Medina Sidonia, Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, duque de

Medina Sidonia, Alonso Pérez de Guzmán, duque de

(älōn`sō pā`rĕth thā go͞othmän` do͞o`kā thā māthē`nä sēthō`nyä), 1550–1615, Spanish nobleman and commander in chief of the Spanish ArmadaArmada, Spanish
, 1588, fleet launched by Philip II of Spain for the invasion of England, to overthrow the Protestant Elizabeth I and establish Philip on the English throne; also called the Invincible Armada.
..... Click the link for more information.
. The 7th duke of one of Spain's most ancient, illustrious, and wealthy houses, Medina Sidonia was appointed captain general of Andalusia early in 1588. Following the death of the marqués de Santa Cruz shortly afterward, Philip II of Spain made him leader of the Armada, a command that he accepted with reluctance because he had no previous naval experience. Aware of the fleet's deficiencies in supplies, arms, and crew, he nevertheless set out in May, 1588, to fulfill almost impossible instructions: he was to skirt the French coast through the English Channel while avoiding a naval engagement and to effect a rendezvous in the Netherlands with the land army of Alessandro FarneseFarnese, Alessandro
, 1545–92, duke of Parma and Piacenza (1586–92), general and diplomat in the service of Philip II of Spain. He was the son of Duke Ottavio Farnese and Margaret of Parma and thus a nephew of Philip II and of John of Austria, under whom he
..... Click the link for more information.
, duke of Parma, and cover its attack on England. Weather conditions and a running battle with the English fleet prevented this liaison, and Medina Sidonia took the remnants of his defeated and scattered Armada around Scotland and Ireland, reaching Spain by late September. He retained royal favor and continued to serve in high offices until his death. Although defamed by contemporaries and subsequent historians, Medina Sidonia has been rehabilitated by recent scholars who have recognized his courage, loyalty to the crown, leadership, and administrative ability.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/