Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco, 8th Duke of Escalona

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Juan Manuel Fernández Pacheco

Juan Manuel María de la Aurora Fernández Pacheco Acuña Girón y Portocarrero, grandee of Spain, 8th Duke of Escalona, 8th Marquis of Villena, 12th Count of San Esteban de Gormaz and 8th Count of Xiquena (Marcilla, Navarra, 7 September 1650 – Madrid, June 29, 1725), was a Spanish aristocrat, politician and academician.

He was the son of Diego López Pacheco, 7th Duke of Escalona (1599–1653).
He served as viceroy and captain-general of the Kingdoms of Navarre, Aragon, Catalonia, Sicily and Naples. He was awarded the title of Knight of Order of the Golden Fleece on 9 October 1687.

In 1694 he lost the Battle of Torroella against the invading French.
During the War of the Spanish Succession, he was imprisoned in Gaeta, Naples, by the Austrian empire after losing the Siege of Gaeta (1707). Upon his release and return to Spain, he founded (under orders of King Philip V) the Royal Spanish Academy or Real Academia Española (RAE). He was elected its 1st lifetime Director in 1713. He was also Mayordomo mayor to the King.

Notes on ancestry[edit]

This Pacheco surname comes from Portugal and it has had a quite complicated, calculating, troublesome and violent political history in the Spanish Kingdom since the beginnings of the 15th century, with a great deal of "profitable marriages" meanwhile.

Juan Pacheco, (Belmonte 1419 - Trujillo 1 November 1474), was "Rico-hombre de Castilla", 3rd señor de Belmonte, 1st marquiss de Villena (12 July 1445), by King Juan II of Castile, 1st Duke of ESCALONA (17 December 1472) by King Enrique IV of Castile, and many other minor titles, professed as a Knight on the Military Order of Santiago having the approval from the Roman Pope on 15 November 1453 as he had been previously married.

He managed, through great fights between opposite groups, to be "elected" the 39th "Maestre of the Order of Santiago " with the approval in 1467, but apparently no Papal approval, of the short lived and much younger step brother of King Enrique IV, called Prince Alfonso, chosen as "Puppet King" of Castile by a sector of the Nobility.

This unfortunate prince, the maternal half-brother of the later Queen Isabella I of Castile, lasted a few months being, perhaps poisoned, aged around 16 .

With ambition and treacheries this Juan Pacheco kept a lot of fights and troubles with other nobility fractions dying in 1474.

His first descendents were closely controlled by the Catholic Monarchs but by 1520, King of Imperial Spain Carlos I of Spain had promoted some of them as Grandees of Spain, Carlos being the grandson of the above-mentioned Catholic Monarchs.

With the great amounts of land and income from "the Pacheco's block" commercial ventures, Carlos I of Spain, seeking the money to be able to purchase fidelities of the Germanic Great Electors, against would be Emperor of the Germanic Holy Roman Empire, Francis I of France, and with the flow of gold and silver flooding the whole of Europe from America, it is easy to understand why we speak today also of Charles V Habsburg, Emperor of the Germanic Holy Roman Empire, too. In spite of this, Money, Finances and History writers choose however to keep apart, it seems.

Shifting loyalties and troublesome Pacheco's managed also to get Royal Approval to have his male children "create new lineages using former glorious historical names from extinct lines, because of female successions". Therefore, "new names" came back into the High Spanish Nobility seeking adequate females to get married along different times, since as early as 1385, such as Portocarrero, Girón, Téllez-Girón and/or, changing and coming back from grand parents to grandsons, Fernández Pacheco/ then López Pacheco/then Fernandez Pacheco/then Lopez Pacheco again and so on.

Females, and illegitimates used Pacheco only many times but it was not rare for families such as the ubiquitous and powerful Mendoza, to hide a Mendoza woman, wife of a conflictive Pacheco describing her as a "Pacheco" nowadays probably to hide the embarrassment of a Mendoza woman associated with any socially conflictive or notoriously rebellious Pacheco.

