The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 299
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Municipal Government of San Fernando de Bexar. 299
and Vicente Alvarez Travieso, alguacil mayor.' Only married
men were chosen, and the preference was given to the older men
among this number.
The documents I have examined in the B6xar Archives show
that various names were applied to the body thus organized. The
titles used in the Becopilacion when speaking of the bodies charged
with the municipal government of ciudades, villas or lugares are
consejo, ayuntamiento, or cabildo, justicia, y regimiento. The
later form is used in the minutes of the cabildo of San Fernando
throughout the period under consideration. During its early his-
tory it was usually referred to simply as the cabildo. Still other
names used were consejo municipal, and cuerpo municipal. Forms of
address were Muy Illustre Cabildo, Noble Cabildo, and Illustre Ca-
bildo, Justicia, y Regimiento. Toward the end of the century the
name ayuntamiento almost superseded that of cabildo; and this,
in turn, during the first quarter of the nineteenth century was dis-
placed by the term municipalidad.
To understand the government thus organized a brief considera-
tion of the history of the Spanish municipality is necessary; for,
although all cabildos under Spanish dominion had certain features
in common there were peculiar customs developed in each indi-
vidual case. History will show that there was great latitude for
the growth of these differences. During the eleventh and twelfth
centuries the kings of Spain organized consejos in the various
settlements of their dominion. These bodies were composed of all
citizens or of all heads of families in the pueblos, and were used
as a means of holding in check the nobles who always stood ready
to usurp the royal power. The consejos supervised the economic
activities of the settlement and exercised civil and criminal juris-
diction in all cases except those coming under the cognizance of
the king himself, and appeals were taken directly from these con-
sejos to the king. They elected alcaldes and other judicial officers
together with certain administrative and military officials. The
size of the consejos, however, proved inconvenient. Therefore,
during the fourteenth century, the number was restricted, and the
germ of the modern ayuntamiento was formed. A system of
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905, periodical, 1905; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/m1/306/: accessed February 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.