Fernando álvarez de toledo y pimentel

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The high point of his career was his time in Flanders (1567-1573), where he was sent, at the head of an army and with the post of governor general, to crush the iconoclastic uprisings. He acted with excessive harshness, although the disturbances had already been put down before his arrival. He instituted the so-called Court of Tumults, charged with judging and condemning the rebels and confiscating their property, and ordered the execution of the Counts of Egmont and Horn, accused of complicity in the uprisings. In order to maintain the army, he imposed new and heavy taxes, without respecting traditional Flemish liberties.

Nevertheless, he was called again (1580) to subdue the Portuguese opposition against Philip II, who claimed his dynastic rights to the throne of Portugal. After defeating the army of Diego de Meneses and obtaining the surrender of the Portuguese fleet, the Duke of Alba entered Lisbon. The old duke was named constable of Portugal and received the Golden Fleece.

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Little is known about the love affair of the future Grand Duke. He, who had shown himself to be so brave on the battlefield, seemed to be capable of facing other combats as well, and in this case the amorous ones.

At that time, it was common for close relatives to marry in order to maintain the level of the lineage. And so, the bride chosen for Fernando Álvarez de Toledo was María Enríquez, daughter of the Count of Alba de Liste and Leonor, sister of the deceased García; therefore, the bride and groom were cousins. A marriage that would have four children: García, Beatriz, Fadrique and Diego. A child troop that would grow up in the town of Alba de Tormes, together with his natural brother Hernando, to whom we have already alluded.

Therefore, at the end of 1533 the Grand Duke is again in his ducal villa of Alba de Tormes, where he can be reunited with his wife, the Duchess María Enríquez, and his children. A loving reunion that will have its happy fruit, so that in 1534 a daughter was born, Beatriz, who came to remember with her name to the mother of the duke.

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On December 26, 1566, he received the Golden Rose, the blessed rapier and cape bestowed by Pope Pius V, through the brief Solent Romani Pontifices, in reward for his singular efforts on behalf of Catholicism and for being considered one of its champions.[9] In 1546, the 3rd Duke of Alba received further recognition that increased his personal prestige.

In 1546, the III Duke of Alba obtained a new recognition that increased his personal prestige. He was invested by Emperor Charles, who was the Grand Master of the Insigne Orden del Toisón de Oro, a knight of this prestigious institution as a reward for the Duke’s fidelity to the monarch-emperor. The distinction was awarded to him at the chapter held in Utrecht, and the emperor took him with him to Ratisbon, where the Diet of the Holy Roman Empire was convened.[12] In 1547 the emperor had the opportunity to meet with the Holy Roman Emperor.

In 1547 the emperor had to face the Protestant forces of the Schmalkaldic League commanded by John Frederick I of Saxony – the langrave of Thuringia – and Philip the Magnanimous – the landgrave of Hesse – and their allies.

On December 26, 1566 Alba received as gifts from Pope Pius V, the Golden Rose, the Rapier and the Blessed Capelet, granted through the brief Solent Romani Pontifices. This was the reward for his singular efforts in favor of Catholicism, which considered him one of its champions.

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Fue consejero del rey Carlos I de España (Carlos V, emperador del Sacro Imperio Romano Germánico) y de su sucesor, Felipe II de España, mayordomo mayor de ambos, miembro de sus Consejos de Estado y de Guerra, gobernador del Ducado de Milán (1555-1556), virrey del Reino de Nápoles (1556-1558), gobernador de los Países Bajos (1567-1573) y virrey y condestable del Reino de Portugal (1580-1582). Representó a Felipe II en la negociación de los esponsales de éste con Isabel de Valois y Ana de Austria, que eran la tercera y cuarta (y última) esposas del rey.

El 26 de diciembre de 1566 recibió la Rosa de Oro, la espada y el sombrero bendecidos concedidos por el Papa Pío V, a través del breve papal Solent Romani Pontifices, en reconocimiento a sus singulares esfuerzos a favor del catolicismo y por ser considerado uno de sus paladines[5].

Su juventud y educación fueron las típicas de la nobleza castellana de la época. Fue educado en la corte ducal de la Casa de Alba, situada en el Palacio del Castillo de Alba de Tormes, por dos preceptores italianos, Bernardo Gentile -benedictino siciliano- y Severo Marini y por el poeta y escritor renacentista español Juan Boscán. Fue educado en el catolicismo y el humanismo. Dominaba el latín y conocía el francés, el inglés y el alemán.