GALICIAN LIBERAL REVOLUTION OF 1846: Development of events

Many events happened from the beginning of the uprising until the end, we present now how events developed during the Galician Liberal Revolution of 1846.


      • Carlist War I [Guerra Carlista I]
      • Political Instability: Multiple Governments
      • Constitution of 1837
      • Revolutions during the Regency of María Cristina
      • Revolutions during the Regency of Espartero
      • Moderate Decade
      • Revolutionary Boards in Galicia
      • Revolutions during the Reign of Elizabeth II
      • Constitution of 1845



GALICIAN LIBERAL REVOLUTION OF 1846: Development of events

In the days that followed, this information was published in various newspapers such as El Eco del Comercio de Madrid in its number of April 9, 1846, El Español and Clamor Público of April 12, 1846 (11) where they reproduced their intentions and motivations:

As the head of the uprising was the battalion chief (4) and not General Espartero, the military commanders of the other militar units did not support the sedition movement.

In A Coruña, headquarters of the Captaincy General, Captain General Francisco Puig Samper by Royal Order of the day April 3, 1846 was replaced by Juan de Villalonga.

On April 4, 1846 the Provincial Regiment of Zamora and a squadron of lancers rose up in Santiago de Compostela of Villaviciosa, who paraded greeting with the Himno de Riego after the proclamation.

Solís hoped a general upriging in the Plaza of A Coruña, but the interim captain general Juan de Villalonga took action against Solís and his followers. For this reason, he decides to close the roads to get into the city, thus aborting any possible uprising by the population or some other battalion that could be added in case of penetrating the city with his force and imprisoning all the radical progressives from A Coruña who were in favor of this coup.

The same 4 April 1846 the 1st and 3rd Battalions of Regiment of Zamora commanded by Francisco Puig Samper left A Coruña to go to Santiago de Compostela to confront the coup plotters in Lugo.

In the city of Sacrament, Lugo, the Arms and Defense Board was formed, chaired by the leader of the Progressive Party, Pío Rodríguez Terrazo. A few days later he created in Santiago de Compostela the Higher Board of the Government of Galicia (5).

In Santiago de Compostela, on April 5, 1846, the students of the University of the city issued a proclamation calling to arms. Antonio Romero Ortiz harangued the Compostela students by referring to the action of Alba de Tormes during the War of the Independence. Thus, a new Literary Battalion of the University of Santiago de Compostela was formed with two companies, although only the first could be armed.

On April 7, the Board of Santiago de Compostela appointed Miguel Solís Cuetos field marshal (7). A week later, on April 15, Leoncio de Rubín de Celís y Oroña was also promoted to field marshal, avoiding splitting problems and having two expeditionary divisions. The Government of Narváez had in those days A Coruña, Ourense and Ferrol under control.

On the same day, April 7, Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas harangued his supporters in Lugo before leaving for Santiago de Compostela (7):

Soldiers, three years of the most iniquitous despotism have passed us by; and in these three years a bastard power wanted to level us with the Janissaries of Constantinople, wanted to isolate you from the people of whom you are children; he wanted even more, because he tried to tear the entrails of the beloved country with your bayonets, now sharpened to defend the nation and its sacred rights… Only to guide you to victory, I have accepted the appointment of field marshal with which he has deigned honor me the meritorious Board de Santiago… Just to defend people and laws, I have put myself at your head; Just by sending soldiers like you, I have sworn before the face of the whole of Europe to restore the nationality of Spain and the independence of her children. Is it not true that in your heart there is only one single thought? Is it not true that on your lips there is only one cry? Yes, the freedom or death, companions!!

Francisco Puig Samper’s troops met Solís’ ones on April 8, 1846 in Sigüeiro when they were on their way to A Coruña along the Camino Real (Royal Way). The troops fraternized and there was no confrontation, so Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas asked Puig Samper to join the uprising and call a truce.

During this truce, the troops of Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas headed for Pontevedra, where Commander Manuel Buceta del Villar proclaimed the uprising on April 9, 1846.

On April 10, 1846 the Brigadier Leoncio Rubín de Celís y Oroña rose up in Vigo. The insurrection spread to Muros, Noia, A Pobra do Caramiñal, Ortigueira, Ribeira, Rianxo, Padrón, Caldas de Reyes, A Guarda and Tui, Lousame, Betanzos et cetera (7).

