Cosimo I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
Cosimo I de Medici was the second Duke of Florence from 1537 until 1569, when he became the first Grand Duke of Tuscany. Cosimo was born in Florence, on 12 June 1519, the son of the famous condottiere Giovanni dalle Bande Nere from Forlì and he was the grandson of Caterina Sforza, the Countess of Forlì and Lady of Imola. Cosimo came to power at 17, when the 26-year-old Duke, Alessandro de Medici, was assassinated in 1537, Cosimo was from a different branch of the family, and so far had lived in Mugello, and was almost unknown in Florence. However, many of the men in the city favoured him. Several hoped to rule through him, thereby enriching themselves at the states expense, however, as Benedetto Varchi famously put it The innkeepers reckoning was different from the gluttons. Cosimo proved strong-willed and ambitious, and soon rejected the clause he had signed, when the Florentine exiles heard of the death of Alessandro, they marshalled their forces with support from France and from disgruntled neighbors of Florence.
During this time, Cosimo had a daughter, Bia. Toward the end of July 1537, the exiles marched into Tuscany under the leadership of Bernardo Salviati and Piero Strozzi. When Cosimo heard of their approach, he sent his best troops under Alessandro Vitelli to engage the enemy, which they did at Montemurlo, after defeating the exiles army, Vitelli stormed the fortress, where Strozzi and a few of his companions had retreated to safety. It fell after only a few hours, and Cosimo celebrated his first victory, the prominent prisoners were subsequently beheaded on the Piazza or in the Bargello. Filippo Strozzis body was found with a sword next to it and a note quoting Virgil. In June 1537 Cosimo had sent Bernardo Antonio de Medici to Charles V to gain his recognition as head of the Florentine state and that recognition came in June 1537, in exchange for help against France in the course of the Italian Wars. With this move Cosimo firmly restored the power of the Medici, the help granted to Charles V allowed him to free Tuscany from the Imperial garrisons, and to increase as much as possible its independence from the overwhelming Spanish influence in Italy.
With the support of the Emperor, he defeated the Sienese at the Battle of Marciano, despite the inhabitants desperate resistance, on 17 April 1555, after a 15-month siege, the city fell, its population diminished from forty thousand to eight thousand. In 1559 Montalcino, the last redoubt of Sienese independence, was annexed to Cosimos territories, in 1569, Pope Pius V elevated him to the rank of Grand Duke of Tuscany. In the last 10 years of his reign, struck by the death of two of his sons by malaria, Cosimo gave up the rule to his son and successor Francesco I de Medici. He retreated to live in his villa, Villa di Castello, Cosimo was an authoritarian ruler and secured his position by employing a guard of Swiss mercenaries. In 1548 he managed to have his relative Lorenzino, the last Medici claimant to Florence, Cosimo was an active builder of military structures, in an attempt to save his state from the frequent passage of foreign armies
Eleonora di Garzia di Toledo
Leonora was born in Florence, where she was brought up by Cosimo and Eleanor of Toledo, her aunt and namesake. Betrothed to their son Pietro at the age of 15, she blossomed under the wing of Pietros older sister and her marriage, like Isabellas, was not a success, and she followed her mentors example of taking lovers. For this reason, Pietro had her brought in 1576 to the retreat of Cafaggiolo. Cosimos successor, Francesco I, tacitly approved the murder, until recently, little was known of Leonora di Garzia di Toledo, and she was not identified as the sitter of several portraits of her. The facts of her life have emerged from the growing scholarship on Isabella de Medici, in the view of art historian Gabrielle Langdon, Her story is valuable in revealing attitudes and legalities attendant on the lives and decorum of women in the early-modern Italian court. Born at the Florentine court in March 1553, Leonora was the daughter of García Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo and Duke of Fernandina, and Vittoria dAscanio Colonna.
Her father and mother were staying in Florence because García Álvarez had charge of the castles of Valdichiana in the region, when Vittoria Colonna died a few months later, Leonora was left in the care of her aunt Eleonora, the Duchess of Florence. García Álvarez went on to become the Viceroy of Catalonia and the Viceroy of Sicily on behalf of Philip II of Spain and he was the son of Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, the Spanish Viceroy of Naples. She went on to bear Cosimo 11 children, including the grand dukes Francesco and Ferdinando, as well as Pietro. After Eleonora died in 1562, Cosimos daughter Isabella replaced her as the first lady of Florence and she acted as a surrogate consort and took over the supervision of Leonoras upbringing. The red-headed Leonora, who possessed a charm, was popular in the Medici family. At the age of five, she was reported as being a comfort to Cosimos second daughter Lucrezia, from whom she became inseparable, when Lucrezia was apart from her husband Alfonso dEste.
