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Martínez de Aldunate, José Antonio


Chilean prelate and scholar; b. Santiago, 1730?; d. there, April 8, 1811. A member of an aristocratic Chilean family, Martínez de Aldunate studied at the Convictorio of San Francisco Javier under the direction of the Jesuits. He received the master's degree in philosophy and the doctorate in theology. Subsequently, he received the doctorate in Canon and civil law from the University of San Felipe in 1755. That same year he was designated fiscal for the bishopric of Santiago; he was ordained in 1756. He served for many years as a professor at the University of San Felipe and became rector. He held most ecclesiastical positions in the diocese at one time or another, becoming dean in 1797. On a number of occasions he served as vicar-general. In 1804 he was made bishop of the Peruvian Diocese of Guamanga, where he served until 1809 when the Spanish regency proposed him for the bishopric of Santiago de Chile. On Sept. 18, 1810, the cabildo abierto, the first Creole government, had named him vice president of the junta on which all institutions of the area were represented. However, by the time he arrived in Santiago in November 1810 he was already mentally ill and could not serve.

Bibliography: l. f. prieto del rÍo, Diccionario biográfico del clero secular de Chile (Santiago 1922).

[m. gongora]

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