It is not worth making a minute statement of the judgment instituted against the House of Andria in the year 1750 and of the settlement that followed on July 9, 1751 by the notary Giovanni Teodoro de Rienzo of Naples. These papers can only make known the iron yoke imposed on our city by Duke Ettore Carafa, the old ancestor of the current Duke, who greatly exasperated the burdens introduced by his ancestors; but they present nothing advantageous for that population, which nevertheless continued to be crushed by the ancient abuses and extortions.
I said earlier that the judgment of the year 1750 suggested private interest, not the true zeal to free one’s country from a long and stripping oppression. It is easy to see this under a double relationship. The first was the theme of strong significators, which threatened the influential people who in previous years had taken part in the municipal administration, and had lent the House of Andria their hand to ensure that the income from the University was also appropriated.
The second was the aim that few owners of farms in the Murge district had to free them from the suggestion of the parades that the Casa d’Andria made of the winter grass of them. For this object the late Doctor D. Saverio Modesti was sent to Naples in the capacity of Deputy to promote the sentence.
When such operations are suggested by an indirect purpose it is a necessity that they fail. Once the trial was introduced, nothing was done in a year and a half. Time was lost in expecting to derive from the hostilities begun in the name of the University the profit which could be gained for private interest. Does this clearly mean the same [a240]instrument of settlement of the year 1751. The mayor and the Elects in ratifying it declared that the Deputy Modesti had prayed and made to pray the said Most Excellent Lord Duke of Andria so that a friendly composition would be devised .
It is therefore clear that he had crawled to the Duke to steal what he was doing for himself and his friends, and the Duke Ettore who was a highly shrewd man, and understood the game well, knew how to make up for private interest, and made the University of Ruvo go up in the air. Among the actions deducted there was also that, as I have said before, with which the Duke had agreed to repay all the sums that his House had for so many years appropriate from the income of the University, without having paid the fiscal creditors.
And with Chapter VIII of the settlement of the year 1751 the Duke took charge of the defense of the past administrators who had been obliged to render the accounts, and undertook to pay the sums which would have been meant to them. In the meantime, he had the University obliged not to play hostile parties to him any more by having renounced any pretension and action to repeat the exact sums he had! In this way the miracle happened that the Duke, who was indebted for large sums for the aforementioned cause, was seen in the assets deeds as a creditor of the University for arrears of interest in the significant sum of 25600 ducats, without anyone having contradicted him !!!
With the same judgment it was also asked that the so-called parades of the murge had opened to the free grazing of the animals of the citizens. But with Chapter XVII of the aforementioned transaction the parades remained firm. But the farms of D. Saverio Modesti and other details that made a noise were excluded from them, and they expanded in proportion to the remaining open state property of the murge at the expense of civic uses that competed with the population !!!
Thus satisfied the private interest, all the more went deplano at the desire of the Duke. All the essential articles that formed the object of the trial passed remained resolute in his favor. Both to throw dust in one’s eyes, and rather for erubescence, those very frivolous little things were granted to the University only [a241]they could argue at all, and that any magistrate, however he wanted to be partial, or indulgent to feudalism, would have abolished under the pen and without any discussion. On the contrary, not even the seriousness of this kind were entirely corrected and amended; but they remained partly on the same footing against the express prohibition of the laws! Here is a succinct table of the articles of the aforementioned transaction from which this concept emerges.
Citizens were denied civic uses on the summer grass of the Ruvo forest. They were granted only the right to wood for use as a protrusion for the strict need, while they competed for full civic uses. But this pact was not even respected, as the baronial Armigeri assigned to the custody of the wood if they found the citizens in it to cruelly wood, they scourged them, as mentioned above. All the illegal exactions of the Bagliva remained confirmed, except only the so-called courtesywhich was abolished. Likewise, the gabelle on the jumel of almonds usurped at the University was abolished, however, with the release of the fruits for exactly many years with bad faith. The restitution of the jurisdiction of the Portolania was promised, and of the weights and measures usurped likewise from the University with the release of the fruits and proceeds of the same. But this pact was not even executed, as the Duke continued to appropriate the proceeds of this jurisdiction which included him in the Bagliva. The mills with the prohibitive right remained with the Duke, as it was said that the University lacked the documents to claim him.
The prohibitive law of the Taverns and the neviere was abolished, and it was agreed that the citizens could not be forced by dint of sticks to collect and put away the snow, and to other servile works. But the University was obliged not to do with others, except with the Duke, the party of the snow that was needed by the population. And could this be permitted by the law? Unpaid bonatenence was released to the Duke for Burgens’ assets. He promised not to invoke the cases from the local ordinary judge anymore, and to delegate them to others as he pleased. But could this do it? What then did he come to agree with? Baronial Ministers were forbidden to imprison and release persons of their private authority, and without the order of the Judge, except for the debtors. [a242]of the Ducal company, and this with manifest violation of the Chapter of King Charles I reported before pages 138 and 139!
