Person - Vázquez de Acuña, Cristóbal (XV-1537)

Vázquez de Acuña, Cristóbal (XV-1537)




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Vázquez de Acuña, Cristóbal (XV-1537)Other forms

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XV - 1537-07-31


Cristóbal Vázquez de Acuña was a graduate and "Corregidor" (mayor appointed by the king) of the Lordship of Biscay (1506) and of the Province of Guipúzcoa (1507‑1509, 1520‑1521). He was also judge of the Valladolid Chancery (1509‑1537), commission judge and Royal Councilor (1519‑1537), Royal Commissioner for the Demarcation Commission of the Moluccas (Board of Badajoz‑Elvas, 1524), and Royal Archivist (1526‑1537).

Vázquez de Acuña was the son of Hernando de Valencia y Acuña, knight commander of Santiago, and grandson of the marriage formed by Juan de Valencia, Marshal of Castile and descendant of Alfonso X by John of Castile ("el de Tarifa"), and Beatriz Acuña Girón, sister of Alfonso Téllez Girón y Acuña, who was the father of Juan Pacheco (I Marquis of Villena) and Pedro Girón (I Lord of Ureña). He was defined by Galíndez Carvajal as "a good lawyer and well‑prepared, virtuous, and an average expert and with a clear lineage, noble and faithful" (Fernández de Navarrete, 1842: 125).

He was "Corregidor" of the Lordship of Biscay during 1506 (Fernández de Navarrete, 1846: 381-382), until in September 1507 Ferdinand the Catholic sent him to Guipúzcoa. This position seems to have been vacant since November 1506 after the release of Vela Núñez, as a consequence of the instability of the Crown's power subsequent to the death of Philip the Handsome (Irijoa Cortés, 2011: 127). During his office he had to impart justice, with the satisfaction of his governed people, who wrote a letter to Ferdinand II (the Catholic) extolling his good work. Thus, in 1508 he mediated between Salvatierra and Segura local jurisdictions and the Burunda valley. At the beginning of the spring 1509 Vázquez de Acuña presided over the Zestoa General Assembly. The following month he was given a Trial of residence when he left office (Insausti, 1975: 18), assuming a position as judge in the Civil Chambers of the Chancery of Valladolid (Domínguez Rodríguez, 1997: 36).

This new position did not keep him in Valladolid, since Ferdinand the Catholic commissioned him again to Guipúzcoa, first in 1510 in order to intervene between the councils of Hendaye and Fuenterrabía, and then in 1511 to meet with delegates of the French monarch Louis XII, accompanied by the "Corregidor" Téllez de Hontiveros (Orella Unzúe, 1995: 300). In Valladolid he tried to attempt certain fruitless property deals, as evidenced by the enforceable judgment of February 15, 1511 which collected the return of 8,000 Spanish maravedíes by Catalina de Lerma to Vázquez de Acuña, for not having occupied some houses that had been previously rented by the judge (Archivo Chancillería de Valladolid, Registro de Ejecutorias, Caja 259, doc. 3).

The accession of Charles I to the throne did not affect Vázquez de Acuña, who maintained his position as judge and succeeded in promoting to the Royal Council of Castile in April 1519 (Gan Giménez, 1988: 104). That year there was mediation in Guipúzcoa between the valley of Léniz and the Count of Oñate (Irijoa Cortés, 2006: 128).

The Revolt of the Comuneros surprised Vázquez de Acuña, as well as the rest of the components of the Royal Council of Castile in Valladolid. From Worms, Charles V sent orders to Cardinal Adrian VI of Utrecht and to the Royal Council in order to punish the rebellion of Segovia. To do this, the Regent and those of the Council used two thousand soldiers from the Gelves, who had arrived in Cartagena (Sandoval, book VI, chapter 24). Although their captain Diego de Vera entered Madrid and punished the "comuneros", most of their soldiers joined the Junta de Tordesillas (Sandoval, Book VII, Chapter 11). On September 27, 1520, a small host of "comuneros" with men from the Gelves was commissioned by the Junta de Tordesillas to apprehend the Royal Council. The contingent was directed by Pedro Girón, son of the II count Ureña, and therefore related to Cristóbal Vázquez de Acuña. When the host set out for Valladolid, Vázquez de Acuña and his other companions were forced to escape from Valladolid (Sandoval, lib.VI, chapter 28).

