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Juan Rodríguez de Fonseca (Toro, Zamora 1451 – Burgos March 4, 1524) was a Spanish prelate, a courtier and bureaucrat whose position as chaplain to Queen Isabella enabled him to become the powerful counsellor to the Reyes Católicos Ferdinand and Isabella, who entrusted him with the building of a colonial administration, from as early as Columbus' second voyage in 1493, which he organized; his patronage gained Alonso de Ojeda a place on the voyage, and Fonseca proved an enemy of Columbus, whom he denounced to Isabella. Fonseca assumed the central position in the evolving Council of the Indies (Consejo de Indias), which controlled all contact with Spanish dominions overseas. He supported Ferdinand Magellan in his projects.

Rodríguez de Fonseca was dean of the chapter of the cathedral of Seville and successively bishop of Badajoz, bishop of Córdoba, bishop of Palencia, bishop of Burgos, and finally archbishop of Rossano. He was given the title Patriarch of the Indies, a title created by Pope Leo X in 1520.


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