María Pacheco

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María Pacheco receives notice of the death of her husband at Villalar. The painting is a 19th-century work by Vicente Borrás.

María Pacheco (about 1496, Granada - 1531, Oporto) was a 16th-century Spanish woman of the House of Mendoza. She was the daughter of Íñigo López de Mendoza y Quiñones and Francisca Pacheco.

When her husband, the chief comunero Juan López de Padilla, was captured and killed in the battle of Villalar in 1521, she took command in his name and successfully lead the defence of the city of Toledo against the royalist forces until the arrangement of a peaceful surrender of the city six months later.

Pacheco managed to escape to Portugal, where she lived till her death, in March 1531. She was buried in Oporto Cathedral.


  • Martínez Gil, Fernando (2005). María Pacheco: la mujer valerosa, historia de doña María Pacheco, comunera de Castilla (1497-1531). Volumen 3 de Biografías Castilla-La Mancha. Almud / Centro de Estudios de Castilla-La Mancha, D.L. (Ciudad Real). ISBN 84-934140-1-8.