Biography of Francisco Gómez de. Duque de Lerma Sandoval y Rojas (1553-1625)

Equestrian portrait of the Duke of Lerma. Rubens. Museo del Prado. Madrid.

Noble, politician, statesman, and 17TH-century Spanish religious. Valid or private King Felipe III. Born in Tordesillas (Valladolid) in 1553 and died in Valladolid in 1625. 5th Marqués de Denia, fourth count of Lerma and since 1599 first Duke of Lerma. It was on page of the Princes and groom of the Prince of Asturias (future Felipe III), Viceroy of Valencia and valid or private of the King. He also received the Cardinal's hat. In it were three conditions pointing as indispensable in the private political writers of the 17TH century or valid: wealth, nobility and wisdom.

Lineage and family

The main lineage of the Duke of Lerma was the Sandoval family. The origin and nobility of the family dated back to the count don Pedro de Palencia, who in turn was a descendant of Fernán González, count of Castile. They were natural and in addition Lords of the town of Sandoval, who was in the party Court villadiego (Burgos), where in turn took the last name of the lineage. The first historical mention of them was made in 1124, a privilege granted to the Rioja town of Nájera by Queen Doña Urraca. In this document the confirmations were performed, among others, by Fernando Díaz de Sandoval, who appeared as rico-hombre of Castile. The lineage began to illustrious characters in all medieval, as Diego Gómez de Sandoval, who fought against the Muslims during the reign of Fernando III el Santo, already in the 13th century. Don Gutierre Díaz de Sandoval was ahead of Leon and also one of the most significant men during the reign of Alfonso X the wisemonarch. Don Ruy Gutiérrez de Sandoval distinguished itself in the fighting he participated in his time in such a way that it reached the grade of second lieutenant of the King. Don Gutiérrez Díaz de Sandoval died in 1323 in the battle served as the infantes don Juan and don Pedro during the campaign by the cutting of the vega of Granada. As one of the main characters of the Crown of Castile, Don Álvaro Gutiérrez de Sandoval, attended the coronation of Alfonso XI. Don Diego Gómez de Sandoval, who died at the first battle of Nájera. Don Hernán Gutiérrez de Sandoval, was one of the most loyal vassals of the King Juan I and as such died in combat during the battle of Aljubarrota against the Portuguese.

In the 15th century, Diego Gómez de Sandoval held the offices of Marshal and advance of Castilla, and as such fought in numerous clashes which occurred against Muslims from Granada, as well as fought in the Crown of Aragon against the count of Urgell, who was one of the contenders for the Crown against Fernando de Antequera. In 1426, when Juan II of Castile reached the age of majority, and as a reward for services that had lent him, Diego Gómez de Sandoval awarded the title of nobility of count of Castrojeriz, which from that moment it came to be known as count of Castro. But not there completed the actions of this member of the lineage of the Sandoval since it intervened in the Castilian noble revolts in favour of infants of Aragon and died in 1454. His son, Fernando de Sandoval who was the second count of Castrojeriz succeeded him at the head of the lineage. This Sandoval, who died in 1474, under the joint service to King Alfonso V of Aragon and Juan II of Navarre, took part in the naval battle that they gave against the Genoese. His son don Diego de Sandoval served the Catholic monarchs with their hosts that were formed by people, relatives and friends in their Catholic Majesties wars against the Kings of Portugal and Granada. Due to the services provided in 1484 was granted to him and his family a new noble title of Marquis of Denia. Because he died in the town of Lerma Burgos, in 1522, and the Kings believed that they had not sufficiently rewarded her work, was granted to his son and successor, Bernardo, the noble title of count of Lerma, as well as the habit of the order of Santiago, which was the most prestigious among Hispanic women.

Fought Bernardo de Sandoval in the Granada war but was also a member in the Council of State and accompanied to Italy to King Fernando. He died in 1536 and was his son and heir don Luis Sandoval and Rojas, Commander of Paracuellos in the order of Santiago. It enjoyed the confidence of the Emperor Carlos and therefore the custody of her mother, the Queen followed commending you Joanna I, until her death in 1555. His second son, don Francisco de Sandoval y Rojas, succeeded him in 1570. The King Felipe II entrusted the guardianship and custody of the Prince don Carlos, son of the King and in principle heir of the Crown, when ordered to retire in his house and Royal Palace of Madrid, but in their custody the Prince died in strange circumstances. It was also gentleman of the Chamber of his Majesty and succeeded his father in the santiaguista encomienda de Paracuellos. By order of the King visited in Santander to the new Queen Anne of Austria when he arrived in Spain, to congratulate and welcome their new kingdoms and Lordships.

