Person - Calderón, Rodrigo (1578-1621)

Calderón, Rodrigo (1578-1621)




Preferred form:

Calderón, Rodrigo (1578-1621)Other forms

Fechas de existencia:

Amberes (Flandes, Bélgica)  1578-07-18 - Madrid (España)  1621-10-21


Count of Oliva de Plasencia and Marquis of Siete Iglesias.

Lord of the villas of Plasenzuela, Rueda, Zofraga, and Sieteiglesias.

Knight of the Order of Santiago and knight commander of Montalbán and Ocaña.

Captain of the German Guard of His Majesty, ambassador to France, Flanders, and Venice.

Valet of the king and continuous person of the house of Aragon, secretary of camera of the king.

Senior bailiff, senior registrar, and archivist of the Royal Chancery of Valladolid.

Rodrigo Calderón was private of Francisco de Sandoval y Rojas, Duke of Lerma, prime minister, and favorite of Philip III. He was his executor and trusted person since 1599. That same the marriage of the king with Margaret of Austria was celebrated and the government of Lerma started. Considered the favorite of the favorite, he was the personality of the Court par excellence.

He was son of the captain of the regiment Francisco Calderón Aranda and the German of Spanish origin María de Aranda y Sandelín, his cousin. He was born in Antwerp on July 18, 1578. When he was about five years old his mother died and the family moved to Spain, where his father remarried. He studied at the University of Valladolid. In 1598 he entered as a page in the service of the Vice Chancellor of Aragon, where he only served one month. In April of the same year he joined the court of the then Marquis of Denia with the same profession. Under the protection of the latter, he started a brilliant career based on his work capacity, skill, soaring ambition, greed, and total lack of scruples.

On March 5, 1601, he married Inés de Vargas Carvajal y Trejo in Madrid, Lady la Oliva, with whom he had five children: Francisco, Juan, Miguel, Elvira, and Isabel Calderón y Vargas. As a result of this marriage, he obtained honors and distinctions. He received the Order of Santiago and was named knight commander of Ocaña.

Rodrigo Calderón accumulated enormous power, titles, privileges, and immeasurable wealth, while the general animosity professed by the clergy, the Court, and the people increased. He was a valet and then secretary of the king's chamber, special ambassador in Flanders, France, and Venice, persistent in the House of Aragon, captain of the German Guard, and a spy. In the council of Valladolid he obtained the positions of councilor, "mayordomo de obras" and "correo mayor". In the court of the Real Audiencia y Chancillería of the same city he was appointed senior registrar, archivist (1607), and senior bailiff (1609). This last position allowed him to freely enter all the rooms in which justice was imparted, control all the arrests and mortgage repossessions in the sphere of ​​competence of the court, and directly appoint all the bailiffs of the Crime rooms, so that in 1613, when his fall was unleashed, he transferred it opportunely to his father. He was the first archivist of concluded lawsuits of the Royal Chancery of Valladolid with a known title, appointed at his proposal when he was already a senior registrar. He considered that this position was closely linked to the previous one. In warrant of appointment in El Pardo on November 1, 1607, he ensured the inclusion of indications on the referral to the institution's archives of the documents that the camera scribes kept in their offices and in their homes. That marked the beginning of large transfers of documents and the first systematic preparation of control instruments.

Unpopular and universally detested, he faced calumnies, satires, and biting libels that circulated abundantly. In Palace, the faction opposed to Lerma led by Queen Margaret, his confessor the Franciscan Juan de Santa María and the dukes of Uceda and Olivares accuses him of murders, poisonings, witchcraft, bribery, fraud, embezzlement, and much more. The suspicion of having intervened in the death by the Queen's confinement on October 3, 1611 had a definite influence and opened the investigations that will eventually lead to his fall.

At first the king exempted him from the accusations and took him away from the Court on a diplomatic mission. On August 20, 1612 he appointed him Count de la Oliva de Plasencia, having granted him the Rueda and Zofraga manors shortly before. On June 13, 1614 he awarded the title of Marquis of Siete Iglesias (the town of Sieteiglesias had obtained it by purchase in 1607).

