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Francisco de Melo
File:Don Francisco de Melo.jpg
Francisco de Melo as Governor of the Spanish Netherlands.
Born ? 1597
Died December 18, 1651(1651-12-18)
Place of birth Estremoz
Place of death Madrid
Allegiance Spain
Service/branch Spanish Army
Years of service 1638-1645
Rank Captain General
Battles/wars Thirty Years' War
Catalan Revolt

Dom Francisco de Melo (1597 – 18 December 1651) was a Portuguese nobleman and general.


Melo was born in Estremoz, Portugal.

He was marquis of the Portuguese Tor de Laguna, count of Assumar, and, from 1641 to 1644, interim governor of the Southern Netherlands.

When Francisco de Melo came to the Southern Netherlands, he already had an impressive political career. From 1632 to 1636 he had been Spanish ambassador to the Republic of Genoa. In 1638 he was appointed viceroy of Sicily, and two years later he was ambassador in Vienna.

Above all, Francisco de Melo will be remembered for the historical defeat at the battle of Rocroi in 1643. In later years this defeat has been regarded as one of the key steps in the decline of the Spanish empire. Don Francisco's victory at the Battle of Honnecourt one year earlier, has been almost completely forgotten.

Preceded by
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand
Governor-General of the Spanish Netherlands
Succeeded by
Marquis of Castel Rodrigo
Preceded by
Luis Guillermo de Moncada, 7th Duke of Montalto
Viceroy of Sicily
Succeeded by
Juan Alfonso Enríquez de Cabrera

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