Burgos is the area in Spain from which Andre Robidou, the founder of the Rabideau family in North America, came.
Early humans occupied sites around Burgos as early as 800,000 years ago. When the Romans took possession of what is now the province of Burgos the site had been a Celtiberian city. In Roman times it belonged to Hispania Citerior (“Hither Spain”) and then to Hispania Tarraconensis. In the fifth century the Visigoths drove back the Suebi, then the Arabs occupied almost all of Castile in the eighth century, though only for a brief period, and left little if any trace of their occupation. Alfonso III the Great, king of León reconquered it about the middle of the ninth century, and built several castles for the defence of Christendom, which was then extended through the reconquest of lost territory. The region came to be known as Castile (Latin castella), i.e. “land of castles”.
Burgos was founded in 884 as an outpost of this expanding Christian frontier, when Diego Rodríguez “Porcelos”, count of Castile, governed this territory with orders to promote the increase of the Christian population; with this end in view he gathered the inhabitants of the surrounding country into one fortified village, whose Visigothic name of Burgos signified consolidated walled villages (Gothic baurgs). The city began to be called Caput Castellae (“Cabeza de Castilla” or “Head of Castile”). The county (condado) of Burgos, subject to the Kings of León, continued to be governed by counts and was gradually extended; one of these counts, Fernán González, established his independence.
In the eleventh century the city became the see of a Catholic bishop and the capital of the Kingdom of Castile. Burgos was a major stop for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela and a centre of trade between the Bay of Biscay and the south, which attracted an unusually large foreign merchant population, who became part of the city oligarchy and excluded other foreigners. Throughout the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries Burgos was a favourite seat of the kings of León and Castile and a favoured burial site. The consejo or urban commune of Burgos was firmly in the hands of an oligarchic class of caballeros villanos, the “peasant knights” of Burgos, who provided the monarchs with a mounted contingent: in 1255 and 1266 royal charters granted to those citizens of Burgos who owned horses and could arm themselves relief from taxes, provided that they continue to live within the city walls The merchant oligarchy succeeded the cathedral chapter as the major purchasers of land after 1250; they carried on their mercantile business in common with municipal or royal functions and sent their sons to England and Flanders to gain experience in overseas trade. A few families within the hermandades or confraternities like the Sarracín and Bonifaz succeeded in monopolising the post of alcalde, or mayor; a special court, the alcalde del rey was first mentioned at Burgos in 1281 By the reign of Alfonso X the exemption of the non-noble knights and religious corporations, combined with exorbitant gifts and grants to monasteries and private individuals, placed great stress on the economic well-being of the realm.
In the century following the conquest of Seville (1248), Burgos became a testing-ground for royal policies of increasing power against the consejo, in part by encouraging the right to appeal from the consejo to the king. In 1285 Sancho IV added a new body to the consejo which came to dominate it: the jurado in charge of collecting taxes and overseeing public works; the king reserved the right to select its members. The city perceived that danger to its autonomy came rather from an uncontrolled aristocracy during royal minorities: Burgos joined the hermandades of cities that leagued together for mutual protection in 1295 and 1315. In the fourteenth century official royal intrusion in city affairs was perceived as a palliative against outbreaks of violence by the large excluded class of smaller merchants and artisans, on whom the tax burden fell. The alguacil was the royal official instituted to judge disagreements.
On 9 June 1345, sweeping aside the city government, Alfonso XI established direct royal rule of Burgos through the Regimiento of sixteen appointed men
In 1574 Pope Gregory XIII made its bishop an archbishop, at the request of king Philip II.
Burgos has been the scene of many wars: with the Moors, the struggles between León and Navarre, and between Castile and Aragon. In the Peninsular War against Napoleonic France, Burgos was the scene of a battle, and again in the 19th century Carlist civil wars of the Spanish succession. During the Spanish Civil War Burgos was the base of Gen. Franco’s rebel Nationalist government.