Lucrezia died in 1561, leaving Isabella as Cosimos only surviving daughter, the duke was, extremely fond of Leonora and he was charmed by her vivacity and physical vigour—she delighted in horsemanship and arms—though he occasionally gently reminded her to behave with more decorum. The couple were betrothed in 1568 when Leonora was 15, with the approval of Philip II of Spain, garcia Álvarez de Toledo provided her with a dowry of 40,000 gold ducats. They were married at the Palazzo Vecchio in April 1571, and it was reported that Pietro had to be forced to consummate the union. On 10 February 1573, Leonora gave birth to a son, for Leonora, the marriage brought both advantages and disadvantages. As a result, the marriage, unlike that of Cosimo, in this it resembled that of Isabella de Medici, whose protégée Leonora became, and Paolo Giordano I Orsini. Duke Cosimo had married his beloved daughter Isabella into the House of Orsini for political reasons, although Isabella had two children by Paolo Giordano, she had chosen not to live at her husbands castle at Bracciano or in Rome, where he conducted his political and amorous affairs
Tuscany is a region in central Italy with an area of about 23,000 square kilometres and a population of about 3.8 million inhabitants. Tuscany is known for its landscapes, history, artistic legacy, Tuscany produces wines, including Chianti, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, Morellino di Scansano and Brunello di Montalcino. Having a strong linguistic and cultural identity, it is considered a nation within a nation. Tuscany is traditionally a popular destination in Italy, and the main tourist destinations by number of tourist arrivals are Florence, Montecatini Terme, Castiglione della Pescaia and Grosseto. The village of Castiglione della Pescaia is the most visited destination in the region. Additionally, Lucca, the Chianti region and Val dOrcia are internationally renowned, Tuscany has over 120 protected nature reserves, making Tuscany and its capital Florence popular tourist destinations that attract millions of tourists every year. In 2012, the city of Florence was the worlds 89th most visited city, roughly triangular in shape, Tuscany borders the regions of Liguria to the northwest, Emilia-Romagna to the north and east, Umbria to the east and Lazio to the southeast.
The comune of Badia Tedalda, in the Tuscan Province of Arezzo, has an exclave named Ca Raffaello within Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany has a western coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea, containing the Tuscan Archipelago, of which the largest island is Elba. Tuscany has an area of approximately 22,993 square kilometres and crossed by major mountain chains, and with few plains, the region has a relief that is dominated by hilly country used for agriculture. Hills make up nearly two-thirds of the total area, covering 15,292 square kilometres, and mountains. Plains occupy 8. 4% of the total area—1,930 square kilometres —mostly around the valley of the River Arno, many of Tuscanys largest cities lie on the banks of the Arno, including the capital Florence and Pisa. The pre-Etruscan history of the area in the late Bronze and Iron Ages parallels that of the early Greeks, following this, the Villanovan culture saw Tuscany, and the rest of Etruria, taken over by chiefdoms. City-states developed in the late Villanovan before Orientalization occurred and the Etruscan civilization rose, the Etruscans created the first major civilization in this region, large enough to establish a transport infrastructure, to implement agriculture and mining and to produce vibrant art.
The Etruscans lived in Etruria well into prehistory, throughout their existence, they lost territory to Magna Graecia and Celts. Despite being seen as distinct in its manners and customs by contemporary Greeks, the cultures of Greece, one reason for its eventual demise was this increasing absorption by surrounding cultures, including the adoption of the Etruscan upper class by the Romans. Soon after absorbing Etruria, Rome established the cities of Lucca, Pisa and Florence, endowed the area with new technologies and development, and ensured peace. These developments included extensions of existing roads, introduction of aqueducts and sewers, many of these structures have been destroyed by erosion due to weather. The Roman civilization in the West collapsed in the 5th century AD, in the years following 572, the Longobards arrived and designated Lucca the capital of their Duchy of Tuscia
The Catholic Monarchs is the joint title used in history for Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand II of Aragon. They married on October 19,1469, in the city of Valladolid, Isabella was eighteen years old and it is generally accepted by most scholars that the unification of Spain can essentially be traced back to the marriage of Ferdinand and Isabella. The court of Ferdinand and Isabella was constantly on the move, the title of Catholic King and Queen was bestowed on Ferdinand and Isabella by Pope Alexander VI in 1494, in recognition of their defence of the Catholic faith within their realms. Catholic monarchs or kings can be used in a generic sense, Isabella was named heir to the throne of Castile by her half brother Henry IV of Castile in the Treaty of the Bulls of Guisando. She became Queen of Castile in 1474 and her niece, Joanna of Castile, attempted to gain the throne by bringing in the foreign help of Afonso V of Portugal, leading to the War of Castilian Succession. More recently, some speculate that Joanna was the legitimate successor, Isabellas supporters came out ahead in good part due to Aragons support through Ferdinand, and she officially won in 1479 via the Treaty of Alcáçovas.
