Fernando Niño de Guevara

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His Eminence
Fernando Niño de Guevara
Cardinal Archbishop of Seville
Cardinal-priest of Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti
El Greco 049.jpg
Portrait of Fernando Niño de Guevara by El Greco.
Archdiocese Seville
See Seville
Installed 30 April 1601
Term ended 8 January 1609
Predecessor Rodrigo de Castro Osorio
Successor Pedro de Castro y Quiñones
Other posts Cardinal-priest of Santi Silvestro e Martino ai Monti
Consecration 10 October 1599
by Pope Clement VIII
Created Cardinal 5 June 1596
by Pope Clement VIII
Rank Cardinal-priest
Personal details
Born 1541
Toledo, Spain
Died 8 January 1609 (aged 68)
Seville, Spain
Nationality Spanish
Denomination Roman Catholic
Occupation Lawyer
Previous post Cardinal-priest of San Biagio dell'Anello (1597-1599)
Titular archbishop of Philippi (1599-1601)
Grand Inquisitor of Spain (1600-1602)
Alma mater University of Salamanca
Ordination history of
Fernando Niño de Guevara
Episcopal consecration
Principal consecrator Pope Clement VIII
Co-consecrators Camillo Borghese
Alfonso Visconti
Date of consecration 10 October 1599
Elevated by Pope Clement VIII
Date of elevation 5 June 1596
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Fernando Niño de Guevara as principal consecrator
Tomás de Borja 9 April 1600
Juan Bautista Acevedo Muñoz 17 June 1601
Francisco de Vera-Villavicencio ?
Juan de la Sal ?

Fernando Niño de Guevara (1541 – 8 January 1609) was a Spanish cardinal who was also Archbishop of Seville and Grand Inquisitor of Spain.


Fernando Niño de Guevara was born in Toledo, Spain in 1541, the son of Rodrigo Niño, Marquis of Tejares. An uncle, also named Fernando Niño de Guevara (d. 1552), was Archbishop of Granada from 1542 to 1552. He studied law at the University of Salamanca. He then moved to Cuenca, Spain, where he became archdeacon of the cathedral. In 1570, he became an oidor in Valladolid. He became a member of the Council of Castile in 1580.

On 3 December 1599 he was appointed Grand Inquisitor of Spain. During his tenure as Grand Inquisitor, the Spanish Inquisition burned 240 heretics, plus 96 in effigy. 1,628 other individuals were found guilty and subjected to lesser penalties.

On 30 April 1601 he was also appointed Archbishop of Seville.

Fernando Niño de Guevara engaged the Jesuits in a dispute about the nature of papal authority. As a result, Pope Clement VIII prevailed on Philip III of Spain to induce him to resign as Grand Inquisitor in 1602.

He did, however, retain his duties as Archbishop of Seville. In this capacity, he called a synod in 1604 in order to suppress the confraternities and replace them with similar institutions dominated by clerics.

He died, probably in Seville, on 8 January 1609. He is buried in the Convent of San Pablo in Toledo.

Cultural depictions[edit]

In 1600, El Greco completed a portrait of Fernando Niño de Guevara that is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The incident of El Greco completing this painting was the subject of a 1936 novel by Stefan Andres entitled El Greco malt den Großinquisitor.

In the 2007 film El Greco (directed by Yannis Smaragdis), Fernando Niño de Guevara (played by Juan Diego Botto) was falsely depicted as prosecuting El Greco within the frame of an Inquisition trial.


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Pedro de Portocarrero
Grand Inquisitor of Spain
Succeeded by
Juan de Zúñiga Flores
Preceded by
Rodrigo de Castro Osorio
Archbishop of Seville
Succeeded by
Pedro de Castro y Quiñones