Biography of Espartero, Baldomero - Archontology
HomeNationsSpainHeads of GovernmentEspartero, Baldomero
Espartero, Baldomero

Joaquín Baldomero Fernández Espartero y Álvarez de Toro

b. 27 Feb 1793, Granátula, Ciudad Real [1]
d. 8 Jan 1879, Logroño, La Rioja

Title: Presidente del Consejo de Ministros (President of the Council of Ministers)
Term: 18 Aug 1837 - 18 Oct 1837
Chronology: 18 Aug 1837, appointed, royal decree [2]
18 Oct 1837, ceased to exercise the duties of office with appointment of successor, royal decree [3]
Term: 16 Sep 1840 - 10 May 1841
16 Sep 1840, appointed, royal decree [4]
10 May 1841, discharged, royal decree [5]
Term: 20 Jul 1854 - 28 Nov 1854
20 Jul 1854, appointed, royal decree [6]
29 Jul 1854, started to exercise the duties of office upon entering Madrid [7]
28 Nov 1854, discharged, royal decree following a request for resignation [8]
Term: 28 Nov 1854 - 14 Jul 1856
28 Nov 1854, appointed, royal decree [8]
14 Jul 1856, discharged, royal decree following a request for resignation [9]
Names/titles: Baptised (28 Feb 1793): Joaquín Baldomero; Conde de Luchana [from 3 Jan 1837]; Duque de la Victoria [from 1 Jun 1839]; Duque de la Victoria y de Morella [from 3 Jun 1840]; Vizconde de Banderas; Príncipe de Vergara [from 2 Jan 1872]
Other offices: Regente del Reino (Regent of the Kingdom) [10 May 1841 - 30 Jul 1843] see details
Eighth or ninth son of a carter; attended a seminary at Almagro, earning a bachelor's degree; volunteered for an infantry regiment to fight against the armies of Napoléon I (1809); entered an academy of military engineers and graduated as second lieutenant (1812); distinguished himself in military operations in Chiclana; was promoted to lieutenant (1814); departed for South America to participate in suppression of anticolonial uprisings (1815); fought in Peru, Chile and Río de la Plata; was successfully promoted to the rank of captain (1816), segundo comandante (1817), comandante (1821), colonel (1822), and brigadier (1823); returned to Spain in 1826 and continued his military service; participated in the First Carlist War (1833-1840), which broke out with the accession of Queen Isabel II; was appointed commander general of Vizcaya (1834); promoted to mariscal de campo (1834), lieutenant general (1836); appointed commander-in-chief of the northern army and viceroy of Navarre (17 Sep 1836); elected to the Cortes Constituyentes (Constituent Cortes) as a representative of Logroño (1836-1837); twice forced the Carlists to raise the siege of Bilbao, earning the title of conde de Luchana (3 Jan 1837); was appointed two times as secretary of state for war affairs (29 Jul 1837 - 30 Aug 1837, 16 Dec 1837 - 17 Jan 1838), but did not actually serve; was assigned the presidency in the Council of Ministers (18 Aug 1837 - 18 Oct 1837), which he resigned to retain the command of the army; promoted to the rank of captain general (1838); opened up the negotiations with principal Carlist leaders that led to concluding the Convention of Oñate (29 Aug 1839) celebrated at Vergara; was largely responsible for putting an end to the Carlist War in 1840 and was named El pacificador de España; elected deputy of the Cortes for Barcelona (1840), but did not take his seat; during the crisis of regency of María Cristina, he was appointed President of the Council of Ministers (16 Sep 1840 - 10 May 1841), a position he used to consolidate his power within the Provisional Regency (12 Oct 1840 - 10 May 1841); elected Regent of the Kingdom (8 May 1841) to govern Spain during the minority of Isabel II; introduced reforms in administration and finances; crushed the rebellions of Generals Manuel Gutérrez de la Concha e Irigoyen (later Marqués del Duero) and Diego de León, who attempted to seize Isabel II (1841); severely put down a revolt in Barcelona by bombarding the city (1842); left Madrid (21 Jun 1843) to lead troops against the Moderates and the Progressives, who succeeded in defeating the forces loyal to the Regent at Torrejón de Ardoz (22 Jul 1843); after the fall of Madrid (23 Jul 1843), he chose to leave the country (30 Jul 1843), not resigning the office; was stripped of his titles by decree (16 Aug 1843) of the Provisional Government; resided in London (from 1843); was restored to his honors, appointed senator for life (3 Sep 1847) and ambassador to the United Kingdom (1 Oct 1847), but declined to serve as diplomat; returned to Spain in 1848 and lived in Logroño in retirement; called to form a government (19 Jul 1854) and triumphantly entered Madrid (29 Jul 1854) during the Revolution of 1854; served as President of the Council of Ministers (29 Jul 1854 - 14 Jul 1856); elected to the Cortes Constituyentes (1854-1856) to represent Zaragoza; President of the Cortes Constituyentes (28 Nov 1854 - 5 Dec 1854); acted as a temporary charismatic leader of the Progressive biennium (1854-1856); submitted his resignation as senator (1 Feb 1857) and was discharged (23 Mar 1858); elected (15 Jan 1869) to the Cortes Constituyentes by the constituencies of Logroño and Zaragoza, but resigned his seat on 23 Feb 1869; during the reign of Amadeo I, elected to the Senado for the province of Logroño (1871-1872); after the restoration of the Borbón dynasty, was again made senator (1877-1879).
Biographical sources: "Historia política y parlamentaria de S.A.D. Baldomero Fernández Espartero", by Juan del Nido y Segalerva (Madrid: Imp. de Ramona Velasco, 1916).

