Vázquez de Herrera, Francisco

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Franciscan chronicler; b. Guatemala, Oct. 10, 1647; d. Guatemala, 1712?. As a young man, Vázquez studied in the local Jesuit college. Thereafter he served as secretary in the episcopal curia and in the offices of the audiencia. In 1662 he entered the Franciscan Order in his native city, and was ordained in 1670 in Ciudad Real de Chiapas. For some years, Vázquez was a teacher of theology, a censor for the Inquisition, and an examiner for the diocesan board of Guatemala. In 1681 the council of his province appointed him official chronicler of the province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus of Guatemala. The fulfillment of this task was to occupy the remaining years of his life, except for interludes because of his election in 1688 as vice provincial and the appointment in 1691 as guardian in Guatemala and in 1693 in San Salvador. From 1705 to 1707 he wrote his biography of Brother Pedro Betancur (first published in Guatemala in 1962 as Vida y Virtudes del V. Hermano Pedro de San José Betancur ). Vázquez had no special training to fit him for his task of writing the official chronicle of his province. However, he was even-tempered, anxious to examine facts, and more given to peace than to disputes. Moreover, he was a direct descendant of the conquistador Antonio de Paredes. His Cŕonica was not published during his lifetime. Its style is frequently verbose, but Burrus considers it "an exceptionally good chronicle. It includes a wealth of details, with verbatim copies of numerous original documents."

Bibliography: f. vÁzquez de herrera, Crónica de la provincia del Santísimo Nombre de Jesús, ed. l. lamadrid, 4 v. (2d ed. Guatemala City 193744). e. j. burrus, "Religious Chroniclers and Historians" (Washington 1963), a working paper of the Hispanic Foundation of the Library of Congress.

[l. lamadrid]