Francisco Puig Samper entered Santiago de Compostela on April 11, 1846 following the trail of Miguel Solís Cuetos who was heading towards Pontevedra.

When they arrived in Padrón, Marshal Solís heard about the uprising in Cidade Olívica (Olive City), Vigo, and returned to Santiago.

Before the return of Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas’ troops, Francisco Puig Samper retreated to the bridge over the Tambre River in Sigüeiro on April 12, 1846, where Mariscal Solís caught up him the next day, April 13, 1846, having a confrontation.

Francisco Puig Samper withdrew to A Coruña, but Juan de Villalonga prevented them from passing as long as they did not repress the insurrection, moreover they mistrusted the loyalty of the 1st and 3rd battalions of the Regiment of Zamora.

That same day, Leoncio Rubín de Celis y Oroña was promoted to Field Marshal by the Board de Santiago de Compostela, as was Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas, who was heading to the 2nd Battalion of Zamora and Provincials of Oviedo, Zamora, Segovia, Gijón and Villaviciosa Squadron.

On April 15, 1846, the Arms and Defense Board created in Santiago de Compostela was dissolved, creating instead the Galician Superior Governing Board, joining the so-called provincialists, publishing the following manifesto made by the secretary and journalist Antolín Faraldo Asorey (27):

By taking on their shoulders a mission as honorable as delicate, they can only announce that they will fulfill it with resolution and loyalty, while leaving the task of justifying their actions, even though the life of their individuals is a public good, so that it can inspire mistrust. Harmonize all the desires and all the wills, direct the efforts of the peoples and troops to a single goal, centralizing the revolutionary action, and creating an active and intelligent directorate; that puts the four provinces of Galicia in a state of deploying all their formidable power to propagate this uprising, as pure and legitimate for its origin as it is sublime and immense for its purpose, will be the main tasks of the superior board. No obstacle will make her go back on her march, and from the height where events place her, she will call the peoples to break their chains in front of the tyrants.

He also believes, within his conscience, he has another duty to fulfill with respect to Galicia. Until now, the revolution has been a horrible lie, an impious farce… It is time to carry out the charming promises repeated by the false priests of politics, reaping the fruits of so much self-sacrifice and sacrifice. The people will conquer in this revolution what the comedians of the proclamation have taken from them: BREAD and RIGHTS. Galicia, dragging an opprobrious existence here, converted into a true colony of the court, is going to rise from its humiliation and despondency. This Board, a sincere friend of the country, will constantly dedicate itself to enlarging the ancient kingdom of Galicia, giving beneficial direction to the numerous elements that it treasures within it, raising the foundations of a future of glory. To achieve this, he will tirelessly strive to promote material interests, create public customs, open the natural sources of his wealth, agriculture and commerce, and bring into harmony with the times the habits and ideas left by a decrepit society, founded on the ignorance. Awakening the powerful feeling of provincialism, and directing all talents and efforts to a single object, Galicia will succeed in conquering the influence that it deserves, placing itself in the high place to which the ancient Kingdom of the Sueves is called. May the sword of Galicia tilt the scales in which the destinies of Spain are weighed once.

Galician: the Provisional Superior Board does not hesitate to assure you that, counting on your frank support, it will make our province feared and respected by nationals and foreigners.

Homeland and Freedom.

Santiago April 15, 1846.

Pio Rodríguez Terrazzo, president.

Jose Maria Santos. Ramon Buck.

By agreement of the board, Antolín de Faraldo, secretary.


With the news that Field Marshal José de la Concha was on his way to Galicia to put down the rebellion by order of General Narváez, Leoncio Robin and Miguel Solís Cuetos decided to divide their forces in the direction of the two gates of Galicia. Leoncio Robin went to Ourense and Miguel Solís Cuetos went to Lugo. The last one would first pass through A Coruña and Ferrol (7). The intention was to dominate the four Galician provinces and occupy their borders by positioning soldiers for their defense.

The Field Marshal José de la Concha used the Map of Domingo Fontán, “the most exact that exists of that territory” according to Juan Do Porto (28).

