Jerónimo Grimaldi

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Jerónimo Grimaldi

Pablo Jerónimo Grimaldi y Pallavicini , Margrave (Spanish: Marqués) and Duke (Spanish: Duque) Grimaldi , Spanish grandee (baptized July 6, 1710 in Genoa ; † October 1, 1789 (according to other sources: 1786)) was a Spanish diplomat and Politician.

Origin and family

Grimaldi came from a respected Genoese family. His father, Francisco María Grimaldi, was appointed Ambassador Extraordinary of Genoa to the Spanish court of King Philip V in 1712 . Jerónimo had started a church career, which he gave up in 1746 when he was also sent to Madrid as ambassador.

Diplomatic career

He won the trust of the court and was sent by the Spanish on a secret mission to Vienna when the relationship between Spain and allied France went through a crisis during the War of the Austrian Succession . Grimaldi was sponsored by the Spanish Prime Minister Zenón de Somodevilla y Bengoechea .

Ferdinand VI sent him in 1746, 1752 and 1762 to 1763 . (1746–1759) as ambassador to George II. As ambassador to London, he was replaced in 1747 by Ricardo Wall . Grimaldi was Plenipotentiary Ambassador to King Frederick in Sweden and to the Dukes' Court in Parma and Ambassador to the States General of the Netherlands.

In 1763 Charles III appointed him . (1759 to 1788) from Spain to his ambassador to Louis XV. where he and Étienne-François de Choiseul updated the Bourbon house contract as tercer pacto de familia from 1761. This led to Spain's entry into the Seven Years' War against Great Britain. Grimaldi signed the corresponding Paris Peace Treaty in 1763 . In the negotiations he succeeded in regaining British-occupied Cuba and in getting Louisiana from France. In return, Spain ceded its Florida colony to England.

During his work as ambassador he supported him as secretary José de Gálvez y Gallardo , who was later to introduce the Bourbon administrative reforms in the viceroyalty of New Spain as a general visitor and, as India minister, reorganized the entire colonial administration.

Term of office as prime minister

After the resignation of Ricardo Wall , the king appointed him prime minister. Grimaldi was considered a friend of France and a moderate reformer. He simplified the budget and founded state manufacturers in the spirit of mercantilism . Organizationally, he reformed government work by introducing weekly cabinet meetings with all department ministers.


Grimaldi belonged with Leopoldo de Gregorio , Marqués de Esquilache to a group of reformers who called themselves Golillas (Spanish: collar rings). The reformers imposed a new, French-inspired dress code and prohibited the wearing of the traditional Spanish coat and hat shape. They stood in contrast to the more moderate Partido Aragonés , which was led by Pedro Pablo Abarca de Bolea, conde de Aranda . When the people of Madrid revolted against the radical reformers with the Madrid Hat Riot in 1766 , the house of Grimaldi was looted. The hat riot was put down.

Jesuit expulsion

One of the most striking events of Grimaldi's tenure was the expulsion of the Jesuit order in 1767. In mainland Spain and the colonies, the order was expropriated and dissolved, and all Jesuit monks had to leave the country - most of them fled to Italy. Since the Jesuit order played a major role in the administration (for example in keeping files and archives) and was also the sole provider of educational institutions in large parts of the empire, the expulsion of the Jesuits had decisive effects.

Conflict over the Falkland Islands

Under Grimaldi's reign, France sold the Falkland Islands to Spain (1767); At the same time, the first English settlement and claim by the British took place. In 1770 a Spanish expeditionary force landed and briefly drove the British out, although they were allowed to return in 1771 after negotiations between Great Britain, France and Spain.

Domestically, the conservative Pedro Pablo Aranda had pleaded for a military occupation of the islands. When Spain ceded Port Egmont to the British in 1771, it was assessed as the defeat of the Partido Aragonés . Pedro Pablo Aranda resigned as chairman of the Consejo de Castilla and was sent to Paris as ambassador in 1773.

Algeria expedition

The Moroccan Sultan Mulai Muhammad tried to occupy Melilla in December 1774 and Gibraltar in February 1775 .

In return, King Charles III decided. To fight piracy in the Mediterranean , to occupy the barbaric state of Algeria . With a large intervention armada of a total of 46 warships with over 1,300 cannons, the Spaniards attacked under the command of Pedro González de Castejón . The expedition army consisted of 18,400 soldiers under the command of Alejandro O'Reilly , the armada was under the command of Antoni Barceló . The Spanish Armada sailed for Malta on June 22, 1775 and began the operation on July 8, 1775.

The expedition turned into a debacle: in a failed attempt to land, around 5,000 Spaniards were killed, including five generals, and 15 generals were injured. The Algerians were able to secure 15 cannons and about nine thousand rifles. According to the Spaniards, 12,000 Algerian cavalrymen fended off the attack, whereupon the bridgehead was not held and the order was given to embark.


After the failure of this punitive expedition, Grimaldi resigned from his ministerial offices on November 9, 1776.

Another reason for his resignation was disagreement over whether Spain should support the Americans against the British in the American War of Independence . Grimaldi advocated this in order to weaken the British, while the king and the other ministers feared that the independence movement would spread to the Spanish colonies. To the displeasure of his enemies, King Grimaldi left the decision to appoint his successor: he chose his confidante José Moñino y Redondo , Count of Floridablanca.

Last years

After his resignation, Grimaldi went to Rome to the Holy See as Spanish ambassador ; he took over this post from his successor as Prime Minister, the Count Floridablanca. This caused that Grimaldi was raised to the margrave and later to the duke and was named Spanish grandee . He was also accepted into the Order of the Golden Fleece .

Literature and web links

predecessor Office successor

Tomás Geraldino
Ricardo Wall
Juan Joaquín Atanasio Pignatelli y Fernández de Heredia
Spanish Ambassador to the United Kingdom

Ricardo Wall
Felix Joseph de Abreu y Bertodano
Vittorio Filippo Ferrero Fieschi