The Duke promised that his animals would no longer harm the possessions of the citizens. Most singular grace! He promised to no longer avail himself of the horrible and dark prison of the Tower, and to no longer have the prisoners transported out of Ruvo. But the University was obliged to form a suitable prison, while this obligation incumbent upon the Duke as possessor of the civil and criminal jurisdiction! It was agreed that the Governor and Judge of Ruvo should be a graduate, as if the Duke had been allowed to have decrees made by anyone who had not been a Doctor! In the end it remained to him even the appointment of the municipal administrators which constituted the principle of all the disorders and bullying that were suffered, since in this way there was no one who could support the rights of the population where the purpose had exacted it.
After the brief mention that has been made of the very important things granted to the Duke with the transaction of the year 1751, and of the frivolous and very inept concessions made to the University of those trifles only that with a much greater latitude, and without any inconvenience, he would have obtained under the pen by the justice of the Magistrates, two things cannot but move the bile.
The first is the silly and truly ridiculous antics that were said in the assertion of the aforementioned instrument of transaction to exaggerate and amplify the supposed difficulties and doubts of the requests proposed by the University and by the Duke agreed in the way that has just been said! The second is the importance of these concessions, which was emphasized with very little demeanor, since it was said that the very strong releases made to the Duke of very significant sums or unpaid or unjustly appropriate sums were made through small contemplation of so many considerable things that the said Most Excellent Mr. Duke is pleased to establish and agree in this instrument with much advantage of the University !!!
But what are the considerable things granted by the Ducal generosity? The promise perhaps of a graduate Governor, that of not having citizens buried in the horrible and dark depths of the Tower, not to be dragged into distant prisons, not to force them anymore [a243]of beatings to collect and store the snow in its snowboxes, and to no longer have their possessions devastated by its animals …..? What a silly and insulting speech at the same time! Even the things agreed in the aforementioned instrument of the year 1751 cannot be read without trembling, as they made remain in part those same abuses that would have been fully abolished and proscribed Magistrates. Let us therefore leave this monument of abuse of power, and come to the judgment of the year 1797, undertaken with other principles and other sentiments.
Two strong obstacles opposed this beautiful work. The first was the extreme poverty of the municipal fund, unable to cope with the heavy expenses that would have exact the causes to be undertaken against a then very powerful family. The second that the Municipal Archives were deprived of any document, memory or news that could have given a thread to this undertaking. That Duke Ettore Carafa, who allowed himself as many violence against the laws as the judgment of the year 1750 and the settlement of the year 1751 make us learn, had committed another even more resounding one for the tower to our city every means of resurrecting. . It was in Ruvo a public and well-known fact contested by the old men that the Ducal armigers had surprised the municipal archive and transported all the papers that were preserved in it to Andria.
Therefore, charged with initiating and supporting those judgments that the circumstances required, without any documents whatsoever, I saw well that it was not a question of regulating ordering and instructing the corresponding actions, but rather of creating them and providing them with those documents that could have ensured their validity. successful. Nevertheless, the love of country overcame both the aforesaid obstacles.
The first of them made him stop the disinterest and generosity of the Chapter of Ruvo, and of a certain number of major landowning families who connected with it, and took on them the expenses that were necessary for the courts to be undertaken. The first contributed the sum of a thousand ducats. The latter each contributed in proportion to their respective possessions. This trait of true patriotism was given a just praise in the public parliament of the 20th Gennajo [a244]1805 inserted in the transaction instrument of the same year, it is well due that the history is also honorably mentioned.
As for the second obstacle, I did not lose heart. Before making any judicial move, I applied myself to groping for the information, and those documents that could have been useful and lead to the commitment assumed. I therefore began by perfectly instructing myself on the ancient processes formed in the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary from the year 1692 onwards between the fiscal creditors and the University, and subsequently between the aforementioned creditors, and the administrators obliged to account for the administration held. I drew from them useful information, and the appropriate documents to counter the alleged tax credit in arrears in ducats 25600 for which the House of Andria was mentioned, and to make it be debtor of large sums.
In the same time I spent about a year in the great Archive for a general research of what could concern our city, in order to be able to use myself, as I availed myself of those papers that seemed useful to me. I practiced the same diligence in the archives of the Regia Dogana di Foggia, where I stayed eight days for this object. These searches were not unsuccessful as they provided me with sufficient material to form a reasoned and well-supported plan of attack.