On April 15, 1846, there was a meeting in the former school of Fonseca at 10:00 in which Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas was present, General in Chief of the liberating army of Galicia, the Field Marshal don Leoncio de Rubín, chief of the second division, don Pio Rodríguez Terrazo, President of the Board of Santiago de Compostela, Mr. José Maria Santos, of the Pontevedra Board, and Mr. Ramon Buch, of Vigo and some emigrants from Portugal, where there had also been uprisings against the Ministry Costa-Cabral and the system tax issue, Mr. Solís (16) stated:

Centralizing the powers of the uprising, give impetus and unity to a all elements the Revolution of Galicia conquers for save the throne and the institutions; directing a single purpose the efforts of the Boards existing and that successively become the rose up towns.

That same April 15, 1846 the member of the Provisional Superior Board of Government of Galicia, Pedro Martir Molins, collected that day in a edict the following:

Who said that the limited time of 15 days was enough to consummate the most legitimate revolution that all the peoples of the world can boast! 15 days ago two million men were the vile patrimony of four proconsuls without probity, without honor, without principles, without other titles than the miserable livery of a traitor General, the hero of Ardoz; and today these two million citizens rise upto shake so much tyranny, and today these lackeys of Narváez only extend their infamous domain into the walls of A Coruña. What a sublime lesson for tyrants! What an eloquent example for the peoples! Poland and Italy must learn from us. Ireland, Turkey, all nations oppressed by the iron hand of despotism; because like other Romans we have expelled from our fields, thrown out of our houses, thrown out of our cities these modern Gauls who plundered us, who sold us at public auction like the Jews of the 12th century. Is it not true, farmers, this no longer does the swarm of starving executioners take away from you the only blanket on your bed with which you used to cover your limbs numb from the cold? Is it not true that the intrigue of a venal judge no longer throws you for a firman into the filthy gloom of a dungeon? Isn’t it true that the barbaric stupidity of a cop doesn’t mistreat you to get a fine imposed by the hunger of money, and obtained with the mouth of a blunderbuss? God lives these times have passed for us! Only the gall of the memory of him remains in our hearts; and this memory will be the enthusiasm of men and women, children and the elderly to rise up en masse, to gather on the hills, in the ravines, on the precipices, and there, if necessary, to cover the earth again as in 1808 with the slaves of a second Ney who had the audacity to challenge our power. Because then our war would be greater, holier, more worthy of us than the one of Independence: at that time our fathers fought just to rescue a king and today we fight to win a piece of bread for our mouths, a homeland for our sons! What a difference of circumstances, what a difference of times! And that even then as now a woman played from the royal room with our life, with our fortunes, with our dignity! And that even then the dictator of Spain was a commoner like us, but without time, without knowing, without shame. What a shame for Spain! The scepter of dictatorships was always wielded by the Commodos and Caligulas and never by the Caesars and Napoleons! At least with these our slavery would be strewn with flowers! But it was better that way; because in this way WE LEARNED TO BE FREE!

Other uprisings throughout Spain are commented on that same edict, as is the case of the uprising in Girona.

Field Marshal Leoncio Rubín did not achieve his objective: he did not manage to take Ourense. The decision of dividing forces to take Galicia and defend the borders made reduction of his combat capacity. In the withdrawal of the attempt to take the Cidade das Termas (City of the Baths), Leoncio Rubín went into exile in Portugal.

When Solís’ troops arrived in the vicinity of A Coruña, they could not access the city and camped in Alto de Eirís to wait for the city’s uprising. On April 17, 1846 at six in the afternoon, Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas went to Betanzos and Ferrol to try an uprising in these cities, although the result was the same than in A Coruña: negative. (4)

On the morning of April 23, 1846(7), the hosts of Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas along with a unit of young university students from Santiago de Compostela, who had managed to create a Literary Battalion commanded by Antolín Faraldo (4), they faced the troops of José de la Concha in the well-known battle of Cacheiras. Artillery and rifles were used there.

The hosts of Miguel Solís Cuetos shouted: Long live free Queen! Stop the dictator!

The troops of José de la Concha tied under the command of Long live the Queen! Death to traitors!

The Battle of Cacheiras was decided by the Cavalry of José de la Concha when Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas was forced to retreat to the city of Santigo de Compostela, after the cavalry attacked the flanks of the troops of Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas.

