Pages in category "Extremaduran conquistadors"
The following 36 pages are in this category, out of 36 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 36 pages are in this category, out of 36 total, this list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Francisco de Aguirre (conquistador) – Francisco de Aguirre was a Spanish conquistador who participated in the conquest of Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Francisco de Aguirre was the son of Hernando de la Rúa and he joined the army of Carlos I, participating in the Battle of Pavia and the assault on Rome in 1527. He moved to Peru in 1536, with a retinue that included slaves. When he heard that Pedro de Valdivia was on his way to conquer Chile in 1540, he moved his troops to Tarapacá and he was chosen for this task since he had already demonstrated a strong hand in the war against the Indians and their resulting punishment. On August 29,1549, Aguirre refounded the city, constructing a fort for its defense and he then led his troops out in persecution of the Indians. The north of Chile would remain free of danger from then on, although somewhat depopulated, there, after a series of exploratory expeditions, he founded the city of Santiago del Estero del Nuevo Maestrazgo on July 25,1553. When Valdivia died in the Battle of Tucapel, his will was opened, when he received the news, he was in Tucumán, and Francisco de Villagra had already managed to be acknowledged as governor, due to the death of Alderete and the absence of Aguirre. Apprised of the situation by his friends in La Serena, he returned there. He communicated his arrival to the Cabildo of Santiago, letting it be known that the troops under his command were prepared to maintain his position, which was his by right of Valdivias will. The Cabildo of Santiago, however, refused to acknowledge the declaration, if the term expired, Villagra would be the governor, in command of the army of the south. Aguirre wanted to ignore the verdict, but his forces were too small to match Villagras if there was a confrontation, in 1557 the viceroys son García Hurtado de Mendoza arrived as the newly designated governor. One of his first actions was to have Aguirre and Villagra arrested, in 1564, when the conquest of this region was at the point of being reversed, Aguirre returned it again to Spanish domination. During his mandate, a rebellion was fomented by Jerónimo de Holguín, freed later, he was indicted by the ecclesiastical authority of Charcas for having made heretical statements. The constant turmoils of his administration motivated the viceroy to remove Aguirre from his post, in 1576, Aguirre returned to Chile and settled modestly in La Serena, where he was held in respect until his death in 1581
2. Pedro de Alvarado – Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras was a Spanish conquistador and governor of Guatemala. He participated in the conquest of Cuba, in Juan de Grijalvas exploration of the coasts of the Yucatán Peninsula and the Gulf of Mexico and he is considered the conquistador of much of Central America, including Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Historiography portrays that indigenous people, both Nahuatl-speakers and speakers of languages, called him Tonatiuh, meaning sun in the Nahuatl language. Yet he was also called Red Sun in Nahuatl, which allows a variety of interpretations, whether this epithet refers to Alvarados red hair, some esoteric quality attributed to him, or both, is disputed. Pedro de Alvarado was flamboyant and charismatic, and was both a brilliant military commander and a cruel, hardened man and his hair and beard were blond, which earned him the name of Tonatiuh from the Aztecs, the name of one of their sun gods. He was handsome, and presented an appearance, but was volatile. He was ruthless in his dealings with the peoples he set out to conquer. Historians judge that his greed drove him to excessive cruelty, and he was a poor governor of territories he had conquered, and restlessly sought out new adventures. His tactical brutality, such as the massacre in the Great Temple of Tenochtitlan and he was also accused of cruelty against fellow Spaniards. Alvarado was little suited to govern, when he held governing positions and his letters show no interest in civil matters, and he only discussed exploration and war. Alvarado stubbornly resisted attempts by the Spanish Crown to establish ordered taxation in Guatemala, american historian William H. Prescott described Alvarados character in the following terms, Alvarado was a cavalier of high family, gallant and chivalrous, and warm personal friend. He had talents