Girón, Francisco Hernández (?–1554)

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Girón, Francisco Hernández (?–1554)

Francisco Hernández Girón (d. 7 December 1554), leader of the last major uprising against royal authority during the Peruvian civil wars. Born in Cáceres, he probably participated in the conquest of Veragua in 1535, before continuing to Peru. A relative of Captain Lorenzo de Aldana, he marched under orders of Francisco Pizarro to remove Sebastián de Belalcázar from the north in 1538. Largely successful, he became a vecino of Pasto. He was a supporter of Viceroy Blasco Núñez Vela during the uprising of Gonzalo Pizarro, and was named a captain of a company of infantry pikemen. He served the viceroy as well, particularly in defense of the rear guard.

During the battle of Añaquito (January 1546), Girón was in charge of a group of harquebusiers but fell wounded and was captured by Gonzalo Pizarro. Pizarro forced the prisoner to negotiate with Belalcázar to gain his support. But with the arrival of Pedro de la Gasca (ca. 1547), both Belalcázar and Girón traveled to Andahuaylas to join the royal cause. Girón received substantial reward: la Gasca extended him the encomienda of Jaquijahuana. He was, nevertheless, dissatisfied. Realizing his disaffection, and hoping to rid himself of the malcontent, La Gasca appointed him leader of an expedition to conquer the fierce Chunchos Indians. At this juncture, however, Girón's disagreements with the corregidor of Cuzco got him charged and brought to the Audiencia of Lima for trial. Freed on bond, he returned to Cuzco, where on 12 November 1553 he organized another uprising, this time directed against authorities of the Audiencia of Lima, which had ordered a new tribute assessment and the end to personal service of the Indians. He and his forces left Cuzco on 4 January 1554.

Meanwhile, after learning of the uprising, Marshall Alonso de Alvarado amassed an army of 700 Spaniards and 7,000 native Americans in the name of the king. (In late December 1553 the oidores in Lima had revoked the order ending personal service and created a military force in Lima.) Both forces met and fought at Chuquinga on 21 May 1554. Victorious, Girón traveled to Cuzco; at the same time, royal forces were reorganized. The final battle took place 8 October 1554 at the Inca site of Pucará. There, Girón's fortunes ended. The majority of his soldiers deserted, but the rebel escaped capture and fled to Acarí, hoping to take flight to freedom. Unfortunately, the ship sailed out of the harbor as his weary soldiers arrived, so he marched northward to Chincha, then entered the highlands, taking refuge in Hatun-Jauja. It was there he was captured after a final skirmish. He was transported to Lima and beheaded as a traitor in the Plaza de Armas on 7 December 1554.

See alsoPeru: From the Conquest Through Independence .


José Antonio Del Busto Duthurburu, Historia general del Perú, vol. 2, Descubrimiento y conquista (1978).

Alexandra Parma Cook and Noble David Cook, Good Faith and Truthful Ignorance: A Case of Transatlantic Bigamy (1992).

                                 Noble David Cook