Juan Ramón Folch de Cardona y Ximenez de Arenós
Juan Ramón Folch de Cardona y Ximenez de Arenós, (9 January 1418 – 1485) the 4th Count of Cardona and Viceroy of Sicily (1477–1479) was the son of Juan Ramon Folch de Cardona y Aragón, (14 June 1400 – 1471). He became, at four years old, 1st Viscount of Vilamur in 1404. Almost twenty years later, on 22 May 1423, he was made 3rd Count of Cardona, Admiral of Aragon by the Lieutenant of Aragon and queen in charge of Aragonese–Catalan affairs on behalf of her absent husband, Alfonso V of Aragon, who resided at Naples, Italy, and Juana Gonzalva Ximenez de Arenós, Countess of Prades, Lady of the Barony of Entenza[disambiguation needed], sister of the Margerida de Prades who married the aged and ailing King Martin I of Aragon.
In 1430, Folch commanded a fleet of 22 galleys and eight big ships, assisting Aragonese king Alfonso V of Aragon, (1395 - king of Aragon and Sicily 1416 - king of Naples "manu militari" between 1434 - 1458), who was besieged in Naples. On his return home, he took the French city of Marseille. For his actions he was awarded by Alfonso V of Aragon brother, king John II of Aragon, (king successor 1458 - 1479) the Sicilian town of Termes[disambiguation needed], in 1463, during which time King John II was at Tudela, kingdom of Navarre, where he was disputing with his son, Charles of Viana, the Navarrese throne, illegally, in spite of being a widower of Queen Blanca I of Navarre, (1385–1441).
King John II, battling against his own rebelling Catalan subjects, experienced extreme difficulties in 1467, but in 1468, the younger son of later king (since 1479) John II of Aragon, 16-year-old Ferdinand II of Aragon, received the military help of this 3rd Count of Cardona,
who died in 1471.
In 1445, Folch married Juana de Urgel y Aragón, daughter of the Jaime de Urgel, Count of Urgel and Royal Princess Isabella of Aragon (1380–1424), a daughter of King Peter IV of Aragon, a widow of the Count of Foix. He went on to fight successfully in 1473 against the French troops in the Ampurdan area and the battle of Besós.
When his father, the 3rd Count of Cardona, died in 1471, he inherited the title of Admiral of Aragon.
In 1474 he took part in a mission to arrange peace and truces with king Louis XII of France, (1462–1515).
In 1477 he was sent as a Viceroy of Sicily where he stayed until 1479. He died in 1485.
The next Admiral of Aragon was his 39-year-old son, the 5th Count of Cardona and Count of Prades, Juan Ramon Folch de Cardona y Urgel, though only until 28 September 1486, when King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabel I of Castile granted the title to his young son Ferdinand.
As the 5th Count was married since 1467 to Aldonza Enriquez, sister of Juana Enriquez, mother of king Ferdinand II of Aragon, and both sisters came from the Enriquez family, hereditary Admirals of Castile since about 1404, this decision is easy to understand.
The hereditary title of Admirals of Castile disappeared in 1711 when the Duke of Medinaceli of that time died in the prison in Pamplona Castle. Yet, the title of Admirals of Aragon continued by inheritance through different families, with, for instance, the Palafox family using such a title at the beginning of the 19th century.
A palace in Granada, now used as a Faculty of Architecture and former military hospital, is still named "La Casa del Almirante", "the House of the Admiral", on account of Mendoza family members living there in the 17th century.