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Urdaneta, Andrés de


Augustinian priest, Spanish sailor, and cosmographer; b. Villafranca de Guipúzcoa, Spain, 1508; d. Mexico City, 1568. From 1525 to 1536 Urdaneta took part in García de Loaisa's expedition, thus acquiring a practical knowledge of the sea and of cosmography that he used later in discovering a return route from the Philippines to New Spain. In Valladolid he gave first an oral, then a written account of the expedition, after which he sailed to New Spain, where Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza entrusted him with important tasks in both war and peace time. On March 20, 1553, he made his religious profession at the Augustinian Convent in Mexico City.

Upon the recommendation of Viceroy Luis de Velasco, whom Urdaneta had convinced of the possibility of a safe return trip, Philip II instructed Urdaneta to organize, prepare, and direct the 1564 expedition to the Islas del Poniente. According to secret orders from the audiencia opened at sea, the expedition altered its destination to the Philippines and accomplished the conquest of those islands under the command of Legazpi, whom Urdaneta had chosen as head of the undertaking. The Spanish established a colony in Cebú, where they arrived on April 27, 1565. On June 1, Urdaneta started the return voyage; he successfully arrived in Acapulco Oct. 8, 1565, having discovered the route that was later used by the Manila fleet.

Bibliography: f. de uncilla arroitajÁuregui, Urdaneta y la conquista de Filipinas (San Sebastián 1907). a. villarejo, "El fraile navegante P. Andrés de Urdaneta," Peregrino, Revista de la Provincia Agustiniana de Chile (1994) 12/20. i. rodrÍguez, Andrés de Urdaneta, agustino: En carreta sobre el Pacífico (Valladolid 1994).

[l. merino]

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