Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros
Francisco Ximenes de Cisneros (Torrelaguna 1436 – November 8, 1517) was a cardinal and statesman, born in Castile, of a poor but noble family; studied at Salamanca and went to Rome, where he gained favor with the Pope, who appointed him to the first vacant ecclesiastical preferment in Spain, as the result of which he, in 1495 became archbishop of Toledo, but not till he was 60 years of age.
In 1506, Cisneros became regent of Spain, and conducted the affairs of the kingdom with consummate ability. Cardinal Cisneros was the Grand Inquisitor between 1507-1517.
Cisneros was a severe man, and was careful to promote what he considered the best and highest interests of the nation; but he was narrow-minded, and did often more harm than good; he was intolerant of heresy such as the Church deemed it to be, and contrived by his policy to confer more than sovereign rights upon the crown. He was to Spain pretty much what Richelieu was to France.
The foundation of the University of Alcalá de Henares, now known as Complutense University of Madrid, was in 1500 fostered by Cardinal Cisneros.
- Nuttall Encyclopedia of General Knowledge, article on Ximenes de Cisneros, Francisco originally published in 1907 written by Reverend James Wood