Romero de Terreros, Pedro (1710–1781)

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Romero de Terreros, Pedro (1710–1781)

Pedro Romero de Terreros (b. 28 June 1710; d. 27 November 1781), mining entrepreneur. One of the outstanding miners of eighteenth-century New Spain, Pedro Terreros was born in western Andalucia (modern Huelva) in Spain and before 1733 migrated to the Mexican city of Querétaro, where he became a manager of the business of a maternal uncle. In 1735, upon the death of his uncle, Terreros expanded this already substantial wholesale-retail business. By 1741 he had become the financier (aviador) and then the partner in a silver mine near Pachuca. When his partner, José Alejandro Bustamante, died in 1750, Terreros inherited the mines, and within fifteen years, became the principal entrepreneur in the region. When miners were unable to repay loans from Terreros, he became the owner of their mines. Beyond his abundant financial resources and managerial skills, he displayed considerable talent in the construction of refining haciendas and the planning of drainage works that permitted the exploitation of rich veins of ore. His success as an entrepreneur was soured by troubled relations with workers in the mines and refining haciendas.

In 1775 Terreros founded in Mexico City the first Monte de Piedad—a credit institution that loaned money for pawned articles. As early as the 1750s, donations of dowries for nuns and the financing of the missions of San Saba in Texas (1756–1758) and many other Franciscan projects established his reputation as a generous supporter of eccelesiastical projects. His contributions to the government included money to construct warships and loans to establish a lottery. He also purchased the former Jesuit haciendas that had belonged to the novitiate of Tepozotlán and the Colegio de San Pedro y San Pablo, which made him one of the leading landowners in New Spain. He died in San Miguel Regla.

See alsoAvio; Mining: Colonial Spanish America.


A biography written by his descendant, Manuel Romero De Terreros is entitled El Conde de Regla: Creso de Nueva España (1943). David A. Brading's Miners and Merchants in Bourbon Mexico (1971) has considerable information about Terreros. Edith Couturier, "The Philanthropic Activities of Pedro Romero de Terreros: First Count of Regla," in The Americas 32, no. 1 (July 1975): 13-29, and Doris Ladd, The Making of a Strike: Mexican Silver Workers' Struggles in Real del Monte, 1766–1775 (1988), explore different aspects of his life. Alan Probert, "Pedro Romero de Terreros: The Genius of the Vizcaina Vein," in Journal of the West 14, no. 2 (April 1975): 51-78, is also of interest.

Additional Bibliography

Couturier, Edith Boorstein. The Silver King: The Remarkable Life of the Count of Regla in Colonial Mexico. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2003.

Guido, John F., and Lawrence R. Stark. The Regla Papers: An Indexed Guide to the Papers of the Romero de Terreros Family and Other Colonial and Early National Mexican Families. Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1994.

                                    Edith Couturier

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Romero de Terreros, Pedro (1710–1781)

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