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Rear-Admiral Patricio Lynch

Rear Admiral Patricio Javier de los Dolores Lynch y Solo de Zaldívar (Valparaiso December 18, 1825 - May 13, 1886) was a Chilean naval officer, and one of the principal figures of the later stages of the War of the Pacific. Nicknamed the "Last Viceroy of Peru" and the "Red Prince", he is regarded as a Chilean hero.

Contents

Early years

Lynch was born in the port of Valparaiso, Chile, the son of Estanislao Lynch y Roo, a wealthy merchant resident in Chile, and of Carmen Solo de Zaldívar y Rivera. His father, Estanislao Lynch y Roo, a former Colonel in the Army of the Andes, had settled in Chile from Argentina and was a grandson of Patrick Lynch, an emigrant from Galway to Buenos Aires in the 1740's.[1]

Entering the navy in 1837, at the age of 13, he took part in the Naval Battle of Socabaya (1838), during the War of the Confederation that led to the fall of Marshal Andrés de Santa Cruz. Next, he sought a wider field, and saw active service in the First Opium War on board the British frigate Calliope. He was mentioned in despatches for bravery, and received the grade of midshipman in the Royal Navy.

Returning to Chile in 1847, he became lieutenant. Seven years later he received the command of a frigate, but was later relieved of his command for refusing to allow arrested political suspects on board. The Chincha Islands War saw him again employed, and he was successively maritime Prefect of Valparaiso, colonel of National Guards, and finally captain and minister of marine in 1872.

War years

At the beginning of the War of the Pacific, Lynch was a Naval Commander. He asked for a position in the navy, but was refused due to the opposition of his fellow officers. He retaliated by asking for a position in the Army, but instead was named as Commander General of Transports, where he was able to show his great abilities as an organizer. In the 1880, he led a raid against northern Peru to gather ransom payments from business and sugar plantation owners, that has become known as the "Lynch Expedition". This has been the main source of controversy about his record. On one side it is viewed as a brilliant military operation while on the other is viewed as a destructive pillage of defenceless civilian targets.

During the "Lynch Expedition", he recruited chinese peons who worked in the haciendas, and was able to convince them to join the army as an auxiliary force, thanks to the Chinese he had learned in the Opium War.

In the final campaign that led to the capture of Lima, he participated in the battles of Chorrillos and Miraflores (January 1881), in which he led first a brigade (as colonel) and afterwards a division under General Baquedano. His services at the battle of Chorrillos led to his appointment as Supreme Military and Political Commandant of Peru in 1881.

During the time he was Commander of the Army of Occupation, his action in deporting the acting Peruvian president Francisco Garcia Calderon to Chile, excited considerable comment by many Peruvian aristocrats, and the active opposition of the US government that almost led to a military conflict with that country. He returned to his own country in 1883 after the Treaty of Ancon was signed.

Later years

Promoted to Rear-admiral, in 1884 he was designated as Chilean plenipotenciary minister (ambassador) to Madrid. His mission was to negotiate a definitive peace treaty with Spain to end to the Chincha Islands War. Taking sick, he asked for leave to return to Chile. He died at sea on the return trip, off the Tenerife coast, on May 13, 1886.

References

  1. ^ Argentinian of Irish ancestry, from Co. Galway [1]

See also:

Political offices
Preceded by
Carlos Castellón
Minister of War and Navy
1884
Succeeded by
Carlos Ant√ļnez
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PATRICIO LYNCH (1825-1886) Chilean naval officer, was born in Valparaiso on the 18th of December 1825, his father being a wealthy Irish merchant resident in Chile, and his mother, Carmen Solo de Saldiva, a descendant of one of the best-known families in the country. Entering the navy in 1837, he took part in the operations which led to the fall of the dictator, Santa Cruz. Next, he sought a wider field, and saw active service in the China War on board the British frigate "Calliope." He was mentioned in despatches for bravery, and received the grade of midshipman in the British service. Returning to Chile in 1847 he became lieutenant, and seven years later he received the command of a frigate, but was deprived of his command for refusing to receive on board his ship political suspects under arrest. The Spanish War saw him again employed, and he was successively maritime prefect of Valparaiso, colonel of National Guards, and, finally, captain and minister of marine in 1872. In the Chile-Peruvian War a brilliant and destructive naval raid, led by him, was followed by the final campaign of Chorrillos and Miraflores (1880), in which he led at first a brigade (as colonel) and afterwards a division under Baquedano. His services at the battle of Chorrillos led to his appointment to command the Army of Occupation in Peru. This difficult post he filled with success, but his action in putting the Peruvian president, Garcia Calderon, under arrest excited considerable comment. His last act was to invest Iglesias with supreme power in Peru, and he returned to his own country in 1883. Promoted rear-admiral, he served as Chilean Minister at Madrid for two years, and died at sea in 1886. Lynch is remembered as one of the foremost of Chile's naval heroes.


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