Biography of Rodrigo Calderón (1570-1621)

Statesman and 17TH-century Spanish nobleman, man of the Duke of Lerma, valid King Felipe III, as well as own monarch. He was born in Antwerp to 1570 and died executed in Madrid October 21, 1621. At the time the judicial proceedings against him began, had charges, jobs and titles: Marqués de Siete Iglesias; continuous of the House of Aragon; Real help; Treasurer of the excises of Seville; older brother of real incomes and four hoes of the Principality of Asturias; Sheriff of the Court of the Chancillería of Valladolid; Warden of the prison of the tribunal of the Chancillería of Valladolid; largest Registrar, and Archivist of the same Court of the Chancillería of Valladolid; had two jobs Regiment in Valladolid; monopoly in the income of the Papal Bull of crusade; Butler's works of the city of Valladolid; general oositario of Plasencia; Clerk of the city of Plasencia; mojonero from the village of Pedrosa. He was also the habit of the most prestigious order military of Cavalry of the Peninsula, the Santiago, order that granted the encomienda of Aragon.

His father was a Spanish hidalgo of Spanish origin who served as his military life in the thirds of Flanders and which became Commander of Aragon of the order military of Santiago, while his mother was Flemish. Both got married once already was born Rodrigo Calderón. When her mother died it passed to Spain with his father, in particular in the city of Valladolid. Here he made University studies in law at the Colegio de San Pablo, University of Valladolid capital. When he completed these studies he entered the service of Vice-Chancellor of Aragon. Somewhat later, from April 1598, entered the service of the Duke of Lerma, Francisco Sandoval and Rojas. It was at this time when he began his meteoric rise to positions of power of the Spanish monarchy and, in addition, it kicked off its great economic fortune. Won easily trust and sympathies of the Lerma so that this accomplished, because of its ascendancy on the monarch, which Rodrigo Calderón was admitted to the House of the King as the valet of the sovereign.

Although he always maintained his loyalty towards Lerma, from this position also did gain the confidence of the monarch, who in fact was given the habit of the order of Santiago with the encomienda de Ocaña, as well as the County of olive soon. But also appointed him captain of the German guard and State Councillor. But his ascendancy over the monarch also affected his private life when the King granted him to marry Doña Inés de Vargas. This occurred in a time frame that was relatively short, so it caused some misgivings and no little envy among other characters of the Court, both by their rise to political and social and economic enrichment. These fears were accentuated by the character and way of acting that don Rodrigo Calderón had. This was characterized, far from to make reasonable use of the power that had accumulated in a short time by a proud character, despotic ways and a great greed. Its action focused increasingly in having more charges and riches but is that also was angry form who asked for some reason her intercession, that created you more than one enemy. Your form of political and economic action was common in other characters of the Court, such as the Marquis of Velada, Pedro openness or the Royal confessor, Aliagafather, which made use of corrupt practices in which bribery was something common. However its end would be different from these characters.

The actions against Rodrigo Calderón

The main objective of the political opposition was the own Lerma, appearing as the main political and economic degeneration. This opposition manifested itself in two ways. On the one hand were published booklets and leaflets that accused all those involved and that does not forgive nor to the valid nor to his friend. On the other hand members of the Court who were opposed to Lerma, before you decide to point towards the valid King were devoted to undermine your environment of power. This culminated in a first phase in which the own Lerma, which almost certainly was advised by Rodrigo Calderón, wanted to stop the criticism against them and their policy by the dismissal and prosecution of some contributors, as happened in the case of Pedro Franqueza as well as the Royal Secretary, Ramírez del Prado, but also others. However the opposition against the valid was not satisfied with such ceasefires, but not dared to go directly against the de Lerma. So he focused his efforts against the person of the utmost confidence of the Duke of Lerma, Rodrigo Calderón, against which started a campaign towards the year 1607. His own father predicted his son a final fatal if it was not able to change their personal attitudes and forms of political action.

What don Rodrigo Calderón is not expected is that the campaign against the had her bosom in the Royal family. One of the people of the Court that Rodrigo Calderón, irrupted due to the haughty attitude, was the Friar Juan de Santa María, of the order of the Discalced Franciscans, but also of sor Mariana de San José, which was the Prioress of the convent of the incarnation. Both religious had frequent contacts with the queen Doña Margarita of Austria and also exerted a great influence on her. As well as the queen Doña Margarita de Austria, advised and influenced by both religious, acted decisively against Rodrigo Calderón. Something must have feared don Rodrigo on this side, as was done to give the defendant a certificate that is recognized by loyal minion and good Minister. Believing themselves safer was given back to the same reprehensible conduct before and, above all, was devoted to hoarding new wealth and new charges. However, repeated instances of the Queen, advised by the two aforementioned religious, convinced the disloyalty of his Minister Felipe III, but he continued enjoying the confidence of the Duke of Lerma, his fortune and power amenguaron not in the slightest, since awarded new offices and new honours, making him one of the most influential characters in Spain.

