Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas Lerma, duque de
Lerma, Francisco Gómez de Sandoval y Rojas, duque de (fränthēsˈkō gōˈmāth dā sändōvälˈ ē rōˈhäs dōˈkā dā lārˈmä) [key], 1553–1625, Spanish statesman, favorite of King Philip III. He became premier upon Philip's accession (1598) and controlled the government for 20 years. Lerma pursued a pacific foreign policy, ending (1604) the war with England and securing (1609) a 12-year truce in the Netherlands. Within Spain, however, he concentrated mainly on enriching himself. The most vigorous action taken by his administration was the expulsion (1609–14) of the Moriscos. In 1618, shortly after he had become a cardinal, he was ousted from power by his own son. After an inquiry ordered (1621) by Philip IV, Lerma was made to restore to the state part of his wealth.
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