Juan López de Padilla

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Juan López de Padilla
Captain General of Toledo
Juan de Padilla.gif
19th century portrait of Juan López de Padilla
Born 10 November 1490
Toledo, Crown of Castile
Died 24 April 1521
Villalar, Crown of Castile
Buried La Mejorada monastery, Olmedo
Spouse(s) María Pacheco
Father Pedro López de Padilla
Occupation Hidalgo and revolutionary leader

Juan López de Padilla (1490 – April 24, 1521) was an insurrectionary leader in the Castilian War of the Communities, where the people of Castile made a stand against policies of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and his Flemish ministers.


Padilla was born in Toledo, Spain, the eldest son of the commendator of Castile. In 1520, after the Castilian deputies had demanded in vain Charles V's return to Castile, regard for cortes' rights and the administration of their economy by Spaniards, a "holy junta" was formed with Padilla as its head. At first, the junta attempted to establish a national government in the name of Juana of Castile, but lost the support of the nobility when it abolished their privileges and asserted democracy. Though the nobles' army subsequently captured Tordesillas, Padilla led the capture of Torrelobatón and other towns, but any advantage gained was neutralized by the junta after it granted an armistice. When hostilities resumed, their army was comprehensively defeated near Villalar, on April 23, 1521 and Padilla taken prisoner. He was publicly beheaded the following day.

Bronze sculpture of Juan de Padilla, Toledo work of sculptor Julio Martín de Vidales

Afterwards, Padilla's wife, Doña María Pacheco, bravely defended Toledo against the royal troops for six months, but ultimately was compelled to take refuge in Portugal.


Further reading[edit]

  • Sandoval, Historia de Carlos V., Pamplona: 1681.
  • E. Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V., 1902.
  • A. Rodriquez Villa, Juana la Loca, Madrid: 1892.
  • Pero Mejia, "Comunidades de Castilla", in the Biblioteca de autores españoles of Rivadeneyra, vol. xxi.