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Ramiro De Lorqua’s Brutality and Betrayal in Romagna

Italian CondottieriRamiro De Lorqua's Brutality and Betrayal in Romagna

A renowned condottiero serving Cesare Borgia. He was a highly capable and brutal man, entrusted by Pope Alexander VI and the Duke Valentino with various secret missions. His cruelty and dishonesty earned him widespread hatred throughout Romagna. Ultimately, he was condemned to death by Borgia for multiple reasons, including alleged treason, punishment for numerous acts of extortion and robbery (from which 22,000 ducats were confiscated), and his behavior in certain situations towards the pontiff's daughter, Lucrezia Borgia.

Indice delle Signorie dei Condottieri: ABCDEFGIJLMNOPQRSTUVZ

The Dark Legacy of Ramiro De Lorqua: Condottiero of Cesare Borgia

Ramiro de Lorqua (Ramiro di Lorca) (also known as Remigio di Lorqua and Ramiro d’Orco). A Spaniard.

Born: 1452 ca.
Death: 1502, December

Year, monthState, Comp. venturaOpponentConductActivity AreaActions taken and other salient facts
1498
Aug.ChurchFranceAs the chamberlain of Cesare Borgia, he accompanied him to France along with Gian Giordano Orsini, Pietro di Santacroce, Giovanni Battista Mancini, Bartolomeo di Capranica, and 30 other Roman gentlemen. The future Duke Valentino was to marry Charlotte of Albret, the daughter of the King of Navarre. Ramiro stayed in France for almost a year due to the resistance from the French family regarding the marriage. The wedding, in fact, was not celebrated until mid-May of the following year.
1500
Jan.ChurchForlìRomagnaHe took part in the conquest of Forlì and was appointed governor of the city.
Oct.ChurchPesaroMarche, RomagnaAt the end of the month, he entered Pesaro as the city fell into the hands of the papal forces. The Duke of Ferrara, Ercole d’Este, sent the poet Pandolfo Collenuccio, who had previously been exiled from Pesaro by Giovanni Sforza, as his ambassador to congratulate on the victory. Lorca welcomed him with numerous gifts. Borgia appointed him as his lieutenant in Rimini.
Nov.RomagnaIn Cesena, he captured Pandolfaccio Tiberti and other gentlemen who, against all orders, were moving through the city armed. He ordered that they be tortured in the town square.
Dec.RomagnaIn Forlì, the city rebelled due to the misconduct of Giannotto Francese‘s men who were lodged in the inhabitants’ homes. To calm the situation, Lorca had one of those soldiers hanged.
1501
Apr.RomagnaFollowing the conquest of Faenza by Cesare Borgia‘s troops, Lorca organized a grand celebration in the town square, including a ball, a horse race, and a crossbow tournament.
JulyChurchPiombinoTuscany, Romagna, EmiliaHe accompanied Borgia in the campaign against Piombino. He then returned to Romagna with Dionigi Naldi and Piero Gambacorta. While passing through the Valdarno with 30 horsemen, they were robbed and captured by the Florentines. All the captives were released except for Naldi and Gambacorta. Later in the month, Lorca ordered the walls of Castel Bolognese to be demolished, and the town’s name was temporarily changed to Villa Cesarina.
Oct.RomagnaHe was also elected governor of Cesena.
Nov.RomagnaPope Alexander VI appointed him as the general governor of Romagna. His efforts were not only focused on suppressing the unrest caused by various factions but also on initiating a series of public works. He sent a new castellan to Montefiore Conca with orders to hang the previous official. This official resisted, and the castle surrendered after a brief siege.
1502
Jan.RomagnaHe traveled to Rimini to thwart a treaty favoring the Malatesta family and the Venetians. He gathered 1,000 infantry and 150 cavalry, sending several suspects to Rome in chains.
Apr.RomagnaIn Cesena, he organized various festivities and welcomed the Prince of Viana, the son of the King of Navarre, who was passing through Romagna.
JuneChurchUrbinoMarcheHe attacked Guidobaldo da Montefeltro, the Duke of Urbino. He managed to seize the castle of San Leo by bribing the castellan, Ludovico Scarmone.
July – Aug.RomagnaIn Cesena, he assembled 700 infantry from among the residents and led them to the siege of Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna. He returned to Cesena in August.
Sept.RomagnaIn Imola.
Oct.MarcheHe ordered that the council of Cesena, contrary to its previous privileges, no longer be convened with trumpets but with bells. He then went to Fano in response to the rebellion in San Leo. Upon hearing of the insurrection in Fossombrone, he joined forces with Michelotto Coreglia to plunder both Fossombrone and the nearby town of Pergola. Following this, he moved to Urbino to quell further uprisings. He was defeated at Calmazzo.
Nov.RomagnaIn Imola, he met with the protonotary Antongaleazzo Bentivoglio to negotiate an agreement with the lords of Bologna. In the following days, he was suddenly stripped of all his civil and military duties due to growing unpopularity stemming from his arbitrary exactions and military requisitions. Coreglia took over the command of the troops.
Dec.RomagnaHe returned to Cesena and stayed at the house of the treasurer Domenico di Ugolino. He was soon joined by Cipriano Numai, who invited him to Pesaro to meet with Borgia. When he arrived, Duke Valentino accused him of having stolen a significant quantity of wheat from the warehouses of Cesena and selling it for his own profit. Arrested, he was imprisoned in the fortress of Cesena. After being tried, he was found guilty of corruption, numerous extortions, and robberies, and was sentenced to death. His assets, amounting to 22,000 ducats, along with vessels, silverware, and horses, were confiscated.
On St. Stephen’s Day, dressed richly and draped in a red cloak with gloved hands, he was beheaded in Cesena between the citadel and the fortress near the river gate. His body was then quartered by the townspeople with a piece of wood and a large knife. His head was placed on a lance and displayed to the public for a day. Rumors of the time suggested that Lorca was punished due to his behavior towards Lucrezia Borgia. Moreover, Pope Alexander VI later revealed to the Venetian ambassador Antonio Giustinian that, before dying, Lorca had confessed to secretly conspiring with the Orsini to hand over Cesena to them and had promised Vitellozzo Vitelli and Oliverotto da Fermo to kill Borgia with a crossbow shot in the back during a ride.
Lorca was buried in the church of San Francesco.

