García de Toledo Osorio, 4th Marquis of Villafranca

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The Siege of Malta - Flight of the Ottomans by Matteo Perez d'Aleccio, showing Don Garcia's relief force battling the retreating Ottomans. Siege of malta 3.jpg
The Siege of Malta - Flight of the Ottomans by Matteo Perez d'Aleccio, showing Don García's relief force battling the retreating Ottomans.

García Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, 4th Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo (29 August 1514 31 May 1577), was a Spanish general and politician.



He was born at Villafranca del Bierzo, the son of Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, 2nd Marquis of Villafranca, Viceroy of Naples between 1532 and 1553. His mother was Juana Pimentel, Marchioness of Villafranca del Bierzo. The famous Duke of Alba, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, was his first cousin. Among his many siblings was Eleonora of Toledo, wife of Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Villafranca del Bierzo Place in Castile and León, Spain

Vilafranca del Bierzo is a village and municipality located in the comarca of El Bierzo, in the province of León, Castile and León, Spain.

Duke of Alba noble rank

Duke of Alba de Tormes, commonly known as Duke of Alba, is a title of Spanish nobility that is accompanied by the dignity of Grandee of Spain. In 1472, the title of Count of Alba de Tormes, inherited by García Álvarez de Toledo, was elevated to the title of Duke of Alba de Tormes by King Henry IV of Castile.

Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba Spanish military leader and diplomat

Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, 3rd Duke of Alba, GE, KOGF, GR, known as the Grand Duke of Alba in Spain and the Iron Duke in the Netherlands, was a Spanish noble, general, and diplomat. He was titled the 3rd Duke of Alba de Tormes, 4th Marquess of Coria, 3rd Count of Salvatierra de Tormes, 2nd Count of Piedrahita, 8th Lord of Valdecorneja, Grandee of Spain, and a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece. His motto in Latin was Deo patrum Nostrorum, which in English means "To the God of our fathers".

He started his military career under the command of Andrea Doria in the galleys of Naples, as commander of two ships. In 1535, already the commander of six galleys, he distinguished himself in the battles of La Goletta, Tunis, Algiers, Sfax, Calibria y Mebredia. After this he was named Capitain General of the Galleys of Naples.

Andrea Doria Italian admiral

Andrea Doria was an Italian condottiero and admiral of the Republic of Genoa.

Conquest of Tunis (1535) 1535 battle

The Conquest of Tunis in 1535 was an attack on Tunis, then under the control of the Ottoman Empire, by the Habsburg Empire of Charles V and its allies.

Algiers City in Algiers Province, Algeria

Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria. In 2011, the city's population was estimated to be around 3,500,000. An estimate puts the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 5,000,000. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria.

He was Capitain General of the expedition to Greece, and Capitán General del Mar, a title he received in 1544 after having fought Hayreddin Barbarossa. He was Viceroy of Catalonia between 1558 and 1564. He then became Colonel General of the Infantry of the Kingdom of Naples and finally, between 1564 and 1566, Viceroy of Sicily.

Hayreddin Barbarossa Ottoman admiral

Hayreddin Barbarossa, or Barbaros Kheireddin Pasha, born Khizr or Khidr, was an Ottoman admiral of the fleet who was born on the island of Lesbos and died in Constantinople, the Ottoman capital. Barbarossa's naval victories secured Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean during the mid 16th century, from the Battle of Preveza in 1538 until the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

Kingdom of Naples former state in Italy

The Kingdom of Naples comprised that part of the Italian Peninsula south of the Papal States between 1282 and 1816. It was created as a result of the War of the Sicilian Vespers (1282–1302), when the island of Sicily revolted and was conquered by the Crown of Aragon, becoming a separate Kingdom of Sicily. Naples continued to be officially known as the Kingdom of Sicily, the name of the formerly unified kingdom. For much of its existence, the realm was contested between French and Spanish dynasties. In 1816, it was reunified with the island kingdom of Sicily once again to form the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.

As Viceroy of Sicily he accomplished his two greatest achievements: the conquest of Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera in 1564, and the relief of the Siege of Malta (1565). For this he received from King Philip II of Spain the titles Duke of Fernandina and Prince of Montalbán on 24 December 1569. He died at Naples in 1577.

Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera

Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera, in ancient times Badis or Bades, is a Spanish rock in the west of the Mediterranean Sea, connected to the Moroccan shore by a sandy isthmus. It is also connected to a smaller islet to the east, la Isleta, by a rocky isthmus. It is one of several peñones, or rock-fortresses, on the coast of Northern Africa. Vélez de la Gomera, along with la Isleta, is administered by the Spanish central government, and have a population consisting only of a small number of Spanish military personnel.

Philip II of Spain King of Spain who became King of England by marriage to Queen Mary I

Philip II was King of Spain (1556–98), King of Portugal, King of Naples and Sicily, and jure uxoris King of England and Ireland. He was also Duke of Milan. From 1555 he was lord of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands.

Duke of Fernandina

Duke of Fernandina is a hereditary title in the Spanish nobility. It was granted by King Philip II to García Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, Viceroy of Sicily and Catalonia, and later Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo in inheritance from his elder brother. It was conferred on him the 24 December 1559, along with the principality of Montalbán.

Marriage and children

In 1552, [1] in Naples, the Duke married Donna Vittoria Colonna, the daughter of Don Ascanio Colonna, 2nd Duke of Paliano, and Giovanna d'Aragona and the niece of famed poet and diplomat Vittoria Colonna, with whom she shares a name. They had six children:

Giovanna dAragona 16th-century Italian noblewoman and patron of the arts

Giovanna d'Aragona (1502–1575) was a patron of the arts, printers and religious reform in Naples during the Renaissance.

Vittoria Colonna Italian poet and noble

Vittoria Colonna, marchioness of Pescara, was an Italian noblewoman and poet. As an educated, married noblewoman whose husband was in captivity, Colonna was able to develop relationships within the intellectual circles of Ischia and Naples. Her early poetry began to attract attention in the late 1510s and she ultimately became one of the most popular female poets of sixteenth-century Italy. Upon the early death of her husband, she took refuge at a convent in Rome. Although she remained a laywoman, she did experience a strong spiritual renewal and remained devoutly religious for the remainder of her life. Colonna is also known to have been a spiritual mentor to Michelangelo Buonarroti, himself a poet.

Pedro de Toledo Osorio y Colonna or Pedro Álvarez de Toledo Osorio, 5th Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo,, Governor of the Duchy of Milan, 1616 - 1618, Prince of Montalbano, 2nd Duke of Fernandina was a Spanish-Italian nobleman and a Grandee of Spain.

Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo, 4th Duke of Alba Spanish military personnel (1537-1583)

Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Enríquez de Guzmán, 4th Duke of Alba, Grandee of Spain,, , was a commander in the Spanish army during the Eighty Years' War.

Eleonora di Garzia di Toledo Italian noble

Eleonora di Garzia di Toledo or Leonor Álvarez de Toledo Osorio or Eleonora di Garzia di Toledo, more often known as "Leonora" or "Dianora", was the daughter of García Álvarez de Toledo, 4th Marquis of Villafranca, Duke of Fernandina, and the wife of Don Pietro de' Medici, a son of Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Leonora was born in Florence, where she was brought up by Cosimo and Eleanor of Toledo, her aunt and namesake. Betrothed to their son Pietro at the age of 15, she blossomed under the wing of Pietro's older sister, the artistic patron Isabella, into a vivacious and witty beauty. Her marriage, like Isabella's, was not a success, and she followed her mentor's example of taking lovers. For this reason, Pietro had her brought in 1576 to the country retreat of Cafaggiolo, where he strangled her to death with a dog leash. Cosimo's successor, Francesco I, tacitly approved the murder, and Pietro was never brought to justice for it.

He also had two illegitimate children:


Government offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Alcalá
Viceroy of Catalonia
Succeeded by
The Duke of Francavilla
Preceded by
The Duke of Medinaceli
Viceroy of Sicily
Succeeded by
The Duke of Terranova
Spanish nobility
Preceded by
Fadrique de Toledo Osorio
Marquis of
Villafranca del Bierzo

Succeeded by
Pedro de Toledo Osorio
New title Duke of Fernandina

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  1. Crews, Daniel A. (2008-10-22). Twilight of the Renaissance: The Life of Juan de Valdes. University of Toronto Press. ISBN   9781442692978.