Palafox, José de (hōsāˈ ħā päläfôkhˈ) [key], 1776?–1847, Spanish general in the Peninsular War, celebrated for his heroic defense of Zaragoza. Elected captain general of Aragón in 1808, he held Zaragoza against the French with an improvised garrison of citizens and peasants. Though the French breached the city walls, his forces held out behind street barricades from June to Aug., 1808, when the French withdrew. In Dec., 1808, the French under Lannes again besieged the city. Palafox surrendered only in Feb., 1809, after three weeks of street fighting. He was held a prisoner in France until 1813. Palafox commanded the royal guards during the uprisings of 1820–23 against Ferdinand VII, but he lost his post because of his stand in favor of the liberal constitution. He later commanded the loyal troops against the Carlists and was created duque de Zaragoza.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.