Happened Gómez Francisco de Sandoval who was the first Duke of Lerma by identity card issued in 1599 by Felipe III in 1574. His mother was Doña Isabel de Borja, who was a daughter of the 4th Duke of Gandia, San Francisco de Borja, and granddaughter along this line of King Fernando the Catholic, what Fráncisco Gómez Sandoval and Rojas was related, too distant degree, with the monarchs. It was thus one of the most prominent members of the Spanish nobility when started the reign of Felipe III, and had after of a long family tradition that was characterized by the service and work in favour of the monarchs of the day. Lerma was the continuation of this tradition in the new times and circumstances of the 17TH century, in which the nobility not participated both in fighting and battles, as neither own monarchs, but yes in the workings of the policy and administration of the States of the Spanish monarchy.

Early years and life at Court

Raised you and educated by his uncle, the Archbishop of Sevilla don Cristóbal de Rojas Sandoval. In 1576 he married dona Catalina de la Cerda, daughter of the Duke of Medinaceli, who died in 1603. As member of one of the leading noble families received since his youth jobs in the Court of King Felipe II. He then had the title of Marqués de Denia, and how big Spain and gentleman of the Chamber of the King, had easy access to the private rooms of the Crown Prince, which began a relationship of great friendship. The Council deprived of Felipe II, formed by Cristóbal de Moura, Marqués de Velada and don Juan de Idiáquez, soon realize that fact and told the King. It wasn't realized if away from the Court, but Felipe II appointed in 1592 the then Marquess of Denia viceroy of Valencia. However, his stay there was brief and soon returned to the Court, which could continue to cultivate the friendship of the heir of the Crown. Felipe II should not be dangerous such a relationship of friendship, already that when preparing for the wedding of his son, named Francisco Sandoval master of the horse from the Prince, as well as most of the future Princess waitress to the widowed Duchess of Gandía.

The same day the King Felipe II, died September 13, 1598, was presented to the new King the Minister don Cristóbal de Moura, who was a member of the Board private Felipe II. He entered the room with the bundles of unfinished business to dispense with the new King Felipe III. The monarch commanded that you leave there you papelees them and when you put them in one of the law firms, it entrusted its management to the Marquis of Denia, he had chosen to make it descansase him the weight of the monarchy. This is how told a witness in the Court of the Spanish monarchy, the Ambassador of the Republic of Venice. Felipe III declared, by the simple act, that it had chosen valid.


Don Francisco de Sandoval y Rojas was the vassal of more influence on the King who was known in Spain since the 15th century, in the time of don Álvaro de Luna during the reign of Juan II of Castile. Had, with some good qualities, two prominent vices: nepotism and greed. The increase which starred in power and wealth began shortly after the death of King Felipe II. December 18, 1598 he swore in the turret, town near Aranjuez, sommelier of corps and master of the horse from the new monarch. Its privanza was increasing, and Lerma was it. So he walked away Court to those men who might endanger it, as he did with don Cristóbal de Moura and don Rodrigo Vázquez de Arce. The 22 February 1599 died the former master of the King, don García de Loaysa, leaving vacant the MITRE of Toledo. Lerma started then another of its facets to stay in power: grant jobs to relatives or people you trust; Thus, Lerma gave immediately to his uncle don Bernardo de Sandoval y Rojas, who by then was Bishop of Jaén, Toledo mitra. On the journey made by the King and his sister Isabel Clara to Valencia for the marriage of the first, Lerma made the Royal procession to pass by his villa in Denia, so that thus did ostentation of its influence. Costs that there did not let out fruit. The King corresponded to the gifts of who starred in Denia with a notary in Seville, that the valid subsequently sold for a value of 173,000 Duchies; It also named him Commander of Castile, trade that had an income of 16,000 Duchies. The culmination of these events to your valid was when the King created the Duchy of the same name on the County of Lerma.