I also calculated that other lights could have been drawn from the ancient records of the Notaj, both Ruvestini and the Royal cities of the area, of which the House of Andria had evaluated itself in the past to instipulate its public acts  . The cooperation of two very zealous citizens for the good of the common homeland was very useful to me in these researches. One of them was Fr Francesco Devenuto, a man of very quick talents and of supreme ability and activity. The other was my brother-in-law Fr Giuseppe Ursi, very versatile, minute and diligent in similar researches, whose memory is very dear to me for his excellent feelings and for his attachment to my person and my family.
The very interesting documents relating to the prohibitive law of the mills were due to their cooperation, which they did not know or rather did not want to trace in the year 1750, those with which a part of the ancient municipal defense was sold in the year 1632, and still others from which I drew useful explanations in the judgments that were promoted. Gathering the aforementioned papers, the following actions were explained by me partly in the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary, and partly in the SRC according to the respective competence. The following questions were proposed in the Royal Chamber
I. That the aforementioned alleged credit of duc had been canceled. 25600 for which the Duke of Andria appeared in the deeds of the estate, with the same being condemned to return all the sums that had been collusively released to him in account, and all the other major sums that his House had badly appropriate from the exact municipal revenues from the year 1692 to the year 1735.
II. That without taking into account the null and collusive instrument of settlement of the year 1751 he was also condemned to return the fruits and proceeds of the Jurisdiction of Portolania and of weights and measures, as well as the gabelle of the jumel of the almonds usurped to the detriment of the University , and to the payment of the bonatenenza never paid for the Burgensi goods up to the time of the cadastre of the year 1752.
III. That he had been condemned to return the mills built on the ground and in the ancient walls of the city, is the prohibitive right established by the University in the year 1615 for its own use, one with fruits.
IV. That he had been condemned to return a scannaggio with fruits, a municipal right established by the University with the capitulations of the year 1308 approved by King Charles II, and usurped by his House.
V. That he had been condemned to return a large room converted into a warehouse with the fruits, which formed part of the public prisons owned by the municipality.
YOU. That it was forbidden for the Duke to close the winter grass of the Murge with the so-called parades mainly for being the property of the Murge a municipal property. Subordinately because in any case, and assuming it was also a feudal property, similar closures were by law [a246]of the Kingdom prohibited to the Barons in prejudice of the civic uses that belong to the populations.
VII. That all the abuses of the Bagliva had been corrected by banning themselves mainly from the Baglivi. First to trust the foreign animals in the parceled land located in the state property. Second, by trusting him in such quantities that the grazing of the animals of the citizens had failed.
VIII. That the Duke had also been forbidden to clutter that state property with an overflowing quantity of his own animals, with only being allowed to enter as many, as the richest of citizens, in accordance with the style of judging of the Supreme Courts.
IX. That he was obliged to pay the bonatenenza no less for the said industrial animals that grazed in the state property, than for the vast land called the plantation of Burgense quality and not already feudal, as he claimed.
Another judgment was instituted in the same Court of the Regia Camera della Sommaria in criminal line for the cutting given by the Casa d’Andria to the age-old fruit-bearing oaks of the Ruvo wood, to the detriment of both the civic uses that competed with the population of Ruvo, and the right of ownership. that the King had glandiferous trees by virtue of the instrument of the year 1552 reported above.
The Court of the Royal Chamber gave the ordinary term on the aforementioned requests proposed in civil line and this was completed. With respect to the mills, he ordered an appraisal to verify if they were built on the ground and in the ancient city wall. The appraisal ordered was carried out with the intervention of one of the Magistrates of the Royal Provincial Audience, and our position remained fully verified.
An information was ordered for the criminal trial. After the immense damage caused by the Casa d’Andria to the fruit trees of the forest was concluded with it, a tax assessment was ordered, and this was also carried out. In this state were in the year 1798 the judgments deduced in the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary. Those started in the SRC were the following
I. That the Duke had abstained from taking any interference in the election of the municipal officers.
II. That he had not further harassed the University in the full exercise of the Jurisdiction of Portolania, and of the weights and measures that belonged to it by way of a purchase made by the King.
III. That the citizens of Ruvo had been attributed the full civic uses of wood and grazing the summer grass of the Ruvo wood which remained to the Duke of Andria with the contract of the year 1552.
IV. That the Duke had abstained from appointing the Master of the S. Angelo Fair which is celebrated in the city of Ruvo.
V. At last that the plateatic law on the bargaining of commodities, commodities and merchandise had been abolished, which the Duke was demanding by having usurped it from the University to which it belonged by virtue of the capitulations of the year 1308 and the State of the Regent Tapia.
