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Juan López de Padilla (1490 – April 24, 1521) was an insurrectionary leader in the Castilian War of the Communities, where the people of Castile made a stand against policies of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and his Flemish ministers.

Padilla was born in Toledo, Spain, the eldest son of the commendator of Castile. In 1520, after the Castilian deputies had demanded in vain Charles V's return to Castile, regard for cortes' rights and the administration of their economy by Spaniards, a "holy junta" was formed with Padilla as its head. At first, the junta attempted to establish a national government in the name of Juana of Castile, but lost the support of the nobility when it abolished their privileges and asserted democracy. Though the nobles' army subsequently captured Tordesillas, Padilla led the capture of Torrelobatón and other towns, but any advantage gained was neutralized by the junta after it granted an armistice. When hostilities resumed, their army was comprehensively defeated near Villalar, on April 23, 1521 and Padilla taken prisoner. He was publicly beheaded the following day.

Afterwards, Padilla's wife, Doña María Pacheco, bravely defended Toledo against the royal troops for six months, but ultimately was compelled to take refuge in Portugal.

Further reading[]

  • Sandoval, Historia de Carlos V., Pamplona: 1681.
  • E. Armstrong, The Emperor Charles V., 1902.
  • A. Rodriquez Villa, Juana la Loca, Madrid: 1892.
  • Pero Mejia, "Comunidades de Castilla", in the Biblioteca de autores españoles of Rivadeneyra, vol. xxi.


  • Public Domain This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911) Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.) Cambridge University Press 

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