for action, was possessed of firmness and intrepidity, while his frank, but, underneath this showy exterior, the future conqueror of Guatemala concealed a heart rash, rapacious, and cruel. He was altogether destitute of that moderation, which, in the position he occupied, was a quality of more worth than all the rest. Spanish chronicler Antonio de Remesal commented that Alvarado desired more to be feared than loved by his subjects, in his easy recourse to violence, Alvarado was a product of his time, and Alvarado was not the only conquistador to have resorted to such actions. Hernán Cortés and Francisco Pizarro carried out deeds of similar cruelty, Pedro de Alvarado was born in 1485 in the town of Badajoz, Extremadura. His father was Gómez de Alvarado, and his mother was Leonor de Contreras, Pedro de Alvarado had a twin sister, Sarra, and four full-blood brothers, Jorge, Gonzalo, Gómez, and Juan. Pedro had a half brother, also named Juan, referred to in contemporary sources as Juan el Bastardo. Very little is known of Pedro de Alvarados early life before his arrival in the Americas, during the conquest of the Americas, tales of his youthful exploits in Spain became popular legends, but their veracity is doubtful
3. Francisco de Orellana – Francisco de Orellana was a Spanish explorer and conquistador. He completed the first known navigation of the length of the Amazon River. He also founded the city of Guayaquil in what is now Ecuador, Orellana died during a second expedition on the Amazon. Born in Trujillo, Orellana was a friend, and possibly a relative of Francisco Pizarro. He traveled to the New World, Orellana served in Nicaragua until joining Pizarros army in Peru in 1533, where he supported Pizarro in his conflict with Diego de Almagro. After the victory over De Almagros men, he was appointed governor of La Culata and re-established the town of Guayaquil, previously founded by Pizarro and repopulated by Sebastián de Belalcázar. In 1540 Gonzalo Pizarro arrived in Quito as governor and was charged by Francisco Pizarro with an expedition to locate the Land of Cinnamon, Orellana was one of Gonzalo Pizarros lieutenants during his 1541 expedition east of Quito into the South American interior. In Quito, Gonzalo Pizarro collected a force of 220 Spaniards and 4000 natives, while Orellana, as second in command, was sent back to Guayaquil to gather troops, Pizarro left Quito in February 1541 just before Orellana arrived with his 23 men and horses. Orellana hurried after the expedition, eventually making contact with them in March. However, by the time the expedition had left the mountains,3000 natives and 140 Spanish had either died or deserted, on reaching the River Coca, a brigantine, the San Pedro, was constructed to ferry the sick and supplies. Gonzalo Pizarro ordered him to explore the Coca River and return when the river ended, when they arrived at the confluence with the Napo River, his men threatened to mutiny if they did not continue. On 26 December 1541 he agreed to be elected chief of the new expedition, Orellana and 50 men set off down stream to find food. Unable to return against the current, Orellana waited for Pizarro, Pizarro had in the meantime returned to Quito by a more northerly route, by then with only 80 men left alive. After leaving the village on the Napo, Orellana continued downstream to the Amazon, the 49 men began to build a bigger ship for riverine navigation. During their navigation on Napo River they were threatened constantly by the Omaguas and they reached the Negro River on 3 June 1542 and finally arrived on the Amazon River. At a longitude of about 69°W Orellana and his men were involved in a skirmish with Machiparos natives and were chased downstream. Continuing downstream they consecutively passed the Rio de la Trinidad, the Pueblo Vicioso, the Rio Negro, the Pueblo del Corpus, the Pueblo de los Quemados, there they entered the territory of the Tapuya. The name Amazon is said to arise from a battle Francisco de Orellana fought with a tribe of Tapuyas, the women of the tribe fought alongside the men, as was the custom among the tribe
