What is mayorazgo?

What Does mayorazgo Mean

The mayorazgo is an institution that is part of the civil law and that allows to maintain the ownership of certain rights or assets within a family . Its scope is given by the conditions dictated in its establishment or by the prescriptions of the law; at present its validity is limited to noble titles .

Formerly the mayorazgo was constituted as a way of distributing the goods for the benefit of the first - born . In this way, the family patrimony was not dispersed.
While sales and various inheritances could undermine the wealth and power of a family, the mayorazgo was a system that guaranteed the maintenance of privileges.

The assets linked to a mayorazgo, in short, could not be distributed as inheritance or alienated . At the same time, it was possible to incorporate new elements into the relationship. In this way, everything included in the mayorazgo was indissolubly inherited by a single person , who used to be the first-born male, although it could be another son.
At the time of setting the conditions of the mayorazgo, the obligations acquired by the heir were also defined . One of the most common was the adoption of the surname if you did not have it.
The regulation of the mayorazgo was carried out through the so-called laws of Toro in the year 1505, when the Catholic Monarchs reigned. These arose from the legislative activity and were set after the death of Queen Isabel in the city of Toro, in the framework of a meeting of the Cortes. It is a group of 83 laws that were promulgated on March 7 in the name of Juana I of Castile , then queen.
It was in Isabel's will that the royal family found the initiative to design these laws, which began with the creation of a commission of lawyers, among whom were doctors Juan López Palacios Rubio, Lorenzo Galíndez de Carvajal and Días de Montalvo and the Bishop of Córdoba.
Although the mayorazgo arose, therefore, in the realm of royalty, it is worth mentioning that some families of the bourgeoisie , which at that time began to emerge in Castile, also subscribed to this legal figure to carry out the control of the subdivision of their assets and protect their economic power.
In general, the mayorazgo was created in more than one phase; In the first one, a solar house or a plot of land was usually linked , sometimes including a noble title, which passed with all other assets. Those who were excluded from the mayorazgo were in some way granted the status of nobility (a term that in Spain and Portugal is used as a synonym for "nobility", but also for "nobility without title").

Although the mayorazgo gave them the possibility of adding other assets to the bond , it did not allow them to distribute in inheritance or alienate those that had already been linked. This institution was the last of a long number of privileges that the Castilian nobles received from Enrique IV . Later, the Catholic Monarchs granted them positions in the government, and in this way they became more influential and powerful than those of the other kingdoms.
The Casa del Mayorazgo de los Cáceres , on the other hand, is a building that is located in Segovia , a city of the Spanish community of Castilla y León . Construction began as a fortress that protected the walls of the city .
In the municipality of Aldeasoña ( Segovia ), meanwhile, there is another Casa del Mayorazgo . It is a manor house built by the Núñez family so that their heritage would not be divided.

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