Unlike other councilors who returned to the city of Pisuerga shortly after, Vázquez de Acuña was chosen as "Corregidor" of Guipúzcoa by Cardinal Adriano. This was an attempt to ward off the threat of extension of the communal conflict to the province, which at that time sold arms to the communities and which had been tempted by the Burgos community to join and was upset after the appointment of Gutiérrez de Quijada as "Corregidor" on 4 April 1520. The discomfort was due to fact that the province wanted a magistrate "Corregidor". This was expressed on September 13 by the particular meeting of Basarte (Irijoa Cortés, 2006: 22). This contradicted Quijada, since it was swashbuckling and because at that time he had been appointed captain general.

Although his appointment took place on November 11, 1520, Vázquez de Acuña was in Guipúzcoa since the beginning of that month in order to preempt the community "Corregidor" appointed by the Junta de Tordesillas. By the way, he had to accelerate the adoption of the decision of some towns in the province to lift the blockade on arms and ammunition convoys that the constable of Castile had requested. On November 11, Charles V ordered that the cargo had to circulate under penalty of nobility, liberties, and property (Irijoa Cortés, 2006: 31). In spite of what his previous jurisdiction as a "Corregidor" could promise, the fact was that the election of Vázquez de Acuña divided the province. If towns like San Sebastián and Fuenterrabía supported him, others like Azcoitia, Azpeitia, Éibar, Hernani, Tolosa, or Segura did not recognize him and created a host. Immediately, Guipúzcoa split between those who recognized him as "Corregidor" and those who did not. In San Sebastián, Acuña met a board to condemn the attitude of his opponents, whereas the towns that disagreed met in several private reunions between the end of 1520 and the beginning of 1521 in order to convince the other towns and the "Corregidor" to desist. The "Corregidor" influenced the Junta de San Sebastián so that it appealed to the Council of Castile on the attitude of Tolosa and other towns. Hernani reacted by sending a letter to Vázquez de Acuña, in which he justified himself by alluding to the privileges of Henri IV and Ferdinand the Catholic for which the election of "Corregidor" had to be made on request of the province. Vázquez de Acuña responded on December 7, repealing the aforementioned privileges "because of the opposite use of them" (Irijoa Corté, 2006: 37). Tolosa and his co‑defendants did not give in and Acuña enacted death sentences for the rebels on 24 December 1520 (Irijoa Cortés, 2006: 241-242), and divested the towns of their right to elect their mayors and to attend the provincial boards. The situation led to skirmishes, burning of places and felling of mountains from one another, forcing the intervention of the viceroy of Navarre, II Duke of Nájera. To initiate conversations, the lawyer Vázquez de Acuña was compelled to leave Guipúzcoa in January 1521 and only in April the II Duke of Nájera obtained a definitive agreement.

Once in Castile, he returned to the activity at the Royal Council and participated in the condemnation of several "comuneros" such as Pedro Pimentel or Alonso Saravia (Fernández de Navarrete, 1842: 289-300). In the spring 1524 and before the dispute that arose between Spain and Portugal after the arrival of Ferdinand Magellan to the Moluccas, Vázquez de Acuña, along with the judge Pedro Manuel and the lawyer Fernando de Barrientos, Hernando Colón, Simón de Alcazaba, the theologian Sancho de Salaya, Brother Tomás Durán, and Juan Sebastián Elcano, was one of the commissioners by Charles V to go to Puente de la Ribera de Caya and settle, with the Portuguese legation, to which Crown the Moluccas belonged according to the Treaty of Tordesillas (Fernández de Navarrete, 1837 : 326-368). This meeting of Badajoz-Elvas did not reach a definitive compromise, which had to wait for the Treaty of Zaragoza in 1529.

In 1526 Vázquez de Acuña became royal archivist, replacing the councilor Francisco Galindo, who had died on February 9 of that year (Gan Giménez, 1988: 104). Two years later he assumed the presidency of the Mesta (Ezquerra Revilla, 2000: 460), a position that his ancestor Lope Vázquez de Acuña had exercised. The lawyer Cristóbal Vázquez de Acuña continued to carry out his activity as a counselor in the 1530s, under the protection of Cardinal Tavera, president of the Council of Castile, until his death in 1537.


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Concejo de la Mesta (España)  ( He/She is a member of )

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Consejo de Castilla (España)  ( He/She is a member of )

Real Audiencia y Chancillería de Valladolid (España)  ( He/She works for )

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Galindo, Francisco (licenciado)  - Later (He/She is the successor of)

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