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.

Early life[edit]

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, a province of Toledo, related to the Great Master of the Military Order of Santiago and the bastard son zof a Jewish mother, fathered by King Alfonso XI of Castile.

Wyn Hernando may have been the son of Don García, Lord of Talavera de la Reina, born around 1370 who died in 1429 with Royal Hebrew blood. Hernando may instead 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.

There are other "Álvarez de Toledo" families, related to the actual Duchess of Alba, however, who seem to escape such 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 Moorish and Jewish converso city for over two centuries, Toldeo was not keen about "miraculous" conversions to Christianity. He preferred the "reasoned" preaching and appropriate schooling of children, a line strongly disapproved by the Inquisitors and many of the Lords of the newly conquered lands. This reinforced suspicious of his background and in his perceived attachment to his alleged ancestors.

Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros (1436–1517), was interested as Archbishop de Talavera in achieving quick results, 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 farmers, stimulating an armed opposition that was quickly and repeatedly crushed.

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


Read more[edit]

  • 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 (2014-01-01). The Spanish Inquisition: A Historical Revision. Yale University Press. ISBN 9780300180510.