Biography of Fray Luis de Aliaga (ca. 1555- ca. 1626)

Spanish religious of the order of Santo Domingo of Guzmán born about 1555 in Aliaga (Zaragoza) and died in Zaragoza to 1626. He/She was confessor of King Felipe III and before was the valid or private of the monarch, Francisco Gomez Sandoval y Rojas, Duke of Lerma. He/She was appointed by the King, Grand Inquisitor of the Kingdom.

The figure of the confessors of the King was very important during the reign of the so-called minor Austrias, time in which his political standing was broad, as it used to be common that tenants of the Spanish monarchy claims guidelines for its political action to their spiritual directors. In this way, the monarchs of the House of Austria also silenced any scruples of conscience that had before certain decisions of the Government, which placed the confessors in councils and asked to intervene directly in the resolution of issues of the monarchy. With regard to the reign of Felipe III, they occurred, in twenty-two years that lasted the same, four Royal confessors, all of the Dominican order. The Duke of Lerma watched with great attention the choice of them. In this way wanted to avoid that they could influence the decisions of the King with advice or directions that were unfavourable to the efforts of Government, which the Duke himself performed, so tried that their own confessors were who pass to carry out such a task close to the monarch.

Son of poor parents, fray Luis de Aliaga joined as a youngster in the order of Santo Domingo of Guzmán, Dominican. He/She was appointed confessor of Felipe III in 1608 and replaced at this post Cardinal Javierre. He/She was instrumental with his religious fanaticism to legal provisions that, when Felipe III, reigned formalized the expulsion of the Moors in all the Peninsular territories of the Spanish monarchy. These provisions were entering into force in 1609, 1610, 1611 and 1613, and they were forced to the Moors to his baptism or to leave the territories where they were seated. From his position, Aliaga was devoted to undermining the power and the ancestry of Lerma, his former mentor and valid of the King, before the monarch and the Court. For this was the son of Lerma, the Duke of Uceda, both as a gentleman of the House of the Prince of Asturias and future King Felipe IV, Gaspar Núñez de Guzmán, who was the Duke of Olivares.

Fray Luis de Aliaga with Lerma's confrontation began when the Venetians, through its Ambassador to the Spanish monarchy, wanted to replace the valid since by its policy of neutrality it was contrary to the Venetian interests. One of the outputs that had seen Lerma to get rid of its fall was the appointed Primate Cardinal of Toledo, claim that had emerged in 1615 due to the weak state of health of the then primate. An apostolic nuncio visited fray Luis de Aliaga to probe possible candidates but hid him the claim of Lerma, who knew the nuncio. Aliaga also was aware of the claims of Lerma, despite the fact that he/she wanted to keep them in strict secrecy, and directly told the nuncio that he/she oppose such appointment and that it would influence King so forth, in addition to affirm to the nuncio that Lerma does not, would occupy the MITRE of Toledo while Aliaga, lived. Aliaga was also against the other candidate for the post, the Bishop of Cuenca, Andrés Pacheco. To avoid both candidates proposed to the second son of the King, the infante don Fernando, who was a young child, since he/she was born in 1609, by which would not be a rival. Lerma was not appointed Primate Cardinal of Toledo, but in compensation the Pope named him Cardinal in 1618. 22 July 1619 the Pope Paulo V granted the dignity of Cardinal Aliaga candidate, the infante don Fernando. However, the King was displeased with the conditions that had been set for such appointment. It threatened the papacy that he/she would appoint an administrator for the diocese before so-called the same disorder. This maneuver of the King seemed to be work of Aliaga, since the King had thought as administrator of the Diocese of Toledo of the Archbishop of Valencia, who was brother of fray Luis de Aliaga. However eventually the papacy conceded to own infant administration of the Archbishopric of Toledo.

In the harassment against her father, Uceda had warned as the confrontation between his father and Aliaga he/she wore this last reason and had also the confidence of the King, so the chances of that drowned unceremoniously to his father were very large. In response, Uceda is involved in his dismissal, but what he/she wanted was to avoid one major disaster that involved his family and clientele. Aliaga managed to greatly influence the conscience of the King, which adopted a posture of disinterest and deviation with respect to the Affairs of the monarchy, but what he/she really did was to be present at all. With respect to their work that undermined the power of Lerma, highlighted his role in the matter of don Rodrigo Calderón. Despite his friendship with this character, at the same time one of the major partners of the Duke of Lerma, contributed decisively to the fall, which was in turn driven the Queen Margaret of Austria. In the phase of candidatures for the position of primate Cardinal came to public light new offences which have been attributed to Rodrigo Calderón. This allowed rivals of Lerma unleash a powerful offensive against the same. Both Aliaga as others and religious, greatly influenced the mood of the sovereign, that a few days after the departure of the Earl of Lemos by the scandal, ordered the exile of the Duke of Lerma. Thus, with the fall of Lerma, intervened Aliaga in the dispute between the two candidates to be valid, Uceda, the son of Lerma, and Pedro Fernández de Castro, conde de Lemos. Aliaga, with intervention on their side of the future Duke of Olivares, helped the first.

