The population of Redován is maintained in a growing rhythm and at present it is between the seven and eight thousand inhabitants.
-Redovan’s name is purely Arab and refers to the knight or family who owned the town, which in the beginning was nothing else, in the whole of its term, than a farm or estate of the vast territory that then depended on Orihuela.
Some want to derive them from Farax Ben Redvan or Reduan, general of the Moorish King of Granada, who invaded and sacked Guardamar in 1331, and encamped in the foothills of our sierra, staying in the place which, for this reason, they say took then name Of his name.
But this does not seem to be the truest truth, since before 1331, in the Book of Repartimientos of Orihuela it is mentioned already with the name of “Aben-Redvan”, that means: “Of the children of Redován”; Which clearly alludes to an owner of the same name as the General, but long before him.
FROM THE RECONQUISTA TO THE S XVII
But this does not seem to be the truest truth, since before 1331, in the Book of Repartimientos of Orihuela it is mentioned already with the name of “Aben-Redvan”, that means: “Of the children of Redován”; Which clearly alludes to a proprietor of the same name as that of the General, but well before him.
Ginés Pérez de Hita, historian, who lived between 1544-1619 in his book “Civil Wars”, names the family of Reduanes among the noble and cherished Moorish knights of Granada, who came from Morocco.
From the first years of the Reconquista (1242-43) belonged to the illustrious family of MIRÓN, of which still remains in our vegetable garden (The Mirón Bridge).
Among the lords of this surname are: D. Fernando Mirón, lord of Redován, at the time of the infant Fernando, 1329, lord of Orihuela and Marquess of Tortosa, and that according to the historian Martínez Paterna, was his master of field, when The Jumilla intake. Also D. Francisco Miron, lord of Redován in 1383. In 1399 he sustained a hard civil war against D. Ramon de Rocafull, lord of Albatera.
The first brawl remarkable and of which it is known goes back to the year 1380; Is carried out by the houses of the Rocafull and the Mirons, titular of the dominions of Albatera and Redován. The question began between certain López Álvarez, friend of the Rocafull, and the children of Francesc Mirons. The origin of this dispute has also been attributed to a second motive, the abandonment by one of the Rocafull of a young Soler, whose family was linked to the Mirons, resulting in a breakup of courtship dating that ended up sowing the Disorder and bewilderment in the village.
In these situations, the authorities are aligned on both sides; Clashes transcend the field; The first homicides take place and the King has to intervene directly. The heads of each fraction are called the Court, in Orihuela acts a commissioner regio with full powers. Finally, the matter is settled by pecuniary arrangements, verbal satisfactions, written truce commitments and some temporary banishment.
By marriage with a daughter of D. Francisco Mirón, in the year 1401 was Lord of Redován D. Bernart Tapiols, remaining until 1490.
Although the slopes of our sierra were always a welcoming place (there are vestiges of ancient civilizations), the fact is that the current population starts from the time when they were lords of Redován, the Illustrious family of SANT-ANGEL.
The last years of the Reconquistade reduced this place to a great Alquería or small village, dependent of the city of Orihuela.
In 1490, D. Jaime Sant-Angel bought the Miron family the Lordship of Redován, who “was no more than a large Alquería and was to be a better land and more orchard than it is today; Because the ditch of Escorratel went much higher; But with the avenues of the ramblas grows and rises the land and decreases the orchard when the water is missing. ” (Anales de Orihuela, P. Bellot).
D. Jaime Santangel, native of Orihuela, lord of Redován, valid of the Cardinal Archbishop of Toledo Ximénez de Cisneros, is appointed by the King Ferdinand II of Aragon General Bailé of Orihuela in 1491.
The Santangelos were gentlemen of the Reconquest of Valencia and of the most notable dominions of these kingdoms and enjoyed this possession for a long time in close relation with the Oriol aristocracy, serving Redován by its proximity to Orihuela, as a place of recreation and sport.
The following year (1491) to buy the Señorío, D. Jaime, trusting in the good services that had done by Orihuela, his country, being deprived of the Catholic King, proposed to the Council of the Town that wanted to populate his inheritance of Redován of Christians and Moors , And had begun to work, in which he had to spend a lot and that the population would be difficult if he did not attract them with some freedoms. Therefore, he begged the Council to give the new settlers francs of armor and wall.
The Council instructed the jurors to see how they could be made to please Mr. Jaime and to express it in another Council.
Made relation and consulted this point, they granted frankness of sisa and right of wall for 20 years (Annals of Orihuela, P. Bellot).
After the work was completed and the site was settled, the Manor was confirmed by Decree of May 15, 1501, by King Ferdinand II of Aragon and V of Castile and by his wife, Dª Isabel.
