Of the rights acquired by the Regio Tavoliere di Puglia in the Ruvestino countryside, and of the abuses introduced thereafter.

Alfonso I of Aragon Prince of great mind and heart set out to rearrange the things of the Tavoliere di Puglia. He therefore thought of equipping it with sufficient grasses conveniently off the numerous flocks that from the fresh heights of the Abruzzi, where they went to spend the summer season, descended in the winter in the more temperate region of Puglia. He therefore bought many winter herbs with contracts stipulated with particular ones, with the Barons, and with various Pious Places. These purchases were carried out with the Tavoliere’s case obliged to pay to those from whom the aforementioned herbs had taken an annual annuity in proportion to the value of the grass respectively sold.

The herbs purchased in this way for the endowment of the Tavoliere took various names. Others were called ordinary herbs , others extraordinary , others usual , others unusual etc. Some of them were intended for the refreshment of animals, and others for rest . I leave the explanation of these words to the Writers of the Customs matter. For the argument that I have proposed, it is interesting to know what they mean by the straight of rest .

It is the same defined as follows: The rests are some paschi that from place to place were bought by the Royal Court so that in the journey that the sheep make in September and October from Sannio in Puglia, and on the other hand, they can there at the expense of Royal Court that pays the price to the masters, for three or four days, and according to it it will be necessary to comfortably rest, according to the Regent Moles De Dohana Menæpecudum Apuliæ §. 8 n. 52 and 53. The aforementioned rests are connoted among the usual ordinary and extraordinary herbs, and not only serve the sheep as the taverns for the passers-by; but those that are closest to the Regal Tavoliere were instituted, so that said sheep do not immediately need to enter to bet the grass of said Regal Tavoliere: [a196]but they can wait for the general department to enter and enjoy those herbs that will be prescribed to them by the Customs Officer [232] . From which it is easy to see that of all the rights of the Tavoliere, rest is the least burdensome for the owners of the land, like that which is reduced to grazing for a very limited time.

The Tavoliere demanded that, as a result of a contract between King Ferdinand I of Aragon and Pirro del Balzo, Duke of Venosa and Minervino, and Count of Ruvo, previously mentioned in Chapter IX, acquired a double straight on the territory of Ruvo. The first was that of grazing the grass of that feudal wood from the day of Christmas Eve until the 8th of May of each year. The second was the resting straight on the Ruvo murge.

For the first of these two claims there was never a question. The second Stefano de Stefano gives it for sure, and therefore in the place just mentioned among the main rests of the Tavoliere includes the murge of Minervino, Andria, Quarata, Ruvo and Bitonto in the Bari area . The House of Andria, however, always has a bitter resistance compared to the murge of Ruvo opposed to this straight, as we will go further down to see it.

But also given what the aforementioned writer says as true, the obverse of the Tavoliere could have hit only the district of the murge called montosa et aspera by Strabone , and be limited to rest only , that is, to the retention of a few days in passing the sheep through that ‘places both in coming from the Abruzzi and in returning there.

In a completely different way, however, this claim was exercised by the Locati Abruzzesi, both for the resistance they found in the murge by the Baron’s song, and for those overbearing, to which the weakest always submit. They threw themselves on the remaining state property outside the murge closest to the inhabited area, and certainly municipal, where the numerous farms of the citizens were and still are. They stayed there for the whole winter, and crowded it with so many sheep that the poor owners of the aforesaid farms did not leave a blade of grass for the relief of their animals!

This stinging abuse is contested by a small process that is preserved in the great Archive. In the year 1509 the city of Ruvo, driven by desperation, made an appeal to the Viceroy of that time, D. Raimondo di Cardona, and asked for permission to close up a mizzen in his state property, or to be defended for the pasture of bovi aratorj. It is useful to give the precise terms of the aforementioned recourse to see to what bottlenecks the Ruvestini were reduced by this abusive invasion.

