Luis de Benavides Carrillo, Marquis of Caracena

A 1636 portrait of the Marquis of Caracena

Luis Francisco de Benavides Carrillo de Toledo, Marquis of Caracena, Marquis of Fromista (September 20, 1608 in Valencia January 6, 1668 in Madrid) was a Spanish general and political figure. He served as Governor of the Habsburg Netherlands between 1659 and 1664.

Raised in a noble Spanish family, he made a career in the army during the many battles in Italy and Flanders between 1629 and 1659. He conquered the fortress of Casale Monferrato in 1652.

He was Governor of Milan between 1648 and 1656. After the defeat of John of Austria the Younger in the Battle of the Dunes (1658), Caracena was appointed as his successor the next year. After the conclusion of the Treaty of the Pyrenees, the Habsburg Netherlands had a period of peace. Despite this fact, government wasn't easy for Caracena, because by this time Spain was as good as bankrupt.

In 1664 he returned to Spain, to assume command of the war against Portugal, which wasn't going very well after the defeat in 1663 in the Battle of Ameixial, near Estremoz of the same John of Austria the Younger. Caracena wasn't able to change the tide: he was defeated in the Battle of Montes Claros, near Vila Viçosa in 1665.

After the battle, Caracena was charged with treason and cowardice. But he defended himself claiming (not without reason) that he was not to blame, but it was due to the bad state of the Spanish army. Afterwards, he was disregarded and died of disease in 1668.

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Preceded by
Bernardino Fernández de Velasco, 6th Duke of Frías
Governors of the Duchy of Milan
Succeeded by
Cardinal Teodoro Trivulzio
Preceded by
John of Austria the Younger
Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands
Succeeded by
The Marquis of Castel Rodrigo
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