Ramon Maria Narvaez, duke of Valencia, a Spanish statesman, born in Loja, Andalusia, Aug. 4, 1800, died in Madrid, April 23, 1868. He was early engaged in military operations, and was wounded during the capture of Cas-telfollit in 1822. In 1823, when the French army of intervention entered Spain, he retired to Loja, but returned to the army in 1832, and in 1834 was wounded in the battle of Mendi-gorria. In 1836 he acted under the orders of Espartero, and the reputation which he gained by defeating the Carlist general Gomez (Nov. 25, 1836) led to his advancement. In 1838, by his rigorous measures against the brigands who infested La Mancha, he restored tranquillity to that province; and he was appointed captain general of Old Castile and general of an army of reserve. He had also been elected to the cortes from Seville, and on the formation in that city of a revolutionary junta by Cordova, he repaired thither to aid that general in his movements against Espartero; but the insurrection was suppressed, and Narvaez was compelled to seek refuge in France (1840). While there he continued his machinations against Espartero, in conjunction with the queen mother Maria Christina; and in 1843, at the head of the Christinos, he landed at Valencia, defeated Gen. Seoane at Torrejon de Ardoz (July 22), and made his entry into Madrid, which led to the overthrow of Espartero. In 1844 he became prime minister, and was created field marshal, count of Canadas Altas, and duke of Valencia. Maria Christina was permitted to return to Madrid, and the opponents of the constitution of 1845 were put down rigorously.
His arbitrary disposition gave offence to many members of his own party, and brought him into collision with Maria Christina, and he resigned in February, 1846. After having served for a short time as ambassador in Paris, he was recalled to power in 1847, but was soon dismissed on account of quarrels with the queen mother. On Oct. 21, 1849, he was restored to office, and opposed the British government's attempt to interfere in Spanish affairs with a firmness which led to the withdrawal of the British minister (Sir Henry Bulwer) from Madrid, and to the temporary interruption of diplomatic relations between the two government He resigned Jan. 10, 1851, and became ambassador to Vienna. After Espartero's withdrawal. July 14. 1856, and O'Donnell's brief term of office, Narvaez was again called upon to preside over the cabinet, Oct. 12, but withspecial office. The concordat of 1851 with the holy see, which had been variously modi-tied, was restored. The outbreak at Malaga on Nov. 16 was put down by force of arms, and a general amnesty to the Carlist rebels of 1855 and 1856 was promulgated, April 8, 1857. Narvaez caused stringent laws to be enacted against the press, and made various dignitaries of church and state ex officio members of the senate.
Overthrown in November, 1857, he became once more chief of the cabinet in September, 1864; and in January, 1865, he pro-posed in the cortes the abandonment of Santo bomingo, which was adopted after protracted discussions. In June of the same year his ministry was overthrown; but in July, 1866, he was again prime minister, and held that post till his death.