Pablo de La Llave

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Dr. Pablo de la Llave (1773–1833) was a Mexican Catholic priest, politician, and naturalist.

He was born to a wealthy family and grew up in Córdoba, Veracruz. After a brilliant university career, he became a teacher in the national college of St. John Lateran and doctor of theology at what was then the University of Mexico, he was a famous preacher and made some translations from Hebrew. He went to Europe and lived for some time in Paris.[1] After this he became deputy director of the Madrid Museum of Natural History under the Bonapartist kingdom.[2] In 1811 and 1812 he assisted José Mariano Mociño in organizing the collections of the Nueva España Expedition (1787–1803) to survey the natural history of Mexico.[3] In 1820 and 1821 he represented the state of Veracruz in the Spanish legislature, where he was a liberal.[1]

On his return to Mexico after it declared independence, he held church positions including treasurer of the church at Morelia (then called Valladolid), Michoacán. By 1823 he was Minister of Justice and of Church Matters in the imperial administration of Agustín de Iturbide. In 1824, the first president of Mexico, Guadalupe Victoria, named him to the new cabinet, he also held the office of senator for Veracruz.[1] Politically, Llave has been considered a liberal[4] and an obedient follower of the republican priest and politician Miguel Ramos Arizpe.[5]

In biology, he and his collaborator Juan José Martínez de Lejarza es:Juan José Martinez de Lexarza (or Lexarza) were the first to systematically study the orchids of Michoacán. In 1824 they published a work describing about 50 species.[6]

In 1831 La Llave was designated to direct the National Museum of Natural History of Mexico.[7] In 1832 and 1833 he published ornithological papers in a short-lived Mexican journal in which he described and named several birds, of which the rufous-tailed hummingbird and the much more famous resplendent quetzal were new to science; because of the obscurity of the journal, he did not receive credit for a few decades, and some sources incorrectly give the date of the paper as 1871,[8][9] possibly the date of a republication.

Llave died in Córdoba in July, 1833.[1]

General Ignacio de la Llave was a nephew of his;[10] the fern genus Llavea was named in his honour.


  1. ^ a b c d Rivera, Manuel (1871). Historia antigua y moderna de Jalapa y de las revoluciones del estado de Veracruz, vol. III. Mexico City: Imprenta de I. Cumplido. p. 171. Archived from the original on 2012-02-08.
  2. ^ Colmeiro, Penido (1858). La botánica y los botánicos de la Península Ibérica. Madrid: Imprenta y estereotipia de M. Rivadeneyra. p. 201.
  3. ^ "Expedición al Virreinato de Nueva España (1787-1803): tras la huellas de F. Hernández". Expedición MADIDI. Real Jardín Botánico de Madrid. 2001. Archived from the original on 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2006-07-17.
  4. ^ "16 de septiembre de 1786. - Nacimiento de don Guadulupe de Victoria, primer presidente de México". Efemérides. Red Escolar. Retrieved 2006-07-17.
  5. ^ Zavala, Lorenzo de. "Entrada de Iturbide en México". La consumación de la Independencia. Fondo 2000. Archived from the original on 2006-09-09. Retrieved 2006-07-13.
  6. ^ "Orquídeas Michoacanas". Museo Virtual. Universidad Michoacana. Archived from the original on 2006-05-20. Retrieved 2006-07-17.
  7. ^ Orozco Aguirre, Aurelia. "Perfil de la Hemeroteca General del Instituto de Biología de la UNAM (IBUNAM)". Dirección General de Bibliotecas de la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Archived from the original on 2006-07-16. Retrieved 2006-07-13.
  8. ^ Montenegro, Gustavo Adolfo (5 September 2004). "Biografía simbólica". Semanario de Prensa Libre. Archived from the original on 19 November 2006. Retrieved 2006-07-13.
  9. ^ Navarro, Adolfo; Hesiquio Benítez. "Historia de la Ornitología Mexicana". El Dominio del Aire. La ciencia para todos. Archived from the original on 2006-08-18. Retrieved 2006-07-13.
  10. ^ Pasquel, Leonardo (1981). Ignacio de la Llave, cuyo nombre lleva el estado de Veracruz Llave. Editorial Citlaltépetl. p. 54. Retrieved 2009-01-18.
  11. ^ IPNI.  La Llave.