Jirón: Heroism gives rise to a family name

November 18, 2013

Close up of the painting.

Close up of the painting.

In the battle of La Sagra, in 1086, Afonso VI of Castile was lightly wounded, but his horse was killed. With the king in this great peril, a knight dismounted and offered the sovereign his horse. The king mounted and continued the fight. The knight, however, had cut a small piece of the royal mantle. After the victory, the king asked his men:

— “Who was it among you that gave me their horse?”

—    “It was I, Sire” answered the knight Tellez.

—    “Do you have proof?”

—    “Yes, this piece of your mantle, which I cut with my sword.”

The knight Jirón giving his horse to King Afonso VI of Castile. Painting by Carlos Luis Ribera. "Batalla de Zalaca, 1086" Obra de RIBERA CARLOS LUIS 1815/91. Grabado del Museo Romántico (Madrid) - EL ORIGEN DEL APELLIDO GIRON EN LA BATALLA DE LA SAGRA (AÑO 1086)

The knight whose family would thenceforth be called Jirón gives his horse to King Afonso VI of Castile. Painting by Carlos Luis Ribera. “Batalla de Zalaca, 1086” Obra de RIBERA CARLOS LUIS 1815/91. Grabado del Museo Romántico (Madrid) – EL ORIGEN DEL APELLIDO GIRON EN LA BATALLA DE LA SAGRA (AÑO 1086)

—    “What reward can I offer?”

—    “Nothing but the right to use the name Jirón [meaning “shred” or “tatter”], which identifies this piece of cloth and will remind me of the service it was my honor to render unto Your Majesty.”

Thus came into being one [Girón] of the 86 names of the Dukes of Osuna.

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Edmond Guérard, Dictionnaire encyclopédique d’anécdotes (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1872),Vol. II, 177. (Nobility.org translation.)

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 335

 

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