The generosity that King Felipe III showed regarding their valid during this trip was of great magnitude. But it continued later: so, when the new Duke of Lerma gave the King the good news of the arrival without novelty of the fleet of the Indies, the King granted him 50,000 ducats. When Lerma was slightly ill, the King sent him, with the person who went to visit him in his name, a gift in the form of diamonds that had a cost of 5,000 ducats. But he not only obtained rewards, titles and charges for it. Lerma also managed appointments to his family. So, Diego Sandoval, his son who then became count of Saldaña and which at the time had few years of age, it was charged higher of Calatrava, and another of his sons, Cristóbal de Sandoval, Marquess of Cea and was later Duke of Uceda, achieved a place of gentleman. For it I thought by then in obtaining another fruitful position, of the greater finance accounting, although this did you despise other minor charges and that they provided minor economic. Thus he obtained titles and charges as the lordship of the place of Purroy, the writing of Alicante and the alcaidia of the castle of Burgos, which were well worth 4,000 ducats of income. Other family members of Francisco Sandoval and Rojas, in this case indirect, were also equally advantaged with appointments, honors and titles. One of his brothers-in-law was appointed viceroy of Naples, while another was of the Peru. His son-in-law, the Marquis of Sarria obtained a sinecure of 3,500 ducats while for another son-in-law, the count of Niebla, obtained the position of Hunter or montero of the King.

The Dukes of Lerma settled down in the Madrid Court in the Palacio Real and the same apartments that had been occupied by the King when he was Prince. The Queen gave the Duchess float received the Duke of Mantua. But he also received gifts from the city of Madrid as well as some individuals, who gave him jewelry and money. With these gifts, poets were subject to ironic sonnets, at the risk of losing the freedom and even his life, appeared so early reviews to the influence of Lerma and nepotism and Simony that entailed. To keep isolated the monarchs of potential political rivals, the Duke of Lerma wanted the position of Maid of the Queen, the widowed Duchess of Gandía, had to give it to the Duchess of Vibona, who was the sister of his wife. However he stepped an unexpected obstacle is that at reina resisted this change However, due to the pressures that received your environment the widowed Duchess of Gandia eventually resign with what left the vacancy. This gave way to a new manifestation contrary to the valid with the manifestation of sympathy which became the Duchess of January 17, 1600, the day of his departure from Palace. Lerma found the displeasure that the courtiers old witnessed his rise and his family. Far from appeasing its climbing power, Lerma appeared almost defiant way: in 1601 did that it would be given to his uncle, for which it had already achieved the Archbishopric of Toledo, the advancement of Cazorla; in Valladolid he bought to the Dominicans, for a price of 80,000 ducats, the chancel of St. Paul, as well as their Board of Trustees about the same; Finally, and to discredit those who saw him with displeasure, inspired one of his Secretaries, Íñigo Ibáñez, to write a libel that much circulated. In this paper is graded as "confused and ignorant" to the Government of the reign of Felipe II.

The Duke of Lerma increased opposition to his privanza due to the scandal that was generated. By this scandal, the King sent to find out who was the author of the libel, and when it was learned who was stopped him but was sentenced to a negligible punishment since he was transferred to the castle of Burgos, who was warden own Lerma, but also was given on account of the treasure 1,000 ducats for the expenses that are caused. In terms of the chapel of St. Paul, the end of Lerma was the do in the chancel a grandstand that communicate with its rooms of the same convent. I also wanted to have it his grave and that of the Duchess, which demanded that I will rid this Chapel of the graves that it had. Under the contract, the remains of the infant don Alonso, son of Sancho IV and María de Molina, and the other two infants, children of Juan II of Castile, were transferred to the monastery of San Benito el Real. He wished Lerma to the ducal burial, as well as that of his uncles the archbishops of Toledo and Seville emulate the El Escorial, and hired them with Pompeo Leoni. This sculptor, who had worked at the chapel of El Escorial, was from Madrid to Valladolid in 1601, in plaster, two statues orantes of the Dukes, which then merged in bronze and placed in St. Paul.

When they began 1602, the fortune on the rise of the Duke of Lerma allowed him to buy the Marquess of Auñón, for a price of 120,000 ducats, the town of Valdemoro, and was also in negotiations since it wanted to buy other places near Madrid, Getafe and the Carabancheles. These purchases were made by the Duke with the ultimate goal of forming a Majorat in favor of his son don Diego Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, count of Saldana, whose prenuptial agreement, which were negotiated in 1603, with Luisa de Mendoza, who was the heiress of the House of Infantado (see: Duke of Infantado), were a test of the power that had reached the House of Lerma. The estate of the Duke was increasing and in the month of October 1606 the Duke bought the count of Siruela villa Burgos for Roa and its land, in order to round out their State of Lerma. In 1607 the Duke obtained a strange charge as villa de Madrid had to appoint two attorneys to the courts which had held from 16 April. The designation was made by lot among the aldermen. Lerma was in Madrid and his servant Rodrigo Calderón in Valladolid, curiously left the two chosen as procurators of the Castilian cortes. But the valid not satisfied his thirst for riches. In 1607 the city of Valladolid, with real license, gave villa de Tudela de Duero, donation which was completed by the same monarch when it granted in the Duke collection of the excises and other rights of the Crown in this villa, which provided other 5,000 ducats of annual income to the Duke of Lerma. Villa de Valladolid won back offsets in charge of the treasure of the monarchy, and thus the payment that had to be done of the alcabalas, which were arranged in twenty million, was reduced to nine.