In 1618 Lerma retired from Palace, protecting himself with the appointment of cardinal of the Roman Church. Rodrigo de Calderón expiated the offences of his faction with more than 200 charges. The notorious and long process began on February 19, 1619 with his nightly arrest at the Casa de las Aldabas on Teresa Gil Street in Valladolid, where he lived. It concluded with his death sentence handed down on July 9, 1621, shortly after the king's death: "the king is dead, I am also dead". His throat was cut in the main square of Madrid on October 21, 1621 in a public ceremony that shocked the people and had a wide impact on contemporary and subsequent literature. From that moment until the present day, his political dimension and in particular his guilt or innocence began to be written down and debated tirelessly. He was a politician model for Azorín and a vileness model for the majority of the population. The body was buried in the convent of the discalced Carmen of Madrid, and later transferred to the convent of Portacoeli "Las Calderonas" in Valladolid, of which he was a patron and where he remains incorrupt at present, along with his father Francisco Calderón.

He was a great patron and introducer of flamenco painting in Spain, of which he had a magnificent collection, especially Rubens, whose father had been a friend of the Sandelín family. Part of his collection went into the funds of the Museo del Prado as a result of the seizure of his property in the aforementioned process.


Además de los Archivos del Estado, conservan documentos relativos a Rodrigo de Calderón, entre otras, las siguientes instituciones:

Biblioteca Nacional de España; Archivo General de Palacio; Biblioteca de la Universidad de Valladolid; Real Academia de la Historia.


(Función) Desempeña/lleva a cabo/realiza:

Políticos between XVI and 1700

Archiveros between XVII and 1700

Diplomáticos between XVII and 1700


Lugar de Residencia:

Valladolid (España) between XVI and 1700

Lugar de Nacimiento:

Amberes (Flandes, Bélgica) in 1578-07-18

Lugar de Defunción:

Madrid (España) in 1621-10-21


Autor de la obra:

Pleitos fenecidos

Título Nobiliario:

Oliva de Plasencia, condes de la

Título Nobiliario:

Siete Iglesias, marqueses de


Carrascal Antón, Federico. Don Rodrigo Calderón entre el poder y la tragedia. [Valladolid]: Ayuntamiento de Valladolid, [1997].  173 p.  ISBN: 84-86808-54-5.

Carrascal Antón, Federico. Venturas y desventuras de don Rodrigo Calderón estudio médico legal de su momia y del entorno social de su época. Federico Carrascal Antón. [S.l.: s.n.  p. 126-133.

González-Blanco, Edmundo. Don Rodrigo Calderón. Madrid: Editorial Colón,  1930. 55 p., [1] h. de lám.

Martínez Hernández, Santiago. Rodrigo Calderón : la sombra del valido : privanza, favor y corrupción en la Corte de Felipe III. Madrid: Centro de Estudios Europa Hispánica : Marcial Pons Historia,  2009. 398 p. ISBN: 978-84-92820-03-0.

Ossorio y Gallardo, Ángel. Los hombres de toga en el proceso de D. Rodrigo Calderón. Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, [1918?].  258 p.

Sainz de Robles, Federico Carlos. Vida, proceso y muerte de D. Rodrigo Calderón. s.l.: Iberia,  1932.

Vargas-Zúñiga, Manuel. Del sitial al cadalso : crónica de un crimen de estado en la España de Felipe IV . Barcelona: Belacqva : Carroggio,  2003. ISBN: 84-95894-31-9.

Related Authorities

Archivo de la Real Chancillería de Valladolid (España)

Associative relations :

Austria, Margarita de (1584-1611, reina consorte de España)  ( Es enemigo/ está enfrentado con/ esta la oposición de )

Gómez de Sandoval Rojas, Cristóbal de (1577-1624)  ( Es enemigo/ está enfrentado con/ esta la oposición de )

Gómez de Sandoval Rojas, Francisco (1553-1625)  ( Colabora con )

Góngora, Luis de (1561-1627)

Guzmán Pimentel, Gaspar de (1587-1645)  ( Es enemigo/ está enfrentado con/ esta la oposición de )

Family relationships :

Calderón Aranda, Francisco (1544-1624)  - Descendant (Es hijo/a de)

Calderón Vargas, Francisco (1604-1674)  - Progenitor (Es padre de)

See ancestors See successors

External Links

Fichero de autoridades:


Fichero de Autoridades:

Biblioteca Nacional de España