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When considering the Christian presence in the area around Bentómiz, we have to distinguish between those groups who repopulated the area and formed the permanent population, and the troops who, from time to time, operated in the area to subdue and control the territory. Within that distinction, we also have to differentiate between two different stages: the occupying force at the end of the XV century, and the spread of the population across the region in the final third of the XVI century, following the expulsion of the Moriscos.

During this time, Frigiliana was second only to Velez in demographic importance, although apart from the garrison, all of its inhabitants were Mudéjars. In 1497 the recorded population included 720 men over the age of 16, (obliged to attend the mosque, fight in battle and pay taxes) and contribute to the levy imposed to meet the cost of coastal defence, whilst the figure for Velez was less than 200, that for Nerja was 122. Maro 135, Canillas 126, and less than 100 in total in all the remaining villages. (This information comes from the records of the Medina to make its returns to the Catholic Monarchs in 1497, published by Ana María Vera in her book, “The Final Medieval Frontier”.)

Whilst in 1503, Velez paid a precept of 20,400 “maravedíes”, Frigilisns and the villages within its “taha” (Torrox, Nerja, Lautín and Paryana) paid 72,080, implying a population of more than 2,000 souls, a fact which had not prevented the demolition of its castle along with that of Cómpeta in 1498, on the instructions of the royal secretary, Hernando de Zafra. maro appears to have become depopulated by 1505 and was sold to Don Gaspar de Gricio to meet the funeral costs of the Catholic Queen, passing alter toDon Julián Golberto. Torrox was bought by Don Rodrigo deTapia y Vargas, despite the objections of the council of Velez, and Frigiliana became the property of the Manrique de Lara family in 1508.

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