Mijas Historical


Mayor of Malaga - Francisco de la Torres Prados

Roger Cummiskey with Jon Valera, relative of Eamon De Valera.

Roger Cummiskey with Antonio Sierra, former Director of the Instituto Cultural de Espanol en Dublin (Cervantes Institute).

On Sunday 08 December, 2013 at 13 h at the obelisk in Plaza de la Merced an Irish flag was presented by Roger Cummiskey from Dublin to the Asociación Histórico - Cultural Torrijos 1831 to honour one of the 52 people shot on the beach in Málaga - Robert Boyd from Northern Ireland.

The execution from the Prado.

Gisbert Pérez, Antonio (Spanish)
The Execution by Firing Squad of Torrijos and his Colleages on the beach at Málaga
390 cm x 601 cm

The liberal, José María Torrijos (1791-1831), accompanied by his companions, is executed by the absolutist troops of Fernado VII (1784-1833) on the beach at Málaga.

This masterpiece of nineteenth-century Spanish history painting was commissioned in 1886 directly by the liberal government of Praxedes Mateo Sagasta (1825 - 1903) during the regency of Queen María Cristina of Austria (1806 - 1878), as an example of the defense of freedom for future generations.

The soldier, José María Torrijos (1791 - 1831) became field marshal of Valencia and field marshal and minister of war during the Liberal Triennium (1820 - 1823). Following three attempts from England to provoke an uprising against the absolutists, he was the victim of an ambush prepared by Governor Vicente González Moreno, who had assured him that the rebellion would succeed.

On Saturday, 30th of November 2013 at 11am, the Asociación Histórico - Cultural Torrijos 1831, following their tradition since 2003, will hold the historical re-enactment of the "Torrijos Disembarkation" on The Charcón Beach ( near El Faro ),

Situated on the Mijas coastline, real-life scenario of the events that occurred there on the 2nd of December 1831, protagonised by a group of liberals under the command of the General Jose María Torrijos y Uriarte, who sought to establish a regimen of freedom in our country based on the text of the Cádiz Constitution of 1812.

Also, the Horse Riders Club of Mijas will colaborate in the re-enactment, as well as the Faro de Calaburras Rowing Asociation and the Bodega Bandolero (a restaurant in La Cala).


General José María de Torrijos - December 1st.

Contributors: You (owner) and Jose Antonio Sierra Lumbreras
Updated about a week ago · Taken at La Cala de Mijas

General Torrijos, although from Madrid, is tied to Andalusia for his many activities here. 

From Andalusia he revived the fight for freedom against the despotic king Fernando VII. It was in Andalusia where he died, in Málaga, executed by those he fought against. 

Jose María de Torrijos y Uriarte was born in Madrid the 20th March, 1791. He came from a noble family and joined the army very young, first as a pageboy for King Carlos IV at ten years old and when he was thirteen he achieved the title of captain of the Ultonian regiment, though he couldn’t exert it due to his young age. 

In 1808, he enrolled in the Academy of Alcalá de Henáres, where he was surprised by the Independence war, fighting bravely from the beginning against the French. He was promoted to colonel in 1813 and married Luisa Sáenz de Viniegra in Badajoz. 

He obtained all types of military decorations and a proposition from the Duke of Wellington for Brigadier, which materialised at the end of the war, a war where he fought under the orders of his future executioner, Captain Vicente González Moreno. 

The re-establishment of absolutism annulled the constitution of 1812 and because of this he joined the Liberal Party and refused to leave for América to fight against the Independentists. 

Andalusia was vital for any attempted rebellion, the troops being concentrated here ready to leave for América where the colonies were fighting against the Spanish. In 1817, Torrijos participated in the attempted rebellion of General Lacy to raise the army in Andalusia and because of this was taken to prison, first to the Castle of Santa Bárbara in Alicante and later to the Santo Oficio prison in Murcia. 

