Ferrol - Urban History
Statue of the Marquis of Amboage, Dolores Square (early twentieth century)

At the end of the nineteenth century in Spain it became fashionable to dedicate statues in honour of local philanthropists. In 1895 the city council of Ferrol erected in Dolores Square a statue of the Marquis of Amboage, who four years earlier had created a foundation for providing money to young men born in Ferrol in order to avoid military service. It was a highly controversial matter, the legal possibility of escaping recruitment by paying 2,000 pesetas, representing two years of a worker's salary, at a time when the Second Cuban Insurrection would decimate the sons of the Spanish working class. But barely any funds were destined for its original purpose, and when payment to avoid military service was abolished in 1912, the money was used for other charitable purposes. Control of the Amboage Foundation became an important political issue: throughout the decade after 1910 the son of the Marquis was re-elected MP for the district of Ferrol.

Ferrol City Council, Postcard collection