the May 2, 1808 uprising in Madrid against the troops of Napoleon I of France during the Peninsular War.

With many other young Madrilenes, the young woman went to the defence of the Monteleón artillery park (the current Plaza del 2 de Mayo). After resisting rape by the French troops, she was imprisoned and executed on the grounds that she had been carrying a weapon - a pair of scissors. She was buried in the Hospital de la Buena Dicha along with many others killed in that uprising. She is number 74 in the list of victims kept in the military archives of Madrid, out of 409. Her portrait is in the Hall of Heroines in the Museo del Ejército.

Having become famous for dying so young in what would become known in Spain as the Spanish War of Independence, she was hailed as a heroine. She is commemorated by the name of a neighbourhood in Madrid and by a street and metro station in Móstoles.