Also in 1607 the Duke of Lerma purchased by 600,000 ducats thirteen places close to Cea and Lerma and who had in total about 6,000 neighbors. The price was not paid by Lerma, they had them pay the Real property, on behalf of certain rewards which, he said, the Catholic monarchs had promised to the ancestors of the Duke. By that time, it was the month of October, said Madrid had the Duke, widowed since 1603, willingness to enter the society of Jesus or retiring to a monastery. In March 1608 Duke was to visit the newly acquired sites, but residents of some of them, such as Santa María de el Campo, Torquemada and Tudela, made patent in a disrespectful way their discontent with the new Lord. Opposition to the valid was increasing as made it their wealth and power. Thus, in mid-July of the same year, and in the most frequented places of Madrid, appeared early in the morning leaflets which encouraged the inhabitants of the Court to stand up against the tyrant who supposedly had enslaved the King and which had sunk the people in misery. The Admiral of Castile, don Francisco de Mendoza, who was the brother of the Duke of Infantado, had been forwarded to King Felipe III a memorial that seemed drawn from the own leaflets. As a result the Duke of Lerma ordered the arrest of the Admiral and will pick up and confiscasen the roles of people who were related to him, as it was the case of the chronicler Antonio de Herrera. In 1610 Lerma, widower as stated since 1603 and by then had about fifty-seven years old, projected his second marriage with a beautiful and rich, woman who was also a widow like him: the Countess of Valencia, which had about forty years of age. Wedding preparations were so developed that the Kings made a gift to the bride 100,000 ducats in goods of moriscos who had recently been expelled from the Kingdom of Valencia (in 1609). However groom repented, the wedding was aborted and the Countess was very angry.

It is not very well known what prompted Lerma to cancel the wedding, of course it would have reported you great benefits, and he continued to increase his wealth and power, as well as continued favoring their relatives. In 1609 he had bought in Madrid houses which lindaban with the convent of the Barefoot franciscas since it had the aim of making them a great Palace. In 1610, he received a considerable legacy, which was estimated at 60,000 ducats, and the Archbishop of Zaragoza, who was also her uncle left legacy in his will. In 1613 he bought Lerma the town of Arganda, close to the Court. But when she appeared in it to take possession of it, residents rioted, it was another sign of the opposition that his person was. One of the most significant days of the public life of the Duke of Lerma was July 2, 1614. In this Conference and the Summit of his power, he gave in his garden of Madrid a great meal to East Cardinal and Papal Nuncio. Food was served by own sons of Lerma with great silence and punctuality, while another thing the music of a small Orchestra is heard.


Based on a French-Spanish peace treaty, Felipe III had designated in 1615 the cardenal-arzobispo of Toledo, don Bernardo de Sandoval y Rojas, uncle of the Duke of Lerma, to carry to the border of France the Infanta Ana of Austria, who was to marry King Luis XIII. At the border, the cardenal-arzobispo received at the same time the Princess Isabel of Borbon, coming to marry the then Prince of Asturias, Felipe IVfuture. The cardinal claimed his advanced age and his fragile state of health that were exempted him of fulfilling that mission. The substitution seemed difficult and also Lerma did not want that such a mission on the shoulders of anyone outside his circle of influence by which the Duke of Lerma volunteered for this custom. September 23, 1615 Felipe III accepted the offer. The marriage by proxy of Anne of Austria and Luis XIII held in Burgos on October 18, while that of Isabel de Borbón with Prince Felipe, marriage that was also formalised by powers. Lerma represented to the King of France and the French Ambassador Isabel de Borbón. Winter was close and King Felipe III ordered his son, the Duke of Uceda and Marquis de Belmonte occupying the post of Lerma. This led the delegation that accompanied the Spanish Infanta to Behovia, which in turn had to receive the Princess of France. The son of Lerma fulfilled his mission with brilliance.