The commission of this judgment was obtained in the person of the Royal Councilor at the time and then illustrious Secretary of State D. Giuseppe Zurlo, Magistrate of very high talents, of vast and beautiful knowledge, of probity in all respects, and not done to incense the abuses of feudalism. . Proposed by him the cause in the SRC in the year 1798 only the first three leaders were decided. It was the decision in favor of the University; but as for the summer grass of the Ruvo wood I had to fight very bitterly for the following reason.
It has been said before page 202 that, having remained with the instrument of the year 1552 abolished the civic use of the pasture of the bovi aratorj that the citizens of Ruvo represented on the said wood, the University was given in compensation the faculty to expand its defense until to forty wagons. Charged by the Collateral Council to implement this determination, with his decree of 26 October 1552 he said that this extension was agreed pro usu et pascuo dictorum bobum, careful quod boves dictæ civitatis nullo tempore dictum nemusigine, nec in eodem pasculari possunt .
The Duke’s Advocates, catching those words nullo tempore nemus ingredients nec in eodem pasculari possunt , swelled the pives, and wanted in these expressions to recognize a judgment of the Collateral Council who had taken away from the Ruvestini in every time, and in every season, the civic uses of the wood aforementioned.
It was replied to me that the character of judgment belongs only to [a248]those decrees that the Magistrates issue in a contradicted judgment. That the Collateral Council was in the year 1552 simply charged with authorizing the city of Ruvo to expand its ancient defense, not to define whether or not it had the right to graze in the feudal forest in the summer season. That he could not even want more than what was contained in the instrument of the year 1552 stipulated between the Viceroy Pietro di Toledo and the Duke of Andria Fabrizio Carafa, to whom the Collateral Council was charged with executing only the part permissive extension of the aforementioned municipal defense.
That the extension of the defense accorded to the city of Ruvo had been a compensation for the pasture of the bovi aratorj that was losing tempore hyemali , as we can read precisely in the aforementioned instrument reported on the said page 202, not already in the summer time, of the that neither point nor little was spoken of in it. That therefore the rule of Law iniquum est perimi pacto id de quo cogitatum non est took over , and that an error in which the Collateral Council fell by exceeding the limits of the office received could not alter the content of the aforementioned instrument of the year 1552 to which only he had to stay.
These and other observations made by me convinced the greatest number; but this article was decided in favor of the University not without a strong debate. The decision then obtained led to the consequence that in the division of the state property which took place as a result of the new laws, thirty-three carts of the aforementioned wood, or about two thousand canes, were returned in favor of our city.
The fourth and fifth heads remained to be decided for the appointment of the Master of the Fair and for the stalls , when the Councilor Zurlo was promoted to the luminous position of Tax Lawyer of the Regia Camera della Sommaria. I was pleased with his well-deserved advancement, but I was saddened to have lost it as Commissioner of the aforementioned cause in the SRC. The high opinion that the Government had of him meant that some examples began to be given that certain judgments between the University and the Barons, who wanted to see themselves terminated without judicial delays, were particularly delegated to him by the King’s will.
Massimo was in this the advantage of the universities. They came to [a249]make up for the expense. In this way the forensic prevarications which constituted the main garrison of the Barons always intent on taking time and tiring the Municipalities remained truncated. In the end, the dependence in the causes of this kind on an enlightened, just and not loyal Magistrate of the Baronage was a very desirable thing. So I thought about going down the same path and I managed to get it. By sovereign disposition both the two points of question not yet decided by the SRC as all the items deduced in the Royal Chamber of the Summary were delegated to the Tax Attorney Zurlo.
After passing the papers of both judgments to him, he first applied himself to decide the two questions that remained pending in the SRC . In this way, all the questions proposed in the SRC were exhausted with a full and complete victory achieved by the University. He took care of myself for the decision of the other more serious questions raised in the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary, when the fatal and memorable epoch of the year 1799 came, which put the whole Kingdom in trouble.
Because of one of those inconceivable anomalies, but inseparable from popular revolutions and riots, the house of that respectable Magistrate was ransacked by the blind fury of Popolaccio Napolitano, and he himself had to struggle hard to be able to save his life. With the looting undeservedly suffered by him, even those processes of our causes which were with him were dispersed. The dispersion of them, the annoying consequences of the terrible convulsions of the year 1799 which affected everyone, and the confiscation of all the assets of him that the House of Andria suffered as a result of them, arrested for necessity until the year 1803 the course of the aforementioned judgments.
