José Antonio de Mendoza
Marqués de Villagarcía
Caballero de Santiago
29th Viceroy of Peru
February 4, 1736 – December 15, 1745
|Preceded by||José de Armendáriz|
|Succeeded by||José Manso de Velasco|
|Died||December 17, 1746 (aged 79)
Cape Horn, Chile
José Antonio de Mendoza Caamaño y Sotomayor, 3rd Marquis of Villagarcía de Arousa (sometimes marqués de Villa García) (1667, Spain – December 17, 1746, Cape Horn) was a Spanish colonial administrator. From February 4, 1736 to December 15, 1745 he was viceroy of Peru.
Mendoza was a native of Galicia and a knight of the Order of Santiago. He had been ambassador to Venice and viceroy of Catalonia when King Philip V named him viceroy of Peru in 1735. He took office the following year, at the age of 68.
During his administration, war between Spain and Britain again broke out (the War of Jenkins' Ear, 1739–1748). The viceroy organized the defense of the coast and improved the army and the militia. In 1742 he dispatched a fleet from the port of El Callao to go to defend the coast of Chile.
In 1736 Jorge Juan y Santacilia and Antonio de Ulloa, Spanish scientists sent by the French Academy on a scientific mission to measure a degree of meridian at the equator, arrived in the colony. (Jorge Juan had sailed on the same ship as Mendoza.) On their return, they reported on the disorganization and corruption in the government and smuggling. The report was posthumously published under the title Noticias Secretas de América (Secret News From America).
Another French influence on science in the colony was Louis Godin, another member of the meridian expedition. He was appointed cosmógrafo mayor by Viceroy Mendoza. The duties of cosmógrafo mayor included publishing almanacs and sailing instructions. Other French scientists in Peru at this time were Charles Marie de La Condamine and Pierre Bouguer.
Smuggling increased again during this period. The practice was so profitable that merchants were willing to accept the risks.
Also during his tenure, an Indigenous revolt occurred at Oruro (1739) and another led by Juan Santos Atahualpa broke out in 1742 in Oxabamba. This latter insurrection gained support in all the native tribes, and also among Mestizos and poor Spaniards. The rebels' intent was to drive the Spaniards from Peru. They were unable to do so, but neither were the Spaniards able to defeat them.
In 1740 the Viceroyalty of New Granada was separated from Peru. (It had been separated earlier, from 1717 to 1724, but only temporarily.) The new viceroyalty included the territories of Bogotá, Quito, Panama and Venezuela, and also a few territories more directly connected to Lima — Maynas, Jaén, Tumbes and Guayaquil.
Mendoza was relieved of his office in 1745, and died on the voyage returning to Spain.
José de Armendáriz
|Viceroy of Peru
1736 - 1745
José Manso de Velasco