On the other hand don Gaspar de Guzmán, count of Olivares, who was gentleman of the House of the Prince of Asturias (House which became Centre of the intrigues), encouraged the growing division between father and son. It was also the rumor that don Rodrigo Calderón who was a confidant of Lerma, ordered to kill one of the messengers of the rivals of Lerma. Against Calderón and Lerma, they clamored to respectable people, some of them religious, as father fray Luis de Aliaga who was the confessor of the King as it had been before the own Lerma, but also the preacher father Florencio and the Prioress of the incarnation. Felipe III was worried about the fate that could of Lerma, by the results of this judicial process. Why he talked secretly with the Duke of Uceda, and told him that, if it was necessary to prosecute don Rodrigo, so was save her father. Since that time Uceda, that what he really wanted was power to be his father's faction and not out to rival hands of his family, remained as the new valid or private of the monarch. The Duke of Lerma did not hesitate to realize by what requested the King permission to retire from public life to his possessions Burgos. The King replied that he would think it but initially denied such a request.

Lerma Cardinal

What had been the mighty valid King was, for the first time, in danger and libar of ordinary justice and with the permission of the monarch sought a cardinal's hat. As it had good relations with the Church, Pope Paul V appointed him Cardinal of St. Sixtus promptly. To avoid that he was named Archbishop of Toledo, which also aspired Lerma by ambition and behavior, the confessor of the King, fray Luis de Aliaga made that the monarch asked the cardinalship and the headquarters for one of her sons, infante don Fernando. The Cardinal's hat was awarded Lerma 26 March 1618 and the King reached on April 11. When he arrived in Rome the capelo, the Duke of Lerma dressed it up to greet with habits again prelate to the monarch. Then withdrew some days to her garden, and after this retreat was the sovereign to El Escorial. There occurred various incidents that forced the Earl of Lemos, President of the Council of Italy, to leave this high position, that was granted to the Earl of Benavente. It was a new triumph of Uceda and olive groves, which was completed shortly after with the final departure of Lerma in the cortesanmo environment. The King called to his quarters to the prior of El Escorial, fray Juan de Peralta, and entrusted him with the mission visit to the Cardinal and tell him that the King granted the rest had asked so many times, giving you permission to retire, when he wanted, Lerma or Valladolid. The cardinal took leave of the King, Prince and infants and his sister the Countess of Lemos, and the secret staircase of the Grove of San Lorenzo, October 4, 1618, came out to Lerma. On the same day was made public the favour of the Duke of Uceda, who succeeded his father in all his positions and honors. The nepotism of Lerma had no known limits: his family, his sister, his uncles, his sons, sons-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren received honours and production charges; the most favored corresponded with maximum ingratitude. Lerma's friends, not forgot but which helped most was don Rodrigo Calderón, however the withdrawal of Lerma dragged don Rodrigo, who was arrested and processed. The Duke of Lerma, though fallen, was not arrested, nor by his son Uceda or with later by the valid of Felipe IV, the count-Duke of Olivares. It was covered by their condition of Cardinal and priest, because he was ordained priest and sang his first mass in Valladolid, one year later received the Cardinal's hat. However it it didn't go entirely unpunished since it imposed a hefty fine as fine as well as the exile. In this respect the Cardinal of Lerma was ordered to retire to Tordesillas, where he was confined and there fell seriously ill. News of this Pope Gregory XV and of the College of Cardinals involved so will nullify this banishment, which managed. After that it was authorized to live in Lerma, as I followed the record who wanted to return to the ranch of the monarchy of the wealth of the heritage that the duque-cardenal had handed out in grants to friends and family. The Decree addressed to special judges carrying out the investigation into his corruption spoke of «depraved things to the Cardinal of Lerma did dispatch on his behalf on the occasion of its privanza». The result given the mentioned record information was very unfavorable. He was sentenced to pay the Real Hacienda 12,000 ducats annually, with arrears of twenty years, by the riches acquired during the period of time that commanded the political designs of the Spanish monarchy. The elderly Cardinal could not resist so hard hit and, as his son, Uceda, died in the year 1625.