Due to the mournful events preceded, the current Signor Duca d’Andria, D. Francesco Carafa, was then the firstborn of his illustrious family. Therefore, following the Treaty of Florence, the fiefs and assets of his house which had been confiscated were returned to him. With the Duke D. Francesco therefore the aforementioned judgments were resumed in the year 1803. It was no small embarrassment to re-do the trials scattered throughout the house [a250]of Mr. Zurlo, and especially of that of the mills, in which there was the report of the Experts used, and the plan of them removed in the year 1798. We returned to the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary, and therein the proposed requests in the year 1797 two others were added in the year 1804.
The first of them was the following. Twenty-eight wagons were in the hands of the House of Andria of the ancient municipal defense, of which we have already spoken, without it being known for what title it had owned them. In this obscurity on the support of the documents found in the Great Archive, and reported above, and of the instrument of the year 1552, with which the municipal defense erected in the year 1510 was enlarged, I estimated to propose a claim. The Duke having defended himself by having produced various documents, with which he claimed to have paid off a portion of the old debts of the University with the price of the said wagons, the judgment changed the figure. I attacked him of nullity for the contracts attached by the Duke for lack of legitimate solemnity. Subordinately and in any case I proposed the reintegration actionin force of Pragmatic XVIII De administratione Universitatum , because I calculated that the value of the defense owned by the House of Andria was twice the price that was said to have been paid.
The second was the following. Fifteen wagons of land in the district of Murge belong to the Monte della Pietà in the city of Ruvo intended for the maintenance of the project. For many years they had been in the hands of the Andria company for a very tenuous performance in money, nothing corresponding to their value, without knowing in what capacity it had taken possession of them. As the friendly requests were useless either for the increase of the estaglio or for the restitution of the aforesaid land, it was better to take legal action.
Having renewed the aforementioned judgments, the current Signor Duke D. Francesco Carafa adopted himself as a wise and prudent man. Instructed by the result that the questions proposed in the SRC had had, he tried to get closer to the Ruvestini, and to propose to them the amicable combination of the other even more serious judgments which were however pending. The disposition of the minds was then also changed. The very serious disasters that have struck [a251]on the Casa d’Andria for the mournful events of the year 1799, and the bitterness in which an illustrious family once so powerful lived, had cooled the resentment generated by the ancient bullying, and excited a pity and a feeling of consideration. The truth is true in that very sad situation for the House of Andria, the Ruvestini not only took care not to aggravate their ailments more and more; but they also gave themselves wholeheartedly to saving them from confiscation anything that might have depended on their cooperation.
The proposal for an accommodation was therefore well received by them and applauded by me because my way of thinking was always adverse to quarrels, and also because a reasonable transaction would have brought a more prompt improvement to municipal interests and to the state of the population. Negotiations and discussions then opened between me and the Duke’s lawyers with mutual good intention and good faith. And because the result of them had been more certain, a measure was taken which proved very useful. For those points in which the respective opinions and pretensions could not be approached, a great man was agreed as a conciliator, that is the very clear Fr Francesco Ricciardi, famous lawyer at the time, of whom I spoke earlier with that praise that is well due to his illustrious and venerable memory.
If the House of Andria had strictly speaking had to return all the sums snatched from the University, and from the miserable population of Ruvo by dint of usurpations and extortions, double or triple the assets it possessed would certainly not have been enough. . But carrying the pretensions so far would have been the same as wanting to combine nothing. I have never seen affairs of this sort finished other than by raising a hand to the past. The same Commission of Feudal Causes, against which the Barons have shouted so much, cut without sparing, and often even with an excess of the present; but she was very indulgent about the past. How and from whence the immense damages caused to the populations by the intrinsic defects of the feudal system, by the reason of the times, and by the weakness of the Viceroy’s government due to the arrogance of the Magnates? In addition to how to liquidate the aforementioned sums after entire centuries have passed? Where to find the appropriate documents to be able to make the liquidation?
With these views, after long discussions a transaction was combined by me, which, while it made all the abuses and usurpations of feudalism disappear, also brought about some reparation of the past failures which circumstances might permit. The combined agreement did not include the last two judgments relating to the once municipal defense, and to the land of the Monte della Pietà, for which the trial was not yet fully investigated. For the other heads the convention was delivered for just reasons in two separate sheets. In one of them the following articles were agreed.
I. The right of slaughter was returned to the University .
II. The Duke was obliged to pay the bonatenenza both for the vast land called the Piantata , and for the industrial animals that grazed in the state property.
III. The warehouse cut out fifteen years earlier from the public prisons was returned to the University. The rents owed by the Duke were compensated with the expense made to reduce that room to use as a warehouse.
