Behetrias, called plebeian lordships, were districts and townships of peasants who were bound to have a lord, and to make him payments in money or in kind, but who had a varying freedom of choice in electing their lord.
The men who raised Pelayo on the shield believed themselves to be electing a successor to Roderic, and indeed they were.
A notable instance is his doctrine of the Church - the community (Gemeinde); the sole object of God's electing love, according to Ritschl's interpretation of St Paul.
When it met, it acknowledged him as king, but made no pretence of creating or electing him to be sovereign.
Lincoln was also given the right of electing its own magistrates in 1194, and many smaller places owe grants of more or less of municipal privilege to Hubert Walter acting in the name of the absent king.