Trying an approach to later Pacheco's[edit]

We will refer here only to the 6th, and 7th Dukes of Escalona, ancestors of the 8th, 9th and 10th Dukes of Escalona, who were respectively 1st, 2nd and 3rd Directors of the Royal Spanish Academy, Juan Manuel, Mercurio Antonio and Andrés María respectively Directors between 1713 and 1746.

Meetings of the 24 strong Selected Group of "Academicians", quite a hard working lot indeed, even for today technical standards, took place at the Madrid Private Palaces of these 3 Escalona's Dukes.

Political and military background of the first 3 family related Royal Spanish Academy Directors[edit]

Don Juan Manuel father, the 7th Duke of Escalona, between other titles, had the name Diego Roque López Pacheco, (Alcázar de Belmonte, (16 August 1599, the day of Saint Roque in the Calendar - + Pamplona 27 February 1653, aged 52), a Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and had married first in 1620 his cousin Luisa Bernarda de Cabrera y Bobadilla, but she died in 1638, 7th Marchioness of Moya, a title awarded by the Catholic Monarchs, Isabel I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon to a family of Crown treasurers and financial royal accountants converted from Judaism to Catholicism .

The 7th Duke, Diego Roque, was sent then, as a widower, as a Viceroy and Captain General of Mexico, (1638-) detained and put in prison by Royal Appointee as New Viceroy Bishop Juan de Palafox y Mendoza in 1642), marrying then again, in 1644, the lady described as Juana María Francisca de Zuñiga, (deceased at Pamplona, Navarre, on 17 February 1652), daughter of powerful Francisco Diego Lopez de Zuñiga y Sotomayor, 7th Duke of Béjar.

The reason by widower Diego Roque, 7th Duke of Escalona was detained in Mexico when he was the 17th Viceroy was the high suspicions in the Madrid Court concerning the Portuguese family of the powerful Dukes of Braganza.

The 7th Duque Teodosio II de Braganza (1568-Duke 1583-1630), had taken part, aged around 11, in the significant North African battle known as Battle of Alcazarquivir.

Portugal had become, as a consequence, a Kingdom ruled by King Philip II of Spain, being called there Philip I of Portugal. He took a lot of trouble however in getting both nobilities, Spanish and Portuguese, hating one another, as quite, peaceful and no mixings or misunderstandings as best as he could.

The amounts of lands in Asia, Africa, America and Europe was thus staggering when both powers were ruled by a same physical King and successful management must have been most difficult indeed.

Then, Duke Teodosio's II son, a cousin of the 7th Duke of Escalona and Viceroy of Mexico till his imprisonment in 1642 in Mexico, 8th Duke Juan II de Braganza (1604-Duke successor 1630-New King of Portugal after 1 December 1640 – 1656), was crowned and accepted as King of Portugal, as the first King of the new Braganza Royal Dynasty.

New King Juan II of Portugal since 1 December 1640 was married to the daughter of the Duke of Medinasidonia, accused of having tried to set up and Independent Andalusia. The new Spanish born Portuguese Queen got her father arrested and the Duke of Medinasidonia died while in prison.

This, one of many obscure pages of the then powerful but exhausted by widely extended military investments and wars Habsburg Imperial Spain has received, and will continue receiving, no doubt, the attention of world historians.

Therefore, the 7th Duke of Escalona, the suspected Mexico Viceroy replaced by the Madrid Court forecasters, who had inherited from the 6th Duke, (deceased without issue), died, 1653, when his son Juan Manuel was barely three years old, and while his 2nd wife, the daughter of the 7th Duke of Bejar, the mother of Juan Manuel, had died the year before, 1652.

Fortunately, the 6th Duke of Escalona, albeit dying without issue, have had several bastard brothers/sisters who had professed in the Holy Religion, namely the ones described as:

6Esc. B1) Diego Antonio Pacheco, Dean of Jaén Cathedral, (20 September 1594 - a prisoner in Istanbul, (Turkey), in 1616, aged 22 - ?).