IV. For the fruits and proceeds of the Jurisdiction of Portolania, and of the weights and measures, and of the gabelle of the almond jumble, for the unpaid bonatenence up to the time of the cadastre of the year 1752, and for any other claim concerning the past , the Duke renounced the alleged credit of arrears of interest in the sum of 25600 ducats, and also undertook to pay the University five thousand ducats with a twenty-year deferral, and in the meantime pay the interest to the reason of five percent francs of each withholding.
V. Compared to the mills, it was true that I. They were built on the ground and next to the ancient city wall. II. That the expense of the new factories, of the machines and of the animals to the same employees had been made by the Casa d’Andria. III. That the prohibitive right of them had been established by the University in the year 1615 for its own use. IV. That this right was useful to keep it to ensure and facilitate the collection of the flour gabelle.
It was therefore agreed that the Duke had continued to consider both the mills and their property as a municipal property, paying the University three hundred ducats annually from the 4th of May 1804. [a253]forward third and without any withholding. He also undertook to keep the mills always in a good state of service, without ever being able to alter the performance of sixteen grain tomolo for the millstone.
The said articles of the convention were applauded and approved by the University with the public Parliament on 20 January 1805. They were subsequently presented to the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary to obtain its approval. That Court approved it with its expedit decree of 24 April 1805. After this it was stipulated as a public instrument on 21 August 1805 by the Notary D. Antonio di Marino di Napoli.
In the other sheet a declaration was introduced that without coming to a formal definition of the quality of the Ruvo state property, the following temperaments were taken.
I. It was agreed that the so-called parades of the murge had remained on the same foot as they were, without ever having been able to expand or shrink.
II. It was declared that in their continence there were found many possessions and sowing lands of particular and pious places. The owners of them were therefore allowed to form, without any payment, a mizzen for the use of the animals assigned to the cultivation of the extension no greater than that which the Customs Instructions and the use of Puglia grant. The same faculty was granted to all the owners of sowing farms located in the entire Ruvo state property.
III. In compensation for the claim that he could have competed with the University and citizens of Ruvo on the places included in the parades , the Duke was obliged to pay one thousand and five hundred ducats annually to the municipal fund from the month of May of the year 1805 onwards. It was agreed that the aforementioned sum had never been able to decrease or increase for any pretext or cause, even if the prices of the herbs were to rise or fall, and if the House of Andria also came to say that it had not found to lease it. .
IV. With respect to the trust of the foreigners that the Casa d’Andria was exercising throughout the state property, it was established in the first place by general rule that it could not exercise otherwise than after having provided [a254]first to graze the animals of the citizens. Secondly, this remained absolutely forbidden and inhibited in parched land, both sowing and uncultivated sites in the state property  .
V. The same provision was also extended to the sowing land of particular and pious places located in the district of the murge, not except those included in the parades, which remain open during the summer time  .
The said articles were likewise applauded and approved with the aforementioned parliament of 20 January 1805. Therefore, after having been approved by the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary, on 24 April 1805, as mentioned above, the other articles contained in the first sheet it was this second sheet delivered in a public instrument on May 2nd of the aforementioned year stipulated by the same Notary D. Antonio di Marino di Napoli.
But why was this second convention not also presented for the approval of the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary as it was done for the first? There he is. It was reflected that the matter that formed its object was every day in the hands of the tax attorney of the aforementioned Court. Furthermore, in the narrative of the same convention he could not help but talk about the pretensions of the Regio Tavoliere and its Locati on the state property of the Ruvo murge.
Therefore, if this had been warned by the tax attorney, perhaps e [a255]without perhaps the Regio Tavoliere and the Locati would have been questioned. In this way an age-old question would have awakened again, which fortunately had been sleeping for many decades, and a convention that brought immense advantages to the city and the population of Ruvo would have been arrested and muddied from this incident. And why everyone is convinced of this, and whoever has not yet understood it should understand it, here are the views that suggested it to me.
There were two questions that arose on the state property of the Murge. The first if this was a feudal or municipal property. The second if in any case the so-called parades could be supported by the Casa d’Andria , or the closing of a good portion of the winter grass of it that it sold for its own profit.
For the first question, the municipal quality of that state property was supported by me with all those arguments that could suggest my weak talents. But, I like the truth, these arguments were in conflict with the permanent fact and with the immemorial possession that the House of Andria alleged, taking reason from the contract passed in the year 1473 between King Ferdinand I of Aragon, and Pirro del Balzo Duca di Venosa. and Conte di Ruvo, of which I discussed at length on pages 214 and 215. The same parades of the vernina grass, however abusive, and the right of trust exercised by the Casa d’Andria in the district of the murge also constituted a proof of that very ancient possession that it attached.
