Hernando de Talavera

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Hernando de Talavera (Talavera de la Reina, Spain, 1428 - Granada, Spain, 14 May 1507) was a Spanish monk of the Order of Saint Jerome, of converso origins, who became archbishop of Granada and confessor of Queen Isabela.

Around 1458, Hernando graduated in Theology from Salamanca University, becoming a Prior of the Monastery of Prado near Valladolid and Royal Confessor of the ruling Queen Isabel I of Castile (1474–1504). Hernando de Talavera was also Financial Administrator of the Salamanca Bishopric (1483–1485), the Bishop of Avila (1485–1492), and Archbishop of Granada (1493–1507), which was established after the conquest of the Moorish Moorish Emirate of Granada.

According to the accusations raised against him by the Spanish Inquisition, Hernando de Talavera was the son of the Lord of Oropesa, province of Toledo, related to Great Master of the Military Order of Santiago and the bastard son born of a Jewish mother, fathered by King Alfonso XI of Castile.

Wyn Hernando might have been the son of Don García, Lord of Talavera de la Reina, born around 1370 and deceased after 1429, and with Royal Hebrew blood. Hernando might also have been the son of Don Fernando, born around 1390, who would have had a relationship with a Hebrew woman from Oropesa, near Talavera de la Reina, and who would have been promoted to 1st Count of Oropesa after 1475 by Queen Isabel I of Castile.

The Hebrew genes of the Archbishop and Royal Confessor depend on who de Talavera's father was, either Don García, Lord of Oropesa, or Don Fernando, son of Don García, later promoted to first Count of Oropesa by the Queen of Castile, according to slanderous documents sent by the Spanish Inquisition to Rome to be revised by Popes from the famous della Rovere family.

There are other "Álvarez de Toledo" families, related to the actual Duchess of Alba, however, who seem to escape such amount of familial slander brought about at the time concerning Archbishop Don Hernando de Talavera, also known as Hernando de Oropesa.

Apparently, in newly conquered Granada, as in Seville, the other heavily populated Moor and Jewish converso city for over two centuries, he was not keen about "miraculous" conversions of thousands to Christianity, men and women. He was rather a believer in allowing the passing of time whilst reinforcing the "reasoned" preaching and appropriate schooling of children, a line strongly disapproved by the established Inquisitors and many of the new Lords of the new conquered lands. Thus, there were suspicious of his background and in his perceived attachment to his alleged ancestors.

There was also Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436–1517), as interested as Archbishop de Talavera on achieving quick and miraculous results from the losers leading to the disintegration and conquest of the last Moor Kingdom of Granada.

By 1499, Cisneros' forced conversions breached the Royal truce agreements on respecting the beliefs of the submitted non-Christian peoples, mainly traders and agricultural farmers, and constituted an armed opposition that was quickly militarily crushed down again and again.

It was the famous and conflicting Diego Rodríguez Lucero, Inquisitor at Córdoba, continuously brought to contention by Archbishop Hernando, who sent orders of prison with genealogical inquiries on Don Hernando´s ancestors in 1505 to Rome, one year after Queen Isabel I died. Pope Julius II della Rovere (1443 - Pope 1503 - 1513), however, ordered his release and the cessation of harassment to the Archbishop Hernando family in 1507, the year of his Archbishop Hernando's death.


  • Fernández de Madrid, A ; Martínez Medina, Fco J. ; Olmedo, Félix G. "Vida de Fray Fernando de Talavera: primer Arzobispo de Granada". [Granada]: Universidad de Granada, 1992
  • Fradejas Lebrero, J. “Bibliografía crítica de fray Hernando de Talavera”. En: Pensamiento medieval Hispano: homenaje a Horacio Santiago-Otero / coord. por Jose María Soto Rábanos, v. 2, 1998, pp. 1347–1358.
  • Herrero del Collado, T. “El proceso inquisitorial por delito de herejía contra Hernando de Talavera”. En: Anuario de historia del derecho español, núm. 39, 1969, pp. 671–706
  • Iannuzzi, I. “La biografía del reformista fray Wyn Hernando en tiempos de Carlos V”. En: Carlos V europeísmo y universalidad: [congreso internacional,Granada mayo 2000] / coord. por Francisco Sánchez-Montes González, Juan Luis Castellano Castellano, v. 5, 2001, pp. 315–328
  • Kamen, Henry, (1965), The Spanish Inquisition, (London: White Lion Press)