There were 5 English Lousada Dukes whose assumption of the title of the Duque de Losada is said to have commenced on 27 May 1848. The Duquedom de Losada (at least according to one authority ref 139) no longer exists though other relevant titles of the day do (eg of the Dukes of Lerma, Olivares and Monterrey, or the Marquis of Valdecarzana). Only one Duque de Losada appeared in Spanish history. But as we discuss below, the 'Duque de Losada' title was Italian, a fact which is key to understanding the Baruch Lousada claim and also to understanding the failure of later Spanish applicants for renewal of the title in their favour. We have found nothing official to support the assumption of the Baruch Lousadas; the only rationale we have found to support the assumption (cited here) defies logic.

Don Jose Fernandez de Miranda y Saavedra (1706-83), Duque de Losada, was born on 6 September 1706 followed 7 days later by his baptism in the parish Church of St Juan el Real de Oviedo. His family was certainly noble, his father being a cousin of the Duque de Estrada y Miranda. His paternal grandfather was Lope Miranda y Pardo the 2nd Marques de Valdecarzana, and his father was Sancho Ferrnandez de Miranda y Trelles the 3rd Marques de Valdecarzana. His mother was Maria Atocha Saavedra y Guevara whose father was Martin de Saavedra y Guzman. His oldest brother Sancho de Miranda y Saavedra inherited the title of Marques as did his son Jude Tadeo Fernandez de Miranda y Villacis (born 18 Aug 1739). Don Jose was the 2nd son and did not become Marques. He never married and died without offspring.

Before Charles 3 was proclaimed King of Spain on 10 Aug 1759, he was King of the Two Sicilies (1735-59). Don Jose started his service as a cadet in the Royal Infantry Guards. In 1731 he was a Gentleman of the Chamber to the young Charles whom he accompanied to Naples. He was made Duque de Losada in Naples on 6 Sep 1741, rose to head of guards in 1749 on the death of the Duke of Tursi, and became Sumiller de Corps (Groom of the Stole) in 1749 (but see note 5 below). His rise and influence is discussed in ref 158, while ref 159 explains his palace role. The Duque accompanied Charles 3 back to Spain arriving in Barcelona on 7 Oct 1759. Sumillers de Corps needed an elevated title (see note 6 below for the titles held by the occupants of the position), but this had already been achieved in Naples. Once in Spain the Duque was further elevated to Grandee status; this was a non-hereditary but vital ceremonial honour. The King also granted the Duque the Toison d'Or again on a non-hereditary basisHe then remained as Sumiller de Corps and the King's trusted and close adviser for another 24 years. Spain prospered under the rule of Charles, who is regarded as the greatest Bourbon king of Spain albeit a despot but an enlightened one. His reign is noted for economic and administrative reforms, the expulsion of the Jesuits (1767) and civic improvements to Madrid. The Duque's administrative role can be traced through many areas of Spanish life at the time - Madrid's Botanical Gardens, supply of medicines to hospitals in the Maghreb, the appointment of Goya as a Royal Artist, the Siege of Gibraltar, and furtherance of the career of the poet and politician Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos y Ramirez 1744-1811 who was painted by Goya. He reformed the Royal Bottico (store of drugs) and established the College of Medicine and Surgery at Madrid and Barcelona. His brother Sancho died, as recorded in Gaceta de Madrid, in 1757 just before the Duque returned to Madrid; on the Duque's death on 20 Oct 1783, Sancho's son Don Jude became Sumiller de Corps. After Charles 3 died in 1788, Don Jude continued for a further 4 years under Charles 4. The original appointment of Don Jude seems to have been largely a gesture by the King to reflect the esteem in which he held the Duque (according to ref 158). Perhaps as a consequence of not being as crucial as his uncle, Don Jude had the unenviable distinction of being one of the few if not the only Sumiller de Corps not made a Grandee of Spain. His title of Marquis was however adequate for the job (see note 6 below). Neither he (nor other close relatives such as the poet/politician Gaspar Melchior Jovellanos y Ramirez - see note 7 below) were made Duque de Losada