The reign of Felipe III

Policy action


Foreign policy

The performance of Lerma, in front of the State business can be considered as positive. Valladolid arrived on 30 July 1600 the Ambassador of Henry IV of France, count de la Rochepot, in order to ratify the peace of Verins, and, after some incidents, peace was ratified the 27 May 1601. The English Admiral Howard also reached Valladolid May 26, 1605. He also had peaceful purposes as ratification was of the Treaty of peace and Concord capitulated and signed in London the August 9, 1604. This ratification was made June 9, 1605. With Howard, he went to London don Pedro de Zúñiga who had mission replaced the count of Villamediana in the Embassy of Spain. In foreign policy, the trend of Lerma was always pacifist.

In written instructions signed by the King, but by the valid which were given to Ambrosio Spínola, Marquis of the Balbases, in 1606, it indicated the desirability of reaching a peace or truce long with the Dutch, but not that are apparent that such matter was desired by the Government of the monarchy. In the United Provinces views on the desirability of peace were divided but finally that of the supporters of peace prevailed. Ambrosio Spínola signed an armistice in eight months, and immediately gave rise to began peace negotiations. Interference by Enrique IV of France and the demands of the United provinces was forced to extend the cease-fire. Lerma contributors confess the impotence of Spain to continue indefinitely with the conflict and the language used in the Court was publicly defeatist. They were held in the Hague between February 7, 1608, and on 9 April 1609 a series of conferences, the representatives of the United provinces and the Archduke Alberto, whose aim was to capitulate and to establish a firm peace or a long truce. The Dutch demands seemed to Felipe III unacceptable. But the Duke of Lerma forgot, all the ideals of the Spanish policy of the 16th century on the maintenance regardless of the legitimate territory of which the monarchs of the House of Austria were the legal heirs.

The Archduke Alberto Madrid sent to her confessor, fray Íñigo de Brizuela, the Mission moved to Felipe III to the compromise. In memory that the father Brizuela, in functions of Messenger/Ambassador, presented the King said: «If you lose the States of Flanders with weapons in hand was better, no doubt, that keep them without dignity». But on the other hand and as noted from certain circles of the Government, he could not forget the immediate consequence of that loss, dominion over the provinces Catholic, loyal and affected the monarchy would disappear quickly. The valid prepared a meeting of the State Council, attended by the King, meeting held January 17, 1609. In it, Lerma used the resources of those who ordered: skillfully reduced the importance of Catholicism in the United provinces; He recognized the maritime superiority of the rebels; It meant our soldiers weary and ready to mutiny, and as auction confirmed the gravity of the financial situation. In a Word, Lerma discovered the State of political, military, economic and religious bankruptcy that had reached Spain. Except one, none of the present members, outside the King, at that meeting was compliant with vision so negative that Lerma presented on the situation of that conflict. However the report did dent in the spirit of the King. The Council met twice on 22 and 29 January. Finally authorized the sovereign Princes of Flanders, Alberto and Isabel Clara, to arrange the truce. Begun in the Hague conferences were resumed in Antwerp, and in this city was signed on 9 April 1609 the truce of twelve years ratified by Spain on 7 July. It was the triumph of the rebel provinces, which recognized Spain by free States while it allowed them to continue the career of the Indies. Lerma and the King himself from the outset were determined to put an end to the fight.

The Council of State, which was not then anything other than a docile instrument in the hands of Lerma, served them as a shield. The Board of theologians, which is also called opinion, was not independent. The only counselor who has not bowed to the demands of Lerma was the Constable of Castile and infanta Isabel Clara accused this have interested relatives that the war would continue, because they lived it. The Archdukes were convinced of the impossibility of recovering the rebel provinces and did not want anything other than peacekeeping or a long truce. The truce of twelve years was the pedestal on which arose a new village of sailors and merchants, which soon had to a colonial empire. For Spain, it was a very serious danger for its colonial, commercial and financial system. Portugal had to do with bitterness that Spain, with all his power, could not or did not know protect Portuguese domains in Asia.

