Lerma, Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, Duke of(redirected from Lerma, Francisco Gomez de Sandoval y Rojas, Duke of)
Lerma, Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, Duke of
Born 1552; died 1623. Duke and Spanish statesman.
While prime minister and favorite of Philip III, Lerma governed Spain virtually on his own from 1598 to 1618. He used his position chiefly for personal profit. Thus, he transferred the court to Valladolid in 1601 and then back to Madrid in 1606 to obtain rewards from both cities, and he sold public offices. In order to suppress the bourgeois revolution in the Netherlands he issued a decree in 1603 prohibiting trade with the Dutch; this in fact harmed Spain’s foreign trade. In 1609 he took an active part in the expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain and profited from the confiscation of their property. Lerma’s abuse of authority gave rise to a plot against him at court, a plot in which Olivares participated, and led to his retirement in 1618. However, he obtained a papal appointment as cardinal (1618). After the death of Philip III in 1621, Lerma was condemned to pay a large fine and was banished from Madrid.