He was born, probably in Urrestilla, a district of Azpeitia (Gipuzkoa), son of Martín García de Anchieta and María Veraizas de Loyola.


There are no contrasting data regarding his training; however, it is conjectured that he might have pursued music studies at the University of Salamanca. As was customary for someone in his position as the family’s second-in-command, he was destined for a career in the church.


On 6 February he was appointed Cantor of the Chapel of Queen Isabella the Catholic.


He is listed as the Chapel Master of Prince Don Juan (born in 1478), having held residence from 1496 in the palace of Almazán (Soria).


After the passing of Prince John, he remained in his role as chapel master, now serving Princess Margaret of Austria, the wife of Prince John. He also secured the position of Rector at the parish of Azpeitia, a role supported by his cousin Beltrán de Loyola.


After Princess Margaret’s return to Flanders, Anchieta continued to serve in the chapel of Queen Isabella. During this period, he also acquired the basic benefice of Prestamero de Villarino (Salamanca).


Upon the demise of Isabella the Catholic, he transitioned into the service of Queen Juana of Castile, continuing his duties in Castile. It is likely that he accompanied the queen during her frequent travels, spanning Spain, Flanders, and England.


He spent most of the year residing in Brussels, serving as the “maistre d’escole” to Prince Charles, who would later become Charles V, as well as to his sisters, the Infantas Eleanor and Isabella.


Anchieta’s presence is documented until 1508 as a member of the Franco-Flemish Capilla established at the court of Doña Juana.


He remained in the service of Doña Juana, who, following an order from her father King Ferdinand, was confined in Tordesillas.


He held positions as chaplain and cantor in the chapel of King Ferdinand. During the years when King Ferdinand made regular visits to the palace of Arévalo, it is likely that Juan de Anchieta and his nephew Íñigo de Loyola had opportunities to meet there, possibly around the same time.


He was also appointed Abbot of the Church of Arbas (Oviedo).


King Ferdinand the Catholic has passed away. It is probable that, thinking of returning to Azpeitia, he chose this moment to construct the Mudejar-style house that continues to stand to this day.


The king confirms the pension, stating in the document, “acatando los muchos e buenos serviçios que el dicho juanes nos ha hecho y que está viejo para residir en nuestra corte”[1]


Juan de Anchieta passed away in Azpeitia on July 30, 1523.

[1] “acknowledging the many good services that the said Juanes has rendered us and that he is old enough to reside in our court”