Messía de la Cerda, Pedro de (1700–1783)

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Messía de la Cerda, Pedro de (1700–1783)

Pedro de Messía de la Cerda (Messía de la Zerda, Marqués de la Villa de Armijo; b. February 1700; d. 1783), military figure and viceroy of the New Kingdom of Granada (1761–1772). Born in Córdoba, he pursued a naval career upon completion of his schooling and took part in the Spanish "reconquest" of Sicily and in Mediterranean battles with the English. In 1721 he made his first cruise to the Americas. He was promoted to captain in 1745. He became a knight commander of the Order of Malta. Messía de la Cerda served in the southern Caribbean (1750s). He thus came to his viceregal post with firsthand knowledge of the defense and commercial difficulties that he would face. Important, too, with regard to Messía's qualifications and mandate as viceroy, he was concurrently the commandant general of the Caribbean squadron in charge of the fight against contraband traffic.

In the 1760s the viceroy authorized José Celestino Mutis to introduce the academic study of mathematics and the sciences at the colegio mayor of Nuestra Señora del Rosario in Santa Fe de Bogotá, established the tobacco monopoly, and oversaw the expulsion of the Jesuits. By 1767, Messía complained of failing health and sought to return to Spain, which he did in 1772, when Manuel de Guirior (1772–1776) relieved him. He died in Madrid.

See alsoNew Granada Viceroyalty of .


Antonio Moreno y Escandón, in Germán Colmenares, ed., Relaciones e informes de los gobernantes de la Nueva Granada, vol. 1 (1989).

Sergio Elías Ortiz, Nuevo Reino de Granada: El virreynato, 1753–1810 in Historia extensa de Colombia, vol. 4 (1970).

Additional Bibliography

Andrien, Kenneth J. "Economic Crisis, Taxes and the Quito Insurrection of 1765." Past and Present 129 (November 1990): 104-131.

Domínguez Ortega, Montserrat. "Análisis metodológico de dos juicios de residencia en Nueva Granada: D. José Solís y Folch de Cardona y D. Pedro Messía de la Cerda, 1753–1773." Revista Complutense de Historia de América 25 (1999): 139-165.

McFarlane, Anthony. "The 'Rebellion of the Barrios': Urban Insurrection in Bourbon Quito." The Hispanic American Historical Review 69: 2 (May 1989): 283-330.

                                        Lance R. Grahn

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Messía de la Cerda, Pedro de (1700–1783)

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