Luque, Hernando de (?–1534)

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Luque, Hernando de (?–1534)

Hernando de Luque (d. 1534), an early-sixteenth-century Spanish cleric who accompanied Pedro Arias de Ávila (Pedrarias) in 1514 on an expedition to colonize Panama. When Pedrarias took command at Darién, de Luque's friendship with the governor allowed him to establish a number of influential contacts. In Panama, de Luque joined in a business partnership with the conquistadores, Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro. In the early 1520s, the three men embarked on a plan to explore the regions south of Panama and to undertake the conquest of Peru. De Luque was instrumental in raising the necessary funds for the 1524 and 1526 expeditions into the Andean region. Acting as an agent for wealthy investors, including the judge Gaspar de Espinosa, who condemned Balboa, de Luque raised two hundred pounds of gold bars. He was nicknamed "Fernando de Loco," the mad priest, for undertaking the venture. Later scholars have suggested it was de Luque who planned and organized the expeditions as well as arranged for the necessary financial backing. He did not accompany Pizarro and Almagro on the expeditions, remaining instead in Panama to manage their business affairs. De Luque died before the conquest was completed.

See alsoAlmagro, Diego de; Pizarro, Francisco.


Leslie Bethell, ed., Colonial Spanish America (1987).

Mark A. Burkholder and Lyman L. Johnson, Colonial Latin America (1990).

C. Hedrick Basil, and Ann K. Hedrick, A Historical Dictionary of Panama (1970).

Frederick A. Kirkpatrick, The Spanish Conquistadors (1934).

James Lockhart and Stuart B. Schwartz, Early Latin America: A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil (1983).

Additional Bibliography

Castro Vega, Oscar. Pedrarias Dávila, la ira de Dios. Costa Rica: s.n., 1996.

Mena García, María del Carmen. Temas de historia panameña. Panamá: Editorial Universitaria, 1996.

                                  Heather K. Thiessen