Ferrol - Urban History
House of the Commander-in-Chief of the Dockyard, behind the Dock Gate (2004)

The uprisings that took place amongst the population of Ferrol protesting against wage arrears and high prices of bread became more and more frequent after 1790, coinciding with the financial difficulties of the monarchy and the lead-up to war, then reaching their peak between 1808-10, during the years of the Napoleonic invasion. In 1810, during one such revolt, General Vargas, the Commander-in-Chief of the Naval Department, was murdered. A group of women went through the Dock Gate that led to an area off limits to the civil population, joining with the 'maestranza' and attacking their master's house (at the right in the photo), from which they dragged him out along the 'Alameda'. He was then stabbed in front of the building housing the Prison and the town hall, and his body dumped at the Shipyard Gate, next to the treasury office from which the wages were paid.

Photograph by the author