With France and despite the peace of Vervins which was signed in 1598 Felipe II Spanish part and which was ratified in 1601 by Felipe III, the conduct of Enrique IV of France can be described as hostile to the two branches of the House of Austria the Spanish and German, that is, for representatives of Catholicism. The Pope Clement VIII, wanted and sought the cordiality between the Kings of France and Spain, basis of the peace of Christendom, for which ideo in 1601 married the eldest daughter of Enrique IV, Isabel de Borbón, with the Prince of Asturias, then Felipe IV. These princes were not more than a year, but the papal initiative was accepted by both courts and the marriage negotiations were immediately opened in Madrid. Seemed the Duke of Lerma would be easy, but he was wrong. Negotiations dragged, without hardly advancing nothing for eight years. In 1609, Lerma and Felipe III wanted to clarify the situation with the French monarch, but chose to do so a good-for-nothing man, don Pedro de Toledo, who collided with Enrique IV, no less proud, so negotiations were broken on February 12, 1609. Lerma told the Ambassador in Paris that if Enrique IV told him the wedding you reply with vagueness. It was far Enrique IV of such thinking. He believed that you between the houses of Spain and France could not mediate good friendship, because the aggrandizement of the one was the ruin of the other. Looking for the grandeur of France, he then preferred the marriage of the heir with the daughter of the Duke of Lorraine, to incorporate this province to his Crown, and he had wanted to one of his daughters married the son of Carlos Emmanuel of Savoy, to have the door open Italy, and to another with the Prince of Wales, to ensure England contest in the anti-Spanish wars that thought made in Flanders and the Milan. Killed Enrique IV by Ravaillac his widow, the Regent Queen María de Médicis, who longed to see his daughter Isabel of Spain, broke the Alliance arranged by her husband with the Duke of Savoy and resisted the anti-Spanish overtones of Savoy and England. Lerma, who knew the thought of the Regent of France, also rejected the proposals of the great French Lords to resurrect the ancient Catholic League, whose armed wing would be Ambrosio Spinola.

Francoespanoles marriages were negotiated secretly, and on April 30, 1611 double commitment which stipulated double resignation of two women, Ana de Austria and Isabel de Borbón, to the respective crowns of Spain and France, and promised the dowry of 500,000 ducats of gold to the Spanish infanta was signed. As you can see, the contracts did not include no clause national, political; they were all personal, family and short range. The Regent did not put in knowledge of his Council marriage until 26 January 1612, and approved by this commitments, made them public. The capitulations were signed in Madrid by the Duke of Lerma and Mayenne August 22, 1612, and in Paris by the Duke of Pastrana a few days later, on August 25. Weddings were held by authorities in 1615. In 1618 when Luis XIII and Ana of Austria began to share the bed, the cordiality between the kingdoms of Spain and France had broken. The French Government was again the course charted by Enrique IV and of Spain returned to the policy of Carlos V and Felipe II. Médicis María, to be arranged the marriage of his daughter Isabel with the heir of Spain, was not looking for another thing that the satisfaction of seeing his daughter Queen. In the Court of Madrid is made, from 1618, anti-Frenchwoman, as in the antiespanola political Paris policy.

Respect to England, in relations with Spain during the reign of Felipe III two periods should be distinguished. During the first, between 1598 and 1603, lived even the English Queen Elizabeth I , and although there was a formal State of war, produced continuously on other side acts of real hostility. During the second period, between 1603-1621, he reigned in England James I (1603-1625), and the Spanish wishes of peace found a friendly reception in the English King. Peace was signed in London the 28 August 1604 and diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established. During the Embassy of the count of Gondomar, which took place between 1613 and 1618, the negotiations that took place were very active.

In the Italian and Mediterranean framework had the Crown of Spain two big domains in Italy: to the North, in Lombardy, Milan, governed by a Governor; to the South, the kingdoms of Naples and Sicily, each of which was ruled by a viceroy. The fortunes of politics in Italy always, depended in large part, of the skills of the Governors and viceroys. More that Lerma, should speak of don Pedro Enríquez de Acevedo, count of Fuentes, Governor of Milan from 1600 to 1610; of don Pedro Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, Marquis of Villafranca, who ruled the same domain from 1615 to 1618; and don Pedro Téllez-Girón, Duke of Osuna, Viceroy of Naples, from 1616-1620. Regarding the Mediterranean, Lerma and Felipe III followed the policy of Felipe II. Lerma never had its own foreign policy. He has said of him, as disciple of the Prince of Eboli, was fond of peace and all its foreign policy was due to the desire to keep it; but, in fact, was Felipe II who, after its recent war efforts, sought peace with all. When a new war in which what is discussed is Catholicism, Felipe III occupies his post. Then, in 1618, Lerma had been dismissed. Since not a war with Turkey, there was in this reign an interesting diplomatic maneuver, which resulted in a hispano-persa partnership that was signed in 1602. The object of this Alliance, the most original idea of all the reign, was, apparently, double: on the one hand protect the German Empire, forcing the Turks to divert forces on a new front and on the other to complete the siege of Turkey by East. As the King and the valid were little supporters of armed conflicts and did not dare to jump into big wars, languished which then began. Nor were they thrown, and indeed it would have been imprudent, to sympathize with the discontented people of Bosnia and other provinces of the Turkish Empire. In 1613 they thought Lerma and other advisors of Felipe III in renewing the Alliance with the Shah of Persia. To this effect, to Persia sent a diplomat of talent, don García de Silva and Figueroa, who left Lisbon April 8, 1614, and died on the coast of Leanda, in April 1624, when he was returning to the homeland.

