García Hurtado de Mendoza, 5th Marquis of Cañete bigraphy, stories - Royal Governor of Chile

García Hurtado de Mendoza, 5th Marquis of Cañete : biography

July 21, 1535 - May 19, 1609

García Hurtado de Mendoza y Manrique, 5th Marquis of CañeteIn full, () (July 21, 1535 – May 19, 1609) was a Spanish soldier, governor of Chile, and viceroy of Peru (from January 8, 1590 to July 24, 1596). He is often known simply as "Marquis of Cañete". Belonging to an influential family of Spanish noblemen Hurtado de Mendoza is acknowledged for successfully fighting native Mapuche during his stay as Governor of Chile where he got the city of Mendoza named after him. In his position as Viceroy of Peru he sponsored Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira expedition to the Salomon Islands and had Marquesas Islands named after him.

Return to Spain

However, Hurtado de Mendoza had already left Peru for Spain, to give his account of his campaigns and his government to King Philip II and the Council of the Indies. The prestige of his family, the information about his services given by the Audiencia of Lima, and the recommendations from some faithful captains that began to arrive from Chile caused the accusations of his enemies to be soon forgotten. Besides, he was recognized as the winner of the War of Arauco. This belittled the old conquistadors with the false claim that they had not done enough to suppress the Indian rebellions and pacify the Araucanía.

In Madrid he entered into the Royal Guard. He was also representative to the king in Milan.

Early life

He was the son of Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza, 3rd Marquis of Cañete — also a viceroy of Peru — and Magdalena Manrique, daughter of the Count of Osorno. Both his parents belonged to some of the most important families in the Spanish aristocracy.

In 1552 Hurtado de Mendoza ran away from home with the intention of serving his king, Charles I (Emperor Charles V), in an expedition he was preparing against Corsica. He demonstrated great valor in this campaign and also in Tuscany, when that duchy attempted to throw off Imperial rule. He was part of the Imperial army in Brussels, and was with Charles V during his defeat in the Battle of Renty.

Upon learning that his father had been designated viceroy of Peru, he returned to Spain and asked to be sent to America. During the journey he met Jerónimo de Alderete, who had been chosen by the king to be the successor of Pedro de Valdivia as governor of Chile. It happened that Alderete became sick and died during the trip. Hurtado's father gathered together a group of Chilean representatives, and, finding that they could not agree on whether Francisco de Aguirre or Francisco de Villagra was more qualified as a successor for the post, put forward his own son. He hoped that his son would bring more Spaniards to Chile, and additionally be able to unify the two camps in the battle for the post of governor of Chile. And he hope he could deal successfully with the rebellious Indians.

Thus Hurtado left for Chile, 21 years old, with proven bravery. He was haughty, proud of his lineage and intelligence, authoritarian in outlook, and subject to violent outbreaks. His character made enemies, mostly hidden, within his own circle.

Viceroy of Peru

In 1590 Hurtado returned to America, now as viceroy of Peru, a position he held until the middle of the following decade. It was a great help to the Spanish in Chile to have someone with his first-hand knowledge of that region in the position of viceroy.

Hurtado had frequent disagreements with Turibius de Mongrovejo, Archbishop of Lima, whenever civil and ecclessiastical jurisdiction conflicted. The seminary school established by Mogrovejo was not established without a fight over whether to put the bishop's coat of arms on top of the entrance, or the royal coat of arms in the same place, as well as during the excommunication of Juan Ortiz de Zárate, mayor of Lima, over the forced arrest of a criminal who had taken refuge at a church.

At the end of his term, Hurtado left Lima to return to Spain, where he died in 1609.

Governor of Chile

Hurtado de Mendoza left Peru for Chile at the head of a force of 500 Spaniards. A part of this force traveled overland under the command of Luis de Toledo and Pedro de Castillo. This group left in January 1557. The other part, under the command of the new governor, traveled by sea, leaving in February of the same year. The viceroy gave a banquet for his son, after which the fleet left port to the sound of military marches and a salute of cannons.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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