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VILLADIEGO, town in N. Spain, west of *Burgos. It is not known when Jews first settled there, but as early as 1222 Ferdinand III extended his protection to 20 Jewish families who went to stay in Burgos. He granted them the same rights as were generally enjoyed by the Jews in Castile. Important evidence, possibly the oldest of its kind in Castile, indicates that in 1240 Ferdinand ordered the community of Villadiego to pay 30 denarii yearly for the benefit of the cathedral of Burgos. In 1290 there were 20 Jewish families in Villadiego, who lived in a separate quarter close to the city walls. In the war between the brothers Pedro and Henry (1366–69), the community was destroyed by English soldiers serving under Pedro. It recovered around 1390, when it again numbered 20 Jewish families. During the 15th century some Jews of Villadiego served as tax farmers. In 1485 the community, then one of the smallest in northern Castile, contributed a special impost of 23 castellanos toward the war against Granada. In 1491 it paid an annual tax of 6,020 maravedis.


Baer, Spain, index; Baer, Urkunden, 2 (1936), index; F. Cantera y Burgos, in: Sefarad, 2 (1942), 363; A.I. Laredo, ibid., 5 (1945), 431; Suárez Fernández, Documentos, 25, 72, 76; P. León Tello, Los judíos de Palencia (1967), documents 41, 45, 110, 255.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.