García Hurtado de Mendoza, 5th Marquis of Cañete

García Hurtado de Mendoza

Marqués de Cañete
Caballero de Santiago
Garcia Hurtado de Mendoza 2.jpg
Royal Governor of Chile
In office
MonarchPhilip II
Preceded byFrancisco de Aguirre
Rodrigo de Quiroga
Francisco de Villagra
Succeeded byFrancisco de Villagra
Viceroy of Peru
In office
January 8, 1590 – July 24, 1596
MonarchPhilip II
Preceded byFernando Torres de Portugal
Succeeded byLuis de Velasco
Personal details
Born21 July 1535
Cuenca, Spain
Died19 May 1609(1609-05-19) (aged 73)
Madrid, Spain
Spouse(s)María Manrique
ChildrenGarcía Hurtado de Mendoza
Military service
Allegiance Spain
Years of service1552–1609
Battles/warsItalian War of 1551–59

Conquest of Chile-Arauco War

García Hurtado de Mendoza y Manrique, 5th Marquis of Cañete[1] (July 21, 1535 – May 19, 1609) was a Spanish soldier, governor of Chile, and later viceroy of Peru (from January 8, 1590 to July 24, 1596). He is often known simply as "Marquis of Cañete". Belonging to an influential family of Spanish noblemen Hurtado de Mendoza successfully fought the native Mapuche during his stay as Governor of Chile, and got the city of Mendoza named after him. In his later position as Viceroy of Peru he sponsored Álvaro de Mendaña de Neira expedition to the Solomon Islands and had the Marquesas Islands named after him.

Early life

He was the son of Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza, 3rd Marquis of Cañete — also a viceroy of Peru — and Magdalena Manrique, daughter of the Count of Osorno. Both his parents belonged to some of the most influential families in the Spanish aristocracy.

In 1552 Hurtado de Mendoza ran away from home with the intention of serving his king, Charles I (Emperor Charles V), in an expedition the latter was preparing against Corsica. Hurtado de Mendoza demonstrated great efficiency in this campaign and also in Tuscany, when that duchy attempted to throw off Imperial rule. He was part of the Imperial army in Brussels, and was with Charles V during his defeat in the Battle of Renty.

Upon learning that his father had been designated viceroy of Peru, he returned to Spain and asked to be sent to America. During the journey he met Jerónimo de Alderete, who had been chosen by the king to be the successor of Pedro de Valdivia as governor of Chile. It happened that Alderete became sick and died during the trip. Hurtado's father gathered together a group of Chilean representatives, and, taking advantage of a disagreement on whether Francisco de Aguirre or Francisco de Villagra was more qualified as a successor for the post, put forward his son. He hoped that his son would bring more Spaniards to Chile, and additionally be able to unify the two camps in the battle for the post of governor of Chile. And he hoped he could deal successfully with the rebellious Indians.

Thus Hurtado left for Chile, 21 years old, with proven ruthlessness. He was haughty, proud of his lineage and intelligence, authoritarian in outlook, and subject to violent outbreaks. His character made enemies, mostly hidden, even within his own circle.