6Esc. B2) Juan Francisco Pacheco, (baptized at Rome, Italy, 28 February 1606)), a Knight of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, Fellow student at the Colegio Mayor de los Caballeros Manriques, at Alcalá de Henares, Canon and Dean at Jaén on 17 April 1622, sommelier of King Philip IV, Bishop of Cuenca, 1654, Bishop of Córdoba, 1658- deceased 1663). This Bishop had at least than two children, a nun, Juana Maria, resident at a Convent in Escalona, and Andres Mauricio, Cavalry Captain in the Spanish Governor ship of Milano Dukedom, Italy, deceased in Rome, Italy, 1654.

6Esc. B3) Maria Pacheco, Abbess of the Concepcion Convent at Escalona, (Toledo), where her bastard niece, daughter of his bastard brother, the later Bishop of Cuenca and Córdoba aforementioned, was a nun.

Furthermore, the 7th Duke of Escalona, itself, got another bastard son in Holy Religion, named

7Esc. B1) Antonio Pacheco, "colegial mayor en el Mayor de los Caballeros Manriques de Alcalá de Henares, deán y canónigo de la Santa Iglesia de Cuenca - + Cuenca 2.3.1676)".

As a bastard brother of the 8th Duke, Juan Manuel, he did not only have then bastard relative ancestors but also this bastard brother, Antonio.

He got from his bastard brother, also two nephews, the fruit of the sins of this Canon and Dean at Cuenca, Antonio:

7Esc. B1. 1) Juan Antonio Pacheco, engaged in military actions in Flanders.

7Esc. B1. 2) Juana María Pacheco, Abbess of the Concepcion Monastery at Escalona, as another bastard female ancestor, + 1674.

Clearly enough, his bastard relatives, spanning several generations, did everything they could to educate the fragile and nearly a baby Don Juan Manuel, the orphaned baby 8th Duke. They excelled in it, apparently.

The descendency: the 2nd Director of the Royal Spanish Academy[edit]

There is description, above, of Don Juan Manuel, 8th Duke, military and cultural assignments:

His son, named slightly different, Mercurio López Pacheco y Benavides, (Escalona 9 May 1679 - + Madrid 7 June 1738), was the 9th Duke of Escalona and many other titles and honours being the lifetime 2nd director of the RAE (1725–1738).

The 1st and 2nd Directors' descendants[edit]

His grandson, who was named Andrés María Fernández Pacheco y Moscoso, (Madrid, 13 August 1710 - Member of the Royal Spanish Academy 25 April 1726, aged 16 - married 21 October 1727, aged 17 - Third Director 1738, aged 28 – 27 June 1746, aged 36), was the 10th Duke of Escalona, twice a Grandee of Spain and many other titles.

Note the shifts on the Pacheco names branch: López/Fernández/López between the three generations as granted by the feeble Kings spanning the end of the XIV and the beginning of the 15th century, (1379–1474), Castilian throne: Juan I, Enrique III, Juan II, Enrique IV.

Some references[edit]


  • CIUDAD RUIZ, Manuel, (2000): «El maestrazgo de Don Rodrigo Téllez Girón», en En la España Medieval, nº 23. 0214-3038, pp. 321–365


  • Spanish Wikipedia entry
Government offices
Preceded by
Alejandro de Bournonville
Viceroy of Navarre
Succeeded by
Baltasar de Zúñiga
Preceded by
Baltasar de los Cobos
Viceroy of Aragon
Succeeded by
Domenico del Giudice
Preceded by
Juan Claros Pérez de Guzmán
Viceroy of Catalonia
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Francisco Antonio de Agurto
Preceded by
Luis Francisco de la Cerda
Viceroy of Naples
Succeeded by
Georg Adam von Martinitz
Preceded by
Pietro Colonna
Viceroy of Sicily
Succeeded by
Francesco del Giudice
Academic offices
New title Director of
The Royal Spanish Academy

Succeeded by
The Duke of Escalona
A seat of
The Royal Spanish Academy

Succeeded by
Tomás Pascual de Azpeitia
Spanish nobility
Preceded by
Diego López Pacheco
Duke of Escalona
Succeeded by
Mercurio López Pacheco
Marquis of Villena
Count of San Esteban de Gormaz
Count of Xiquena
Marquis of Moya
Succeeded by
Vicente de Cabrera