With the victorious rebellion of Riego in 1820 he was set free and the Liberal Triennium named him commissioner of war at the beginning of 1823, directing the resistance against the “One hundred thousand children of San Luis” the French army being sent by the European powers to replace the absolutists in the Spanish government. 

After being defeated in Cartagena, Torrijos and his wife were forced to flee to Marseilles and from there to England (1824), where he contacted with the rest of the liberals in exile. 

In England he formed a friendship with John Sterling, a well known landowner who presented him to Robert Boyd, ex_official of the English army in India who had fought in the Greek Independence war. 

Boyd, a romantic like Torrijos, committed himself to help him recover the freedom in Spain through his good name and fortune. With the support of the “Apostles of Cambridge”, a radical society of exiled liberal Spaniards in England, and commissioned by the “Board of directors of the Spanish Uprising”, they arrived in Gibraltar in September 1830, disembarking on the 9th, meeting with old collaborators such as the ex_president of the Spanish parliament, Manuel Flores Calderón, the ex_minister of war, Francisco Fernández Golfín and other important military figures. 

After deciding that a rebellion of the army against the absolutist government would be hard to achieve, they attempted a raid on Algeciras on the 24th October and another on the 11th November. As both of them failed, Torrijos was forced to hide in boats anchored in Gibraltar. 

At the end of January 1831 they took action against La Linea of which they took hold, but this initial success failed again faced with Algeciras. At the end of February another attempted rebellion cost the life of Colonel Manzanares. Seeing it impossible to act in the Gibraltar region because of the extreme vigilance, Torrijos received with high spirits the secret letters of a “very confidential” friend, with the nickname of Viriato he informed him that the best place to disembark was Vélez Málaga, and that with the presence of the Málaga troops first, and later those of all Andalusia, they would rebel against the King Fernando VII. 

In fact this was a trap planned by his old comrade-in-arms and now Governor of Málaga Vicente González Moreno, who under the name of “Viriato” took advantage of Torrijos´s impatience and planned his capture. 

On the 30th November 1831 they left Gibraltar in various hulls only to find they had been deceived when they reached the point of Calaburras and found the Neptune ship waiting for them. Because of this they were forced to disembark in Mijas Costa (Charcón beach) and flee inland. 

First they arrived in Mijas where they received several gunshots from the armed military forces and then crossed the mountains to Alhaurín de la Torre where they had the same welcome. After being persecuted by the infantry they found refuge in a farmhouse belonging to the Count of Mollina, with an ancient Arab tower near the old road to Cártama. 

Once there, surrounded by the troops sent by González Moreno and after taking both generals, he was forced to surrender along with his 52 men on the 5th December, being captured and sent to Málaga. 

In Málaga, in different jails, they lived the same length of time that it took González Moreno to send a messenger to Madrid, General Narváez. He returned on the 10th December with an execution order given by the decadent and bloodthirsty Fernando VII, who wrote with his own hand: “Execute them all. I, the King”. 

At 11:30 am on the 11th December 1831 on the Málaga beaches of San Andrés, in front of the Carmen district, they were all executed without exception, including the Irishman Robert Boyd and a young cabin boy from the boat. 

Flores Calderón and Fernández Golfín also perished along with other soldiers and sailors. Torrijos was denied his last request which was to give the order to open fire and die without their eyes covered. 

Their bodies were buried in the San Miguel cemetery, except for Robert Boyd who went to the recently inaugurated English cemetery, until 1842, when the city council of Málaga built on popular demand a funeral monument (an obelisk) which was erected in their honour in Plaza Riego, today Plaza de la Merced, in front of the native house of the painter Pablo Ruiz Picasso, under which they all rest. A cross also commemorates the place of his death, now a promenade. 

The Governor González Moreno, who from then on was known as “The executioner of Málaga” received for his treason a promotion to General Lieutenant and the post of Captain-General of Granada. When the Carlista war broke out he died assassinated by army volunteers in 1839. 

