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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V20, Page 444 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JUAN LOPEZ DE PADILLA, insurrectionary leader in the " guerra de las comunidades " in which the commons of Castile made a futile stand against the arbitrary policy of Charles V. and his Flemish ministers, was the eldest son of the commendator of Castile, and was born in Toledo towards the close of the 15th century. After the cities, by their deputies assembled at Avila, had vainly demanded the king's return, due regard for the rights of the cortes, and economical administration, to be entrusted to the hands of Spaniards, it was resolved to resort to force, and the " holy junta " was formed, with Padilla at its head. An attempt was first made to establish a national government in the name of the imbecile Joanna, who was then residing at Tordesillas; with this view they took possession of her person, seized upon the treasury books, archives, and seals of the kingdom, and stripped Adrian of his regency. But the junta soon alienated the nobility by the boldness with which it asserted democracy and total abolition of privilege, while it courted defeat in the field by appointing to the supreme command of its forces not Padilla but Don Pedro de Giron, who had no recommendation but his high birth. After the army of the nobility had recaptured Tordesillas, Padilla did something to retrieve the loss by taking Torrelobaton and some other towns. But the junta, which was not fully in accord with its ablest leader, neutralized this advantage by granting an armistice; when hostilities were resumed the commons were completely defeated near Villalar (April 23, 1521), and Padilla, who had been taken prisoner, was publicly executed on the following day. His wife, Dona Maria Pacheco de Padilla, bravely defended Toledo against the royal troops for six months afterwards, but ultimately was compelled to take refuge in Portugal. See Sandoval, Hisloria de Carlos V. (Pamplona, 1G81); E. Arm-strong, The Emperor Charles V. (1902); A. Rodriquez Villa, Juana la Loca (Madrid, 1892) ; and Pero Mejia, Comunidades de Castilla, in the Biblioteca de autores espanoies of Rivadeneyra, vol. xxi.

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