Ferdinand became the King of Aragon in 1479, the Catholic Monarchs set out to restore royal authority in Spain. To accomplish their goal, they first created a group named the Holy Brotherhood and these men were used as a judicial police force for Castile, as well as to attempt to keep Castilian nobles in check. To establish a more uniform system, the Catholic Monarchs created the Royal Council. This establishment of authority is known as the Pacification of Castile. Even after his death and the union of the crowns under one monarch, the Aragonese, further, the monarchs continued ruling through a form of medieval contractualism, which made their rule pre-modern in a few ways. One of those is that they traveled from town to town throughout the kingdom in order to promote loyalty, another is that each community and region was connected to them via loyalty to the crown, rather than bureaucratic ties. Ferdinand and Isabella were noted for being the monarchs of the newly united Spain at the dawn of the modern era and they had a goal of conquering the Muslim kingdom of Granada and completing the Christian reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula.
The beginnings of a series of known as the Granada War began with the attack on Alhama de Granada. The attack was led by two Andalusian nobles, Rodrigo Ponce de León and Diego de Merlo, the city fell to Andalusian forces in 1482. The Granada War was aided by Pope Sixtus IV by granting a tithe, after 10 years of fighting the Granada War ended in 1492 when Emir Boabdil surrendered the keys of the Alhambra Palace in Granada to the Castilian soldiers. After a number of revolts and Isabella ordered the expulsion from Spain of all Jews, the Inquisition had been created in the twelfth century by Pope Lucius III to fight heresy in the south of what is now France and was constituted in a number of European kingdoms. The Catholic Monarchs decided to introduce the Inquisition to Castile, the bull gave the monarchs exclusive authority to name the inquisitors
Expulsion of the Moriscos
The Expulsion of the Moriscos was decreed by King Philip III of Spain on April 9,1609. The Moriscos were descendants of Spains Muslim population that converted to Christianity by coercion or by Royal Decree in the early 16th century, between 1609 through 1614, the Crown systematically expelled Moriscos through a number of decrees affecting Spains various kingdoms, meeting varying levels of success. Dadson estimates that, out of a total Morisco population of 500,000, of those permanently expelled, the majority finally settled in the Maghreb or the Barbary coast, with between 30,000 and 90,000 ultimately returning to Spain. Those who avoided expulsion or who managed to return to Spain merged into the dominant culture, the last mass prosecution against Moriscos for crypto-Islamic practices took place in Granada in 1727, with most of those convicted receiving relatively light sentences. By the end of the 18th century, indigenous Islam and Morisco identity were considered to have been extinguished in Spain.
While some Moriscos did hold influence and power, and even had positions in the clergy, particularly in Valencia, where sectarian conflict existed, old Christian communities suspected the Moriscos of not being sincere in their Christianity. The Moors who remained Muslims were known as Mudéjar, as such the conflict between Old Christians and New Christians was an ethnically inspired one. After the suppression of the revolt, Philip ordered the dispersal of the Moriscos of Granada to other areas, Philip expected that this would break down the Morisco community and facilitate their assimilation into the rest of the Christian population. This may have happened to a degree to Granadas Moriscos, but not in Valencia or Aragon, at around the same time, Spain recognized the loss of more than half of its holdings in the Low Countries to the Protestant Dutch Republic. The ruling class already thought of Spain as the defender of Catholic Christendom, and this helped lead to a radicalization of thinking.
