Juan Pacheco

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Cross of the Order of Santiago.

Juan Fernández Pacheco y Téllez Girón (Belmonte, 1419-Trujillo October 1, 1474), was a Castilian noble who rose to power in the last years of the reign of Juan II of Castile and came to dominate the government of Castile during the reign of his son and successor Henry IV of Castile.

He held the titles of Marquis of Villena, Count of Xiquena, Duke of Escalona for his marriage to his second wife, Master of the Order of Santiago and Grand master of the king's house.


Juan Pacheco was the son of Alfonso Tellez Giron and Vázquez de Acuña and Maria Pacheco (daughter of Juan Fernandez Pacheco first lord of Belmonte, and Agnes Téllez de Meneses). The family, of Portuguese nobility, had been exiled to Castile after the battle of Aljubarrota (1385), and counted, among its main possessions in Belmonte, the Alcazar, built by Prince Don Juan Manuel, and later the castle of Belmonte, built by Juan Pacheco in 1456 after being made Marquis of Villena. The close relationship of the Pacheco family and the Castilian crown is evidenced, for example, in the fact that Juan Pacheco's childhood playmate was Henry IV of Castile. In his youth, Pacheco served as a page of Alvaro de Luna, who later brought him to court to serve Prince Henry.

Pacheco became the prince's confidant, and this friendship would continue when his master became king Henry IV of Castile. Pacheco intervened in major political decisions. In January 1442, at 22, Pacheco had reached the office of chamberlain of the prince, the highest position in the house of the heir after the steward, a dignity still in the hands of constable Alvaro. That same year he joined the lordship of Moguer via his marriage to Maria Portocarrero, who had an important legacy, which was later lost. Juan Pacheco strived to recover it in subsequent years.

Juan Pacheco was appointed marquis of Villena, the first title of marquis conferred by a Castilian monarch, in 1445 after the first Battle of Olmedo. He also negotiated the title of Master of the Order of Calatrava for his brother, Pedro Giron. In the conflict that arose soon after between King John II of Castile and prince Henry, Juan Pacheco mediated on behalf of the prince, taking Alvaro de Luna as a mediator for the king. The agreement would benefit both mediators.

Other titles earned by Juan Pacheco would be the one of Adelantado of Castile from 1451 to 1456, and of Merino Mayor of Asturias from 1461 to 1462. He was also made Master of the Order of Santiago in 1467 by Prince Alfonso,[1] who had been proclaimed king by some Castilian nobles in the Farce of Avila.

In 1463, in Bayonne, Pacheco offered his services to France. With this alliance, France encircled its enemy, the kingdom of Aragon. In gratitude, Louis XI promised the hand of his daughter, Joanna, to the youngest son of Pacheco, Pedro de Portocarrero. The Aragonese king's reaction was to win the friendship of Castile and void the Castilian-French alliance, promising his son Fernando to Pacheco's daughter, Beatriz Pacheco.

In 1466 his nephew, Rodrigo Tellez Giron, was elected Master of the Order of Calatrava. Being a minor, Juan Pacheco would be his tutor, giving him the post of coadjutor of the order in 1469. As such, he would have the same powers as the masters had, except in spiritual matters, which should be delegated to persons belonging to the order. Writers of the period claim that he was master of Calatrava, in addition to Master of Santiago.[2]

In 1469, Princess Isabella, half sister of Henry IV, married Ferdinand of Aragon, against the will of the king and overriding previous diplomatic agreements, starting thus the War of the Castilian Succession, in which Juan Pacheco supported Princess Juana, Henry IV's daughter.

Pacheco died on October 1, 1474, in Santa Cruz, near Trujillo, shortly before the death of King Henry IV.

Nuptials and offspring[edit]

Pacheco married three times. His first wife was Angelina de Luna, cousin of the constable Alvaro de Luna. The marriage was declared null in 1442.[3]

Soon after, he married Maria Enriquez Portocarrero (d. 1470), daughter of Pedro (Martin Fernandez) de Portocarrero and Cabeza de Vaca, the fifth Lord of Moguer, and Beatriz Enriquez, daughter of Alonso de Mendoza and Juana Enríquez. The canonical marriage was valid until 1456, when Pope Callistus III authorized the marriage by the church and the legitimation of children who had been born until that date.[4]

The children of this marriage were:[5]

  • Diego López de Pacheco y Portocarrero, who succeeded his father in title and status.
  • Pedro de Portocarrero, who inherited the lordship of Moguer and Villanueva del Fresno of his maternal family.
  • Francisca de Pacheco, wife of Íñigo López de Mendoza y Quiñones el Gran Tendilla
  • Beatriz Pacheco, married c. 1490 Ponce de Leon Rodrigo, Marquis of Cádiz[6]
  • Maria de Pacheco, wife of Rodrigo Alonso Pimentel IV, Count and Duke of Benavente
  • Luis de Pacheco
  • Lope de Pacheco
  • Juana de Pacheco

After the death of Maria Enriquez, Pacheco married Maria de Velasco, daughter of Pedro Fernandez de Velasco and Manrique de Lara and Mencia de Mendoza y Figueroa. A daughter was born of this marriage:

  • Mencia Pacheco, who married Diego de Cardenas Enríquez, Duke of Maqueda I.

Juan Pacheco had several children out of wedlock. He had two children with Catalina Alonso Urueña: Juan and Isabel Pacheco. They were legitimized on April 25, 1456, by King Henry IV of Castile:.[7] From an unknown mother, he fathered Alonso, Rodrigo, Beatrice, and Leonor Pacheco.

Preceded by
Alfonso of Castile
Cross Santiago.svg
Grand Master of the Order of Santiago

Succeeded by
Alonso de Cárdenas
Preceded by
Ruy Diaz de Mendoza
Grand Master of the King's House
Succeeded by
Diego López de Pacheco y Portocarrero



  • BERWICK, and Duchess of Alba, "Catálogo de las colecciones expuestas en las vitrinas del Palacio de Liria", 1898
  • CIUDAD Ruiz, Manuel, "El maestrazgo de Don Rodrigo Tellez Giron", 2000, in La España Medieval (23), ISSN = 0214-3038, pp. 321–365
  • FRANCO SILVA, Alfonso, "Juan Pacheco: De doncel del príncipe de Asturias a Marqués de Villena (1440-1445)", 2009, Anuario de Estudios Medievales, 39 / 2, ISSN = 0066-5061, pp. 723–775 [1]
  • MARINO Nancy F., Don Juan Pacheco. Wealth and Power in Late Medieval Spain, 2006, Tempe, AR: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Id = 978-0-86698-356-3
  • MARTIN José Luis, Enrique IV, 2003, Hondarribia: Nerea, ISBN = 84-89569-82-7, Pages = 46–55, 80
  • DEL PULGAR, Fernando, Los claros varones d'Spaña, 1971, London: Salvat, Id = M. 25.554-1971, Pages = 41–46 (F. XVII-XIX). Facsimile of the edition of Stanislaus Polono, made in Seville in 1500.
  • SALAZAR Y ACHA, Jaime de, La casa del Rey de Castilla y León en la Edad Media, 1st ed., Madrid, 2000, ISBN = 84-259-1128-1
  • SUAREZ FERNANDEZ, Luis, Enrique IV de Castilla: La difamación como arma política, Barcelona: Ariel, 2001, ISBN = 84-344-6630-9