[1] The date of Espartero's birth was erroneously recorded as 27 Oct 1793 in his official service record (hoja de servicios); it was not rectified until Espartero sent a telegram (11 Mar 1871) to the minister of war asking for replacement; his baptismal record substantiates this claim: "En la iglesia parroquial de la Sra. Sta. Ana de esta villa de Granátula en veinte y ocho de Febrero de mil setecientos noventa y tres años: yo Frey D. Alfonso Antonio Treviño y Carrillo del hábito de Calatrava cura rector de ella por S. M. bauticé solemnemente y crismé a un niño que nació el día veinte y siete de dicho mes y año, hijo legítimo de D. Antonio Fernández Espartero y de Dña. Josefa Albarez vecinos de esta villa y mis parroquianos. Al cual puse por nombre Joaquín-Baldomero. [...]"
[2] Colección de las leyes, decretos y declaraciones de las Cortes y de los Reales Decretos, Ordenes, Resoluciones y Reglamentos generales expedidos por las Secretarias del Despacho (Madrid: Imprenta Nacional, 1846). Vol. 23. PP. 140-141.
[3] Actual decree on discharge of Espartero was not published in Gaceta de Madrid; the decree on appointment of his successor with a reference to Espartero's request for resignation is found in Gaceta de Madrid, del viernes 20 de Octubre de 1837. Núm. 1056. P. 1.
[4] Gaceta extraordinaria de Madrid, del sabado 19 de Setiembre de 1840. Núm. 2158. P. 1.
[5] After his installation as Regent of the Kingdom (10 May 1841), Espartero issued a decree transferring the presidency in the Council of Ministers to Joaquín María de Ferrer y Cafranga (Gaceta extraordinaria de Madrid, del lunes 10 de Mayo de 1841. Núm. 2397. P. 1).
[6] Original decree of 19 Jul 1854 discharged the President of the Council of Ministers Angel de Saavedra Ramírez de Baquedano, Duque de Rivas, on condition that he would continue in office until arrival of Espartero, who was simultaneously charged with the task of forming a ministry (Gaceta de Madrid. Jueves 20 de Julio de 1854. Núm. 565. P. 1.); following final acceptance (20 Jul 1854) of the resignation submitted by Duque de Rivas, Espartero is mentioned to have been appointed Presidente del Consejo de Ministros, although the decree on his appointment is missing (Gaceta de Madrid. Viernes 21 de Julio de 1854. Núm. 566. P. 1.). The last document signed by Duque de Rivas as Presidente del Consejo de Ministros is dated 20 Jul 1854.
[7] Gaceta de Madrid. Domingo 30 de Julio de 1854. Núm. 575. P. 1.
[8] Gaceta de Madrid. Jueves 30 de Noviembre de 1854. Núm. 698. P. 1.
[9] Gaceta de Madrid. Lunes 14 de Julio de 1856. Núm. 1288. P. 4.
Image: portrait by Antonio María Esquivel (1842).