The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 324
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
prehended the offender, shall have the preference therein, even if
the other shall have preceded him. 3. Whenever it shall be
known that the crime does not concern the tribunal of the Saint
Hermandad,' the alcalde mayor provincial shall refer the cogni-
zance of the same to one of the ordinary alcaldes, without waiting
unttil he may be required thereto. 4. The alcalde mayor provin-
cial shall see that travelers are provided with provisions at rea-
sonable prices, as well by the proprietors of plantations, as by the
inhabitants of the places through which they may pass. 5. The
principal object of the institution of the tribunal of the Saint
Hermandad being to repress disorders, and to prevent the robberies
and assassinations committed in unfrequented places by vagabonds
and delinquents, who conceal themselves in the woods, and attack
travelers and the adjacent inhabitants, the alcalde mayor provin-
cial should assemble a sufficient number of commissaries or
brothers of the St. Hermandad to clear his jurisdiction of those
kinds of people, by pursuing them with spirit, seizing, or putting
them to flight. 6. For the purpose aforesaid, and conformably
to the usages of the other Indian provinces within the domain of
his majesty, the alcaldes mayores provinciales, their commissaries,
and the brothers of the St. Hermandad, shall have the right of
1The Santa Hermandad was a tribunal with original jurisdiction which
punished crimes committed in unsettled districts. Originally it was a
band of armed men organized to pursue criminals and highwaymen.
There were two divisions of the organization, the vieja and the nueva.
The first was organized during the minority of Alfonso VIII. of Castile
by the citizens of Toledo and Talavera as a means of defense against
certain robbers infesting the districts about Toledo and Sierra Morena.
Various kings of Spain, continuously occupied in wars, and therefore,
unable to attend to the security of the highways, gave their approval to
this organization, bestowed upon it the name of Santa Hermamdad be-
cause of its purpose and salutary influence, and granted it certain privi-
leges. The Nueva Hermandad was instituted by the laws published at
C6rdoba on July 7, 1796. Its purpose was to punish criminals encoun-
tered in the mountains and on the highways. These laws regulated the
workings of the Hermandad and converted it into a permanent organiza-
tion. The Nueva Hermandad had a system of laws (Gonstituoiones y
prontuario de los delitos) which defined its jurisdiction. (See Diocionario
Enciclopddico Hispano Americano; Novisima Recopilacion de las Leyes
de Espaa, lib. XII, tit. XXXV; Leyes de las Nueva Recopilacion que no
han sido comprendidas en la Novisima, lib. VIII, tit. XIII.)
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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/m1/331/: accessed April 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.