ABANSD'ARA

A Barcelona in England

Del reportatge de Josep Manyé (Barcelona, 1908-2000) a The Cornish Times (17-II-1956). Primera gran recerca periodística excel·lent de la fins llavors ignorada Barcelona d'Anglaterra.
JOSEP MANYÉ, 'JORGE MARÍN' 1956

[...] The parish church of Looe is in the high-lying part of the suburbs of the town and borders on the Plymouth road. Its structure goes back to the fifteenth century, and like most country churches in England. It is surrounded by a little garden-like cemetery. The Reverend William Picken received me cordially. When I told him that my visit had nothing to do with his apostolic mission, he smiled benevolently, and when I told him the reason for my visit, he said that while he had often been consulted about Cornwall, this was the first time anyone had shown an interest in Barcelona. […] Apologising in advance for the little information he would be able to give me, he told me all he knew about Barcelona. According to him, the first mention of the name in a chronicle of Cornwall dates back to 1746, but the fact that in the 1748 edition of Martyn's Map of the district, Barcelona already appears, implies that at about that time the name must have been well established in the area. These small details constituted the first reasonable trail I had encountered. They seemed, in principle, to confirm my belief that the name must have been inspired by the Spanish War of Succession, and on suggesting this to Mr. Picken, he invited me to consult and old parish register in which are described the most important events that took place in the district. I looked for the ones corresponding to the years 1705 to 1720, but nothing of interest was shown in it for that period. […] In spite of the negative result of my search, it seemed clear that the name of Barcelona had arisen in Cornwall in the first half of the eighteenth century. Indeed, there were strong reasons in favour of this being so. In 1705, Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough, landed in Barcelona at the head of the Allied troops who supported the Archduke Charles in his aspirations to the Spanish throne. […] It would not be surprising, therefore, that in this atmosphere someone should have decided to give the name Barcelona to a place in England. […]

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