Most Illustrious Lord – To be the territory of your city of Rubo [233]Regia Dohana, which uses them for restoration, greatly needs so many sheep that the cattle of the city have nothing left to graze, and all their cattle if more de famine so as not to remain one thread of herba, and it is their ultimate desfaction. And because in the other Terre de Puglia there is still no meczana for the cattle of them mentioned by concession of teneno, and there are not as many sheep as in Rubo; for such supplication Your Illustrious Lordship provides that for the use of the cattle of the citatini you grant them a meczana in a secluded place of the sheep that they can use it for their own use, without the cattle of the Dohana firm giving them impaczo; otherwise said city comes to ruin in order not to be able to maintain their livestock for supplies they make them citatini, and if they venerate to die of hunger, and suffer great scarcity.

The Viceroy, with his decree of 17 December 1509, referred this appeal to the Royal Chamber of the Summary for the corresponding provisions. That Court with its provision on the 19th of the said month and year gave the following orders to the Customs Officer of Foggia. We tell you and we order that at the recepere de epsa, being so as if expone, you want to provide for the donation to said exponents a lot of mezana in a secluded place of the sheep for the use of their livestock, and to provide that they can [a198]the one to use without the cattle de dicta Dohana having to donate them, so that they say their cattle does not perish for not having herba.

The Customs Officer of the time Annibale Caput bearing in mind the request addressed to him from the city of Ruvo, the transcribed Provision of the Royal Chamber, and the explanations given to him on the assumption by one of his appointees, with a letter dated 13 February 1510 directed by Egregiis viris Sindico Universitatis et hominibus civitatis Rubi nobis tanquam fratribus carissimis , made them feel what follows.And therefore noy we order for the attachment to Alfonso de Civita Ducale Officiale of this Regia Dohana de Puglia, which we hold in that express city for the service of the Regia Corte, you want to consign the loco de dicta mezana, that is from the wall recluse for derecto up to to the Chapel. And from the other end of the wall up to the tree of the mendola, which mendola will have to remain fore. And from the dicta amendola for four referendo to dicta Cappella. Which territory, seu mezana, can you have it locked up and preserved for the predicto effect, and if in said boundary there were other more vulgar and declarative boundaries, you will make them understand by half de dicto Alfonso, pointed out when we have the license sent to you for more caution et your quiet, nce we can declare it [234] .

This is how the defense of our city was erected in the state-owned district called the weed, commonly known as ripete . But this could not make up for the need of the animals assigned to the cultivation, and scattered on the surface of a vast state property. How to lead these animals to graze from one point to another of it and at a distance of several miles? After labor they must have the necessary refreshment in the very place where they work the land. Necessity forced the Ruvestini to shake the harsh yoke of the Abruzzesi Locati. Everywhere in the sowing farms the parks and the bricks indispensable to the animals involved in the cultivation were closed.

The greedy Abruzzesi began to shout and shout at usurpation , while this was only a just reaction against the abuse and oppression. In a completely different way, however, two Tax Magistrates sent to Puglia with the task of restoring to the Regio Tavoliere all that had been usurped to the detriment of the same looked at it. These were the Lieutenant of the Royal Chamber of the Summary D. Francesco Revertera Spagnuolo di Nazione, and the President D. Alfonso Guerrera. The clamor of the Abruzzesi Locati against the Ruvestini made these lords inconvenience to confer in person in the territory of Ruvo. Therefore, among the other operations they made there was also the following decree published in Foggia on March 5, 1549.