It would be very interesting to find this Decree of the Catholic Monarchs, because it may have originated the emancipation of Redován from the city of Orihuela since, unknown to this date, and knowing with certainty that when the Lordship belonged to the Community of Dominican Fathers of College of Santo Domingo, it was the Rector of the Patriarchal College who put and deposed the mayors of this town, presumably this privilege or independence was also enjoyed by the previous lords, that is, that originated in the aforementioned Decree of the Reyes Católicos when confirming the Lordship.
If this is so, Redován became independent from Orihuela on May 15, 1501 by Decree of the Catholic Monarchs, being Lord of Redován D. Miguel Jerónimo Sant-Angel.
The SANT-ANGEL family owned the Bailía Generalde Orihuela by privilege of the Catholic Monarchs, perhaps as a reward for the help that this family lent them in the wars of Granada.
Economic System of the Region
The chroniclers draw for the seventeenth century an agricultural landscape almost similar to the previous century. The leasing domain persisted. The vine would occupy a prominent place in the local production of Redován. The mulberry tree and the olive grove would see an appreciable expansion; Other plants such as fruit trees, vegetables or rice, would reach important yields. The cultivation of wheat occupies a sector to be considered in almost all Vega Baja, growing in the best lands and obtaining excellent harvests, which contributed to its high consumption.
The silk contributed very prominently in the process of expansion of regional agriculture, appreciating a significant increase at the end of this century. The increase in the production of mulberries affected the vineyards negatively, as can be seen from the significant decrease in wine production during the same period.
Finally, the soda plant was consolidated in the middle of the XVII century as an important commercial product, whose export is fundamental for the reactivation of the regional economy.
For years the small or medium property continued to predominate in the Oriolana orchard. This is not the case in the villages and dependencies of Orihuela, Catral, Callosa, Almoradí, Guardamar, etc., where property became more frequent the further away the place of the main urban center. Some of these places ended up falling under the Sunday regime, as is the case of Rafal, Molins and Redován.
Social structures in Redován: lords and vassals
Dominicans, owners of the University of Orihuela, dominated through it the intellectual life of the region. They possessed sufficient economic power to acquire the village, terms and lordship of Redovan, becoming part of the monastery’s estates as early as 1632.
The College of Preachers of the city of Orihuela constituted, together with the Cabildo Catedralicio, the most important religious Institution of the region, while maintaining a close relationship with the cultural field through the University of Orihuela. These organizations were integrated by Dominicans, but it was more than their links with the agrarian exploitation that constituted the economic support of the city. Among other things, the chapter on loans and the status of “Mr. de Vasallos”, which will provide them with numerous and varied sources of income, could be mentioned.
With the exception of the lordship of Redovan, the conditions governing the relations between the feudal lord and the vassals in the years immediately after 1609, are now a difficult question to explain in regard to the Bajo Segura. If the chapters arranged between the neighbors of the place of Redován and the College of Preachers of the city of Orihuela should serve as an example; It should be noted that the refeudalization observed in other Letters Pueblas of the Valencian Country did not imply to Redován an extreme hardness for the vassal submitted to the lord. Perhaps the weight of a tradition of less harsh relations than those which, for the moment, were intended to impose had to be decisively influenced. On the other hand, the vassals suffered the dramatic depopulation that devastated the region and made it impossible for the lords to overcome their demands in the fear of not having labor to cultivate their lands. In any case, the capacity of resistance of the vassals of Redován hindered the pretensions of the feudal lord and the possibilities of refeudalización that the feudal class obtained in other parts of the kingdom.
Adjudication of the place of Redován
The award of Redován’s place, however, was not resolved in favor of the said Jerome Rocamora, but it was the College of Preachers who, having withdrawn in his position, resolved the purchase of Redován following the trajectory initiated in the line of Increased investment in land acquisition.
In this way, together with the residents of Redován, together with representatives of the College, it was agreed by both parties to accept and approve the chapters signed by D. Jerónimo Rocamora, with the modification of one of them in favor of the new vassals. The deed of acceptance was signed on January 4, 1615, and on April 7 of the same year, and the College was obliged to redeem, as long as the purchase was completed in its favor, the two thousand livres of the censuses; The payment of the corresponding pensions in the meantime would not be redeemed.
By a Decree of the Real Audienciade Valencia, on May 2, 1615, the place of Redován was finished for the price of 12,000 pounds, in favor of the College of Preachers, taking possession of it on January 12, 1616. The Dominicans thus became Gentlemen and possessors of:
“tot lo terme, territori, montañas, dehessa, e de tot lo territori, e terra culta e inculta, plana e montuosa…juntament ab los fruits, rendes, y emoluments a senyors pertanyent jurisdiccio alfonsina civil y criminal y ab tots los drets, termes y petinencies de aquell”.
