Luis Candelas, the Madrid bandit

Luis Candelas, the Madrid bandit

Luis Candelas He was one of the most famous bandits in Spain. He was known especially in Madrid, the place where he was born and where he is still remembered today. His story has been represented numerous times on the big screen and he was someone who still it lives on in the memory of the people of Madrid.

Was born February 9, 1804 very close to Toledo Street, in the Lavapiés neighborhood of Madrid, within a wealthy family. As a young man he worked in the carpentry that his father had. In addition, as a child he had been instilled the value for reading, which became one of his great hobbies and making him work as a bookseller some time later.

However, in his teens he already began his adventures. He was first prosecuted when he was barely 15 years old, accused of robbery. Two years later, he was booked for being a homeless man and a year later he was arrested and sentenced to six years in prison and forced labor in Malaga for having stolen two horses and a mule. But nevertheless, managed to escape just 8 months later. He was caught again but he was pardoned in 1825.

During the time that he had been free, he had taken a band of companions who helped him in his misdeeds. His blows were increasing in gravity, since they went on to kidnap people, rob homes and even kill, although it is assured that Candelas never stained his hands with nobody's blood and that, in fact, it is said that he behaved correctly and even with extreme delicacy.

It is said that one of the misdeeds he committed was posing as a wealthy Indian from Peru thanks to a small fortune he had inherited. Thus he obtained a respectable facade while continuing to commit crimes on the other hand. During this time it is said that he kept romances with ladies of high society of the moment.

Most of his crimes were scams in which it was made with wallets, watches or jewelry thanks to cunning tricks. It was also located on the outskirts of the city, on the roads that gave access to the capital, to rob the stagecoaches that transited the area and fleece its occupants of everything they carried.

Used to meet his band in a bar located at the back of the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. It was called El Chuchillo and it was on Imperial Street, nowadays disappeared, very close to the current restaurant Las Cuevas de Luis Candelas.

But his actions were cut short when he was arrested again. He stole a horse-drawn carriage and the loot included A layer. One day he was walking through Puerta del Sol with his cape on when he identified by the previous owner of such a garment. He quickly went to the police who soon arrested him. Was sentenced to pass 14 years in the fortress of El Hacho, in Ceuta. However, while being transported, ran away again.

At this point, he began to consider the possibility of a good blow and withdraw from the life of a bandit to end the end of his days with ease in some foreign country. Thus, he decided to commit three more jobs within a month to get so desired amount of parné.

The first job consisted of enter a priest's house, whom they bound and gagged along with the household service. Then they ransacked the house, taking everything they found of value. The second was the assault on a shopkeeper on Segovia street. But it was the third that would mark his end.

It was carried out February 12, 1837, Carnival Saturday, at the house of the official tailor of the Queen Regent María Cristina. Candelas and two cronies dressed up in fancy clothes. Upon arriving at the house, they said they were messengers from France and that they brought a letter for the lady, since they had found out that the tailor was anxiously waiting news from your daughter, who was in Paris.

Upon entering the house, they went directly to where the woman was. They tied her together with the service and they gagged them just as they had done in their other acts. They searched the whole house taking all the objects that I value What did you find. While the robbery was taking place, the laundress, one of the maids, two elderly women and two friends of the tailor arrived at the house, who were shown into the same room where she was being held. The robbery caused great dismay in the city.

Candelas and her lover fled to northern Spain. They were heading to Gijón, Asturias, to flee the country. But the woman I was afraid to leave the country, and more seeing that all the members of the band they had been detained. Therefore, they decided to travel to Portugal. I try to sell some of the jewelry that he had stolen to get money. But nevertheless, on July 18, 1837 in Valladolid, was awakened by the police who had found him after days of searching. Trying to sell the jewelry had ended up giving him away.

It was moved to Madrid guarded by a large police reinforcement, so he could not escape. Besides, the notoriety that had been created did not even the bribes yield in its favor. His trial lasted three months and despite pleas from his attorney to try to have his life spared, he was ultimately found guilty on 40 counts and condemned to death in the vile club.

He was taken to the cell of those sentenced to death on November 4, 1837. As a last action he sent a petition for pardon to Queen María Cristina arguing that she had never killed anyone, but was rejected. Two days later, to At 11 a.m, was taken to the scaffold located in the exterior of the Puerta de Toledo.

There he went more people than expected, to the point that the guard had to open the way for the car in which Candelas was going to pass. He sat in the execution chair by his own foot and asked to say a few words: “As a man, I have sinned, but I have never stained my hands with the blood of others. Be happy, my country! ”. Afterwards, the sentence was carried out and Candelas was executed.

Images: Public domain

Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little 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.

Video: Las Cuevas De Luis Candelas - Madrid