Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo, 1st Marquis of Villanueva de Valdueza
′Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Mendoza (Naples, May 30, 1580 – Madrid, December 11, 1634), was a Spanish noble and admiral. He was a Knight of the Order of Santiago, a Spanish Admiral, and Captain General of the Spanish Navy at the age of 37.
He was born in Naples as the son of Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, 5th Marquis of Villafranca, then commander in chief of the Spanish Army in the Kingdom of Naples, and Doña Elvira de Mendoza.
He served in the Spanish fleet under command of his father and rose quickly through the ranks, as did his elder brother García Álvarez de Toledo, 6th Marquis of Villafranca. In 1617, he became Capitán General de la Armada del Mar Océano or Armada de Barlovento.
In 1625 he was appointed General of Portugal (then in a personal union with Spain), and Capitán General of the Army of Brazil. He sailed towards Brazil at the head of a fleet consisting of 34 Spanish ships, 22 Portuguese ships and 12,566 men (three quarters were Spanish and the rest Portuguese). There he reconquered the strategically important city of Salvador da Bahia from the Dutch on April 30, 1625.
This victory would prove decisively important in the Dutch-Portuguese War to oust the Dutch from Brazil over the next two decades. In 1629 he commanded a Spanish expedition that expelled the English and French colonial settlers from the islands of Saint Kitts and Nevis.
For all of his victories he was awarded the title of Marques de Villanueva y Valdueza on January 17, 1634.
Marriage and children
Don Fadrique married in Madrid, on August 12, 1627 with his cousin Doña Elvira Ponce de León, daughter of Don Luis Ponce de León, VI Marqués de Zahara, and Doña Victoria Álvarez de Toledo.
They had three children :
- Doña Elvira de Toledo, married Don Juan Gaspar Enríquez de Cabrera, 6th Duke of Medina de Rioseco.
- Doña Victoria de Toledo, married her cousin Don Francisco Ponce de León, 5th Duke of Arcos.
- Don Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Ponce de León, 7th Marquis de Villafranca and Grandee of Spain.
Don Fadrique also had two illegitimate children:
- Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, Abbot of the Royal Monastery of Alcalá la Real, Jaén.
- Íñigo de Toledo, who married Leonor de Velasco, XI Countess of Siruela.