As well as, and in the name of administrative morality, political and economic, it got the King decreed his dismissal as Secretary. The Duke of Lerma realized this indirect attack against it and tried to satisfy the opposition against him for which left, at least apparently, sacrificing his friend and server. However, the influence of this persisted in the same way that remained from the own Lerma. But a tragic fact again acted against it. In 1611 the queen Doña Margarita de Austria died of posterity, coincidentally shortly after the dismissal of Rodrigo Calderón of the mentioned post. His political enemies and for them the de Lerma, took advantage of the circumstances and without grounds accused him of causing the death of the Queen. However, these rumours accusing Rodrigo Calderón anyone from the ruling classes took into consideration at this time. However this was away from the Court and was sent shortly thereafter to a diplomatic mission that took him to the Netherlands as Ambassador extraordinary between 1612 and 1614. There he received continuous signs of affection and he was honored both by the infanta-gobernadora, Isabel Clara Eugenia, as her husband, the Archduke Alberto. When he returned to the Iberian Peninsula, the confidence of the King in his person he continued expressing and thus the monarch appointed him Marquis de Siete Iglesias. However the religious who had been members of the queen Doña Margarita de Austria did not cease in their activities against don Rodrigo Calderón. At the same time found unexpected support in the confessor of the King, the father Aliaga, who saw in Rodrigo Calderón a political rival potentially very dangerous. In this new phase of the offensive which is orquestaba against Rodrigo Calderón, opposition to the Duke of Lerma was strong enough to take action against the own Lerma. This had the support of another unexpected ally, own son of Lerma, the Duke of Uceda, who aspired to succeed his father but had end last keep power within the own family lineage from harassment to which it was subjected by rival political and social factions. October 4, 1618, faced enormous pressure that is exerted by the opposition forces, the Duke of Lerma retired from political life. Faced with this situation the political position of don Rodrigo Calderón in the Court became unbearable and pressure against it every time was greater. He was a new charge of murder against him, this time on the commoner Francisco Juara. Given this fact and the pressure from rival groups, King Felipe III appointed a court which ordered that he inquiriese his guilt and instruyese their timely judicial process. In this situation don Rodrigo Calderón departed from the Madrid Court to Valladolid and there began the destruction of papers that could be compromising to him and also hid much of its wealth. In this situation it was when he was arrested February 19, 1619 at his Valladolid House and was detained in prison.

The process

Extended the detention of don Rodrigo Calderón and held on in the strengths of Medina del Campo, Montánchez and Santorcaz, between large security measures. Finally he is encarcelase him in his own House of the Court of Madrid, although confined to one of the Interior rooms. It was when I was in prison when began the massive denunciation of accusations against him, including the murder of several people featured as Agustín de Ávila. But in this circumstance it was even with the support of the Duke of Lerma, who tried to intercede by don Rodrigo Calderón with the King. But one of these accusations which this time took great strength was the lead to the murder of the queen Doña Margarita de Austria, murder that would have occurred by poisoning. The Prosecutor in his case was García Pérez Aracil's and this produced a report, while don Rodrigo was incommunicado, for which we sought evidence and witnesses from Flanders, Italy and America.

In this way, Rodrigo Calderón admitted before the judges that they performed the process certain accusations that were made against him, but the judges failed to confess to any role in the hypothetical murder of the Queen. Because of this they do not hesitated and followed the orders of the own monarch who demanded that you applies you torment into making a confession. As well as applied torture on don Rodrigo Calderón, which occurred January 9, 1620 and so used the colt, but who either had no effect. Finally the judges could not prove against don Rodrigo Calderón rather than assassination against Francisco Juara and Agustín de Avila, whose deaths had been don Rodrigo Calderón inductor and originator of the same. They also considered that the accused had been punished enough with the two years he had suffered in prison and therefore were favourable to that requested his pardon. Before this, the King himself, who had decided previously to deprive him of all their possessions and honors, which led to his family that lacked the most needed, seemed also favorable to the pardon and equally determined to rectify these decisions. Another front which was pursued freedom of the accused was the efforts of his own family, who came to intercede for him with the monarch, this which was favorable to don Rodrigo Calderón, delayed its decision on their freedom, which had fatal consequences. A new death again changed the fate of Rodrigo Calderón since King Felipe III died in March of 1621 and ascended the throne of the Spanish monarchy his son Felipe IV, the final triumph of the rivals of the Duke of Lerma and his son of Uceda.

The new monarch and with the your valid Gaspar de Guzmán y Pimentel, count-Duke of Olivares, who had personal grudges against don Rodrigo Calderón, echoed the current and popular accusations against the vicious and corrupt administration of the reign of his father, and this made him unless they be differentiation or any distinctive hue. Own King Felipe IV could be more compassionate, but apparently also had some animosity against the accused due to underground political confrontation that had been with her mother, the Queen Margarita de Austria. The process against don Rodrigo whose instruction had made under the reign of Felipe III, not is had deepened in the issues of lack of administrative delicacy and receive rewards for favors rendered, I bribery, that is what really had remarkably unpopular defendant. His lawyer, Antonio de la Cueva and Silva, claimed in the defence of the accused that until 1607 there was a formal prohibition of the Court Royal officials about the reception of this type of gifts. Thus, the new rulers and the restart of the process against don Rodrigo Calderón not headed towards those aspects. What was done was instruct them to act much more severely against him, so that his case was example to society, and they did. In this new phase judges, which were previously supporters ask for your pardon, don Rodrigo Calderón was condemned to the death penalty, which was held in Madrid from October 21, 1621. In the latest trance faced death so calm and impassive, he showed in addition large doses of resignation, courage, dignity, but above all sincere and deep repentance of their sins, who managed to stir those who had been his enemies. Such demonstrations made to be won suddenly the respect and sympathy of the masses who flocked to his execution and that both had influenced their final destination. Thus was coined the phrase "Have more pride than don Rodrigo on the gallows", based on that fact.


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