Hurtado de Mendoza, García (1535–1609)

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Hurtado de Mendoza, García (1535–1609)

García Hurtado de Mendoza (b. 1535; d. 1609), Spanish conquistador, governor of Chile, and viceroy of Peru. Hurtado de Mendoza was the second son of the marqués de Cañete (a title he eventually inherited). His father, then viceroy of Peru, appointed him governor of Chile. He arrived there in 1557 and almost immediately launched offensives against the Araucanians of the south, whom he defeated in the battles of Lagunillas (Bío-bío) and Millarapue. After founding the new settlement of Cañete, he ventured further south, where he discovered the archipelago of Chiloé and founded Osorno (1558). In December 1558 he won another victory over the Araucanians at Quiapo. The governor also sent ships to explore the Strait of Magellan and an expedition across the Andes to conquer Cuyo: the Argentine city of Mendoza (founded in 1561) is named after him.

Dismissed from the governorship by King Philip II (1527–1528) (his father was concurrently stripped of office), Hurtado de Mendoza left Chile in February 1561. The king later restored him to favor and made him viceroy of Peru (1588–1596). Hurtado de Mendoza was a celebrated figure in his own time: two plays were written to eulogize his exploits, one of them, El Arauco domado, by Lope de Vega.

See alsoConquistadores .


Fernando Campos Harriet, Don García Hurtado de Mendoza en la historia americana (1969).

Additional Bibliography

Calderón Ruiz de Gamboa, Carlos. Don García Hurtado de Mendoza y los fundadores de Osorno. Santiago, Chile: Editorial La Noria, 1996.

                                        Simon Collier

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Hurtado de Mendoza, García (1535–1609)

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