NapoliNaples (source)

The viceroys who ruled the kingdom of Naples during the reign of the Spanish king Charles II (Charles V of Naples) were:

Naples during this period was in a state of decline. In 1656 the plague had killed almost half of the inhabitants of the city. Clara Erskine Clement describes conditions at the close of the Seventeenth Century:

But here adversity had long since passed the point where any sweetness could result, and the venomous tyrants of Spain displayed no single beneficent characteristic in their government of Naples. A radical change alone could bring relief, and only the hope which would come with a government by their own sovereigns could arouse the Neapolitans to struggle for new attainments of any sort.

The public works in Naples in the last half of this century are almost too few and unimportant to be mentioned. The Count of Onate erected the first theatre in Naples, the Teatro di S. Bartolommeo, which was destroyed when that of S. Carlo was built. This viceroy also erected the Fontana della Selleria, which long since disappeared, and in 1651 the grand staircase of the royal palace was constructed by his command. In 1668 a dock adjoining the arsenal was built under Don Pedro Antonio of Aragon.

Perhaps Don Federigo de Toledo, Marquis of Villafranca, did greater injury to Naples than the others had done good, when, in 1671, after being viceroy but two months, he carried to Spain the bones of Alfonso I., which he disinterred in the church of S. Dominico Maggiore, together with the statues of the four rivers which he took from the fountain of the Molo, the statue of Venus from the fountain of Castel Nuovo, and the celebrated statues and steps of the fountain Medina, the work of Giovanni da Nola.

The sun of the seventeenth century set in darkness and gloom in Naples, and the dawn was still more than thirty years distant. Historians who delve more deeply than we propose to do for the causes of effects now in operation, attribute all the evils that have since existed in Naples to the influence of the Spanish dominion, which cultivated no good, and developed all the evil tendencies in the Neapolitan character. Much time is required for recovery from such conditions as we have pictured; and certainly the people of this kingdom, as we see them to-day, have made immense strides above the depths into which two centuries of perpetual oppression had driven them at the beginning of the eighteenth century.