Armendáriz, José de (1670–?)

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Armendáriz, José de (1670–?)

José de Armendáriz (b. 1670; d. ?) marquis of Castelfuerte and viceroy of Peru, 1724–1736. A native of Riva-gorza, Spain, Armendáriz pursued a military career from a young age, serving in Flanders, Catalonia, Naples, Portugal, and Villaviciosa. Captain-general of Guipúzcoa when named viceroy of Peru in 1723, he was probably the most distinguished Spanish military officer to serve in South America.

Armendáriz proved energetic and firm, unlike his predecessor, Fray Diego Morcillo, but was neither an innovator nor a reformer. He stepped up surveillance along the Pacific coast to reduce smuggling by foreign vessels and limited the duration of the Portobelo fairs to deter contraband. Armendáriz also devoted great energy to strengthening colonial defenses throughout the continent. He captured and executed José de Antequera, the former oidor (judge) of Charcas, who had installed himself as an independent governor of Paraguay. The execution touched off a serious tumult in Lima, which Armendáriz crushed. Because the guards killed two Franciscan partisans of Antequera in suppressing the uprising, the clergy harshly criticized the viceroy, but the crown fully supported him. He also acted swiftly and severely to defeat the mestizo rebellion of Alejo Calatayud in Cochabamba. Armendáriz attempted to curb the corruption of provincial governors (corregidores) and restrict the sale of aguardiente (distilled liquor), with little success.

Promoted in 1729 to captain-general, the highest Spanish military rank, Armendáriz received the great honor of membership in the Order of the Golden Fleece upon his return to Spain. He then commanded the regiment of royal guards.


"Relación del estado de los reynos del Perú que hace el Exmo. Señor Don José Armendaris, marqués de Castel-Fuerte, Á su sucesor el marqués de Villagarcía, en el año de 1736," in Manuel A. Fuentes, ed., Memorias de los virreyes que han gobernado el Perú, vol. 3 (1859), pp. 1-369.

J. A. De Lavalle, "La ejecución de Antequera," in El Ateneo 2 (1886): 23-35, 66-80.

Rubén Vargas Ugarte, Historia general del Perú, vol. 6 (1966), pp. 121-190.

Additional Bibliography

Moreno Cebrián, Alfredo. El virreinato del marqués de Castelfuerte, 1724–1736: El primer intento borbónico por reformar el Perú. Madrid, España: Editorial Catriel, 2000.

Moreno Cebrián, Alfredo, and Núria Salai Vila. El "premio" de ser virrey: Los intereses públicos y privados del gobierno virreinal en el Perú de Felipe V. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto de Historia, 2004.

                                    Kendall W. Brown