Enrique de Guzmán, 2nd Count of Olivares
Enrique de Guzmán y Ribera, 2nd Count of Olivares (Sp.
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

: Don
Don (honorific)
Don, from Latin dominus, is an honorific in Spanish , Portuguese , and Italian . The female equivalent is Doña , Dona , and Donna , abbreviated "Dª" or simply "D."-Usage:...

 Enrique de Guzmán y Ribera, segundo Conde de Olivares
; 1 March 1540–1607) was a Spanish
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 nobleman and statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...



Enrique de Guzmán y Ribera, was born in Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, the son of Pedro Pérez de Guzmán, 1st Count of Olivares
Pedro Pérez de Guzmán, 1st Count of Olivares
Pedro Pérez de Guzmán y Zúñiga, 1st Count of Olivares was the founder of the House of Olivares, a cadet branch of the House of Medina Sidonia.-Biography:...

, of Sevilla, and Francisca de Ribera Niño, of Toledo (Niño was her mother's family name. Her father's family name was Conchillos but she took her mother's as it was more important).

He entered the service of the royal house at a very young age and at age fourteen he travelled in Europe with his own father in the service of prince Philip (later king Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

) including to England where king Philip married queen Mary I of England
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...


He later participated in the war in Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 and in the Battle of St. Quentin (1557)
Battle of St. Quentin (1557)
The Battle of Saint-Quentin of 1557 was fought during the Franco-Habsburg War . The Spanish, who had regained the support of the English, won a significant victory over the French at Saint-Quentin, in northern France.- Battle :...

 where he was wounded in a leg, something he would use for the rest of his life as an excuse to only go where it suited him.

At the death of his father, in 1569, he inherited the family house and he continued to serve the king in positions of great confidence like the negotiations with France regarding the new marriage between king Philip with Elizabeth of Valois.

Olivares held many important positions under Philip II of Spain, serving as treasurer of Castile, warden of the Alcázar of Seville, and as Spanish Ambassador to France.

In 1582, at age 42, he was appointed ambassador to Rome where for the next ten years he would represent the king of Spain before the popes Gregory XIII
Pope Gregory XIII
Pope Gregory XIII , born Ugo Boncompagni, was Pope from 1572 to 1585. He is best known for commissioning and being the namesake for the Gregorian calendar, which remains the internationally-accepted civil calendar to this date.-Youth:He was born the son of Cristoforo Boncompagni and wife Angela...

 (1572–1585), Sixtus V
Pope Sixtus V
Pope Sixtus V , born Felice Peretti di Montalto, was Pope from 1585 to 1590.-Early life:The chronicler Andrija Zmajević states that Felice's family originated from modern-day Montenegro...

 (1585–1590) and Gregory XIV
Pope Gregory XIV
Pope Gregory XIV , born Niccolò Sfondrati, was Pope from 5 December 1590 until his death in 1591.- Early career :...


Relations Between the King of Spain and Pope Sixtus were always tense. The main point of friction was that king Philip had asked Pope Sixtus to condemn the French Catholics who supported Henry of Navarre in their fight against the League led by the king of Spain but Pope Sixtus refused to do so. Olivares first plead and then demanded with threats and relations deteriorated. The Pope requested several times that Olivares be replaced but king Philip would not comply and finally the situation was resolved with the death of the pope.

Another point of contention was the rivalry between the Jesuits, subject to the Pope, and the Spanish Inquisition
Spanish Inquisition
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition , commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition , was a tribunal established in 1480 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms, and to replace the Medieval...

, subject to the king of Spain.

Olivares had a strong, arrogant personality which often did not help with his business, specially with pope Sixtus V who also had a very strong character and special antipathy for the king of Spain. There was much friction and enmity between the Spanish ambassador and Sixtus V, to the point that, when the pope died there were rumors that the death had been caused by the continuous anger of the pope caused by Olivares who "poisoned his days".