4. Francisco Pizarro – Francisco Pizarro González was a Spanish conquistador who led an expedition that conquered the Inca Empire. He captured and killed Incan emperor Atahualpa and claimed the lands for Spain, Francisco Pizarro was born in Trujillo, Spain in modern-day Extremadura, Spain. He was the son of infantry colonel Gonzalo Pizarro and Francisca González. His date of birth is uncertain, but it is believed to be sometime in the 1470s, little attention was paid to his education and he grew up illiterate. His father was a colonel of infantry who served in Navarre and his mother married late in life and had a son Francisco Martín de Alcántara, who was at the conquest of Peru with his half-brother from its inception. Through his father, Francisco was a cousin, once removed. On 10 November 1509, Pizarro sailed from Spain to the New World with Alonso de Ojeda on an expedition to Gulf of Urabá in Tierra Firme, Pizarro became a participant in Ojedas failed colony, commanding the remnants until he abandoned it with the survivors. He sailed to Cartagena and joined the fleet of Martín Fernández de Enciso in 1513, in 1513, Pizarro accompanied Vasco Núñez de Balboa in his crossing of the Isthmus of Panama to the Pacific coast. The following year, Pedrarias Dávila became the appointed governor of Castilla de Oro. During the next five years, Pizarro became an associate of Dávila. When Dávila decided to get rid of Balboa out of distrust, he instructed Pizarro to personally arrest him, Balboa was beheaded in January 1519. For his loyalty to Dávila, Pizarro was rewarded with the positions of mayor, on 10 November 1509, Pizarro sailed from Spain to the New World with Alonso de Ojeda on an expedition to Urabá. He sailed to Cartagena and joined the fleet of Martín Fernández de Enciso and, in 1513, reports of Perus riches and Cortéss success in Mexico tantalized Pizarro. He undertook two expeditions to conquer the Incan Empire in 1524 and in 1526, both failed as a result of native hostilities, bad weather and lack of provisions. Pedro de los Ríos, the Governor of Panama, made an effort to recall Pizarro, in April 1528, he reached northern Peru and found the natives rich with precious metals. This discovery gave Pizarro the motivation to plan an expedition to conquer the area. He returned to Panama to make arrangements, but the Governor refused to grant permission for the project, Pizarro returned to Spain to appeal directly to King Charles I. His plea was successful and he received not only a license for the proposed expedition and he was joined by family and friends and the expedition left Panama in 1530
5. Gonzalo Pizarro – Gonzalo Pizarro y Alonso was a Spanish conquistador and younger paternal half-brother of Francisco Pizarro, the conqueror of the Inca Empire. He was the brother of Francisco and Hernándo Pizarro and the full brother of Juan Pizarro. Born in Trujillo, Spain, Gonzalo Pizarro accompanied his eldest brother, Francisco Pizarro, Gonzalo was also the brother of Hernando Pizarro and Juan Pizarro. Gonzalo, and his brother Juan, were made regidores of the city on 24 March 1534, Cusco was split into factions behind Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro, but these two signed a new article of agreement on 12 June 1535. Gonzalo, Juan and his younger brother Hernándo ruled Cuzco as a dictatorship dominated by greed, corruption and brutality, particularly egregious was the conduct of Juan and Gonzalo Pizarro towards the Inca Emperor, Manco Inca Yupanqui. Manco was angered by the conduct of the Spaniards towards Incan women, the Spaniards corrupt rule and disrespectful treatment towards Manco Inca Yupanqui led to large-scale rebellion. The Incas fought the Spaniards in a number of sieges and battles for control of the land, the Incas were later defeated by the heavily armed Spanish soldiers led by Gonzalo and Juan. Smallpox was also spread among the natives and many perished, when Almagro returned from Chile disappointed in not finding any gold, he captured and imprisoned Gonzalo and Hernándo on 8 April 1537. Gonzalo managed to escape and re-join Francisco Pizarro, while Almagro was on his way to Lima to negotiate with Francisco on who would control Cuzco and these negotiations led to Hernándos release. Hernando and Gonzalo then led an army against Almagro, defeating him in the Battle of Las Salinas, Almagro was captured, condemned for treason, and executed on July 8,1538. In 1541, Gonzalo was declared the governor of Quito, not satisfied and at the urging of Francisco Pizarro, he led an expedition east of Quito with Francisco de Orellana in search of the fabled city of El Dorado and, The Country of Cinnamon. In Quito, Gonzalo was able to recruit 220 Spaniards and 4,000 Native Americans, the second-in-command, Orellana, was sent to Guayaquil to recruit more troops and horses. Gonzalo Pizarro and his followers left Quito on February 1541, a month before Orellana, by March both met at the valley of Zumaco and started their march towards crossing the Andes. After following the courses of the Coca and Napo rivers, the expedition started running out of provisions, about 140 of the 220 Spaniards and 3,000 