Advising the King on Conspiracies? Bernardino de Rebolledo’s Account of Dina Vinhofvers’s Scandal

Enrique Corredera Nilsson is PhD candidate at Universität Konstanz and Universidad Complutense. In his contribution to our collective volume “Ink and Blood – Writing Rebellion in Early Modern Times”, Enrique will deal with Spanish-Scandinavian diplomacy in the 17th century:

“In 1651 Bernardino de Rebolledo, Philip IV of Spain’s envoy to Copenhagen, informed his sovereign on the scandal that shocked Denmark. Corfitz Ulfeldt, Steward of the Realm, had been accused of planning to poison the king. The accusation had opened an enquiry that ended in Ulfeldt’s exoneration. The woman who had denounced him, a commoner named Dina Vinhofvers, was executed. Things were more complicated, though, for the case revealed the ongoing power struggle between Ulfeldt and his party on one side, and the king and part of the nobility on the other. So far Rebolledo’s summary has been mainly used to reconstruct the events. In my paper I will analyze its apparently casual composition that bears conspicuous resemblance to Machiavelli’s comments on the functioning of conspiracies in The Prince. Rebolledo’s account is therefore more than merely a report, but also a piece of advice literature, a little ‘mirror of Princes.'”

Bernardino de Rebolledo, portrait published in «Retratos de Españoles ilustres», Real Imprenta de Madrid, 1791

Bernardino de Rebolledo, portrait published in «Retratos de Españoles ilustres», Real Imprenta de Madrid, 1791


Monika Barget

Since September 2013, I have been a member of the international research group "Revolts as Communicative Events" based at the University of Konstanz, Germany. My research interests include early modern constitutional history and political iconography.

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