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Requesens, Luis De Zuniga

REQUESENS, LUIS DE ZUNIGA Y (? -1576), Spanish governor of the Netherlands, had the misfortune to succeed the duke of Alva (q.v.) and to govern amid hopeless difficulties under the direction of Philip II. His early career was that of a government official and diplomatist. In 1563 he gained the king's confidence as his representative at Rome. In 1568 he was appointed lieutenant-general to Don John of Austria during the suppression of the Morisco revolt in Granada, and he also accompanied Don John during the Lepanto campaign, his function being to watch and control his nominal commanderin-chief, whose excitable temperament was distrusted by the king. Philip must have been satisfied with Requesens, for he named him viceroy in Milan, a post usually given to a great noble. Requesens was only " a gentleman of cloak and sword " (caballero de capa y espada), though by the king's favour he was " grand commander " of the military order of Santiago in Castile. He was credited with having shown moderation at Milan, but it is certain that he came into sharp collision with the archbishop, Saint Charles Borromeo, who took up the cause of his flock. His docility rather than his capacity marked him out to succeed Alva. The king wished to pursue a more conciliatory policy, without, however, yielding any one of the points in dispute between himself and the revolted Netherlanders. Requesens came to Brussels on the 17th of November 1573, and till his death on the 5th of March 1576 was plunged into insuperable difficulties. With an empty treasury and unpaid mutinous troops, no faculty could have helped Requesens to succeed; and he was only an honest official who was worn out in trying to do the impossible.

AUTHORITIES. Documentor InMitos para la historia de Espana (Madrid, 1892); and Nueva Coleccion de documentos, vols. iv. and v. (Madrid).

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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