Super parchis et clausuris civitatis Ruborum, die 5 Martii 1549 in Terra Fogiæ. Face territory civitatis Ruborum, et visis oculari inspectione dictis parchis et clausuris. Visa etiam provisione alias facta for Regiam Cameram Summariæ sub die 20 Septembris 1517 Regia in Curia VIII fol. 104. Fuit provisum et decretum, prout præsenti decree providetur per Excellentem Dominum Franciscum Reverterium Regium Consiliarium Regiæ Cameræ Summariæ Locumtenentem, ac per Magnificum Dominum Alphonsum Guerrerium ejusdem Regiæ Cameræ Præsidentem et Commissarium Doe Generæmæpæmæpæmus in Reintegratione parca et clausuræ constructa et constructæ pro usu herbarum in dicto territory demoliantur et aperiantur, atque in eis libere pasculari possint tam pecudes et animalia Regiæ Dohanæ, quam dictæ civitatis; atque de cetero nullatenus fiant parca, neque clausuræ. Ea vero parca et clausuræ quæ sunt pro vineis, olivetis et amygdaletis remaneant pro usu civitatis et ejus civium, et de cetero non fiant parca, et clausuræ pro dicta causa, neque amplientur, atque in loco ubi est tracturium dictæ Dohanæ Regiæ æ, aperiant possint animalia Regiæ Dohanæ pasculari et immorari prout opus fuerit. Quo vero ad parcum jumentorum, sive equorum Excellentis Comitis Ruborum fuit provisum quod supersedeatur donec fuerit facta relatio Illustrissimo Domino Proregi, juxta decretationem factam in lime memorialis oblati SE pro parte dicti Comitis. Mezzana vero constructa in dicto territory pro usu et pascuo bobum aratoriorum dictæ civitatis Ea vero parca et clausuræ quæ sunt pro vineis, olivetis et amygdaletis remaneant pro usu civitatis et ejus civium, et de cetero non fiant parca, et clausuræ pro dicta causa, neque amplientur, atque in loco ubi est tracturium dictæ Dohanæ Regiæ æ, aperiant possint animalia Regiæ Dohanæ pasculari et immorari prout opus fuerit. Quo vero ad parcum jumentorum, sive equorum Excellentis Comitis Ruborum fuit provisum quod supersedeatur donec fuerit facta relatio Illustrissimo Domino Proregi, juxta decretationem factam in lime memorialis oblati SE pro parte dicti Comitis. Mezzana vero constructa in dicto territory pro usu et pascuo bobum aratoriorum dictæ civitatis Ea vero parca et clausuræ quæ sunt pro vineis, olivetis et amygdaletis remaneant pro usu civitatis et ejus civium, et de cetero non fiant parca, et clausuræ pro dicta causa, neque amplientur, atque in loco ubi est tracturium dictæ Dohanæ Regiæ æ, aperiant possint animalia Regiæ Dohanæ pasculari et immorari prout opus fuerit. Quo vero ad parcum jumentorum, sive equorum Excellentis Comitis Ruborum fuit provisum quod supersedeatur donec fuerit facta relatio Illustrissimo Domino Proregi, juxta decretationem factam in lime memorialis oblati SE pro parte dicti Comitis. Mezzana vero constructa in dicto territory pro usu et pascuo bobum aratoriorum dictæ civitatis atque in loco ubi est tracturium dictæ Dohanæ Regiæ, aperiantur et ibi possint animalia Regiæ Dohanæ pasculari et immorari prout opus fuerit. Quo vero ad parcum jumentorum, sive equorum Excellentis Comitis Ruborum fuit provisum quod supersedeatur donec fuerit facta relatio Illustrissimo Domino Proregi, juxta decretationem factam in lime memorialis oblati SE pro parte dicti Comitis. Mezzana vero constructa in dicto territory pro usu et pascuo bobum aratoriorum dictæ civitatis atque in loco ubi est tracturium dictæ Dohanæ Regiæ, aperiantur et ibi possint animalia Regiæ Dohanæ pasculari et immorari prout opus fuerit. Quo vero ad parcum jumentorum, sive equorum Excellentis Comitis Ruborum fuit provisum quod supersedeatur donec fuerit facta relatio Illustrissimo Domino Proregi, juxta decretationem factam in lime memorialis oblati SE pro parte dicti Comitis. Mezzana vero constructa in dicto territory pro usu et pascuo bobum aratoriorum dictæ civitatis [a200]et civium, remaneat [235] , et quod nullatenus possit ampri, et quod illa parca, et clausuræ, quæ factæ sunt causa seminandi frumentum, et alia victualia, recollecto semine aperiantur, et in restopiis, et nocchiariis possint pasculari Regia Dohana, et animalia dictæ civitatis. Hoc eorum in scriptis interponentibus decretum. Lectum latum etc. [236] . This decree is also reported by the Customs Writers.

If the transcribed decree did not form part of the History and the Registers of the Tavoliere, I would hardly believe that it was actually the same issued in a country always reputed for the wisdom of its magistrates! It is not the same to define it well that a sad monument of injustice and barbarism, since even the rest demanded by the Tavoliere was admitted, an easement constituted only on the Murge district could not be extended to the whole Ruvestino State Property, and a right of its own nature limited to the pasture of a few days, it could not and should not have been made unlimited and arbitrary.

