It’s not clear who Sanchicorrota was. Actually, it’s not even clear if he existed.
Anyway, it looks his name was Sancho Rota, and some people say he was the son of the Mill Man (rota comes from Errota, what in Basque means Mill), but not idea where that mill was located (although some people say possibly in Carcastillo). About when he lived, it is supposed he did it in the first half of the 15th century.
Once introduced Sancho Rota, we will tell you how he became famous in Bardenas Reales lands and in the Navarre Kingdom.
One day, he was involved in a fight and by accident he killed a man who worked for the king. So, after this incident, King wanted his head and send some men to catch him. When Sanchicorrota listened about that, tried to ran away, looking for a shelter and protection in the vast, wild and rough area of Bardenas Reales, an out of law area.
As he needed a way of living, he started to steal to travellers on their way across Bardenas Reales. Here, it’s not clear who were his victims. Some people say he was a bandit so he stole all he could; but for others he was a kind of Robin Hood who only attacked to Royal Messengers and Workers so that he could steal from rich people to share with the poorer. You know, an oral legend uses to become in a very beautiful fairytale.
Anyway, he was able to create a little army of around 30 outlaws, living in mountain in Bardenas Reales which now is called Sanchicorrota and where it’s believed there are a lot of treasures buried there. But there is one more thing about him… actually, about his horse. His horse had his horseshoes placed looking backwards instead of forwards. It is said this was to avoid being chased.
Finally, in 1452, the King Juan II got tired of so many assaults to his deliveries and decided to send a 200 men army to find and killed him. And… they did it, although Sanchicorrota, when he found himself without option, as any proper legend says, he killed himself before “being killed by King’s men”. Army took his corpse, and showed it in the villages around Bardenas Reales, to finish the “tour” hanging his body in Tudela, to show what the King does to outlaws.
Legend or a true story… or both.