Montemayor, Juan Francisco

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Spanish theologian and jurist; b. Huesca, Spain, Aug. 25, 1620; d. there, 1685. He is known variously as Montemayor de Cuenca, as Montemayor Córdoba de Cuenca, or simply as Cuenca. After receiving the licentiate in law in 1641, he became judge of inquests in Huesca and judge of the audiencia in Catalonia. He went to America as oidor in the audiencia of Santo Domingo in 1650. When the governor, the captain general, and the president of the audiencia died in 1653, Montemayor took over these offices. He recovered the island of Tortuga, north of Hispaniola, which had been held by French buccaneers and had served as a supply base, along with neighboring islands, for English and Dutch pirates as well. As a reward, he was named judge of the audiencia of Mexico, a post he held for 22 years, during which time he was ordained. When he returned to Spain he was a member of the Council of the Indies and advisor to the Inquisition. His work as a jurist is reflected in his writings. The Discurso político, histórico, jurídico del derecho y repartimiento de presas y despojos aprehendidos en justa guerra, premios y castigos de soldados (Mexico 1658) explains his theories on sea warfare and the disposition of prizes of war and prisoners. Sumari os de las cédulas, órdenes y provisiones que se han despachado por S. M. a la Nueva España y otras partes de Indias (Mexico 1678) covers the years 1628 to 1677 and treats also some of the decrees of the royal audiencia and other government orders. The book was used in Mexico up to the time of independence from Spain. Also published in Mexico in 1676 was his Excubationes semicentum ex Decisionibus Regiae Cancellariae S. Dominici, vulgo Hispaniolae.

Bibliography: j. m. beristain de souza, Biblioteca hispanoamericana septentrional, 5 v. in 2 (3d ed. Mexico City 1947). r. altamira y crevea, Técnica de investigación en la historia del derecho indiano (Mexico City 1939). m. a. peÑa batlle, La Isla de la Tortuga (Madrid 1951).

[h. pereÑa]

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Montemayor, Juan Francisco

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