Francisco Marcó del Pont

Francisco Marcó del Pont

Royal Governor of Chile
In office
December 26, 1815 – February 12, 1817
MonarchFerdinand VII
Preceded byMariano Osorio
Succeeded byTitle extinguished on Independence of Chile
Personal details
Born(1770-06-25)25 June 1770
Vigo, Galicia, Spain
Died19 May 1819(1819-05-19) (aged 48)
Luján, Buenos Aires Province, Argentina
ProfessionField marshal

Francisco Casimiro Marcó del Pont Ángel Díaz y Méndez (American Spanish: [fɾanˈsisko maɾˈko ðel pond]; 1770 – May 19, 1819) was a Spanish soldier and the last Governor of Chile. He was one of the main figures of the Chilean independence process, being the final Spaniard to rule as Royal Governor of Chile from 1815 to 1817, when he was deposed and captured by the patriot forces after the Battle of Chacabuco.

Early career

Marcó del Pont was born in Vigo, Galicia, Spain, the son of Buenaventura Marcó del Pont y Porí and of Juana Ángel Díaz y Méndez. He began a brilliant military career by joining the Infantry Regiment of Zaragoza. He served with distinction during the Peninsular War against Napoleon, achieving the rank of General before being taken prisoner during the capture of Valencia in 1809. He was tried by a French military tribunal and sentenced to death, with the possibility of saving his life by swearing loyalty to the invading power. He refused and thus won the respect of Joseph Bonaparte, who commuted his sentence to life imprisonment.

In 1814, Marcó del Pont was liberated as a consequence of the general retreat of the French forces from Spain. He was still quite young, being under 45 years old, when he was promoted to the rank of Field Marshal, and appointed military chief and governor of Tortosa. In September 1815 he was promoted to Captain General and Royal Governor of Chile, where he arrived to take over his position on December 26 of the same year.