Francesc Macià i Ambert, known as Bac de Roda, was a Catalan military leader, who was one of the signatories of the Pacte dels Vigatans and fought on the side of Carles III of Austria.
As leader of Els Miquelets, Bac de Roda led his militia against Felipe V's Franco-Castilian troops in the War of the Spanish Succession between 1703 and 1713.
He was born in Sant Pere de Roda, now Roda de Ter and Les Masies de Roda, near Vic in Osona on May 25th 1658 and was tried and hanged in Vic on November 2nd 1713.
Francesc Macià i Ambert was the son of Onofre Macià. of Mas Macià, and Escolàstica Ambert from Vic and at the age of 14, he married the eldest daughter from Mas Bac de Roda and took the surname of his wife.
On May 17th 1705, along with other Vic military leaders, Bac de Roda was one of the signatories of the Pact of the Vigatans, which led to the Treaty of Genoa and the military alliance between the Catalans and the English against the Franco-Castilian monarch, Felipe V.
The Company of Osona, known as the Vigatans, of which Bac de Roda was a member, led the uprising of 6,000 men, which allowed the English to disembark their troops in Catalonia, and on July 1st 1705, the Vigatans proclaimed Carles III king in Vic.
As commander of the fusiliers, under the orders of General Moragues, Bac de Roda participated in the Combat de Congost in which Vic was captured by the Austuacist forces.
In March 1706, Bac de Roda's Miquelets with another company under Manuel Moliner i Rau was patrolling the Catalan borders with Valencia and Aragon and at the end of the month, when the Borbon troops tried to take Barcelona, he was ordered to Barcelona. His company of 600 men were ordered to defend to the area that divided the Castle of Montjuïc from the city and on April 7th 1706, his troops attacked the Borbon trenches outside Santa Madrona.
In 1709, now with the rank of colonel, he successfully led an attack by a group of fusiliers against French troops in L'Empordà.
The death Josef I of the Holy Roman Empire on April 17 1711 led to Archduke Carles acceding to the throne and as a result, the Austrian troops began their withdrawal from Catalonia and Bac de Roda received orders to defend Barcelona alongside Antoni Desvalls, Marquis of Poal.
On August 28th 1713, the Borbon troops under the Duke of Bracamonte beat the Vigatans in El Congost and Osona was occupied.
Bac de Roda returned to Mas Colom, where he had grown up, but a supposed friend Josep Riera from Vallfogona del Ripollès gave him away to the Borbons and he was captured and executed on November 2nd 1713.
On November 19th 1713, after the Combat de Navès, the Marquis of Poal captured 28 prisoners and executed 5 in revenge for Bac de Roda and a year later, Josep Riera was captured and hung as a traitor.
The memory of Bac de Roda as a Catalan hero lives on and a street in Barcelona named after him, Carrer de Bac de Roda, which runs down from Navas to El Poblenou.
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