'a great and vain desire of winning glory'
I�igo Lopez de Loyola, son of the local landowner, was born in 1491 in the castle at Loyola. Here, in Spain's Basque province, he was brought up in the cottage of the blacksmith's wife, Maria de Gar�n. As page at court he served first the treasurer of the Kingdom of Castille, then the Duke of Najera. Up to his twenty-sixth year I�igo was, in his own words, a man given over to the vanities of the world, and took a special delight in the exercise of arms, with a great and vain desire of winning glory.
In the pursuit of such glory, this courtier was stirred to defend the town of Pamplona in the name of King Ferdinand of Spain from an attacking French army. The town's Governor saw the futility of resistance to the vastly superior French forces and advised surrender. But the foolhardy I�igo rallied a handful of men to defend the town's citadel. On 20th May 1521, during this desperate action, French cannon fire smashed into both his legs; I�igo and Pamplona fell.