After the fall of Lerma in 1618, allied in the Council of State with the Marqués de Villafranca, Pedro Franqueza, and Baltasar de Zúñiga. It enjoyed for a short time of the benefits that meant you the privanza of Uceda, son of the deposed valid. He/She even managed to Uceda Aliaga was appointed Grand Inquisitor of the Kingdom in 1619. According to Fernando de Acevedo, who at that time was President of the Council of Castile, both newly promoted Duke of Uceda as the Royal confessor, fray Luis de Aliaga, advised the monarch who made a visit to Portugal, United where he/she had not been since he/she took the same Crown on the death of his father in the summer of 1619twenty years ago. The dealings of the Portuguese noble families in the preparation of the trip were either Uceda or with Aliaga, while Acevedo was fond of the lusos treated directly with the monarch. Also, the preparations that were made for the trip required a complicated organization, as well as a turnout with several servers, and numerous characters including the own confessor of the King. It was on this trip, but rather in the return of the same, where the King's health problems began. From January 1621, with his disease aggravated, the King had many scruples of conscience that forced you to continuous consultations with his confessor regarding any issue, in such a way that it was the situation that not shipped subject without his approval, so it always the prevailing view of the Aliaga.

Fray Luis de Aliaga enjoyed all the privileges that the influence supposed. Regarding its economic rapacity, had grown accustomed to the cosrtesano transfer and continuously requested waivers and swaps of prayers and religious services which it must hold, to thus not absent from their duties as a man of the Government of the monarchy of his Catholic Majesty. The Ambassador of the Empire in the Madrid Court blamed the confessor of the King that the Spanish monarchy to not send promptly troops from Naples to assist the Emperor in its struggle against the rebellion of Bohemia, which had arisen in 1618. The writer Francisco de Quevedo, who carried out important political efforts related to the Viceroyalty of Naples during the reign of Felipe III, accused him, though not in an open form, having demanded and received large amounts of silver, jewelry and diamonds by the Duke of Osuna, while this lent their services to the monarch as Viceroy in Italy, first in Sicily and then in Naples. The purpose of these bribes was Aliaga to defend their interests before the Court during his absence as viceroy. The State of health of the King worsened progressively and Monday 29 March suffered a great aggravation that led him to seek confession, and the sacrament of the last rites, which was supplied by his confessor, Aliaga. The agony of the King lasted almost forty-eight hours, and it was then when the monarch chastised the attitude of his confessor before their lack of sincerity and care. Shortly before the monarch's death renewed pressure against Rodrigo Calderón, against their management and their abuses of political and economic pressures which Aliaga showed itself again with special activity against all protégés of Lerma.

Also, shortly before the death of the monarch, the only thing that was missing to Aliaga to consummate his power was a cardinal's hat. Uceda, simple instrument in their hands and the collaborators, sought him out is compelling way with numerous steps before the promotion that was announced at the beginning of 1621, promotion that raised all sorts of intrigues in the Roman curia due to the advanced age of the Pontiff Paulo V. In this situation, the Government of the Spanish monarchy sought benefits and proposed some candidates. It was here where is framed the actions of Uceda in the search of the Cardinal's to fray Luis de Aliaga, actions that eventually failed and that accounted for a huge disappointment for the Royal confessor. Even before the death of the King, his son Felipe showed little attention to the figure of Aliaga. When Felipe III died and ascended the throne Felipe IV, the new valid or private, Olivares, determined the onset of a general reaction against everything that had led to the Government during the reign of the former monarch. This reaction is echoed by a widespread public outcry accusing everyone who had anything to do with the previous Government, rightly or wrongly, of corruption. Aliaga could not get rid of this adverse current and was removed from his post of general Inquisitor, who happened to be occupied by Andrés Pacheco, Bishop of Cuenca and who Aliaga had vetoed as Primate of Toledo. Equally, the Confessor was accused of instigating the death of the count de Villamedina and, although such charges could not be proven was ordered to leave the Court and go into exile in April 1621. He/She first did this to a convent of his order at Huete, and then another of Zaragoza, where it is assumed that he/she died. He/She preciaba himself as a great man of letters and any subsequent scholar attributed you, but without solid foundation, the authorship of the second part of Don Quixote, published by someone under the pseudonym Alonso Fernández de Avellaneda.


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