Zenón de Somodevilla, 1st Marquess of Ensenada

Apr 20, 1702 - Dec 2, 1781

Zenón de Somodevilla y Bengoechea, 1st Marquess of Ensenada, commonly known as the Marquess of Ensenada, was a Spanish statesman.
Little is known of Somodevilla's parents, Francisco de Somodevilla and his wife, Francisca de Bengoechea, nor is anything known of his own life prior to entering the civil administration of the Spanish navy as a clerk in 1720. He served in administrative capacities in Ceuta in that year and in the reoccupation of Oran in 1731. His ability was recognized by Don José Patiño, the chief minister of King Philip V, who promoted him to supervise work at the naval arsenal at Ferrol, the main base of the Spanish Navy's Maritime Department of the North since the time of the early Bourbons.
Somodevilla was also involved in the endeavors by the Spanish government to elevate the king's sons by his marriage to Elizabeth Farnese, Charles and Philip, on the thrones of Naples and Parma respectively. In 1736 Charles, afterwards King Charles III of Spain, conferred on Somodevilla the Neapolitan title of Marqués de la Ensenada.
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