García de Toledo Osorio, 4th Marquis of Villafranca

The Siege of Malta - Flight of the Ottomans by Matteo Perez d'Aleccio, showing Don García's relief force battling the retreating Ottomans.

García Álvarez de Toledo y Osorio, 4th Marquis of Villafranca del Bierzo (29 August 1514 31 May 1577), was a Spanish general and politician.


He was born at Villafranca del Bierzo, the son of Pedro Álvarez de Toledo, 2nd Marquis of Villafranca, Viceroy of Naples between 1532 and 1553. His mother was Juana Pimentel, Marchioness of Villafranca del Bierzo. The famous Duke of Alba, Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, was his first cousin. Among his many siblings was Eleonora of Toledo, wife of Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

He started his military career under the command of Andrea Doria in the galleys of Naples, as commander of two ships. In 1535, already the commander of six galleys, he distinguished himself in the battles of La Goletta, Tunis, Algiers, Sfax, Calibria y Mebredia. After this he was named Capitain General of the Galleys of Naples.

He was Capitain General of the expedition to Greece, and Capitán General del Mar, a title he received in 1544 after having fought Hayreddin Barbarossa. He was Viceroy of Catalonia between 1558 and 1564. He then became Colonel General of the Infantry of the Kingdom of Naples and finally, between 1564 and 1566, Viceroy of Sicily.

As Viceroy of Sicily he accomplished his two greatest achievements: the conquest of Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera in 1564, and the relief of the Siege of Malta (1565). For this he received from King Philip II of Spain the titles Duke of Fernandina and Prince of Montalbán on 24 December 1569. He died at Naples in 1577.

Marriage and children

On 5 April 1536, in Naples, the Duke married Donna Vittoria Colonna, daughter of Don Ascanio Colonna, 2nd Duke of Paliano, and Giovanna d'Aragona. They had six children:

He also had two illegitimate children:


García Álvarez de Toledo's ancestors in three generations
García Álvarez de Toledo
4th Marquis of Villafranca
Pedro Álvarez de Toledo
2nd Marquis of Villafranca
Paternal Grandfather:
Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo
2nd Duke of Alba
Paternal Great-grandfather:
García Álvarez de Toledo
1st Duke of Alba
Paternal Great-grandmother:
María Enriquéz
Paternal Grandmother:
Isabel de Zuñiga y Pimentel
Paternal Great-grandfather:
Álvaro de Zuñiga
Duke of Plasencia
Paternal Great-grandmother:
Leonor de Pimentel
María Osorio
Marchioness of Villafranca
Maternal Grandfather:
Luís de Pimentel
1st Marquis of Villafranca
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Rodrigo Alonso de Pimentel
Duke of Benavente
Maternal Great-grandmother:
María Pacheco
Maternal Grandmother:
Juana de Osorio y Bazán
Maternal Great-grandfather:
Pedro Álvarez de Osorio
Count of Lemos
Maternal Great-grandmother:
María de Bazán
Government offices
Preceded by
The Duke of Alcalá
Viceroy of Catalonia
Succeeded by
The Duke of Francavilla
Preceded by
The Duke of Medinaceli
Viceroy of Sicily
Succeeded by
The Duke of Terranova
Spanish nobility
Preceded by
Fadrique de Toledo Osorio
Marquis of
Villafranca del Bierzo

Succeeded by
Pedro de Toledo Osorio
New title Duke of Fernandina

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