Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (1585–1645)

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Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba
Prince of Maratea
Wenceslas Hollar - Gonzales de Cordoba.jpg
Equestrian engraving of Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba by Wenceslas Hollar.
Governor of the Duchy of Milan
In office
Monarch Philip IV of Spain
Preceded by Gómez Suárez de Figueroa
Succeeded by Ambrosio Spinola
Personal details
Born 31 December 1585
Cabra, Province of Córdoba, Spain
Died 16 February 1645
Montalbán, Spain
Religion Roman Catholic
Military service
Allegiance Spain Spain

Gonzalo Andrés Domingo Fernández de Córdoba (31 December 1585 – 16 February 1645) was a Spanish military leader during the Eighty Years' War, Thirty Years' War and the War of the Mantuan Succession.


He was born at Cabra, in what is now the Province of Córdoba and was the third son of Antonio Fernández de Córdoba Cardona y Requesens, the Duke of Soma and was great-great-great grandchild of his namesake Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, the Great Capitan. In 1624 was awarded the title of the first Prince of Maratea.

He participated in the battles of Wimpfen and Fleurus, as well as in Höchst whereby Ernst von Mansfeld and Christian of Brunswick were defeated. From 1621 to 1623, commanded the Spanish troops in the Palatinate, and Flanders, and defeated the Anglo-German Protestant troops in the sieges of Bacharach and Heidelberg.

From 1625 to 1629 he was Governor of the Duchy of Milan. In 1628 he took part in the War of the Mantuan Succession.
When he failed to take Casale and stop the French invasion in 1629, he was called back to Madrid and court-martialed.
He was reinstated a few years later and sent to the Netherlands in 1632. Here he conducted operations on the lower Rhine in the rear of the victorious army of Gustavus Adolphus, but he was unable to prevent the Capture of Maastricht by Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. He was recalled to Spain in 1633 and died at Montalbán in 1645, without having been married, and with no issue.


He is also a character in the novel The Betrothed, where Alessandro Manzoni describes the anger of the Milanese populace towards him, when he leaves Milan in 1629.


  • Guthrie, P William. Battles of the Thirty Years War: From White Mountain to Nordlingen, 1618-1635 Greenwood Press (2001) ISBN 0-313-32028-4
  • Pursell, C Brennan The Winter King: Frederick V of the Palatinate and the Coming of the Thirty Years' War Ashgate Publishing (2003) ISBN 0-7546-3401-9
  • Black, Jeremy European Warfare, 1494-1660. Routledge Publishing (2002) ISBN 0-415-27531-8
  • Lawrence, R David. The Complete Soldier: Military Books and Military Culture in Early Stuart England, 1603-1645. Brill Academic Publishing. ISBN 90-04-17079-0
  • Josef V. Polišenský/Frederick Snider: War and society in Europe (1618-1648). Bristol: Cambridge University Press, 1978. ISBN 978-0-521-21659-3

External links

Government offices
Preceded by
Gómez Suárez de Figueroa, 3rd Duke of Feria
Governor of the Duchy of Milan
Succeeded by
Ambrogio Spinola, 1st Marquis of the Balbases