Historian López-Calderón, contemporaneous of Olivares, tells of several anecdotes representative of the bad blood there was between ambassador Olivares and Pope Pius V. According to one of them Olivares used a bell to call his servants but this was a privilege restricted only to the Cardinals of the Church and the Pope sent a Cardinal to ask Olivares to cease this practice. Olivares would not cease and the matter took larger proportions. The ambassador of France also protested against Olivares and the Pope sent him a letter of censure. Olivares was received by the pope three times regarding this matter and grew more impatient every time. He replied that Spain was the largest and most powerful Catholic empire and contributed to Rome more than any other kingdom and demanded he be allowed to continue using the bell to call his servants. He finished his tirade by calling the pope "vuestra ingratitud" (your ingratitude) instead of "vuestra beatitud" (your piousness).

But the pope would not budge and Olivares was forced to renounce the practice. After this Olivares began to call his servants by firing a small cannon he placed on the roof of his residence. The noise and vibration caused by these firings caused so many protests that pope Pius soon gave Olivares the privilege of using a bell to call his servants.

Another story says Olivares was enraged because the pope, instead of paying him full attention, was distractedly playing with a little lapdog and Olivares angrily took the dog away from the pontiff and put it on the floor.

After the death of pope Sixtus V, relations with his successor, Gregory XIV, improved dramatically.

From 1591 to 1595 Olivares was appointed viceroy of Sicily.

In November 1595, Philip II appointed Olivares viceroy of Naples. His time in Naples
Naples is a city in Southern Italy, situated on the country's west coast by the Gulf of Naples. Lying between two notable volcanic regions, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields, it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples...

 is noted for its abundant crops; Olivares' vigorous attempts to suppress banditry in Naples; and a building program sponsored by Olivares utilizing the services of architect
An architect is a person trained in the planning, design and oversight of the construction of buildings. To practice architecture means to offer or render services in connection with the design and construction of a building, or group of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the...

 Domenico Fontana
Domenico Fontana
Domenico Fontana was a Swiss-born Italian architect of the late Renaissance.-Biography:200px|thumb|Fountain of Moses in Rome....

. Upon the death of Philip II in 1598, Philip III of Spain
Philip III of Spain
Philip III , also known as Philip the Pious, was the King of Spain and King of Portugal and the Algarves, where he ruled as Philip II , from 1598 until his death...

 confirmed Olivares as Viceroy of Naples.

Historians of that time give him high marks for his service in Italy as ambassador and viceroy.

Olivares returned to Spain in 1599, becoming a member of the Spanish Council of State
Spanish Council of State
The Spanish Council of State is the supreme consultative council of the Spanish Government. The current Council of State was established in 1980 according to the article 107 of the Constitution of 1978. The institution of the Council of State, understood as supreme consultative council of the...

. He died in Madrid in 1607.

Olivares was married to María Pimentel de Fonseca, daughter of Jerónimo de Acevedo, 4th Count of Monterrey and Inés de Velasco. Olivares and his wife had the following children:
  • Jerónimo de Guzmán, who died in infancy
  • Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares
    Gaspar de Guzmán, Count-Duke of Olivares
    Don Gaspar de Guzmán y Pimentel Ribera y Velasco de Tovar, Count-Duke of Olivares and Duke of San Lúcar la Mayor , was a Spanish royal favourite of Philip IV and minister. As prime minister from 1621 to 1643, he over-exerted Spain in foreign affairs and unsuccessfully attempted domestic reform...

    , favourite
    A favourite , or favorite , was the intimate companion of a ruler or other important person. In medieval and Early Modern Europe, among other times and places, the term is used of individuals delegated significant political power by a ruler...

     of Philip IV of Spain
    Philip IV of Spain
    Philip IV was King of Spain between 1621 and 1665, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands, and King of Portugal until 1640...

  • Francisca de Guzmán
  • Inés de Guzmán, who married Álvaro Enríquez de Almansa, 6th Marquis of Alcañices
  • Leonor María de Guzmán, who married Manuel de Acevedo, 6th Count of Monterrey
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