No less was the barbarism in having pronounced the destruction of agriculture with the destruction of the parks indispensable for the refreshment of the plowmen, with the prohibition of the new plantings of vines, almonds, and olive trees which constituted and constitute the rich productions of the Ruvestino territory, and by leaving to the discretion of the beasts that very fertile land that Nature has destined for the nourishment of men! This decree, which sins of the roughest barbarism, makes a positive disgrace to the authors of it.

Nor did the ailments that our city suffered from this side stop here. It has been said before that the Regio Tavoliere had bought from Pirro del Balzo, Duke of Venosa and Count of Ruvo the right to let the animals of the Locati graze the grass of the vast Bosco di Ruvo from the day of the Eve of Christmas until the day eight of May, through the payment of five hundred annual ducats. It was so done for him to have [a201]the Baron was able to graze the acorn that he produced in large quantities until Christmas Eve. However, this was annoying to the Administration of the Regio Tavoliere, because the porcini animals that entered to graze the acorns mistreated the grass. This suggestion was wanted to be towered. He liked the Government to absolutely buy the winter grass of the aforesaid wood, and to dispose of it as it pleased by paying the price of the acorn to the Count of Ruvo.

In a public instrument dated March 17, 1552 stipulated by the Notary Sebastiano Canore of Naples, the then Viceroy of this Kingdom D. Pietro of Toledo and on the other the Count of Ruvo D. Fabrizio Carafa were constituted. The latter declared that he possessed quoddam nemus situm in pertinentis dictæ civitatis Ruborum juxta suos veriores confines, pro cujus nemoris herba et pascuo dicta Regia Curia annuatim pro servitio Regiæ Dohanæ Menæpecudum Apuliæ solvit eidem excellenti comiti annuos arguos ducent nemore non possunt intrare pecudes nisi in eve Nativitatis Christi anni cujuslibet.

It went on to say that the Royal Court wanted to totally buy the winter grass and the acorn of the aforementioned wood with full power to let the animals enter to graze on the 15th September of each year until the day of St. Angelo in the month of May, through the payment of other annual ducats one thousand two hundred fifty. Having this proposal accepted by the Count of Ruvo, he sold him to the Royal Court for annual ducats 1250dictum jus glandium, herbam et pascuum, ac jus aquandi, et pernoctandi, et omne aliud jus spectans, et pertinens, et quod spectare et pertinere posset in dicto nemore ex nunc in antea, et in perpetuum tener et possidere, et in dictum nemus quolibet anno intrari facere pecudes, et alia animalia quæcumque a dicto die 15 Semptembris years cujuslibet, et tener per totum diem festum S. Angeli de Mense Maj, ut supra, dictisque herbis, pascuo, et glandibus, et aquis in dicto nemore existentibus gaudere, et uti frui, atque sell, et alienare, et aliter dispose pro ipsius Regiæ Curiæ arbitrrio voluntatis, absque contradictione et obstaculo aliquo et impedimento etc.Therefore in the aforesaid wood there remained a promiscuity of rights between the Royal Court and the Baron. The first remained absolute mistress of the winter grass and the acorn. The second followed [a202]to retain the summer grass is the cutting of non-fruiting acorn wood.

The citizens of Ruvo had the right to let the Aratorj cattle graze in the aforementioned wood. The decree of Revertera and Guerrera of the year 1549 reported above made it very important. The Ruvo wood was, as it is, however, surrounded by the adjacent seeding farms. Open and forbidden by the aforesaid decree the parks and the mizzen for the use of the bovi aratorj that had formed in them, these poor animals found at least a rest in the wood, where they left in the evening after the labor. But this relief was also taken from them.

Pietro di Toledo also wanted to exempt the forest from this suggestion, however guaranteed by Nature and the law. And what is most surprising, this sacred right of the citizens of Ruvo was abolished with a stroke of will, without even the representatives of that city having understood each other! In the said instrument of the year 1552 we also read the following article: Itaque nullum genus animalium possit nemus ingredients elapso die 15 Septembris, nisi tantum animalia Dohanæ in locationem intrantia. Verum pro usu bobus dictæ universitatis solitis ingredients, et pasculari in dicto nemore tempore hyemali, amplietur defensa magna, seu partem etc. dictæ universitatis, ut dicto tempore hyemali possint supradicta animalia dictæ universitatis commodius pasculari.