In Santiago de Compostela, according to an article by the Domingo Fontán Foundation, the troops of Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas kidnapped Archbishop Rafael de Vélez, taking refuge in the Monastery of San Martino Pinario.

At seven in the afternoon the troops of Miguel Solís Cuetos surrendered. Miguel Solís Cuetos surrendered as a prisoner due to the failed coup in exchange for none of those who supported him being executed for this uprising.

José de la Concha took prisoner 1,400 soldiers from the 2nd Regiment of Zamora and the Provincials of Segovia and Gijón, as well as 54 officers and, as mentioned in the reference (4), he and his troops also sacked Santiago de Compostela.

Initially, the intention was to take them to the city of A Coruña to submit them to a War Council. Captain General Villalonga had as a requirement of General Narváez to give an exemplary punishment to these rebels (4). Given the fear on the part of Captain General Villalongo of a popular uprising of the people of A Coruña, he appointed a special military court. On April 25, 1846 the prisoners were taken to the town of Ordes.(4)

In the absence of an authority willing to sign the execution order in Ordes, they went to Carral. In the town of Carral, Mayor Fernando Insua gave his authorization for the execution to take place (4).

On April 26, 1846, Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas was tried by the special military court (4)(7), according to Nós Diario there was no military trial (29), in Carral with the death sentence. That April 26, 1846 at dawn, Miguel Solís Cuetos Cuevas was taken to the atrium of the parish church of Santo Estevo de Paleo, in town of Carral (Province of A Coruña). There a sergeant, nine officers and Miguel himself were shot (4). Miguel Solís, head of the uprising, requested permission to the platoon, refusing to turn his back on his executioners and to be blindfolded (4). That day April 26, 1846, a large part of the insurgents embarked on the brig Nervión from Vigo with the intention of going into exile in Portugal, according to Pascual Madoz (30), thanks to the Portuguese warship that would pick them up at a point on the high seas (5). Among them were Hermógenes Villanueva, Antolín Faraldo and others from the Portuguese pavilion, who took refuge after their escapes in the house of the Baron de Ortega.

The 2nd Regiment of Zamora was dissolved and the imprisoned soldiers were sent to the Ceuta Prison or to serve overseas. These executed soldiers would be known as Los Mártires de Carral.(7)

On April 27, 1846, General Concha went into Vigo, a city that suffered a naval blockade to prevent arms from England, sent by Espartero.

On 28 April 1846, General Concha entered Lugo, concluding the campaign. The execution of First Sergeant D. Antonio Samitier took place on May 4, 1846 in the city of Betanzos.

MARTYRS OF CARRAL: Why are those shot in Carral in 1846?

The sufferings and calamities that the well-known martyrs of Carral went through are documented by the priest of the Santo Estevo de Paleo Parish, where they were executed. In the death certificate he recorded the following sentences (7):

“Horrifying spectacle. Sad Memory.”

“…and they were inhumanly sacrificed to the bloody will of their executioners, especially Colonel Cachafeiro, who would have committed more inhumanities after death had I not presented myself as representing divine justice.”

A year after those executed on April 23, 1846, Antolín Faraldo Asorey and his companions were amnestied, thus being able to return to the Port of Santander October 24, 1847, according to The Echo of Trade. Even the Baldomero Espartero was able to return to Grado (Asturias) as stated in El Clamor Público of January 22, 1848.

The main reason for being considered martyrs is that the State itself and Queen Elizabeth herself have considered them Martyrs of Liberty. Until now, it is important to cknow some historical data.

Government of Espartero in exile promoted and financed the Proclamation of 1846 against the Government of Narváez.

The end of the “Moderate Decade”, a period of time known like this because power was held by the moderates for approximately 10 years, came with the Proclamation of the progressives. This uprising is known as “La Vicalvarada”. Thus began a new period: “The Progressive Biennium”.

On July 19, 1854, Baldomero Espartero, Duke of La Victoria, was called to form a government.

One month later, on August 28 1854, Queen Mother María Cristina de Borbón again left for exile in France.

