Fernández de Cabrera Bobadilla Cerda y Mendoza, Luis Gerónimo (1590–1647)

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Fernández de Cabrera Bobadilla Cerda y Mendoza, Luis Gerónimo (1590–1647)

Luis Gerónimo Fernández de Cabrera Bobadilla Cerda y Mendoza (Conde de Chinchón; b. 1590; d. 28 October 1647), viceroy of Peru (1629–1639). The fourth conde de Chinchón and member of the Council of State (Aragon and Italy) and War assumed his viceregal duties on 14 January 1629. Reputed to be penurious, austere, and abstemious, Chinchón focused much of his attention on fiscal matters, especially new taxes imposed during his tenure, such as the Media Anata, Unión de Armas, Mesada Eclesiástica, and Composición de pulperías (bar taxes). He also vigorously pursued donations from individuals and communities throughout the viceroyalty to meet exigencies in Spain. In fact, during the eleven years he was in office, Chinchón remitted over 4 million ducats to Spain despite the fall in silver production at Potosí. Fortunately, silver strikes at Cailloma and Pasco in part made up for the drop in output in Upper Peru.

Militarily, the viceroy strengthened the fortifications at Callao, built two new vessels for the Pacific fleet, reinforced garrisons in Chile, and counteracted both the Dutch corsairs plying the Pacific coast and Portuguese encroachments on the eastern part of Peru. When the usefulness of quinine for treating malaria was discovered in the Loja province of Ecuador in 1630, the viceroy enthusiastically endorsed its effectiveness, but when word reached Rome, church officials there called it a "pact of the Peruvians with the devil." In Lima, Chinchón certified guilds for hatmakers, tailors, ironworkers, locksmiths, and potters. Known for his social conscience, Chinchón vigorously defended Indian rights and provided basic necessities for newly arrived slaves and for orphans and abandoned children. Evidently, too, he had a strong sense of religious and moral propriety: during Lent he ordered men and women separated in the churches of Lima. Relieved of his duties on 18 December 1639, he returned to Spain, where he died.

See alsoSpanish Empire; Viceroyalty, Viceroy.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Mendiburu, Manuel De. ed., Diccionario histórico-biográfico del Perú, vol. 3. Lima: Imprenta Enrique Palacios 1932.

                                     John Jay TePaske

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