However, it agreed to obey. Then the expansion of the municipal defense erected in the year 1510, as mentioned above, was carried out by decree of the Collateral Council of 26 October 1552, from which it appears that the said ancient defense of fourteen wagons was extended by other twenty-six wagons and was carried in forty wagons. This decree is reported by Mr. de Dominicis in his book on the Dogana di Puglia [237] .

The compensation given to the city of Ruvo for the loss of such an interesting straight for its citizens was truly generous! She was allowed what she could not in justice be denied, namely the expansion of the defense in that part of the state property which was undoubtedly of [a203]municipal quality, and was therefore entitled to keep it open or closed as he thought best suited to his interests and his economy!

This compensation, however, merely illusory, did not in any way alleviate the very serious detriment that the poor owners of the sowing farms suffered from the loss of pasture in the wood for the plowed cattle. What was the use of the extension from the municipal defense to those farms that were in the greatest number several miles away from it? The bovi aratorj must have their refreshment in the very place where they are troubled. They cannot be sent to distant pastures with no more fatigue for them, and with torsos to work the earth that time it takes to come and go. This was in good language the last collapse which the industry of the Ruvestini received.

On the other hand, the aforementioned ideal remuneration also lasted very little. The support, however very weak, of the municipal defense was also lacking. The poor city of Ruvo, oppressed on one side and worn out by the Baronial arrogance, and distressed for the other by the very difficult circumstances of the time, fell into the utmost poverty and was forced to contract many debts, and then to sell the aforementioned defense in order to pay him. This happened in the year 1632, as various instruments stipulated in that year by the Notary Giuseppe Ferri di Ruvo show that the University of Ruvo gave the aforementioned defense in payment to several of its creditors. This support for the Aratorian oxen is also lost.

When men see themselves reduced to extreme necessity, they lose patience. The owners of farms, in spite of the decree of Revertera and Guerrera, closed again with parks and bricks that grass which was indispensable for the refreshment of their cattle plows. But the Abruzzesi of the Salpi lease to whom the Ruvo wood had been assigned did not stay. Having recourse to the Customs Court in 1641, the Credenziere della Regia Dogana Guglielmo Corcione was sent to the site to obtain information on the disorders [238] that had occurred there.

From a processetto formed by him against nineteen owners of farms nominally reported in it, it appears that they had made the bricks in the state-owned districts the matine, the cavata (part of the mornings) you tear them, the ralle and monserino , and that in the latter Contrada had also planted new vineyards in contravention of the Revertera and Guerrera decrees of the year 1549 which had prohibited them.

Therefore, on March 16, 1642, the following decree was issued by that Customs Court against the alleged offenders: Per Regiam Dohanalem Audientiam visis actis, et in contumaciam prædictorum disordinantium, fuit provisum et decretum quod disordinantes prædicti condemnentur, prout condemnantur ad solvuriendum et Regiatis pro disorder prædicto ad usum pasculi commisso in Demanio Ruborum Regiæ Curiæ ad rationem ducatorum quatuor pro qualibet versura, et aliorum ducatorum duorum pro emenda Locatorum servata forma provisionum Regiæ Cameræ Summariæ, et Instructionum Regiæ Dohanæ, pro quibus et aliorum ducatorum duorum Proventuum .

The aforementioned processetto is kept in the Customs Archive of Foggia, where I have read it, and I have also taken a certified copy of it. Its title, however, is erroneous, as it reads in this way: Ruvo 1641 in 1642. Information of the disorders committed by the natives of Ruvo nel Bosco ut ex actis . The alleged disorders, however, verified by the Credenziere Corcione in the body of the trial were found in the field farms located in the aforementioned state-owned districts mentioned above and very different from the Bosco.

In the Bosco di Ruvo there have never been sowing farms, and there is not a single clod of land moved by the plow or hoe. But it is very difficult to see how the poor Ruvestini were persecuted and condemned to pay heavy fines for having considered a right that Nature and the Law granted them on their territory, and without which they could not have subsisted! In the long run, however, the abuses and abuses turn into straight. That’s the way the world goes.

