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Manso de Velasco, José Antonio (1688–1767)

Manso de Velasco, José Antonio (1688–1767)

José Antonio Manso de Velasco (b. 1688; d. 5 January 1767), count of Superunda and viceroy of Peru, 1745–1761. Born in Logroño, Spain, Manso followed a military career from an early age, rising to lieutenant general. From 1737 to 1745 he governed Chile with vigor and ability, founding a number of settlements.

On 24 December 1744, King Philip V named Manso viceroy of Peru, the first of the military officers who governed the viceroyalty in place of the traditional noblemen and diplomats. After the earthquake and tidal wave that devastated Lima and Callao in 1746, Manso rebuilt the city and port. He put down an Indian rebellion in Huarochirí but had less success with that of Juan Santos. For his services, King Ferdinand VI named him count of Superunda in 1748. Manso established the royal tobacco monopoly (estanco de tabaco) in 1752 and reformed the mints in Lima and Potosí. His sixteen-year tenure, until 12 October 1761, was the longest of any Peruvian viceroy.

Returning to Spain, he was in Havana when the British captured the port in 1762. As the senior official present, although in transit, Manso was blamed for the debacle. Sentenced to exile in Granada, he died there in 1767, a sad end to a distinguished career.

See alsoPeru: From the Conquest through Independence; Spain.


Diego Ochagavía Fernández, "El I Conde de Superunda," in Berceo 58-63 (1961–1962).

José A. Manso De Velasco, Relación y documentos de gobierno del virrey del Perú, José A. Manso de Velasco, Conde de Superunda (1745–1761), edited by Alfredo Moreno Cebrián (1983).

Additional Bibliography

Fisher, John Robert. Bourbon Peru, 1750–1824. Liverpool, U.K.: Liverpool University Press, 2003.

Moreno Cebrián, Alfredo, and Núria Sala i Vila. El "premio" de ser virrey: Los intereses públicos y privados del gobierno virreinal en el Perú de Felipe V. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Instituto de Historia, 2004.

                                    Kendall W. Brown

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