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What was the Order of the Hatchet?

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The Order of the Hatchet (Orden de la Hacha) is an order of knighthood founded in Catalonia (Spain) in 1149 by the Count of Barcelona, Raymond Berengar IV (Ramon Berenguer IV), to honor the women of Tortola who defended their homeland.
Tortosa had been under Muslim control for centuries when it was taken over by crusaders in 1149, shortly after, the army left for other pressing matters, and a Muslim army showed up, laying siege to the city. Told that they might best surrender, the women of the city instead dressed as men, took hatchets and whatever other weapons they could get, and successfully attacked the Muslim camp, driving the army away.

The women in the Order of the Hatchet were knighted, and had all the privileges of knights. They went ahead of all common men in processions, they were given preferential treatment in meetings, and were allowed to speak. They had been, in fact, elevated to the nobility, as knights. Their status, however, like those of most knights, was not hereditary, and the order was limited to those women who had fought at Tortosa, so the order died out with them.
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