After the year 1642 it is not known to me that there had been other similar barbaric and abusive judicial proceedings such as those of which I have hitherto spoken. However, the Locati Abruzzesi always continued to hold firm [a205]the foot in the aforementioned state-owned districts of the Ruvestino countryside, as the resistance of the owners of the farms continued to make the abuses of a right usurped to their detriment as less heavy as possible. There has therefore always been an open war between the former and the latter, as the empire of necessity made the owners of the farms bold. This state of violence has lasted to the present day and caused the publication of the law of 21 May 1806 on the Tavoliere di Puglia to cease, which led to a new order of things more favorable to agriculture and agrarian speculations.

There is no doubt that our city suffered great losses due to the abuses described above, which had annihilated the industry and wealth of its inhabitants and halted the increase in population. But often the hand of Providence gives rise to that good which could not have been foreseen from the most serious ailments. Almost all the sowing land of the aforementioned Ruvestino state farm had fallen into the hands of the Church and Lay Moral Corps with the passing of time. Very few of them belonged to the particulars.

So the ancient sowing farms of that territory cultivated them Ruvestini no longer as owners of them, but rather as fictuarj of the Churches, Religious Orders or Confraternities. It is easy to understand that such a circumstance could not have been propitious to the progress of agriculture and to the improvement of the land, which may suggest the love of property alien to the simple fittuarj.

This disadvantage was corrected by articles 37 38 and 39 of the aforementioned law of May 21, 1806 on the Tavoliere di Puglia. With them it was ordered that the property owners of the Tavoliere belonging to the Pious Places, not excluding the Religion of Malta, should have been able to make perpetual census of them by paying three years of estaglio as entrances to the Cassa del Tavoliere. Under the name of national land , the law intended to include all the funds of the Pii Places on which the Regio Tavoliere had exercised any right of pasture, even for simple rest .. I have already mentioned these articles having influenced to produce a prodigious improvement in agriculture in our Kingdom, it is useful to report the history of them, which cannot be known to all.

Then that the Government of that time was busy forming, and then discussing the aforementioned law which drew its first attention, I had the opportunity to be up to date on the things that fell into question. I then applied myself to writing a reasoned memoir with which I proposed that the censorship that was on the carpet for the tax land belonging to the Tavoliere, should also be extended to the said shareholdings .de ‘Pii Places, for which the Regio Tavoliere did not have a right of ownership, but simply the active servitude of the pasture agreed with the owners of them in different ways, and with different pacts introduced by the customs, and by the Regulations of the Tavoliere. I took as the basis of my reasoning the public utility which would have resulted on all sides with the improvement of those landed properties which in the hands of the Moral Corps would have remained in perpetual languor.

I reinforced my arguments with the example of the so-called amortization laws issued by King Ferdinand in the year 1769 and following. With them had been declared allodial de ‘tenants the property funds of the Pious Places conceded to them with long rents. The first results had been brilliant with the multiplication of the smallest proprieties more useful to the State; second with the notable improvement of many funds that were previously very poorly maintained. I therefore observed that the same effect would have produced the censorship of the territorial lands of the Tavoliere.

Meanwhile I realized that these truths were understood by all those who took part in the formation of the law, but not all were willing to want to taste them. This project was bitterly contradicted by the French who were then part of the government and more than any other by the very powerful Minister Saliceti. The reason for this contradiction, which seemed incomprehensible, became known, and was the following.

The suppression of the possessing Religious Orders and the confiscation of the assets of the Gerosolimitano Order were not far off. Among the Tavoliere’s share funds there were many that belonged to both the former and the latter. They then calculated the French who donated these funds to the state property would be exhibited for sale, and a large sum of cash would be withdrawn from them, while the proposed censorship could not have given anything but an annual rent of royalties.

Because of this particular financial view that was too poor in truth, they passed over the public utility that would have resulted from the censorship of the land not only of the Religious Orders that would have been suppressed, but also of the Bishops, Chapters, Badies, Lay Congregations and others. Pii Places not included in the imminent suppression!