For all the other items deduced, the interesting documents found had provided me with sufficient material to be able to demonstrate either the usurpation of municipal rights or the abuse of feudalism. But for the murge, in spite of the most extensive and accurate researches practiced, nothing positive and conclusive presented itself to me. In this position I did not lack the tact to calculate that a possession accredited and guaranteed by a remote antiquity, also recognized by King Ferdinand I of Aragon, and not weakened by solid and robust documents, could have imposed on the Magistrates, and for this reason I could have remain succumbent.
So in the open negotiations for an accommodation I made use of the [a256]dexterity and art. I mainly tried to start from the second question, where he saw on my side a decisive superiority. Given also the feudal quality of the state property of the Murge, given the adverse position, the House of Andria could never have hoped to be able to support the parades in spite of the ancient laws that strictly forbade the Barons to close any part of the feudal demanj in prejudice of the civic uses that belonged to the populations. The opening of the parades was therefore vigorously insisted on by me; but this was only a false attack which was not at all my intention to push him forward from his wits and to the extreme.
He was well aware that if the cause were brought to a decision, the parades would open, and the House of Andria would lose the considerable profit of several thousand ducats the year it took back. But the opening of them would have benefited only the owners of industrial animals which would have had a free and wide pasture in the murge. The greater number of these gentlemen, however, either out of avarice or gooey, or in order not to disgust the House of Andria, had no part in this laudable undertaking. He therefore did not deserve to reap the fruit and sit at a lavish table prepared with the risico and the bag of others.
On the other hand, my views were aimed at making the agreement profitable mainly to the municipal fund, as it was as I am, however, convinced that when this is in the state of opulence, the resulting advantage is spread over the entire population, the good of which it was mainly at heart. By having therefore strongly threatened the parades that constituted the weakest point for the House of Andria, I forced their lawyers to make themselves less demanding in the question of the quality of the aforementioned state property, in which, not without a foundation perhaps of reason, they believed themselves stronger. The House of Andria, in order not to completely lose the considerable income from the parades, was obliged to divide it with the University and had to condescend to give it the considerable sum of annual ducats one thousand and five hundred.
For this purpose my lines were directed. If the cause had been decided [a257]for tramites juris the parades would have blown up. But what profit would the municipal fund have made? However, with having forced the House of Andria to divide the income from them, in addition to the profit that the University has made there, it has also come to purchase by convention in the district of the murge that condominium reason that there was no security that it could have achieve it through the courts.
This law has enabled it to impose a tax on the animals of the citizens who now go to graze there, which has taken the name of civic law . This fruit at the municipal cash register annually two thousand ducats, which together with the annual ducats one thousand and five hundred gathered for the parades form the very conspicuous sum of annual ducats three thousand and five hundred that the University now comes to portray from those murge that it could not even look at them from before. distant.
But if our city had not thus acquired the condominium of that district, and the parades had remained open to the free use of the animals of the citizens as a result of a decree of the Judge, could it have perhaps imposed the aforementioned tax? Certainly not. Municipalities can have this right in their own demanj and up to a certain sign, not in the ancient feudal demanjs, in which each of the citizens was allowed to graze with his animals on his own right.
The right that the new laws have granted to the Municipalities with respect to the feudal state property was that of division . And well if there had not been the convention of the year 1805 and the state property of the murge had to be divided between the Baron and the University, what could have been due to the latter? He could have had the fourth, or at most the third, as was decided for the Bosco di Ruvo by the very learned and respectable councilor D. Domenico Acclavio, commissioner at the time for the division of the state property of that province. The grass of the other two thirds would have remained free and absolute disposition of the Baron, without the citizens having been able to claim any rights.
Now the aforementioned tax of two thousand ducats per year was able to be imposed because by effect of the convention of the year 1805 the animals of the citizens graze in the winter in those places of the murge which are outside the parades and in the summer, when that pasture is very more interesting [a258]and more sought after, in the entire continence of them. But if this pasture had remained restricted to only one third of that state property, could a tax of two thousand ducats possibly be tolerable?
On the other hand, if that state property had been divided in the way predicted between the Baron and the University, could the Ruvestini’s herding industries have never reached that degree of prosperity to which they now see themselves brought? The increase in them since 1805 up to now can truly be said to be prodigious, and this is due solely to the convention of the year 1805 which made available to the citizens the very interesting and precious summer pasture of the entire district of the Murge. What would be done with only one third of it? How could so many animals have multiplied in it as are now seen in the territory of Ruvo?
If therefore the convention of the year 1805 enriched the municipal bank, it also considerably increased the wealth of details and the abundance of the city where before even the meat for the slaughterhouse was missing. The premise observations are valid because anyone who has not yet reached the bottom of the thing, can understand what was then done with full care, evaluate it, respect it, and be persuaded that the prosperity of the Ruvestine herding industries depends on the observance of that convention.
