Lerma, Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, duque de

Lerma, Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, duque de

(fränthēs`kō gō`māth dā sändōväl` ē rō`häs do͞o`kā dā lār`mä), 1553–1625, Spanish statesman, favorite of King Philip IIIPhilip III,
1578–1621, king of Spain, Naples, and Sicily (1598–1621) and, as Philip II, king of Portugal (1598–1621); son and successor of Philip II of Spain. He was as pious as his father, but lacked his intelligence and capacity for work.
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. He became premier upon Philip's accession (1598) and controlled the government for 20 years. Lerma pursued a pacific foreign policy, ending (1604) the war with England and securing (1609) a 12-year truce in the Netherlands. Within Spain, however, he concentrated mainly on enriching himself. The most vigorous action taken by his administration was the expulsion (1609–14) of the Moriscos. In 1618, shortly after he had become a cardinal, he was ousted from power by his own son. After an inquiry ordered (1621) by Philip IV, Lerma was made to restore to the state part of his wealth.
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