The reason for this non-succession was not, as some have suggested (see note 1 below), because the title was non-hereditary. Rather, the title was hereditary but it existed under the Crown of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies. It was created specially for Don Jose and its 'Losada' name reflected that of a hereditary property in Asturias of Don Jose's father. Being Italian the title was incapable of being inherited under Spanish law, as we shall see (below) was the case in 1915 and 1969. It seems clear that Charles 3 in both Naples and Madrid did just what he needed to do to secure the services of Don Jose whom he must have found to be a person of incomparable value. Both Charles 3 and Charles 4 treated their respective Sumillers de Corps Don Jose and Don Jude with some generosity (ref 158), so more complex explanations (eg see note 3 below) as to the origins and elevation of the Duque appear unwarranted. The promotion of Don Jose to Duque was far-sighted but risky, for a decade was to elapse between Don Jose being made Duque and becoming Sumiller de Corps to the King in Naples. However from the King's perspective the risk was much reduced by the fact that no Spanish assets had to be dedicated as the title was Italian, while the Duque conveniently was given no specific time in which to attach a fiefdom in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies to the title (ref 164) and we doubt he ever did this. Our research led to the discovery of claims for reinstatement in 1915 and 1969, but these claims were unsuccessful despite descent from the older brother of the Duque de Losada and specifically from Duque's niece Maria Miranda y Villacis. The title being Italian was the underlying reason given in ref 164 for the failure of those 2 claims. The 1915 claimant was interested in Grandee status but this was non-hereditary and the foreign title even though hereditary could not be used to make the Grandee status hereditary. The 1969 applicant had obtained a form of Italian assignment of the title. However changes of monarchy in Italy in the Risorgimento and its later abolition after WW2 have led to a confusing nobility situation in modern Italy. In any case, the 1969 applicant's Italian assignment was judged not to meet Spanish standards of nobility administration and her request was also rejected.


1. This has been suggested even though non-hereditable titles were rare at the time, but could occur where the holder was already a nobleman with a pre-existing hereditary title (ref 140) as Don Jose almost certainly would have had as the son of a Marquis. Rather, it was the Duque's status as Grandee that was non-hereditary (ref 164).

2. The general historic context was considered following a suggestion by Graham Thornton of Sid Vale Association that the deeds of Lord Palmerston may shed some light. Palmerston had previously become accepted by the Whigs and evangelicals as a convert to the anti-slavery movement - so we thought perhaps that Isaac's reported early freeing of his own slaves (see his descendant's notes) may have aided a request for the Spanish Duquedom via Palmerston; but there is no evidence in Palmerston's biography (see ref 68) that Palmerston was so approached or in any event that this arose in his Spanish discussions. Similarly, we have seen no evidence that Queen Isabella actually granted the 1848 request for reinstatement made by Isaac. At the time she was 18, and had been married for 2 years. Lord Palmerston, newly made British Foreign Minister in 1846 had strenuously intervened in the question of the marriage of Isabella and was in particular opposed to the marriage to the impotent cousin as proposed by the Spanish Queen Mother and her Prime Minister. Unfortunately for Isabella, he was unsuccessful, and no doubt his interference in Spanish affairs was related to diplomatic relations between Spain and England being cut off in 1846.  Revolutionary sentiment at the time, though not preventing Isabella from lasting another 20 years before retiring to Paris in 1868, may have further reduced Palmerston's influence, as he was seen to have been a supporter of revolution in the service of national movements.

3.  We considered the possibility that Don Jose was an illegitimate offspring of a very highly-placed Guzman in a way analogous to the story of d'Olivares' illegitimate son Don Enrique (see notes) - noting that in this period the Guzmans and their related families had become the natural occupants of the Sumiller de Corps role. But as shown by their ancestors' names, the Mirandas were already in the Guzman orbit, and though Miranda when in Italy seems to have been in contact (he is associated with some paintings by Giordano destined for Farinelli bought for her - ref 71) with the Guzman descendant Barbara of Braganza (wife of Charles' predecessor Ferdinand VI of Spain) this may only have reflected official duty.

4. A path to ennoblement may have been diplomatic service along the lines of that provided to Spain by Baron Belmonte and to Portugal by the Curiel/Nunes da Costas; however the first case did not reach the elevated heights of a Dukedom and the latter case eventually failed due to anti-Jewish sentiment in 1737 (ref 123 pp500-1). We also considered whether the supposed link between the Lousadas and the Duque de Losada could have arisen because the Lousadas were present at court. It seemed obvious that the best place to look was in the period of Spanish and Portuguese union 1580-1640, when many wealthy New Christians - usually members of the major trading families - came to Spain especially in the period 1626-40 when the financial reform engineered by Count-Duke d'Olivares was in progress. The aim of this successful reform was to reduce by competition the high costs associated with the Genoese bankers of the Spanish Crown. These wealthy New Christians came under conditions that (largely) protected their assets from the Spanish Inquisition and they were expected to attend court. However we have found no evidence that the Lousadas participated in the banking reform and thus no evidence that they used this path to ennoblement as some did. On the other hand we found that the Lamego family - with whom the Lousadas later intermarried - participated in the re-financing in a number of ways but were not ennobled - though perhaps they had come under too much Inquisitional attention from their not-so-secret Judaism in Rouen.

5. Or 1750 - sources differ on this date.

6. Almost every Sumiller de Corps was a Duque and in most of the exceptions he was a Marquis. Of course, Don Jose lacked even the lesser title as his father's had been inherited by the older brother Don Sancho and then Don Jude. As just noted Don Jude was not the only Sumiller de Corps to hold the rank of Marquis - and no further ennoblement was required in his case.

7. Gaspar Melchior Jovellanos y Ramirez was the son of a cousin of the Duque - see here.