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Mendoza, Pedro González de


Cardinal archbishop of Toledo, statesman, and author; b. Guadalajara, May 3, 1428; d. Guadalajara, Jan. 11, 1495. Son of the Marquis of Santillana, he took his doctorate in law at the University of Salamanca (1452); he became bishop of Calahorra (Nov. 28, 1453) and Sigüenza (Oct. 30, 1467) and in 1473 cardinal and chancellor of Castile. After serving John II and Henry IV, he supported isabella with his episcopal and family influence against her brother Henry IV and her niece Juana. His support in the Battle of Toro (1476) enabled her to secure the throne. She retained him as chancellor of Castile and cardinal deacon of Santa María in Dominica, and named him archbishop of Seville (May 9, 1474), cardinal priest of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (July 6, 1478), and archbishop of Toledo (Nov. 13, 1482). Mendoza negotiated the constitutional aspects of Isabella's marriage with Ferdinand V of Aragon in 1474, supported them in the Conquest of Granada, and encouraged Columbus. He served as their chief adviser for so long that he was called "the third king of Spain." A typical Renaissance prelate, magnificent, luxurious, and morally lax, he patronized the new learning; translated Homer, Ovid, and Vergil into Spanish; and encouraged authors and scholars such as Gómez Manrique and peter martyr d'anghiera. He also wrote a catechism, organized the visitation of his dioceses, and founded (1484) the college of Santa Cruz at Valladolid for poor students. He left his fortune to the foundling hospital he had established in Toledo. He recommended ximÉnez de cisneros as his successor in Toledo.

Bibliography: a. merino alvarez, El cardenal Mendoza (Barcelona 1942). f. layna serrano, Historia de Guadalajara y sus Mendozas en los siglos XV y XVI, 4 v. (Madrid 194243) v. 2. t. de azcona, La elección y reforma del episcopado español en tiempo de los reyes católicos (Madrid 1960).

[d. w. lomax]

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