Amrogio Spinola


Don Ambrogio (or Ambrosio) Spinola Doria, 1st Marquis of the Balbases lived from 1569 to 1630. He was an aristocrat from Genoa who was a general for the Spanish monarchy and achieved a grandeeship. There was a strong banking connection between Genoa and Spain, and Ambrogio's brothers also worked for the Spanish crown. He spent his military career fighting the cause of Spain in the Netherlands during the Eighty Years War. He was financially ruined after he pledged the whole of his fortune as security for the expenses of the war before the bankers would advance funds to the Spanish Government. He was never repaid. His greatest victory was the capture of Breda in 1625. He died at the age of 61 after a military career of 30 years, on 25th Sep 1630 at the siege of Casale. The portrait is by Michael Jansz van Mierevelt in 1609 and is in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.


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by Stephen Luscombe