Some critiques of Spain from Protestant countries included insults of the Spanish as corrupted by the Muslims and crypto-Muslims amongst them, the situation further deteriorated in the early 17th century. A recession struck in 1604 as the amount of gold and treasure from Spains American holdings fell, the reduction in the standard of living led to increased tension between the Moriscos and Old Christians for precious jobs. The number of Moriscos in Spain at the time of expulsion is unknown, figures of between 300,000 and 400,000 are often cited. However, modern studies estimate between 500,000 and one million moriscos present in Spain at the beginning of the 17th century out of a population of 8.5 million. The rich and those who lived in the cities were mostly Christians, while the Moriscos occupied the outlying countryside, in the Crown of Castile, which included the Guadalquivir valley in present Andalusia the situation was considerably different. Local sympathies for Moriscos meant that Castile and Andalusia experienced only half-hearted efforts at identifying and expelling them, in the region of Valencia, which held the bulk of Aragons Morisco population, the situation was radically different to Castile.
Valencian moriscos were the majority of the landless peasantry and lived segregated to Christian populations. Economic and social rivalry was a driver of resentment towards the them
Hayreddin Barbarossa, or Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha, born Khizr or Khidr, was an Ottoman admiral of the fleet who was born in the island of Lesbos and died in Constantinople, the Ottoman capital. Barbarossas naval victories secured Ottoman dominance over the Mediterranean during the mid 16th century, Hayreddin was an honorary name given to him by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. He became known as Barbarossa in Europe, a name he inherited from his elder brother Oruç Reis after Oruç was killed in a battle with the Spanish in Algeria. Oruç was known as Baba Oruç, which sounded like Barbarossa to the Europeans, and since Oruç did have a red beard, in a process of linguistic reborrowing, the nickname stuck back to Hayreddins native Turkish name, in the form Barbaros. His mother was a widow of a Greek Orthodox priest and his parents were married and had two daughters and four sons, Oruç, Khizr and Ilyas. Yakup took part in the Ottoman conquest of Lesbos in 1462 from the Genoese Gattilusio dynasty and he became an established potter and purchased a boat to trade his products.
The four sons helped their father with his business, but not much is known about the daughters, at first Oruç helped with the boat, while Khizr helped with pottery. All four brothers became seamen, engaged in affairs and international sea trade. The first brother to become involved in seamanship was Oruç, who was joined by his brother Ilyas, obtaining his own ship, Khizr began his career at sea. The brothers initially worked as sailors, but turned privateers in the Mediterranean to counteract the privateering of the Knights Hospitaller who were based in the island of Rhodes, Oruç and Ilyas operated in the Levant, between Anatolia and Egypt. Khizr operated in the Aegean Sea and based his operations mostly in Thessaloniki, the eldest, remained on Mytilene and was involved with the financial affairs of the family business. Oruç was a very successful seaman and he learned to speak Italian, French and Arabic in the early years of his career. While returning from an expedition in Tripoli, with his younger brother Ilyas.
Ilyas was killed in the fight, and Oruç was wounded and their fathers boat was captured, and Oruç was taken as a prisoner and detained in the Knights castle at Bodrum for nearly three years. Upon learning the location of his brother, Khizr went to Bodrum, on his way back to Lesbos, he stopped at Euboea and captured three galleons and another ship. After passing the winter in Cairo, he set sail from Alexandria and frequently operated along the coasts of Liguria, in 1503, Oruç managed to seize three more ships and made the island of Djerba his new base, thus moving his operations to the Western Mediterranean. They were granted this right with the condition of leaving one-third of their gains to the sultan, Oruç, in command of small galliots, captured two much larger Papal galleys near the island of Elba. Later, near Lipari, the two brothers captured a Sicilian warship, the Cavalleria, with 380 Spanish soldiers and 60 Spanish knights from Aragon on board, in 1505, they raided the coasts of Calabria
War of the League of Cognac
Shocked by the defeat of the French in the Italian War of 1521, Pope Clement VII, together with the Republic of Venice, began to organize an alliance to drive Charles V from Italy. Francis, having signed the Treaty of Madrid, was released from his captivity in Madrid and returned to France, where he quickly announced his intention to assist Clement. Thus, in 1526, the League of Cognac was signed by Francis, Venice and the Sforza of Milan, Henry VIII of England, thwarted in his desire to have the treaty signed in England, refused to join. The League quickly seized Lodi, but Imperial troops marched into Lombardy, the Colonna, organized an attack on Rome, defeating the Papal forces and briefly seizing control of the city in September 1526, they were soon paid off and departed, however. Charles V now gathered a force of landsknechts under Georg Frundsberg and a Spanish army under Charles of Bourbon, the two forces combined at Piacenza and advanced on Rome. Francesco Guicciardini, now in command of the Papal armies, proved unable to resist them, and his escape allowed by the Swiss Guards last stand.
