Fernández de Piedrahita, Lucas

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Bishop and historian; b. Bogotá, Colombia, 1624; d. Panama, 1688. He studied at the Seminary of St. Bartolomé and upon his ordination became curate of the native towns of Fuzagasugá and Paipa. He was named canon of the cathedral. In 1654 when the archbishopric of Santa Fe de Bogotá was vacant, the canons elected him as capitular vicar. He ruled this vast see with great zeal until he turned it over to the new archbishop. Because of the difficulties he had as capitular vicar with the civil authority (especially the incident with the visitor Juan Cornejo), he was accused of malfeasance and sent to Spain to justify his conduct. There everything went very slowly, and Piedrahita took advantage of the time to write Historia general de las conquistas del Nuevo Reino de Granada. The first part was published in 1688 in Amberes; the second part was lost. Once the author had died, no one was interested enough to preserve it. The published section (12 volumes divided into chapters) goes up to 1553 and is indispensable to any study of the period. The style is clear and pure. The Spanish court found the conduct of Piedrahita to be proper, and to show its confidence in him, named him bishop of Santa Marta. There he suffered a great deal when the pirates attacked the city. He was later transferred to Panama, where he continued to work with apostolic zeal until his death.

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Fernández de Piedrahita, Lucas

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Fernández de Piedrahita, Lucas