Home >> New International Encyclopedia, Volume 20 >> Wittekind to Yttrium >> Ximenes


isabella, castile, ferdinand and arch

XIMENES, Sp. pron. ne-mafnAs, FRANCISCO (1436.1517). A Spanish prelate and statesman, born at Torrelaguna in Castile. He was educated at cicolfls Salamanca, and Rome, where he prac ticed as an advocate in the Papal courts. Ile ob tained from the Pope a benefice near his native place, but the Archbishop of Toledo refused to recognize the Papal jurisdiction, and im prisoned Ximcnes for a number of years. In 1480 he was named vicar-general of Car dinal :Mendoza at Sigfienza, but. gave up his preferment. and entered the Franciscan Order in 1482. His reputation for piety and learning led Queen Isabella to choose him, in 1402, for her confe-wor, and three years afterwards to name him Archbishop of Toledo—a dignity which he refused to accept until he received an express command from the Pope. He continued as arch bishop the life of mortification and austerity which he had practiced in his monastery, and he applied to purposes of religion, charity, and pub lic utility the whole of the princely revenues of his see. As confessor and confidential adviser of the Queen, Ximenes, during the lifetime of Isabella, was the guiding spirit of Spanish af fairs, and on her death in 1504 he held the balance in the Kingdom of Castile between the parties of Ferdinand and Philip of Burgundy, husband of .Joanna, the heiress of the crown. On the death of Philip in 1506, Ximenes was ap pointed Regent of Castile, in consequence of the incapacity of -Joanna and the absence of Ferdi nand in Italy, and conducted the affairs of the kingdom through a most critical time with consummate skill and success. In 1507 he was

created cardinal and Grand Inquisitor. Ile or ganized, at his own expense, and himself accom ianiedl as commander, an expedition consisting of 10.000 foot and 4000 horse, for the conquest of Oran, on the Afric>an coast (1509). Ferdinand died in January, 1516. and on his deathbed named Ximenes Regent of Spain till the arrival of his grandson Charles. Charles arrived in 1517, hut Nina-nes was treated coldly by the new mon arch. Ili died at Ron on November 8, 1517. Ximenes was an able statesman and adminis tratnr. The social and political revolution which he efRieted in breaking down the feudal power of the nobles has often been minpared with the analogous change wrought in France by He was a munificent patron of religion, of letters, and of art. The celebrated Complutensian Polyglot Bible (q.v.) was printed under his own supervision at Alealil. The University of Aleal5 was his especial care and he was practically its founder. Consult: Fli'dchier, llistoire rlrr curOina/ Ximencs (Am sterdam, 16931: Hefele, Der /cardinal .Vimenes iced die kirehliehrn Zustande Spanieng ft m Emir 15, .117(11 pig firR Jab rh (2d Ttibingen, ] 851 ) Prescott, Ferdinand and Isabella; Barrett, Life of Cardinal Ximenes (London, 1813).