The looting of Rome, and the consequent removal of Clement from any role in the war. On 30 April 1527, Henry VIII and Francis signed the Treaty of Westminster, however, soon deserted the French for Charles. The siege collapsed as plague broke out in the French camp, killing most of the army along with Foix, following the defeat of his armies, Francis sought peace with Charles. The final Treaty of Cambrai, signed on 5 August, removed France from the war, leaving Venice, Charles, having arrived in Genoa, proceeded to Bologna to meet with the Pope. Clement absolved the participants of the sack of Rome and promised to crown Charles, the Republic of Florence alone continued to resist the Imperial forces, which were led by the Prince of Orange. Alessandro de Medici was installed as Duke of Florence, the Black Bands of Giovanni and Diplomacy During the Italian Wars. Pisa, Pisa University Press, Edizioni Plus,2005, New York, St. Martins Press,1994. MHQ, The Quarterly Journal of Military History 18, no, translated by Isola van den Hoven-Vardon.
New York, Oxford University Press,2002, garden City, New York, Doran & Co.1937. Weapons and Warfare in Renaissance Europe, Technology, Johns Hopkins University Press,1997. Florence, The Biography of a City, New York, W. W. Norton & Company,1993. Pavia 1525, The Climax of the Italian Wars, a History of the Art of War in the Sixteenth Century
Great Siege of Malta
The Great Siege of Malta took place in 1565 when the Ottoman Empire tried to invade the island of Malta, held by the Knights Hospitaller. The Knights, with approximately 2,000 footsoldiers and 400 Maltese men and children, withstood the siege and this victory became one of the most celebrated events in sixteenth-century Europe. By the end of 1522, Suleiman the Magnificent, the Ottoman Sultan, had ejected the Knights from their base on Rhodes after the six-month Siege of Rhodes. From 1523 to 1530 the Order lacked a permanent home, charles required the Knights to garrison Tripoli on the North African coast, which was in territory that the Barbary Corsairs, allies of the Ottomans, controlled. The Knights accepted the offer reluctantly, Malta was a small, desolate island, and for some time, many of the Knights clung to the dream of recapturing Rhodes. Nevertheless, the Order soon turned Malta into a naval base, in particular, the corsair Dragut was proving to be a major threat to the Christian nations of the central Mediterranean.
Dragut and the Knights were continually at loggerheads, in 1551, Dragut and the Ottoman admiral Sinan decided to take Malta and invaded the island with a force of about 10,000 men. After only a few days, Dragut broke off the siege and moved to the island of Gozo. The Knights governor on Gozo, Gelatian de Sessa, having decided that resistance was futile, the corsairs sacked the town and took virtually the entire population of Gozo into captivity. Dragut and Sinan sailed south to Tripoli, where they seized the Knights garrison there. They initially installed a leader, Aga Morat, as governor. The two new forts were built in the short period of six months in 1552. All three forts proved crucial during the Great Siege, the next several years were relatively calm, although the guerre de course, or running battle, between Muslims and Christians continued unabated. In 1557 the Knights elected Jean Parisot de Valette Grand Master of the Order and he continued his raids on non-Christian shipping, and his private vessels are known to have taken some 3,000 Muslim and Jewish slaves during his tenure as Grand Master.
The Knights joined the expedition, which consisted of about 54 galleys and 14,000 men, the battle was a disaster for the Christians and it marked the high point of Ottoman domination of the Mediterranean. After Djerba there could be little doubt that the Turks would eventually attack Malta again, in August 1560, Jean de Valette sent an order to all the Orders priories that their knights prepare to return to Malta as soon as a citazione was issued. The Turks made an error in not attacking at once, while the Spanish fleet lay in ruins. Meanwhile, the Spaniards continued to prey on Turkish shipping, romegas exploits gave the Turks a casus belli, and by the end of 1564, Suleiman had resolved to wipe the Knights of Malta off the face of the earth
For the Italian ocean liner, see SS Andrea Doria. Andrea Doria was an Italian condottiero and admiral of the Republic of Genoa, Doria was born at Oneglia from the ancient Genoese family, the Doria di Oneglia branch of the old Doria, de Oria or de Auria family. His parents were related, Ceva Doria, co-lord of Oneglia, orphaned at an early age, he became a soldier of fortune, serving first in the papal guard and under various Italian princes. In 1503 he was fighting in Corsica in the service of Genoa, at that time under French vassalage, and he took part in the rising of Genoa against the French, from that time onwards, he became famous as a naval commander. For several years he scoured the Mediterranean in command of the Genoese fleet, waging war on the Turks, in the meanwhile Genoa had been recaptured by the French, and in 1522 by the armies of the Holy Roman Emperor. Consequently, on the expiration of Dorias contract he entered the service of Emperor Charles V and he reformed the constitution in an aristocratic sense, most of the nobility being Imperialists, and put an end to the factions which divided the city, by creating 28 Alberghi or clans.
