Iturrigaray, José De (1742–1815)

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Iturrigaray, José De (1742–1815)

José De Iturrigaray (b. 27 June 1742; d. 1815), fifty-sixth viceroy of New Spain (1803–1808). A military man, he obtained the post of viceroy as a protégé of Spanish Prime Minister Manuel Godoy (1767–1851). He won the sympathies of New Spaniards with programs such as smallpox vaccinations. He organized the defense of the viceroyalty and stationed troops to protect the road to Mexico City. He took every opportunity to amass wealth, as evidenced by his implemention of the Royal Law of Consolidation (26 December 1804), from which he received a percentage of the amount collected.

When news arrived that King Charles IV (1748–1819) had abdicated in favor of Napoleon I (1769–1821), the Ayuntamiento (city council) of Mexico City proposed the establishment of a junta of authorities while an assembly of cities was convened. The Audiencia of Mexico, fearful that such action might lead to independence, proposed, instead, the recognition of one of the juntas formed in Spain. Backing the Ayuntamiento, Iturrigaray held several meetings, to which the Audiencia responded by encouraging a coup d'état. On the night of 15 September 1808, Gabriel de Yermo (1757–1813), at the head of 300 Spaniards, imprisoned the viceroy and detained several members of the Ayuntamiento as well as Fray Melchor de Talamantes (1765–1809). Thereafter, the conflict between criollos and peninsulares became acute. Removed from command, Iturrigaray was sent to Spain, where he was prosecuted for disloyalty, but his case was stayed. He underwent a juicio de residencia, which posthumously found him guilty of peculation. He died in Madrid in 1815.

See alsoNew Spain, Viceroyalty of; Yermo, Gabriel de.


Enrique Lafuente Ferrari, El virrey Iturrigaray y los orígenes de la independencia de Méjico (1941).

José M. De Salaverría, "Relación o historia," in Documentos históricos mexicanos, edited by Genaro García, vol. 2 (1985), pp. 296-469.

Additional Bibliography

La Parra López, Emilio. Manuel Godoy: La aventura del poder. Barcelona: Tusquets, 2002.

                                  Virginia Guedea