The mutiny of Esquilache

The mutiny of Esquilache

The town of Madrid does not shut up in the face of injustices and proof of this goes back to century XVIII when, going through hardships, he rebelled against the king's government Carlos III in the acquaintance Shearing mutiny.

The protest took place in March 1766. The ruling king in Spain was Carlos III. The king's chief minister was Leopoldo de Gregorio, better known as the Marquis of Esquilache, what was it little acceptedby the Spanish, due in part to their Italian origin.

In those years, the people of Madrid suffered discontent due to the rise in the price of basic necessities as in bread, coal, oil, dried meat due to the liberalization of the grain market.

The claim of Shearing was a change in dress of the inhabitants to try to make Spain more similar to the rest of Europe. So I wanted to substitute long capes and wide-brimmed hats for short capes and cocked hats, since, according to him, the garments used by the people of Madrid together with the lack of light in the streets they allowed hide guns and faces from criminals.

At first it was only applied in the Real home. However, despite the notices received by the Council of Castile stating that it would not feel good among the population, Esquilache ignored and the March 10, 1766 the city dawned full of posters in which it was forbidden wear this type of clothing. The discontent of the citizens was enormous and, after tearing off the posters that they found in their path, they attacked the authorities.

On Palm Sunday, two citizens were walking through the Plaza de Antón Martín with the prohibited garments, for which they were intercepted by the soldiers. After a verbal confrontation, the soldiers they tried to stop them when suddenly one of them drew a sword and whistled. At the moment appeared armed people everywhere, so the soldiers they had to flee.

While thousands of inhabitants demonstrated in the Plaza Mayor against Esquilache, they asked the Duke of Medinaceli to intercede with the king, who was unaware of gravity of the matter.

The population destroyed thousands of streetlights who had settled in the streets of the capital, they sacked the mansion of the marquis, they stormed the mansions of the Italian ministers Grimaldi and Sabatini and already at night the enraged mass burned portraits of the marquis while the king remained impassive.

After this time without the king doing anything, the day 24 the population went to Royal Palace to try to make the king see reason. The troops defending the building they opened fire and a woman passed away, which only increased the number of people gathered. After a long time, a priest He managed to appear before the king and make him a participant in the situation in the city. Either respond to the demands or they would destroy the palace.

Among the demands were the following points: Esquilache had to leave the country together with his whole family; the ministers had to be Spanish people; it would have to disband the Walloon Guard how much the population hated; prices would be reduced of commodities; should be allowed use of prohibited garments; the soldiers had to return to their barracks; and finally, the king himself must have proclaim them to the people.

Despite the refusal of the ministers, the king accepted it, calming the population. However, he made the mistake of going to the Palace of Aranjuez with his family and ministers, which once again enraged the people of Madrid thinking that I had teased them. Thousands of people then dedicated themselves to loot barracks and free the prisoners. The king had to come back and promise that would meet the demands that had been stipulated, so that people finally calmed down.

Finally, the count of Aranda he managed to get the population to renounce wearing these clothes. Shear returned to his country, Italy, making clear his discontent by stating that the population of Madrid should have made him a monument instead of throwing him out of Spain with such bad manners.

Images: Public domain

With a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was a child I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.


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