BASQUE PROVINCES (Provincias Vascongadas), a division of north-eastern Spain, comprising the three provinces of Alava, Biscay or Vizcaya and Guipuzcoa.
Las Provincias Vascongadas a Fines de la Edad Media, by D.
Carmelo de Echegaray, Cronista de las Provincias Vascongadas, with his colleagues D.
The former of these, which was distinguished by the unusual largeness of its concessions, and by the careful minuteness of its details, rapidly extended to many places in the neighbourhood, while the latter charter was given also to Miranda by Alphonso VI., and was further extended in 1181 by Sancho el Sabio of Navarre to Vitoria, thus constituting one of the earliest written fora of the "Provincias Vascongadas."
The slightest tincture of red or black blood bars entry into any of the old families who are descendants of Spaniards from the Provincias Vascongadas or those bordering the Bay of Biscay, where the morals are perhaps the purest (as regards the intercourse of the sexes) of any in Europe, and where for a girl, even of the poorest class, to have a child before marriage is the rarest thing possible.