Martín Alonso Fernández de Córdoba Montemayor y Velasco, conde de Alcaudete

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Martín Alonso Fernández de Córdoba Montemayor y Velasco (died August 1558) was a Spanish nobleman, first Count of Alcaudete, Viceroy of Navarra, and governor of Oran.


Alcaudete was the son to Fernández de Córdoba y Montemayor, the lord of Alcaudete and of Montemayor, and to María de Velasco, daughter of Count Siruela. He married Leonor Pacheco, daughter of Diego de Córdoba, Marquis of Comares. Their sons were Alfonso, the successor to Alcaudete; Diego, who became Bishop of Calhorra; Martín, who also became Vicery of Navarra and Governor of Oran; and Francisco, knight of the Order of Calatrava.[1]


He was corregidor of Toledo in 1523,[2] was Viceroy of Navarra between 1527 and 1534. In 1534, he was appointed Governor ("Captain General") of the Spanish North African base of Oran in 1534.[3]: 153 

In 1535, he attacked the Ottoman-held city of Tlemcen, capital of the Kingdom of Tlemcen, with 600 men, in collaboration with the local Banu Amir tribe of Abdul Rahman ibn Radwan. The project was to replace Sultan Muhammad of Tlemcen by his younger brother Abdulla. They were opposed by the Banu Rashid tribes under Sultan Muhammad, and the Spanish forces were besieged at the Tibda fortress and exterminated, except for 70 prisoners.[3]: 153 

Around 1538–1540, as Emperor Charles V was attempting to persuade Ottoman admiral Hayreddin Barbarossa to defect, Count Alcaudete was attempting to do the same to Hasan Agha, deputy of Barbarossa and effective ruler of Algiers. The failure of both negotiations were part of the lead-up to the 1541 Algiers expedition, in which Charles V personally led the massive naval and land attack, joined by Alcaudete and the Oran garrison. The Spanish planned that the harsh autumn weather would delay a relief force from the Ottoman fleet while their own ships were safe in harbor, but the storms proved too severe, and the city's resistance too strong, such that Charles V was forced to withdraw after 3 days with devastating losses and himself nearly being captured.[3]: 155 

Alcaudete also led several Spanish expeditions against Mostaganem, which took place in 1543 and 1547. They failed as the Spanish forces were repulsed and then pursued in retreat by Turkish and tribal forces.[3]: 155 

Count Alcaudete joined the disastrous Expedition of Mostaganem in what was to be the final Spanish attempt to take the city. He had earlier requested the support of Juana, Princess of Portugal, in Valladodid.[2][4][page needed] With his son Martín he led troops from Málaga and Cartagena to join the other Spanish men at Oran and their Moroccan allies in 1558,[3]: 155  leaving his eldest son Alfonso to govern.[2] In the ensuing battle Alcaudete's forces were eventually overwhelmed, and Alcaudete was trampled to death by his own soldiers.[5][better source needed] Martín was wounded and captured in the battle. As a prisoner in Algiers (now under Hasan Pasha) he tried to organize a revolt of Christian slaves in 1559, but was betrayed and many were executed.[6] Martín was released in 1561 upon payment of the large ransom of 23,000 escudos by his brother Alfonso.[6][5]


  1. ^ Moreri, Louis (1753). El gran diccionario histórico. Vol. III. p. 433.
  2. ^ a b c Raúl Molina Recio (2018). "Martín Alfonso de Córdoba y Velasco". DB-e (Diccionario Biográfico electrónico): Real Academia de la Historia. Retrieved 2022-06-17.
  3. ^ a b c d e Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. (1987). A history of the Maghrib in the Islamic period. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521331846. Retrieved 2022-07-13.
  4. ^ Chinchilla, Rosa Helena (Winter 2004). "Juana of Austria: Courtly Spain and Devotional Expression". Renaissance and Reformation. New Series. 28 (1): 21–33. JSTOR 43445722.
  5. ^ a b Rivas Morales, Antonio (n.d.). "D. Martín de Córdova y Velasco". Amigos de Alcaudete. Retrieved 2022-07-13.
  6. ^ a b Garcés, María Antonia (2005). Cervantes in Algiers: a captive's tale. Vanderbilt University Press. p. 49. Retrieved 2022-07-13.

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