Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Hermandad ("brotherhood"), a Spanish institution, which sprang out of an association formed towards the close of the 13th century by the cities of Castile and Aragon for purposes of mutual defence against the aggressions of the feudal nobility. It assumed a public character in 1485, when it was organised by Ferdinand and Isabella as a local police with judicial functions; at the same time it received the name of Hermandad. As the royal power grew and that of the nobles declined, the Spanish sovereigns no longer needed the support of the burgher class, and the Hermandad gradually fell into decay.