out of 4,000 natives had died. On February 1542, they decided Orellana would continue sailing down the Napo river in search of food along with 50 men, upon his return to Quito, Gonzalo learned that the Almagristas had assassinated his brother Francisco Pizarro on June 26,1541 in retaliation for Almagros execution. By this time the Crowns representative, Cristóbal Vaca de Castro, had arrived in Peru amidst the confusion after Pizarros death, Gonzalo Pizarro offered to help capture those responsible for his brothers death, but was refused. The Almagristas were finally defeated in the battle of Chupas on September 16,1542, Emperor Charles V then appointed Blasco Núñez Vela as Perus first viceroy in 1544. Núñez introduced the New Laws, which were framed by Bartolomé de las Casas to protect the indigenous peoples, many of the conquistadors living in Peru were against these laws since they could no longer exploit the natives
6. Gonzalo de Sandoval – Gonzalo de Sandoval was a Spanish conquistador in New Spain and briefly co-governor of the colony while Hernán Cortés was away from the capital. Sandoval was the youngest of the lieutenants of Cortés and they arrived together in New Spain in 1519. After the subjugation of Moctezuma, Cortés placed him in command at Villa Rica de Vera Cruz as alguacil mayor and he seized the messengers of Pánfilo de Narváez, who demanded the surrender of the town, and sent them as prisoners to Cortés. In the ensuing battle, it was Sandoval who captured Narváez, afterwards, Gonzalo led attacks against the towns of Cacatami and Xalacingo. He stayed there until the brigantines were built for the attack by water on the capital, during the Siege of Tenochtitlan, he led attacks on the Mexican garrisons in Chalco and Tlamanalco, and escorted the timber needed for the sloops, to Texcoco. Gonzalo also led three battles around Huaxtepec in March 1521, Gonzalo commanded one of four forces under Cortes. Sandoval was wounded twice during one of the battles on the causeways, Sandoval was sent by Cortes to counter a threat by Guatemocs allies in the Spanish rear, returning with two captured Matlazingo chieftains as prisoner. Along the way he was ordered to conquer a town the Spanish had named poblado morisco in Calpulalpa or Sultepec, the population fled at the approach of the Spanish. Sandoval found some horse hides hung in a temple, in another temple he found the inscription, Here was imprisoned the hapless Juan Yuste, with many others I brought in my company. Yuste was one of the soldiers who had arrived with Narváez, Sandoval destroyed the town, and then returned to his task of transporting the vessels for the attack on Tenochtitlan. In the siege he occupied the eastern approach and his company, and Cortes, was eventually able to join Pedro de Alvarados company in the Tlatelolco marketplace. One of the men under his command, García Holguín, in command of one of the brigantines in the assault on Tenochtitlan, Holguín and Sandoval took him to Cortés. In December 1521, Sandoval met Cristóbal de Tapia, who had been sent by the Crown to relieve Cortes and he became the godfather of one of the nobles of Tlaxcala, Citlalpopocatzin, who took the baptismal name of Bartolomé. Later he was sent to the region of Coatzacoalcos, where he pacified Huatusco, Tuxtepec, in Pánuco, he repressed an indigenous insurrection. After Juan Rodríguez de Villafuerte was defeated by the Indigenous in the Valley of Tecomán in 1522, Cortés sent Gonzalo de Sandoval there with instructions to conquer the territory and found a town. In the indigenous town of Caxitlán, near the coast, Sandoval founded the city of Colima in its first location on July 25,1523 and he also established its city government, the third oldest in New Spain. Later, in 1527, Francisco Cortés de San Buenaventura moved the city to its present location and he was with Cortés in Honduras in 1524, where he was made alguacil and granted some encomiendas, such as Xacona. On his return from this expedition, he was made mayor of New Spain
