Bernardino de Mendoza

Bernardino De Mendoza

Bernardino de Mendoza

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Bernardino de Mendoza (c. 1540 – August 3, 1604) was a Spanish military commander, a diplomat and a writer on military history and politics.

Life and works

Bernardino de Mendoza was born in Guadalajara, Spain around 1540. In 1560, he joined the army of Philip II and for more than fifteen years fought in the Low Countries under the command of Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alba. During this period, he participated in the Spanish military actions at (among others) Haarlem and Mookerheyde. In 1576, he was appointed a member of the military Order of St. James (Orden militar de Santiago) in recognition of these military achievements.

In 1578, Philip II sent Mendoza as his ambassador to London. There he acted not only as diplomat but also as spy, using a variety of secret codes in the reports he returned to Spain. He was expelled from England in 1584 after his involvement in Francis Throckmorton's plot against Elizabeth I was revealed. Crucial to this plot was his correspondence with Phillip II, using a code known only to himself and the king which they had learnt years earlier.

For the next six years, Bernardino de Mendoza served as Spanish ambassador to the king of France. As the effective agent of Philip's interventionist foreign policy, Mendoza acted in concert with the Catholic League, for which he acted as paymaster, funnelling to the Guise faction Habsburg funds, and which he encouraged to try, through popular riots, assassinations and military campaigns,...
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