In the Boletín oficial de la Provincia de Lugo (Official Bulletin of the Province of Lugo) of January 9, 1855 (13) appears the Royal Order of December 12, 1855, signed by Queen Elizabeth II:

Queen Elizabeth II, by the grace of God and the Queen of Spain Constitution, where the creation of the Board for the formation of files related to the declaration shot in the town of Carral in 1846 as Beneméritos de la Patria (Meritorious of the Homeland) and other rewards agreed by the Courts. By mandate of this same order, those of the martyrs, their ashes, had to be transferred to the city of Santiago de Compostela and placed in a monument with a budget of 120,000 reais for the monument. The Cruz del Valor y Constancia is also awarded to all those who armed arms in the uprising and the Cruz de San Fernando to the 25 nationals of Santiago de Compostela who were found in the action of April 23, 1846 under the orders of the aforementioned Colonel Solis.

Given at the Palace on December 12, 1855 – I THE QUEEN – The Minister of the Interior Julian de Huelves

The Queen (q.D.g.)

Thus they entered as martyrs in the list that progressive liberalism draws up since the War of Independence.

MARTYRS OF CARRAL: Who are the Martyrs of Carral?

Those declared Meritorious of the Homeland (13) by the Royal Order who were shot on April 26, 1846 in Carral they are the following (4)(5)(13):

  • Miguel Solís Cuetos: Colonel Commander of the General Staff
  • Commander Victor Velasco
  • Captains:
    • Manuel Ferrer
    • Jacinto Dabán
    • Fermín Mariné
    • Ramón José Llorens
    • Juan Sanchez
    • Ignacio de la Infanta
    • Santiago the Key
    • Francisco Marquez
    • Jose Martinez
    • Felipe Valero

One of those Beneméritos de la Patria (13) was shot on May 4, 1846 in the ccity Betanzos:

  • First Sergeant Mr. Antonio Samitier (14)

Miguel Solís Cuetos and Fermín Mariné, up to a total of twelve individuals, eleven in Carral and one in Betanzos, who, practically all of them, were not Galician, and all of them with very different personal stories that came together before that firing squad

MARTYRS OF CARRAL: Liberator of Galicia

Miguel Solís Cuetos, was born in San Fernando, Cádiz, on March 27, 1816. He was educated in a school run by the priest Feliú, a man with liberal ideas, which led to the closure of the school by order of the absolutist government of Fernando VII.

In 1829 he entered the navy occupying a guard position in the Royal Navy, after brilliantly passing all the entrance exams, remaining in it until 1836. He participated in the Carlist wars in Aragon, where he reached the rank of captain and lieutenant colonel, for his performance in Molina de Aragón in 1840. He also participated in the esparterist uprisings of 1840 and 1842.

In 1842 he entered the body of the General Staff being assigned to San Sebastian. In 1845 he was assigned to A Coruña as the first commander and accessing the General Staff of the General Captaincy of Galicia. On April 2, 1846 he led the progressive uprising in the San Fernando barracks (Lugo), under the command of the Second Regiment of Zamora, during those days he would be known as “The liberator of Galicia“. On April 23, in the battle of Cacheiras he is defeated. Judged in Carral, he was shot with eleven of his officers. On April 27, the uprising ended.

Ten years after the events, the newspaper “La Oliva”, a newspaper on politics, literature and material interests as they defined themselves, made at least two publications at the “carral victims“, one of them on April 26, 1856.

In the article in “La Oliva” (14) those shot in Carral and Betanzos are remembered as those who were considered at that time heroes and worthy of the country:

Yesterday’s crime is heroic action today: the criminals of that dayday are now worthy of the country.

Aurelio Agoikre Galarraga dedicated a deep poem to them in the same dedication of 1856. (14).

In another post of “La Oliva”, it is recorded how the provincial government flew at half-staff as a sign of mourning (15).

Route of the Martyrs of Carral

In Galicia Pueblo a Pueblo (12), we are shown the route of the Martyrs of Carral, a route that we will try to comment on from Galicia Alive in the category Tourism. On this route of about 3 km, you can walk through the town of Carral following in the footsteps of the martyrs. Along this route you can see different places of interest in the town. Among them, the most relevant for this article is the tribute to those who promoted the Galician Liberal Revolution of 1846, the Martyrs of Carral.

