The Marshall Pardo de Cela, son of Betanzos and martyr in Mondoñedo
The history of Betanzos, well named dos Cabaleiros is often the living history of Medieval Galicia. Not only for its rich Gothic heritage, but also because of the importance that in the villa had such illustrious characters as the Marshall Don Pedro Pardo de Cela, whose family remains buried under the stones of San Francisco in Betanzos. His fateful story is now legend.
Symbol of the indomitable nature of the Galician nobility for some, merciless tyrant for others, the truth is that the figure of Marshal perfectly embodies the model of Late Medieval Galician nobleman. Forced to abandon their lands during the Great Irmandiña War, he will be one of the visible heads of noble counterattack led by the Count of Lemos from The Bierzo. In the succession war after the death of Henry IV, Pardo de Cela supported Isabella of Castilla against Juana La Beltraneja. With that, he earned the gratitude of the queen, who confirms his noble privileges and named him Mayor of Viveiro. However, the centralizing zeal of Isabel and her husband Ferdinand soon clash with the independent nature of the Galician nobleman.
Since 1476 to 1483, the tension between the Marshall and the central power (with Fernando de Acuña as a representative of the Castilian interests in Galicia) will intensify until he is captured and executed in Mondoñedo.
The legend tells that the Queen Isabella, merciful with his old ally, gave to his wife, Isabel de Castro, a royal pardon that could never deliver, because it was retained in the so-called Pasatempo Bridge by the followers of the Bishop of Mondoñedo, sworn enemy of the Marshall. At this time, the head of her husband fell in front of the cathedral, but his lips already dead would pronounce his last words: “Credo, credo, credo” (in latin, “I believe”).