The 28 Alberghi that formed this new ruling class included the Cybo, Fieschi, Grimaldi, Imperiale and Spinola families. The title censor in this context was modeled on its meaning in the Roman Republic, i. e. a highly respected senior public official and he was given two palaces, many privileges, and the title of Liberator et Pater Patriae. As imperial admiral he commanded several expeditions against the Ottoman Empire, capturing Koroni and Patras, Charles found him an invaluable ally in the wars with Francis I, and through him extended his domination over the whole of Italy. This victory secured Turkish dominance over the eastern Mediterranean for the next 33 years and he accompanied Charles V on the ill-fated Algiers expedition of 1541, of which he disapproved, and which ended in disaster. For the next five years he continued to serve the emperor in various wars, in which he was successful and always active. After the Peace of Crépy between Francis and Charles in 1544, Doria hoped to end his days in quiet, giannettino was killed, but the conspirators were defeated, and Doria showed great vindictiveness in punishing them, seizing many of their fiefs for himself.
He was implicated in the murder of Pier Luigi Farnese, duke of Parma and Piacenza, other conspiracies followed, of which the most important was that of Giulio Cybo, but all failed. Nor did age lessen his energy, for in 1550, aged 84, he put to sea to confront the Barbary pirates. In 1552 the Ottoman fleet under the command of Turgut Reis defeated the Spanish-Italian fleet of Charles V under the command of Andrea Doria in the Battle of Ponza. War between France and the Empire having broken out once more, the French seized Corsica in the Invasion of Corsica, Doria was again summoned, and he spent two years on the island fighting the French with varying fortune. Andrea Doria left his estates to Giovanni Andrea, the family of Doria-Pamphili-Landi is descended from Giovanni Andrea Doria and bears his title of Prince of Melfi. Several ships were named in honour of the Admiral, Two United States Navy ships named USS Andrew Doria, the battleship Andrea Doria, completed in 1916, which served in both World War I and World War II and was stricken in 1956
Spanish nobles are persons who possess the legal status of hereditary nobility according to the laws and traditions of the Spanish monarchy. A system of titles and honours of Spain and of the kingdoms that constitute it comprise the Spanish nobility. Some nobles possess various titles that may be inherited, but the creation and recognition of titles is legally a prerogative of the King of Spain, some noble titles and families still exist which have transmitted that status since time immemorial. Some aristocratic families use the particle de before their family name. During the rule of General Francisco Franco, some new titles were conceded to individuals. Despite accession to Spains throne of Juan Carlos I in 1975, noble titleholders are subjected to taxation, whereas under Spains ancien régime they were exempt. King Juan Carlos resumed conferral of titles to recognize those whose public service, artistic endeavour, personal achievement, Spanish nobles are classified as either grandees, as titled nobles, or as untitled nobles.
At one time however, each class held special privileges such as and those who addressed the king uncovered, but put on their hats to hear his answer. Those who awaited the permission of the king before covering themselves, all grandees were addressed by the king as mi Primo, whereas ordinary nobles were only qualified as mi Pariente. An individual may hold a grandeeship, whether in possession of a title of nobility or not, however, each grandeeship is attached to a title. A grandeeship is attached to the grant of a ducal title. The grant of a grandeeship with any rank of nobility has always been at the will of the sovereign. Excepting dukes and some very ancient titles of marquises and counts, thus, a baron-grandee enjoys higher precedence than a marquis who is not a grandee. Dukes and other individuals who are grandees are entitled to the style of The Most Excellent Lord/Lady or His/Her Excellency. Titled nobles who are of the rank of marquis or count use the style of The Most Illustrious Lord/Lady and those who hold a title with the rank of viscount, baron or Señor use his lordship/ her ladyship.
The ordinary Spanish nobility is divided into six ranks, from highest to lowest, these are, Marqués, Vizconde, Barón, and Señor. Nobility descends from the first man of a family who was raised to the nobility to all his descendants and female. Thus, most persons who are legally noble, hold no noble title, hereditary titles formerly descended by male-preference primogeniture, a woman being eligible to inherit only if she had no brother or if her brothers inherited titles