The monument that Queen Isabell II herself had authorized with a budget of 120,000 reals of fleece, would not be made until 1898, the Galician Francisco Suárez Delgado, arrived from Buenos Aires, initiates the procedures to remember the Martyrs of Carral. It was paid for by popular subscription and promoted by the Liga Gallega da Cruña, linked to “A Cova Céltica”, a Carré Aldao bookstore. Work began on April 23, 1899 and was inaugurated on May 22, 1904, although other sources point to 1905 (4).

What is clear is that the monument was not raised in Santiago de Compostela as it had been published in the Royal Order, but in Carral.

The motto appears on the monument:

To the martyrs of freedom who died on April 26, 1846. Liga Gallega da Cruña.

During the beginning of the Second Republic of Spain (7), the municipal plenary session of April 29, 1931 approved the decision to give the name “Avenida de los Mártires de Carral” to the road between the Puente de Monelos and Alto de Eirís, by virtue of a proposal made by Julio Paradela, councilor elected in the April 14 elections (4). Also during this period a plaque with the names of those shot was placed next to the monument:

As a ratification to the memory of those hardworking men that next April 26, 2016 marks the 170th anniversary of this sad event.(4)


To increase the quality of our posts, we need more time. You can help us by buying through these Amazon links. We leave the following that may be useful and interesting:


  1. HISTORIA DO MUNDO CONTEMPORÁNEO. 1 Bachillerato. Coord Eugenio García Almiñana. ECIR Editorial.
  2. HISTORIA 4º: Ciencias Sociales. M. Burgos, J. Calvo, M. Jaramillo, S. Martín. Editorial Anaya.
  3. Sermos Galiza: Vía Galega difunde un vídeo da Revolución Galega de 1846
  4. El Ideal Gallego: Los mártires de Carral que se alzaron en La Coruña
  5. La Voz de Galicia: Un revolucionario de 1846 en Corcubión y Cee: Hermógenes Villanueva
  6. Galicia Latina: La revuelta de 1846
  7. Eco Republicano: Los Mártires de Carral, 26 de abril de 1846
  8. ABC: El mito nacionalista de Carral
  9. Terra e Tempo: Historia e mito
  10. Cultura galega: Ramón Rúa Figueroa. Enxeñeiro de minas e membro da xeración provincialista de 1846
  11. Fundacion Domingo Fontán: LA REVOLUCIÓN GALLEGA DE 1846
  12. Galicia pueblo a pueblo: RUTA DE LOS MÁRTIRES DE CARRAL
  13. Boletín Oficial de la Provincia de Lugo – Núm. 4 – 9 xaneiro 1856
  14. La Oliva – Periódico de política, literatura e intereses materiales – Ano I Número 25 – 26 abril 1856
  15. La Oliva – Periódico de política, literatura e intereses materiales – Ano I Número 28 – 7 maio 1856
  16. La Revolución – Periódico oficial de la Junta Superior de Galicia – Número 2 – 1846 abril 19
  17. Congreso: Sesións Historicas do Congreso dos Deputados
  18. Congreso: 1837 – Mayoria Isabel II
  19. Congreso: Const1812
  20. Congreso: Const1837
  21. BOE Histórico: Gaceta de Madrid Nº 3199 del LUNES 3 DE JULIO DE 1843.
  22. BOE Histórico: 1843/3200/A00003-00003.pdf
  23. BOE Histórico: 1843/3205/A00003-00003
  26. Congreso: Constitución de 1845
  27. Wikisource: La Revolución. Periódico oficial de la Junta Superior de Galicia. núm. 1
  28. Reseña Histórica de los últimos acontecimientos políticos de Galicia, por Don Juan Do-Porto (1846):
  29. Nosdiario: 175 anos da batalla cacheiras
  30. Diccionario Geográfico Estadístico Histórico de España y sus posesiones de ultramar, página 56, Tomo XVI, Madrid 1850, Pascual Madoz
  31. “Revolución Galega de 1846 “, Francisco Tettamancy Gastón (La Coruña 1854 – 1921)
  32. La Revolución Gallega de 1846 Francisco Tettamancy Gastón
  33. NosDiario: Para que nos teman e nos respecten. A revolución galega de abril de 1846

Verified by MonsterInsights