Granada’s keys in Moorish hands

From John Drummond Hay, Morocco and the Moors: Western Barbary, Its Wild Tribes and Savage Animals (1861):

There are descendants of the Moorish families of Granada now residing in Tetuan and Fas [Fez], who still preserve the keys, and it is said also the title-deeds, of the houses of their Mauro-Spanish ancestors, in the hope that the Arabs will yet return as conquerors to Spain.

This is a frequent meme in C19th British and, I think, Spanish accounts of the region. It’s unclear to me whether there’s any truth in it, although John Drummond Hay was in a position to know, being British Consul General at Tangier.

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