Fortunately, however, in the formation of the aforementioned law, an eminent and supreme jurist of ours, highly educated on the matters of the Tavoliere, had been called to take a principal part in it. To the profound knowledge that he also had of Public Law and Political Economy, he united a beautiful soul and a spirit always ready and always determined to promote the true good and prosperity of our country. This was the very clear Fr Francesco Ricciardi who well deserved a place first in the Council of State, and then in the Ministry supported by him with so much glory, and the title of Count of Camaldoli, whose name alone is worthy of praise, and the whose memory is dear and venerable to all.

To his profound knowledge, to the robustness of his reasoning, and also to his dexterity, as well as to the good intentions of those Napolitani who then sat on the Council of State, and looked at the matter from his true point of view, must be attributed the admission of the aforementioned three highly debated articles. The financial views that the French made only to calculation were satisfied with the payment of the three years of entry made as a condition of the census, which, moreover, yielded not slight sums to the cashier of the Tavoliere.

However, despite this payment made as a condition of the censorship, the aforementioned articles were received with applause and all the tenants of the public lands of the Pii Places benefited from them with the utmost alacrity, nor was there a single one who had failed to propose the request. At the time of the Restoration the supreme utility of the aforementioned articles was also recognized. They were therefore confirmed with the Royal Decree of January 29, 1817. With it, a ten per cent increase was requested on the agreed rents in favor of the Pious Places direct owners of the funds. They also wanted the payment of a fourth year of entry at the cash desk of the Tavoliere. But no one refused to undergo these new ones [a208]loads largely compensated by the immense improvements made in the aforementioned funds after the censuses of the year 1806. When the laws, although not compulsory, are spontaneously executed by the generality, this is an infallible proof of their wisdom and usefulness.

The Giunta del Tavoliere then destined for the execution of the aforementioned law in granting the censures that were demanded from a crowd, adhered to the purely material fact. It had for action those lands in which the Regio Tavoliere and for it the Locati were in the current possession of exercising any right of pasture. And since there could be no doubt that this was the condition of all the land located in the Ruvo state property, therefore all the requests proposed for the land of the pious places that were located there, were accepted without hesitation. Nor was there a single fictitious of them who had not profited so much from the law of the year 1806, as from that of the year 1817.

Here is how an immense and inestimable good has been derived from a straight that is certainly abusive in its principle, which cost so many vexations and troubles to our ancestors. Without this, those very fertile lands, which once formed, as they still do today, the wealth and opulence of our city would never have returned to the hands of the particular ones. And indeed from the time of the law of the Tavoliere, which also truncated all the ancient and barbaric abuses, up to the present day the plantations are seen there considerably increased, the sown lands have been greatly improved, and yet they are improved, and the agriculture flourishes and goes on marvelously.

The greatest benefit, however, that the new laws of the Tavoliere, and of the closure of state-owned land have done us, was that of having freed us forever from the annoying Abruzzese guests who came to be Masters on our properties, as if they were the true heirs of the Arcadians who conquered them with their weapons! The ancient abuses were truncated, the promiscuity of grazing between citizens and locals abolished also on the sowing land of the state property illegally sanctioned by the decree of Revertera and Guerrera of the year 1549, and the closure of the land allowed by the law of December 3, 1808 appatronati state-owned and open, the aforementioned Locati in the Ruvestino countryside only remained that straight [a209]only that it was purely legitimate, that is, the winter pasture of that wood that the Regio Tavoliere bought from the Count of Ruvo with the contract of the year 1552 of which we have already spoken.

That pasture, however, was sought by the Abruzzesi when for the aforementioned abuses they were allowed to leave the woods and throw themselves with an immense number of animals on the farms of the poor Ruvestini located in the state property and devastate them without mercy. Limited and restricted, as was the rule, their right to the only pasture of the Wood purged of ancient abuses, it seems that that herbage, however excellent, has no longer tickled them. So the Locati Abruzzesi to which the same census remained for the whole in the year 1806, have left it and are gradually leaving it. Many portions of the said wood have been alienated by them and sold part to the Ruvestini themselves, and part to other wealthy owners of that province. Nor will it perhaps be long before it will come out of their hands in its entirety.