The sacrifice of Torrijos and his comrades was not in vain and they were remembered constantly in the following years for after the death of King Fernando VII in 1833, the liberals obtained the power and the widow of Torrijos, Dª Luisa Carlota Sáenz de Viniegra was honoured with the title of Countess of Torrijos. 

His death, and the death of Mariana Pineda, was one of the last caused by the absolutism in Andalusia.

Photos by R Cummiskey.

Interesting Facts about Mijas

Area: 147 km2
Population: 73,787
Inhabitants: people of Mijas
Monuments: Shrine of Our Lady of the Rock, Church of the Immaculate Conception, Plaza de Toros, Carromato Max's House Museum, the Watchtowers
Geographical Location: In the region of the Costa del Sol. The locality is about 430 meters above the sea level and 30 kilometers from the capital of the province and neighboring Fuengirola 8. The municipality records an average rainfall of 660 l/m2 and the average temperature is 17 º C
The Mijas municipality comprises the lands between the mountains that gives name to the town and the sea, so the resolved orography, sometimes somewhat abruptly, the short distance between the highest peak in the area (1130 meters) ground level and the coastline. Ravines, hills and more or less gentle hills still part of the native vegetation, despite the dramatic urban development in the area makes it increasingly difficult to maintain pastures and olive groves of poor economic performance in these times.
Still, the powerful landscape architecture and a certain respect for the environment, have prevented the golf courses, brick and cement hiding the natural beauty of this town, where the mountains and the people themselves are still the main benchmarks. The coastal area, however, except for some rocky areas that remain intact, are practically urbanized boundaries betweenFuengirola and Marbella.
This town, like others in the province of Málaga, has three urban centers, in this case those of Mijas Pueblo, Las Lagunas and La Cala de Mijas. The first is the classic Andalusian whitewashed Moorish village which houses the monuments and the administrative center in Las Lagunas most municipal services and part of the developments converge, while Cala de Mijas, within the coastal zone , it is fully dedicated to the sun and beach tourism and residential.
There is evidence confirming the membership of Mijas Turdetania while other traces attest to the presence of Phoenicians and Greeks who set about exploiting the mineral wealth of the area, while the first historical reference to the town of Ptolemy, geographer School of Alexandria, who must have been in these lands in the second century AD or collect data from someone who knew them well, according to the accuracy with which it describes some places.
In Roman times the town was called Tames, and it is thought that it generated remarkable economic activity given the proximity of the Via Appia, which linked the cities of Cadiz and Malaga. The Arabs called Mixa, and Christians derived nomenclature to the current voice of Mijas.
The Muslims took over the village shortly after its landing on the Iberian Peninsula, as in 714 and ruled, and a very helpful way, since they allowed the inhabitants to continue to possess their property, their religion and their customs in exchange for the delivery of a percentage of agricultural and livestock production.
Good understanding between Muslims and the Mozarabic was evident in the time of Omar Ben Hafsún leader, with whom they maintained cordial and beneficial relations since they needed each other. Dead Hafsún Ben Omar, Rahman III reconquered the area.
Mijas resisted the attacks of the Christian army to the conquest of Málaga (1487). Buried in the fall of this city, the residents of Mijas believed that unconditional surrender would be most advantageous. The emissaries sent to Málaga to surrender were taken prisoner and some sold as slaves. In 1494 the division took place among Old Christians, the land of the village. The town received the title of town in 1521 as a reward for their loyalty to Charles I during the rebellion of the commoners, and also Juana la Loca also declared exempt from taxes for buying and selling (sales taxes).
Centuries later, Mijas was the scene of an important historical event occurred on December 2, 1831. On the beach of El Charcón General Torrijos landed with 52 companions. Across the municipal territory towards the mountains, where they fell to Alhaurin de la Torre to take refuge in a mansion owned by the Earl of Mollina. Days later (December 11), the general and his men were shot on the beaches of San Andrés de Malaga city for confronting the absolutism of Fernando VII.


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