Ensenada, Cenón de Somodevilla, Marqués de la (1702–1781)

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Ensenada, Cenón de Somodevilla, Marqués de la (1702–1781)

Marqués de la Ensenada, Cenón de Somodevilla (b. 2 June 1702; d. 2 December 1781), secretary of state of Spain (1743–1754). Termed the "secretary of everything" by a contemporary because he was secretary of state, finance, war, marine affairs, and the Indies, Ensenada was the most powerful minister in Spain during the early reign of Ferdinand VI. Early in his bureaucratic career he specialized in naval administration, and once in office he became firmly committed to increasing Spain's naval power. In an effort to increase the crown's revenues from the Indies trade, he encouraged the use of register ships rather than fleets and imposed strict trade regulations. However, Ensenada is best known for his domestic fiscal reform policies, which included a proposed single tax on income, based on ability to pay and applicable to all citizens. A ministerial power struggle in 1754 brought about his dismissal and exile.

See alsoFerdinand VI of Spain; Spanish Empire.


León, Felipe Abad. El Marqués de la Ensenada: Su vida y su obra, 2 vols. Rioja: Diputación, Unidad de Cultura, 1981.

Rodríguez Villa, Don Antonio. Don Cenon de Somodevilla, Marques de la Ensenada. Madrid, 1878.

                             Suzanne Hiles Burkholder