Gaspar Borja y Velasco
Gaspar Borja
Historical Figure
Nationality: Spain
Religion: Catholicism
Date of Birth: 1580
Date of Death: 1645
Cause of Death: Natural Causes
Occupation: Cardinal, politician
Parents: Francisco Tomás de Borja y Centellas, 6th Duke of Gandia
Juana Enríquez de Velasco y de Aragón
1632 series
POD: May, 1631
Appearance(s): 1634: The Galileo Affair
1635: The Cannon Law
1635: The Papal Stakes
1636: The Vatican Sanction
Type of Appearance: Direct
Gaspar de Borja y Velasco (1580–1645) was a Spanish cardinal, ecclesiastic and politician. He belonged to the house of Borgia (though he always used the Spanish spelling of Borja) and served as Primate of Spain, Archbishop of Seville, Archbishop of Toledo and viceroy of Naples.

Borja maintained an antagonistic relationship with Pope Urban VIII during the Thirty Years' War, accusing the pope of not supporting the Catholics enough. In response, Urban had Spain recall Borja in 1634, and subsequently prevented his installation as Archibishop of Toledo. Urban's successor, Innocent X, did give Borja this title shortly before Borja's death.

Gaspar Borja y Velasco in 1632Edit

Gaspar de Borja y Velasco was already an enemy of Pope Urban VIII when Grantville arrived in the past. American intervention in the Thirty Years' War, combined with Urban's lack of antipathy towards the Americans, exacerbated Borja further. When Urban pardoned Galileo in 1634, in some part due to the actions of the Americans, Borja decided to move against Urban once and for all.

In 1635, Borja engaged Francisco de Quevedo to undermine Urban, and later maneuvered Spanish forces into into invading Rome for the purpose of overthrowing and imprisoning Urban. However, Urban was able to escape from Rome with the assistance of the USE embassy. Many bishops and cardinals loyal to Urban (including Urban's nephew Francesco Barberini), were killed during Borja's takeover. Whether or not Borja directly ordered these killings, he did countenance them once he learned of them from Quevedo.

He eventually had himself declared Pope.[n 1] One of his first acts was to brand the Americans as heretics and demons. However, it eventually became known that Urban had been able to escape.

Borja's upheaval was not taken very well by Philip IV, who was critical of the negative effects Borja had on Spanish possessions in Italy, and privately refused to refer to him as pope. Philip even wanted Borja's immediate death, and was not alone in that, but he grudgingly accepted that having Borja killed, or even openly disavowing him, would make matters worse. Phillip also grudgingly realized that, if Borja was killed, Urban would likely regain the papacy, and would remain hostile to Spain for its association with Borja. Therefore, Borja was recognized as the new pope by Spain and its territories and satellites, but only by them and Poland. Elsewhere in Europe, he was considered an antipope.


  1. There appear to be some discrepancies as to just when this happened.
Religious offices (1632)
Preceded by
Pope Urban VIII
Recognized only by Spain

Served alongside: Pope Urban VIII (disputed)
Succeeded by