Turning now to the more that was agreed with it, and established, the appropriate measures were also taken for the devastation followed in the woods, for which, as mentioned above, a criminal judgment was pending in the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary. The Duke therefore obliged himself for twelve continuous years not to let any stranger enter it, neither to wood nor to graze the summer grass, so that under the pretext of pasture the wood had not been cut and transported. He also undertook to use all means to reforest the damaged places again.
For the same object it was also agreed that for an equal period of time the civic use of wood which was the responsibility of citizens due to the judgment of the SRC of the year 1798 had been exercised with the greatest possible moderation, and limited to those designated less damaged that would have been defined by agreement. The most effective measures were taken for the strict custody of the forest and for the necessary surveillance. [a259]It was established that anyone guilty of cutting down fruit-bearing oaks would be irremediably brought before the Court to have him sentenced to the penalty established by the laws then in force.
This is how the municipal administration of the time, which thought it soundly, effectively took the conservation of the forest to heart. And this he did while the population of Ruvo for the laws of that time had only the simple civic uses also contradicted by the Baron, and not the right of ownership that it has on the third part of it now acquired as a result of the new laws, straight which should have aroused a greater interest of the modern municipal administration for the conservation of the forest.
With the above-mentioned means observed and rigorously carried out, the aforementioned wood was gradually restored to a plausible state. A good portion of it is now also greatly improved. I have said before that not small shares of the wood have passed from the hands of the Abruzzesi censusers to those of the Ruvestini and other wealthy owners of that Province. They count not only on grass, but also on acorn, and much more on wood which form an interesting article there.
Therefore, for the greater portion that belonged to the Duke of Andria in the division of the state property, article 58 of the law of the Tavoliere of the day 13 January 1817 was evaluated, with which the compulsory redemption of summer grass and any another straight to which the lands of the Tavoliere are subject. Therefore, once the statonica has been freed , and the right of wood left to the Duke of Andria on the aforementioned portions, they have made them and have them diligently kept, and therefore they are well reforested.
However, this is not the case for the thirty-three wagons returned to the Municipality in the division of the state property. That portion of the aforementioned forest has been led and is being led to total destruction. The House of Andria before the year 1797 had the branches cut to make money. Now the trunks are also being cut from the roots without the municipal fund making any profit! This painful failure that falls under the senses of anyone who wanted to bother to verify it, is also fully prosecuted with a process formed in the year 1837 at the request of the late Mayor D. Pietro Cotugno who in entering the administration wanted [a260]be cautious, so that the aforementioned damages were not attributed to his lack of vigilance. This process is in the Intendenza of Bari, and what was the result?
That wood that could give to the municipal treasury that same showy and sure income that is giving the greater portion of it due to the Duke of Andria, what does it yield to it? From a report dated 17 April 1838 directed by the Intendant of the Province to HE the Minister of the Interior, and from the accounts of the Municipal Cashier it appears that in a decade from the year 1826 to the year 1836 the income was 2800.38 ducats, and the result for the land grant, and the forester’s money was 2840 ducats. Nice shop indeed! For good reason, this is a property that the modern municipal administration wants to retain only to make it stop destroying and annihilating!
For those who therefore fought in the arduous question that I had to support in the SRC in the year 1798 for the civic uses of the Ruvo wood, if the victory then won, instead of increasing the proceeds of the municipal fund, must be used for a destructive plunder ? However, this is too unpleasant a discourse, which requires a broader development, which, not being able to take place in an historical hint, I reserve it for another work of mine.
Once all the judgments deduced in 1797 were completed in the manner described above, only those established in 1804 for the land of Monte della Pietà and for the ancient municipal defense remained. These two judgments passed from the Court of the Royal Chamber of the Summary to the Commission of Feudal Causes set up in the first years of the Military Government decade. On the grounds of the Monte della Pietà, seeing the Duke who lacked any document to be able to retain him, he voluntarily released him, and the quarrel ended.
For the twenty-eight tanks of the defense there was wide discussion both on the principal action of the nullity of the contracts attached by the Duke, and on the subordinate request for the reinstatement in vigor of Pragmatic XVIII De administratione Universitatum .
The feudal commission wanted to hurry. To be quick more than once he refereed. In this meeting she liked to follow the judgment [a261]of Solomon. The aforementioned defense was divided into two equal parts. The one closest to the inhabited area was given to our city. The other remained with the Duke. The portion attributed to the city yields no less than a thousand and two hundred ducats per year, but it can yield even more.
With this judgment of the feudal commission, all the judges directed by me were exhausted. I now leave to my fellow citizens the comparison between the operations of the year 1750, and those of the year 1797.