Biography of Francisco de. Marqués de Ayamonte Guzmán y Zúñiga (1606-1648)

Spanish nobleman born in 1606 and died in Segovia in 1648. It was the sixth Marquis of Ayamonte (Huelva) and also served as Governor of the square of the same name and its border with Portugal. He had a significant role in the opposition of the nobility landowner against the centralizing policy of the count-Duke of Olivares, valid or private King Felipe IV. On the occasion of this opposition, he devised the aristocratic conspiracy in Andalusia, which failed.

The Marquis of Ayamonte was one of the branches less significant of the great aristocratic House of the Guzmán. As such was related closely both with the Duchess of Braganza and future Queen of Portugal, Doña Luisa de Guzmán, as with the brother of the same, Gaspar Alonso Pérez de Guzmán y Pimentel, ninth Duke of Medinasidonia. Equally, and much farther way, I had a family relationship with the count-Duke of Olivares, but against which a policy maintained active against.

The animosity of the nobility against the count-Duke of Olivares had been given both by his pride and authoritarian manners of the same as by the fact that because of their political activity, the King requested increasingly greater benefits and resources of the various noble houses, which in the framework widespread crisis that existed in the 17TH centuryThese families were increasingly poorer. In a very direct way, the Marquis of Ayamonte suffered the effects of the impoverishment of the nobility. Its effective action against the Government of the count-Duke of Olivares began when once its political relative the Duke of Braganza proclaimed himself King of Portugal with the name of Juan IV, he learned that a plot against the King in favour of the maintenance of Portugal within the scope of the domain of the Spanish monarchy, plotting so quickly to bring to the attention of its relative the existence of such plot. After this he began a more active work against Olivares and it was regarded as the real instigator of the attempt of aristocratic revolt that took place against the King in Andalusia from the center of Seville.

It is believed that it was he who in contact with other Portuguese nobles on the other side of the border that had to save, who plotted the conspiracy in the beginning. The objective of this uprising was unclear. Some authors have thought that they had finally declared independent, with the rank of Kingdom, Andalusia and the Indies the rest of territories of the Spanish monarchy. Ayamonte thought that the future throne was assumed by the of Medinasidonia, relative of Ayamonte, due to the higher rank and seniority of the title, to the possessions of his family in that region and to the charges at the same. Also making his prestige among the other nobles catalyse these environment to your figure. Also it has been thought by other authors that the ultimate goal of such attempt was to force Felipe IV to that expel Olivares of the Government, since it was considered responsible for the evils that suffered the nobility within the framework of the Spanish monarchy. Either way to carry out the uprising was requested outside help. It is thought both in Portugal, whose monarch was related, and also in Holland and France, who were at war against the Spanish monarchy. Of Medinasidonia wrote a letter to the Duke of Braganza, now King of Portugal, at the instigation of the Marquis of Ayamonte. In this letter requesting his help to the rebels. However, the person who was responsible for delivering the letter to its destination and had different Sancho, gave it instead to the count-Duke of Olivares. In this way the attempted uprising was exposed without that initially the rebels had evidence of such circumstances. Similarly, the Duke already knew of such attempt at uprising through a network of private informants who always kept him informed of all matters that believed suitable. Thus, the message confirmed suspicions that I already had. With this information in its possession the count-Duke of Olivares called to court the Duke of Medinasidonia, whose first idea, consulted with the Marqués de Ayamonte, was the ignoring of the letter which requested their presence and also to get rid of committed documents and then request the help of the Dutch and Portuguese fleets who then ravaged the Andalusian coast. However, Olivares insisted in his appeal for what went to the Court in Madrid while that of Ayamonte remained in Andalusia.

The Duke of Medinasidonia came to Madrid 10 September 1641 confessed their involvement and that of Ayamonte. The Duke of Medinasidonia stayed first in the Palace of the Buen Retiro but Olivares gave the order and arrested Francisco Antonio Guzmán and Zúñiga in Andalusia. A year after the uprising happened in 1641, opened a judicial process and that it wanted to debug the responsibilities. At all times we sought to show the attempt as a personal company directed both by the Marquis of Ayamonte and the Duke of Medinasidonia. This hid itself consciously, that had been a secessionist attempt of an arrogant aristocracy which had never been fully subjected to the authority of the monarch. The Marquis of Ayamonte was sentenced to death, despite the fact that was promised that he would be forgiven. But while he was locked up and forgotten in the Alcazar of Segovia, prison that lasted seven years, happened the nobility also independence revolt in Aragon, in 1648. Faced with this situation, the new valid or private monarch, Luis Méndez de Haro recalled its case and ordered to run death sentence so thus serve example levantiscos Aragonese nobles. The head in the alcazar of Segovia was finally cut in 1648.


HELLIOT, J. H., the count-Duke of Olivares. Criticism, Barcelona, 1990.