There were also interesting moments in African politics. The enemies of the Turks had been pleased Spanish more resolute action against them. Berber wrens expected it in 1602, and one of them, the cuckoo, was the soul of a Confederation ready to collaborate in the work of evicting from the Barbary Coast to the Turks. Spain made some preparations, but the landing of the Amutarraez in Cartagena and Malaga Corsair forced to use in the defense of the Spanish coast squad and forces aimed at the African coast in November 1602. The game King of the Cuco insisted in may 1603; But even in that summer came out to Algiers the promised delivery time. Something more honorable and useful was the Spanish military action that was undertaken between 1609 and 1610 in Morocco, on the occasion of the civil war in that involved the King of Fez Muley voucher, his brother and rival Muley Zeydan and the son of Abdallah favorite. Intervention won Spain the temporary possession of the port of Larache, occupied by the Marqués de San Germán in November 1610, and the library of Muley Zeydan, who was taken to El Escorial. In 1614 don Luis Fajardo occupied another Moroccan port of la Mamora, in better shape then than the Larache.

Domestic policy

The transfer of the Court to Valladolid between 1605 and 1609 and his motives are questionable acts although it seems to be related to the desire of Lerma avoid contact of the monarchs with people outside of the scope of the valid. Part of this issue, there were two main themes in Lerma domestic policy: one is the expulsion of the moriscos of Valencia, Castile, la Mancha and Extremadura, in 1609; Andalucia, Aragón and Murcia, in 1610; in Catalonia, in 1611, and, finally, the Val de Ricote (Murcia) and Campo de Calatrava, in 1614. Anyone that is the judgment that you have about the expulsion and its consequences, must recognize that it was popular and that Lerma and King did not proceed rashly. The other issue was the improvement of the Hacienda. Felipe III had received it from his father in ruins, and did not let her be in a better State to his son. If it is true that Lerma was enriched particularly and wasted the money of the State, very scarce, in the lavish parties that distracted the King and him away from the Government, it is also that it was right to establish a good system of surveillance in Spanish or Western Indian and Oriental or Portuguese, Indian routes surveillance, then joined the peace with the maritime powerswere England and the United provinces, fleets reach almost always harmless Seville and Lisbon with its long-awaited riches. As warriors new and costly enterprises were not undertaken, the Duke of Lerma did not treasure worse that came to his hands. It must be acknowledged, however, that the means employed in the interior to obtain donations from private individuals and the courts services were not always correct. The King, by the valid, and this same Council, adopted since the beginning of the reign, corruption and bribery as a means of resolving their difficulties of money.

It was estimated that in mercedes of the King, gifts from other characters, foreign Princes and suitors, it acquired more than 40,000,000 Duchies, which imposed on incomes and where purchased, increasing their incomes in 240,000 Duchies, not counting more than 10,000,000 spent on factory houses, convents and other buildings, orchards and gardens, gifts, parties, dowries to daughters, jewelry and coins.

Topics Related

Spain, history of (10): 1598-1700.


CONTARINI, S., appendix to the relations of things happened in the Court of Spain from 1599 to 1614. Madrid, 1857.

GARCÍA GARCÍA, B. J., the Pax Hispanica. Foreign policy of the Duke of Lerma. Leuven, Leuven University Press, 1996.

PÉREZ BUSTAMANTE, C., the cardenalatos of the Duke of Lerma and the Infante don Fernando de Austria, «Bulletin of the library Menéndez Pelayo», 1934.

PÉREZ BUSTAMANTE, C., Felipe III. Semblance of a monarch and a privanza profiles. Speech of reception at the R. Academy of history, Madrid, 1950.

PÉREZ BUSTAMANTE, C., the Spain of Felipe III. Vol. XXIV of the history of Spain's Ramón Menéndez Pidal. Madrid, Espasa-Calpe, 1998.

Tomas and brave, f., the valid on the Spanish monarchy in the 17TH century. Madrid, 1963.

VV. AA., introduction to modern history. Madrid, isthmus, 1991.