Rents of Redován in the first half of the century: the term Redován was composed at this time of the orchard of Redován and Hortanova and the Field of Ramblar. The garden of Redován was distributed among enphteutas who paid a census in money, between the five and the eight salaries by taulla and in the lands newly established from 1700, the pensions corresponding to a redeemable census imposed by value of said establishment. Hortanova and part of the Ramblar were cultivated directly by the Dominicans, using salaried labor; The remaining part of the Ramblar by enfiteutas and “to terrague” or partition of fruits consisting in the seventh part of the harvest.
The evolution of income in money from Redován’s levy rights shows a stagnation throughout the first half of the century, given the scarce possibilities of extending the crop. But above all to the acquisitions of the useful domain by the College, thus reducing the properties of the acolytes. Properties that the College exploited directly showed a growing interest in the capitalist exploitation of the land when feudal relations could not be hardened or when the economic value of the empiricist census had been greatly neglected. This tendency is not very clear at all, but it may be symptomatic that the Dominicans granted new plots on which they imposed censuses for their value, while the so-called “Rooms of Redovan”, previously assigned in emphyteusis, were appreciated.
The year 1743 represents an important turning point in the number of settlers that also reflected the evolution of the census and the acreage cultivated by them. Some of them had to leave the place, but at the end of the period the previous population had already recovered. The one that did not manage to return to the initial level was the extension of the ceded land, after the purchase made by the own School of 188 tahúllas, that constituted the “Rooms of Redován” – and some more to cultivate them for own account. Although no data are available for tahullas cultivated by redheads from the Redován orchard prior to 1734, the total sum of 1532, a fourth and thirteen fathoms can be counted for that year. By 1743 these had fallen to 1346 and ten years later – in 1753 – they were 1360.
Election of parish: first parish priest of Redován
In 1602 parish was chosen and was named parish priest of the same to D. Agustín Cáspedes and Oria Castellano, that ascended the rights to 300 annual pounds.
During the exercise of the parish priest D. Esteban Ferrer and Galindo, the Palace which is now occupied by the Redován City Council is completed, and the conclusion dates from 1726, and the Most Reverend Father Fray Domingo Fenoll was rector.
In its origin it was endowed with “several rooms, bedrooms and study rooms, dining room, kitchen, pantries, beautiful view and several balconies of iron; Its halls were adorned with more than forty portraits of saints, pontiffs, and writers of the Order. “
According to the Manuscript of Magister Montesinos, in 1782 curtains, tables and several maps of the Master and Rector Fray Antonio Gálvez were added. In this palace, with separate stairs and door to the street, is the hall of the City Hall, with its file, tables and chairs; To one side is the mill where the oil of all the farmers of the term of Redován was made. In front is the royal jail. The hamlet was very ordinary and the neighborhood, very poor.
Towards the middle of years 70, being mayor of the population D. Antonio Ruiz Lizón, was modified and enabled for Municipal Consistory. Nowadays in 2000 it has been restored, modernizing its rooms, making them more functional and modifying its exterior appearance, keeping part of the traditional elements.
According to annotations of Antonio J. De Cavanillas towards the year 1800, in the description that realizes of the towns and landscapes of the Vega Baja, appears Redován to the foot of the mountain range. At the southern roots of the steep mountain lies Redovan, village of 124 neighbors.
The war against Napoleon, begun in May 1808, brought with it the general increase of taxes throughout the territory. The economic difficulties, caused by the climatic catastrophes and the outbreaks of epidemics, crumbled the weak municipal coffers.
Also in our town was felt the intensity of the war, since young men between 16 and 40 years old were enlisted.
In economic terms, Vega Baja was ravaged by the natural disasters (earthquakes) of March 1832. The balance of the tragedy was a large number of wounded and sick, and significant material losses.
In the following years, there were harsh social reactions. The death of the king at the end of September of 1833 left free the way to the movements latent from previous years. The Carlist movement in the Bajo Segura Comarca, and particularly in Orihuela, intensified.
Between 1839 and 1840, the liberal regime entered the process of stabilization and the political struggle, although it repeatedly used arms, followed other procedures; It was the confrontation between moderates and progressives.
After the brief republican experience; Spain begins a new political career marked by the Restoration system. From this stage is conserved in the Municipal Archive the Book of Sessions where appears the electoral census of the year 1889.
In 1847, Redován had 160 houses, including the Palace of the College of Preachers of Orihuela. Its industry consisted of five oil mills and some looms. The population in fact was of 1591 inhabitants and the one of right of 1665. According to the statistic of 900, they know to read 58 males and 56 females; Read and write, 143 males and females; Do not know how to read, 571 males and 715 females.