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Marya Marta Manuela Soria SERRANO (1761-c1795)


  • a Spanish lady called Marya Marta Manuela Soria SERRANO (1761-c1795)
  • daughter of Cristobel Marta Sarlanga and his wife, Josefa Soria Serrano of Saragossa/Zaragoza, Aragon, Eastern Spain
  • thought by some that she was at one time attached to the Spanish Court known as Lady Mary
  • thought by some to be the wife of Capt John Brabyn and to have become the 1st lady to die on Norfolk Island in 1795 soon after her arrival.

18th century Aragon

the Habsburg court

  • at the start of the 18th century, Aragon and neighboring Catalonia, both on the north-east reaches of Spain, were supporters of the Grand Alliance (Holy Roman Empire, Britain, Portugal and the Dutch) fighting against the newly appointed Bourbon King of Spain, Philip, Duke of Anjou and grandson of King Louis XIV of France who sought to dominate the Spanish American trade at the expense of English and Dutch merchants.
  • King Philip V allied with France, won this War of the Spanish Succession which lasted from 1701-1715, and he abolished the existing courts of Aragon with his Nueva Planta decrees which were designed to unify Spain in Castilian administration, law, culture and language, and to punish those who fought against him.
  • the peace treaty resulted in:
    • Spain cedes the Spanish Netherlands (Flanders / Belgium), the Kingdom of Naples, the Duchy of Milan and Sardinia to the Austrian Habsburgs; cedes the Kingdom of Sicily to the Duchy of Savoy; and cedes Gibraltar and Minorca to Britain.
    • France recognises British sovereignty over Rupert's Land and Newfoundland and cedes Acadia and its half of Saint Kitts to Great Britain
    • Spain's centralised government on the Crown of Castile
  • could our Marya, who was born in 1761 during the 7 year war, have been a descendant of the now unofficial old Habsburg court of Aragon, and thus allied to the British navy who controlled nearby Minorca island, and presumably being persecuted in her own country, the ongoing wars throughout the 18th century which involved Spain, which would give credence to the theory of her marrying Capt Brabyn and prepared to leave for a life in the new British colony in Australia.
  • alternatively, our Marya could have been part of the new Spanish Court, but perhaps she would then have had to be a Castilian and an outsider in Aragon, and even more so worried of a possible French revolution type peasant uprising against the feudal system.

the 7 year war

  • in an attempt to curb the rising power of Great Britain, France formed an alliance and a global 7 year war resulted from 1754-1763 which was won by Great Britain
  • Britain and Prussia along with some German states formed an alliance (after Prussia had pre-emptively invaded Saxony) against France, Spain, Sweden, Russia, Austria while the Dutch, Italians and others tried to remain out of the war, the original “world war” which involved all of the main continents - Europe, America, and Asia.
  • The war was successful for Great Britain, which gained the bulk of New France in North America, Spanish Florida, some individual Caribbean islands in the West Indies, the colony of Senegal on the West African coast, and superiority over the French trading outposts on the Indian subcontinent.
  • Prussia emerged as a new European great power
  • France was deprived of many of its colonies and had saddled itself with heavy war debts that its inefficient financial system could barely handle
  • Spain lost Florida but gained French Louisiana and regained control of its colonies, e.g., Cuba and the Philippines, which had been captured by the British during the war.
  • France and Spain avenged their defeat in 1778 when the American Revolutionary War broke out, with hopes of destroying Britain's dominance once and for all.

the American War of Independence

  • France, Spain, and the Dutch join with the 13 North American colonies seeking and winning independence from Great Britain, but would throw France in financial turmoil ripe for a revolution
  • Britain lost the island of Minorca back to Spain in 1782
  • the war lasted from 1775 to 1783 just 12 years before Marya would go to Australia with her husband Capt Brabyn if this theory is true

the French revolution

  • the Storming of the Bastille took place in 1789 and soon resulted in the existing monarchy and feudal system being replaced by a Republic in 1792
  • from 1793 to 1815 France was engaged almost continuously in wars with Britain and a changing coalition of other major powers

the Brabant Revolution in Flanders

  • at the same time as the French revolution, a short-lived Brabant revolution took place in Flanders in 1789-90 following riots in 1787 and dissidents forming a rebel army in nearby Netherlands.
  • Capt Brabyn appears to have been posted in Flanders c1788.
  • in 1792, the French armies defeated Austria and took control of the Austrian Netherlands (Flanders) resulting in conflict with Britain and the Dutch

Marya decides to go to Australia 1795

  • if Marya was a former lady of the court, then this attack on the feudal system and the courts, the Jacobins unleashed the Reign of Terror (1793–1794) resulting in at least 16,594 people died under the guillotine or otherwise after accusations of counter-revolutionary activities, must have been indeed terrifying to her and perhaps the straw that broke the camel's back in her decision making to travel to Australia in 1795.

Zaragoza suffers 2 seiges by the French in 1808

  • a pre-war population of 100,000 was reduced to just 12,000 in the 2nd seige by Napoleon's French soldiers
  • it is unlikely much historical evidence of the peoples before this seige, or Marya's family would have survived in the smoking rubble
genealogy/maryaserrano.txt · Last modified: 2016/10/17 00:41 by gary1

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