Francisco de Melo
Don Francisco de Melo was a Portuguese nobleman and general.


de Melo was born at Estremoz, in Portugal.

He was marquis of the Portuguese
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 Tor de Laguna, count of Assumar, and, from 1641 to 1644, interim governor
A governor is a governing official, usually the executive of a non-sovereign level of government, ranking under the head of state...

 of the Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands were a part of the Low Countries controlled by Spain , Austria and annexed by France...


When Francisco de Melo came to the Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands were a part of the Low Countries controlled by Spain , Austria and annexed by France...

, he already had an impressive political career. From 1632 to 1636 he had been 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...

 ambassador to the Republic of Genoa
Republic of Genoa
The Most Serene Republic of Genoa |Ligurian]]: Repúbrica de Zêna) was an independent state from 1005 to 1797 in Liguria on the northwestern Italian coast, as well as Corsica from 1347 to 1768, and numerous other territories throughout the Mediterranean....

. In 1638 he was appointed viceroy of Sicily, and two years later he was ambassador in Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...


Above all, Francisco de Melo will be remembered for the historical defeat at the battle of Rocroi
Battle of Rocroi
The Battle of Rocroi was fought on 19 May 1643, late in the Thirty Years' War. It resulted in a victory of the French army under the Duc d'Enghien, against the Spanish army under General Francisco de Melo.-Prelude:...

 in 1643. In later years this defeat has been regarded as one of the key steps in the decline of the Spanish empire
Spanish Empire
The Spanish Empire comprised territories and colonies administered directly by Spain in Europe, in America, Africa, Asia and Oceania. It originated during the Age of Exploration and was therefore one of the first global empires. At the time of Habsburgs, Spain reached the peak of its world power....

. Don Francisco's victory at the Battle of Honnecourt
Battle of Honnecourt
The Battle of Honnecourt was a battle of the Thirty Years' War fought on May 26, 1642. The Spanish, led by Francisco de Melo, were victorious over the French under Antoine III de Gramont, Comte de Guiche....

 one year earlier, has been completely forgotten.

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