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Betanzos, Domingo de


Dominican missionary in Española and Mexico, inquisitor in Mexico, founder and first provincial of the province of Santiago de Mexico; b. León, Spain, c. 1480;d. Valladolid, Spain, September 1549. He earned a licentiate in civil law at the University of Salamanca, and then was a hermit for five years on the island of Ponza. According to Cuervo, Betanzos was professed at the Convent of San Esteban, Salamanca, May 30, 1511, and he was ordained in Seville on his way to America. According to Biermann, Betanzos and seven other Dominicans, on Oct. 8, 1513, were registered as passengers on Capt. Juan de Medina's vessel. Betanzos arrived at Española about the beginning of 1514 and was one of 12 Dominicans who went to Mexico in 1526. Within a year five died, and four returned to Spain. Betanzos, a priest, Gonzalo Lucero, a deacon, and Vicente de las Casas, a novice, were the only Dominicans left in Mexico. Twenty-four more Dominicans arrived in 1528, and Betanzos went with his companions to Santiago, Guatemala, in 1529. About January 1531 he was recalled to Mexico. The same year he made a trip to Naples, Italy, hoping to discuss with the ailing general the matter of the formation of an independent Mexican province. The general died in October 1531, and at Rome in 1532 Betanzos saw the new general. By the authority of Pope Clement VII, on July 11, 1532, the province of Santiago de Mexico was instituted independent of the Dominicans of Española. By July of 1534 Betanzos had obtained all the necessary documents and by the end of 1534 he reached Mexico, with the title of vicar-general. On Aug. 24, 1535, Betanzos was elected provincial, and he served from 1535 to 1538.

Bibliography: j. cuervo, Historiadores del convento de San Esteban de Salamanca, 3 v. (Salamanca 191415). f. r. de los rÍos arce, Puebla de los Angeles y la Orden dominicana 2 v. (Puebla 191011). a. m. carreÑo, Fray Domingo de Betanzos (Mexico City 1924). b. biermann, "Die Anfänge der Dominikanertätigkeit in NeuSpanien und Peru," Archivum Fratrum Praedicatorum 13(1943) 558. j. j. de la cruz y moya, Historia de la santa y apostólica Provincia de Santiago de Predicadores de Mexico en la Nueva España, 2 v. (Mexico City 195455).

[a. b. nieser]

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