7. Hernando de Soto – A vast undertaking, de Sotos North American expedition ranged throughout the southeastern United States searching for gold, and a passage to China. De Soto died in 1542 on the banks of the Mississippi River in what is now Guachoya, Arkansas or Ferriday and he was born in Jerez de los Caballeros, in the current province of Badajoz. However, three towns—Badajoz, Barcarrota and Jerez de los Caballeros—claim to be his birthplace and he spent time as a child at each place, and he stipulated in his will that his body be interred at Jerez de los Caballeros, where other members of his family were interred. The age of the Conquerors came on the heels of the Spanish reconquest of the Iberian peninsula from Islamic forces, Spain and Portugal were filled with young men seeking a chance for military fame after the Moors were defeated. With discovery of new lands to the west, they were attracted to whispers of glory, De Soto sailed to the New World with the first Governor of Panama, Pedrarias Dávila. In 1520 he participated in Gaspar de Espinosas expedition to Veragua, there he acquired an encomienda and a public office in Leon, Nicaragua. Brave leadership, unwavering loyalty, and ruthless schemes for the extortion of native villages for their chiefs became de Sotos hallmarks during the Conquest of Central America. He gained fame as an excellent horseman, fighter, and tactician, in 1530, de Soto became a regidor of León, Nicaragua. He led an expedition up the coast of the Yucatán Peninsula searching for a passage between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean to enable trade with the Orient, the richest market in the world. Failing that, and without means to further, de Soto, upon Pedro Arias Dávilas death. Bringing his own men on ships which he hired, de Soto joined Francisco Pizarro at his first base of Tumbes shortly before departure for the interior of present-day Peru, Pizarro quickly made de Soto one of his captains. When Pizarro and his men first encountered the army of the Inca Atahualpa at Cajamarca, when Pizarros men attacked Atahualpa and his guard the next day, de Soto led one of the three groups of mounted soldiers. De Soto was sent to the camp of the Incan army, during 1533, the Spanish held Atahualpa captive in Cajamarca for months while his subjects paid for his ransom by filling a room with gold and silver objects. During this captivity, de Soto became friendly with Atahualpa and taught him to play chess, by the time the ransom had been completed, the Spanish became alarmed by rumors of an Incan army advancing on Cajamarca. Pizarro sent de Soto with 200 soldiers to scout for the rumored army, while de Soto was gone, the Spanish in Cajamarca decided to kill Atahualpa to prevent his rescue. De Soto returned to report that he found no signs of an army in the area, after executing Atahualpa, Pizarro and his men headed to Cuzco, the capital of the Incan Empire. As the Spanish force approached Cuzco, Pizarro sent his brother Hernando, the advance guard fought a pitched battle with Incan troops in front of the city, but the battle had ended before Pizarro arrived with the rest of the Spanish party. The Incan army withdrew during the night, the Spanish plundered Cuzco, where they found much gold and silver
8. Alonso de Sotomayor – Alonso de Sotomayor y Valmediano was a Spanish conquistador from Extremadura, and a Royal Governor of Chile. He was born in Trujillo, in the province of Extremadura, at the age of 15 he joined the army, serving first in Italy until 1567, and then moving to Flanders. In 1580 he was called back to Madrid by his official duties, king Philip II, seeing his military record, awarded him a knighthood in the Order of Santiago and sent him on a campaign against Portugal. However, at that time news arrived from Chile, where the Arauco War continued, the king subsequently decided to name Sotomayor governor of the district and send him there with a large contingent of soldiers to resolve the situation. Sotomayor arrived in Chile in 1583 and found himself required to play the role of judge and this previous governor had become extremely unpopular for a tax regime, the Tasa de Gamboa, which prohibited the payment of taxes by the Indians in the form of labor. Sotomayor was forced to arrest and imprison Gamboa in the government house at Santiago, however, Sotomayor later absolved Gamboa and freed him entirely. Sotomayor wanted to extend the conquest of Chile in the style of Pedro de Valdivia, which is to say, by building a series of forts which would protect each other, instead he launched a number of campaigns against the resisting Mapuche Indians. He succeeded in capturing the mestizo Alonso Díaz, who had been a leader for many years. Sotomayor sent his brother Luis to fight a campaign in the area around Valdivia, Sotomayor also put in action his plan of fortifications with the few men that he had. In 1584, he founded the fort of San Fabián de Conueo in Coelemu, in 1585 he ordered the construction of the fort Santo Arbol de la Cruz where the Guaqui River enters the Bio Bio River. The Mapuche Toquis Nongoniel, Cadeguala and Guanoalca opposed the establishment of these forts, in 1589 Sotomayor reoccupied and expanded the fort of Puren and built a