After the conquest of Seville, several cantabrian ports joined in 1296. They had realized that together they were a very large commercial and military power. Laredo allied with Vitoria to control part of Castile and also with other ports such as Fuenterrabia, San Sebastian, Guetaria, Bermeo, Castro Urdiales, Santander and San Vicente de la Barquera. The Brotherhood of the Marshes (“La Hermandad de las Marismas”) had been created, known and feared in Europe.
Their power was such that, although they were at the service of the kingdom of Castile, many ports of other kingdoms wanted to deal treaties of peace with “La Hermandad”. Laredo and its allies, traded and went into war with ports from other nations regardless of orders from Castile. Many kingdoms wanted to deal peace treaties with “La Hermandad”.
In 1.490 the conquest of the Atlantic had begun. The Catholic Kings, frightened by the power of “La Hermandad de las Marismas”, decided to dissolve it. However, Laredo had already grown a lot after two hundred years of maritime power, commerce and piracy.
Did you know…
Have you seen Brave Heart movie? The bad guy, the English King Edward I, complained to the King of Castile about Laredo’s pirates and their cruelty, even in times of peace.