Ramón María Narváez y Campos, 1st Duke of Valencia

Don Ramón María Narváez y Campos, Duke of Valencia (es: "Don Ramón María Narváez y Campos, duque de Valencia") (1800-1868), Spanish soldier and statesman, was born at Loja, Granada, on August 5, 1800. He entered the army at an early age, and saw active service under Francisco Espoz y Mina in Catalonia in 1822.

He was in his sympathies a Conservative, and could not fully support the Radical opposition to Ferdinand VII, whom he served after his restoration. When the king died in 1833, Narváez became one of the Conservative supporters of Isabel II.

He achieved great popularity by his victory over Miguel Gómez Damas, the Carlist general, at the Battle of Majaceite near Arcos de la Frontera, in November 1836. After clearing La Mancha of brigands by a vigorous policy of suppression in 1838 he was appointed captain-general of Old Castile, and commander-in-chief of the army of reserves.

In 1840, for the part he had taken at Seville in the insurrection against Baldomero Espartero, Count of Luchana and the Progresista party, he was compelled to take refuge in France, where, in conjunction with Maria Cristina, he planned the expedition of 1843 which led to Espartero's overthrow.In 1844 he became prime minister, and on 18 Nov 1845 was created field-marshal and "duque de Valencia", but his policy was too reactionary to be tolerated long, and he was compelled to quit office in February 1846. He then held the post of ambassador at Paris, until again called to preside over the council of ministers in 1847; but misunderstandings with Maria Cristina led to his resignation in the following year.

His ministry succeeded that of General Leopoldo O'Donnell for a short time in 1856-1857, and he again returned to power for a few months in 1864-1865. He once more replaced O'Donnell in July 1866, and was still in office when he died at Madrid on April 23, 1868. On his deathbed, he was asked to forgive his enemies. His answer would become infamous, as he stated "I have none. I have had them all shot."


* [http://www.boe.es/datos/imagenes/BOE/1845/4084/A00001.tif Royal Decree of November 18, 1845, on creation of Narváez "duque de Valencia"]

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