fort near the sea on the heights of Marihueñu and in 1590 he moved Arauco to its current location close to the sea. However, his actions did not really weaken the Mapuches, the capture of Diaz didnt change the situation, and the establishment of the forts did not have any of their intended consequences. Instead, the Aracanians were every day better aqainted with the Spanish horses, the arquebus was their only problem, as they did not know how to use it and in any case did not have any source of gunpowder. Amidst these problems with the insurgency, Sotomayor also had to confront the attacks of English pirates, most notably Thomas Cavendish, there he was defeated by the Spanish, losing 10 men. Additionally, he had to deal with revolts by soldiers in the south, alarmed by the situation and by the lack of reinforcements, Sotomayor went to Peru on July 30,1592 to petition the viceroy there for more men. He left the old and circumspect lawyer Pedro de Viscarra, who had arrived from Spain two years earlier with the title of lieutenant governor of Chile. In August, Sotomayor disembarked in Callao, where he learned that the king had named a new governor of Chile and he returned to Chile to testify about and defend his actions, a tribunal from which he emerged triumphant. He then headed towards Spain, but was detained on the road by the Viceroy of Peru, upon his return to Spain he was again named governor of Chile in 1604
9. Pedro de Valdivia – Pedro Gutiérrez de Valdivia or Valdiva was a Spanish conquistador and the first royal governor of Chile. After serving with the Spanish army in Italy and Flanders, he was sent to South America in 1534, in 1540 he led an expedition of 150 Spaniards into Chile, where he defeated a large force of Indians and founded Santiago in 1541. He extended Spanish rule south to the Bío-Bío River in 1546, fought again in Peru and he began to conquer Chile south of the Bío-Bío and founded Concepción in 1550. He was captured and killed in a campaign against the Araucanian Indians, the city of Valdivia in Chile is named after him. Pedro de Valdivia is believed to have born in Villanueva de la Serena in Extremadura. In 1520 he joined the Spanish army of Charles I and fought in Flanders in 1521 and he reached America in 1535, spent an uneventful year in Venezuela, and then moved on to Peru in 1537. There he took part on the side of Hernando Pizarro in his struggle against Diego de Almagro and fought in the battle of Las Salinas in 1538, afterwards he accompanied Hernando and Gonzalo Pizarro to conquer both the province of Collao and las Charcas in High Peru. As compensation for his help in conquering these lands, he was awarded a silver mine, Valdivia had married Marina Ortíz de Gaete in Spain, but in Peru he became attached to the widow Inés de Suárez, who was to accompany him to Chile as his mistress. After the failure of the expedition of Diego de Almagro in 1536, Valdivia asked governor Francisco Pizarro for permission to complete the conquest of that territory. He got his permission but was appointed only Lieutenant Governor, the expedition was fraught with problems from the beginning. Valdivia had to sell the lands and the mine that had been assigned to him in order to finance the expedition, a shortage of soldiers and adventurers was also problematic since they were not interested in conquering what they were sure were extremely poor lands. Furthermore, while he was preparing the expedition, Pedro Sancho de Hoz arrived from Spain with a grant for the same country. To avoid difficulties, Pizarro advised the two competitors to join their interests, and on December 28,1539, a contract of partnership was signed, the small expedition finally left Cuzco, Peru in January,1540, with Pizarros permission and Pedro Sancho de Hoz as partner. They carried with them a plethora of seeds for planting, a drove of swine and brood mares, only one woman was among the travelers, Inés de Suárez, Valdivias mistress. En route more Spaniards joined the expedition, attracted by Valdivias fame as a brilliant leader and these conquistadores had formed part of the failed campaigns to the highlands of Bolivia and all in all around 150 Spaniards joined the expedition. Valdivia resolved to avoid the road over the Andes, which had proved fatal to Almagros army, on the way, Pedro Sancho de Hoz, seeking sole leadership, tried to murder Valdivia but failed. He was pardoned but from then on had to subordinate status. The natives of the region were not pleased by the return of the Spaniards due to the maltreatment they had suffered under Almagro, with many promises, Valdivia was able to regain their trust