Luis de Córdova y Córdova
Luis de Córdova
Portrait of Córdova, Naval Museum of Madrid
|Born||8 February 1706|
|Died||29 July 1796 (aged 90)|
Admiral Luis de Córdova y Córdova (8 February 1706 – 29 July 1796) was a Spanish admiral. He is best known for his command of the Spanish fleet during the Anglo-Spanish War. His best remembered actions were the capture of two merchant convoys totalling 79 ships between 1780 and 1782, including the capture of 55 ships from a convoy composed of Indiamen, and other cargo ships 60 leagues off Cape St. Vincent. In 1782 he battled the Royal Navy to a stalemate at the Battle of Cape Spartel, but failed to prevent the British relieving the Great Siege of Gibraltar.
Córdova was born in Seville to don Juan de Córdova Lasso de la Vega y Puente, a mariner, navy captain, and knight of the Order of Calatrava, and doña Clemencia Fernández de Córdova Lasso de la Vega Veintimiglia, daughter of the Marquis of Vado del Maestre and first-cousin of her husband. He was baptised at San Miguel parish on 12 February.
His inclination toward the sea began at a young age — at 11 he enlisted aboard his father's ship and by 13 he had made his first journey to America. In 1721 he joined the naval academy at Cádiz and by 1723 graduated with the rank of Alférez de Fragata (ensign). The first lap of his career was marked by successful cruises and actions at sea that won the approval of his superiors and even the praise of the King. In 1730 Córdova had the distinction of commanding the naval escort for the Duke of Parma, Infante Carlos de Borbón (later Charles III of Spain), who journeyed across the Mediterranean en route to the campaigns in Italy. Carlos and his generals went on to reconquer the Kingdom of Naples for the Bourbons at the Battle of Bitonto, with naval assistance from a squadron commanded by Córdova.
The city of Cordova, Alaska was named after him.