Santangel, Luis de

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SANTANGEL, LUIS DE (d. 1498), comptroller-general (Escribano de Ración) to Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Born in Valencia, he was a descendant of a noble Converso family, the Chinillos of Calatayud. One of its members, Azarias Chinillo, became converted to Christianity at the time of the disputation of *Tortosa and adopted the name Luis de Santangel. This Santangel, the protégé of the Catholic monarchs, was the grandson of the first Luis de Santangel, after whom he was named. He began his career as a courtier, and served as a tax collector of the Royal Treasury, until in 1481 he was appointed comptroller-general, a position which he held until his death. He was succeeded by his brother jaime and his son fernando. In 1486 he became acquainted with Christopher *Columbus and was greatly impressed by his projects. Santangel's influence with the Catholic monarchs was decisive in gaining their acceptance of Columbus' proposals. He lent 1,140,000 maravedis to finance the historic voyage which resulted in the discovery of the American continent. In recognition of this assistance, Columbus wrote his first letter on his impressions of the voyage to Santangel. Written on Feb. 18, 1493, it contains interesting descriptions of his findings. Santangel also used his influence at court to help Conversos caught in the meshes of the Inquisition. He assisted the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 by contributing toward the hire of vessels to enable them to leave the country. He should not be confused with another Luis de Santangel, a member of the same family, who was accused of complicity in the assassination of the inquisitor Pedro de Arbués, and was burned at the stake.


Baer, Spain, 2 (1966), index; M. Serrano y Sanz, Orígenes de la dominación española en América (1918), 97ff.; M. Ballesteros-Gaibrois, Valencia y los reyes católicos (1943), index; F. Cabezudo Astrain, in: Sefarad, 23 (1963), 265ff.; Suarez Fernandez, Documentos, 434–5. add. bibliography: J. Manzano Manzano, Cristóbal colón: siete años decisivos de su vida, 14851492 (19892), 363–81; 443–52; J. Ventura Subirats, in: xiii Congrés d'histo'ria de la Corona d'Aragó, vol. 4 (1990), 47–58.