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.
- 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.
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