Sources

-“Borgiae adulator.” D’INUNDA

-“Famoso, uomo molto capace, brutale. Spesso il papa Alessandro VI e Cesare Borgia gli affidarono missioni segrete e sembra che abbia avuto anche parte, a suo tempo, anche nei negoziati matrimoniali fra i Borgia e gli Este. Odiato da tutta la Romagna per la sua crudeltà e per la disonestà di cui diede ripetute prove. Una volta, adirandosi contro un paggio che aveva rovesciato del vino, lo fece bruciare vivo. Il processo a suo carico, infine, dimostrò come egli avesse grandemente peggiorato le condizioni del popolo mediante l’aumento arbitrario delle tasse e la vendita a proprio vantaggio di notevoli quantità di frumento di proprietà della comunità.” PASOLINI

-“Non era per suoa statura tropo grando, come suoe membre asa’ beno prporzionato; capile negro, barba negra, hochie grese, faza larga, cole curto..Ed era stato gram tempo familiare d’Alandre sesto pontifico et dela excelentia dal dito Cesaro Borgia so patrone. Et avendole lore de contenuvo adoperato in ogne so oportuno bisogne, tamen sempre lui avea auto la palma fiorita et avea lore fate cavalere et conduteri sopra tucto soe zente… Sempre fu riverito et temuto homo, non avendo mai alcuno respetto a la santa iustitia: in fra tute soe virtute questa gran lauda se ce po grandamente attribuire d’essere sempre stato copiosissimo de sova odientia.” BERNARDI

-“Una persona fiera, terribile e sanguinaria.” UGOLINI

-“Le plus actif et le plus implacable de ses (Cesare Borgia) agents.” BRION

-“Homo diabolico.” FANTAGUZZI

-“Namque Remigius: ille Remigius opida quondam/ Multas regens nostri sub ditione ducis/ Tot quondam et populis. Cultus de culmine summo/ Decidit exanguis nunc iacet unbra foro.” Versi di F. Uberti riportati dal PASOLINI

-“Etait un homme rude et résolu, le plus actif des officiers de César (Borgia) en Romagne…C’était un homme d’environ cinquante ans, violent er dominateur, redouté de tous, et le dispensateur d’une rude justice qui avait du moins le mérite de l’impartialité en ne tenant aucun compte des personnes. Bernardi nous donne un exemple de sa nature ferme, incapable de compromis, impitoyable. Le 29 janvier 1502, deux malfaiteurs furent pendus à Faenza. La corde qui suspendait l’un d’eux se rompit alors que l’homme vivait encore; le peuple, d’abord, demanda qu’on eut pitié de lui, puis se résolut à le sauver en dépit des officiers de justice qui prétendaient qu’on le leur rendit. Pour empecher sa capture, la foule le porta jusq’à l’église des Cerviti (Serviti). Le lieutenant de Faenza vint réclamer la personne du criminel, mais le prieur la lui refusa, au nom du droit d’asile dans ce sanctuaire. Mais les jours du droit d’asile étaient passés, et la loi du temps déclarait que toute église ou tout lieu consacré où un criminel se réfugierait serait consideré comme privé de son caractère sacré par ceux qui poursuivraient le criminel, et que tout ecclésiastique qui abriterait un fugitif de ce genre se verrait exposé à etre excommuniqué par son évèque. Ramiro considéra de son devoir d’appliquer cette loi quand la nouvelle lui parvint à Imola de ce qui c’ètait passé. Il vint aussitot à Faenza, et obligeant par la force le prieur à rendre l’homme qu’il abritait, le fit pendre une seconde fois, à une fenetre du palais du podestat. En meme temps il fit saisir plisieurs de ceux qui passaient pour avoir été les artisans de l’évasion de l’homme, et rendit les citoyens de Faenza responsables de leurs vies moyennant le paiment d’une amende de dix mille ducats et un mois pour trouver cet argent. ” SABATINI

-“La decisione presa da Cesare Borgia di liberarsi del suo ministro sarebbe.. da spiegare con l’intenzione non di punire un funzionario colluso con i suoi nemici Bentivoglio e Orsini – come scrisse il bolognese Fileno dalle Tuate – bensì di soddisfare i condottieri ribelli.” LODONE

Featured Image: wikipedia

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Roberto Damiani
Roberto Damiani
Roberto Damiani è l'autore del sito Condottieri di ventura.