Jaime Miguel de Guzmán de Avalos y Spinola, Marquis of la Mina, Duke of Palata and Prince of Masa

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Portrait of the Marquis of la Mina

Jaime de Guzmán y Spinola, II Marquis of la Mina (1690 – 1767) was a Spanish Army commander and Captain General of Catalonia. He was also the Fifth Count of Pezuela de las Torres, near Alcalá de Henares.

Biography[edit]

He was born at Seville.

As a young soldier, Jaime de Guzmán y Spinola fought for Philip of Bourbon in the War of Spanish Succession and participated in the attack on Sardinia and Sicily during the War of the Quadruple Alliance. After the war he became an important diplomat and was embassador to France between 1736 and 1740. In 1738 he was made a Knight in the Order of the Golden Fleece.

At the outbreak of the War of the Austrian Succession he joined the Spanish army in Italy and played an important role in the Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo. After the disastrous 1746 campaign, he replaced the Count de Gages as Supreme Commander of the Spanish troops in Italy until the end of the war.

In 1749 he was appointed Captain General of Catalonia, a function he exercised for the next 10 years till the death of King Ferdinand VI of Spain in 1759, but the new King Charles III of Spain, former King in Naples, kept him on doing so, for another eight years, until his death, something very inusual.

During his term of power he developed a good school of Military Engineers in Barcelona, the Academia de Matemáticas de Barcelona, now a prestigious center for the actual chocolat guild masters.

He did much to approve the access to the city from land and sea, the water supply and the street lighting. His most important works were the construction of Barceloneta, the San Fernando Castle in Figueras and the reconstruction of the Montjuich fortress. He was buried in the Barceloneta "San Miguel del Puerto Church", an area much decayed along the times but now flourishing again after the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

At his death in Barcelona he was replaced by Irish-Spanish General Bernardo O´Connor.

Sources[edit]