Short History of Mexico - Arthur H. Noll

The Viceroys of the 16th and 17th Centuries

In one of the rooms of the National Museum, in the City of Mexico, in long rows running along two side walls, hang sixty-two portraits in oil, representing the Viceroys who, for nearly three centuries, ruled Mexico,—some well, some ill, most of them indifferently. As the visitor examines these portraits, he will be apt to conclude that the Spanish Viceroys gave more attention to toilets than to government; that the powdering of hair, the trimming of beards and moustachios, and the ruffling of lace collars, were more in their minds than the affairs of Mexico; and that the portraits would be far more suggestive to a theatrical costumer than to an historian. Rich ecclesiastical garments are depicted in some of these portraits, for ten of the Viceroys were prelates. It is because two of the men whose portraits hang in this room held the responsible position of Viceroy twice, that the number of Viceroys in Mexico is usually given as sixty-four.

There are some strong faces looking out from the dingy frames in these long rows of portraits, and among the sixty-two Viceroys there were some strong characters. Most of them belonged to the Spanish nobility, and possessed long military or civic titles. Some have left enduring records of good or evil; but for the most part, Archbishops, Bishops, Dukes, Counts, and Marquises, have left in Mexico only their names on the long list,—some grotesque autographs attached to official documents,—and their portraits in the National Museum. Yet these long lines of portraits furnish the basis of nearly three centuries of the history of Mexico.

The first of the Viceroys was Don Antonio de Mendoza, Conde de Tendilla y comendador de Socuellanos, who arrived in 1535. He had been distinguished in the wars in Spain against the Moors, and he won still greater distinction by his long, wise, and beneficent rule in Mexico. The record of his administration is the record of the advancement of New Spain in arts, industries, material wealth, and the progress of colonization, commerce, mining, and manufactures. Shortly after his advent the first book printed in the New World was produced in the City of Mexico, from a printing-press imported by him from Spain. It was in 1536 and 1537 that the school of Santiago-Tlatelolco, and a school of music for natives, were founded by Pedro Gante, with the aid of the Viceroy, upon the site now occupied by the military prison.

The Count of Tendilla founded the mint for the production of silver and copper coins, but the copper coins met with no favor from the natives, and were in the year 1541) ?> consigned by them to Lake Texcoco. Merino sheep were introduced into the country, and manufactories of cloth established. The rich mine of La Luz was discovered in Guanajuato, which still produces immense wealth, and the mining town of Zacatecas was settled by the Spaniards. Two cities were founded by the Viceroy which are now beautiful State capitals, and rank among the more important cities of the Republic. The first of these, Guadalajara, was founded in 1541. The cruel Auditor Guzman had attempted, in 1530, to found elsewhere a town, to which he gave the name of Villa del Espiritu Santo de Guadalajara, in honor of his birthplace, and this was moved six years later; but being then in a place distasteful to the inhabitants and exposed to the incursions of hostile Indians, it was by the Viceroy's orders removed to and established in a valley formerly called Atemaxac, where it now stands. The other city was Valladolid, so called in honor of the Viceroy, whose birthplace was Valladolid in Spain. The name was changed in the last century to Morelia, to do honor to one of whom the Republic was proud.

The Viceroy brought to justice the notorious Nuno de Guzman, the President of the First Audience. He was incarcerated in the common prison at the capital. The oppression of Indian slaves under the iniquitous system of repartimientos, begun in the time of the military governors, led to a conspiracy against the Spanish authorities in 1549. Doubtless the Viceroy acted according to his ideas of duty in having the leaders of the insurrection hanged after suppressing the trouble, though we cannot repress our sympathies for the down-trodden slaves of Mexico, the victims of Spanish rapacity.

For three years of the administration of the Count of Tendilla, the name of one of the most remarkable men of the sixteenth century, and one of the staunchest friends of the oppressed Indians, has its place in the history of Mexico. There hangs in one of the galleries of the San Carlos Academy, in the City of Mexico, a superb painting by Felix Parra, entitled "Las Casas Defendiendo Los Indios" ("Las Casas Protecting the Indians"). It has more than a local reputation, for it was exhibited at the New Orleans Exposition in 1884, and attracted much attention.

Bartolomeo de Las Casas, of whose noble efforts to ameliorate the condition of the natives of the New World enslaved by the Spanish Conquerors this painting is such an appropriate monument, arrived in Mexico as Bishop of Chiapas in the year 1544. He was then seventy years of age, and his reputation had been already gained by his steady efforts for more than thirty years to have the vicious system of repartimientos  abolished, whereby the natives of the West Indies and Mexico were distributed as slaves among the Spanish colonists. The honorable title of "Protector-General of the Indians" had been conferred upon him by the Spanish monarch. He had made the cause of the oppressed Indian his own, and by writing and personal application to the court of the Spanish sovereign, he had secured various concessions, none of which, however, proved effectual in wiping out the evil. In coming to Mexico as Bishop of Chiapas, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean for the fifth time. But circumstances were wholly against him in Mexico, and after three years spent in fruitless efforts to enforce his measures among the Spanish slaveholders, he returned to Spain to spend the remainder of his life in the seclusion of a Dominican monastery. He died at Madrid in 1566, at the age of ninety-two.

In 1550 Mendoza, the Count of Tendilla, was promoted to the viceroyalty of Peru, and a worthy successor was found in Don Luis de Velasco, to whose name history has added the enviable title of "The Emancipator." His first official act was the emancipation of one hundred and fifty thousand Indian slaves working in the mines; and in connection with this act he was the author of a noble sentiment. It was uttered in reply to those who objected to this measure as impolitic, and destructive of the mining industry of New Spain. "Of more importance than all the mines in the world is the liberty of the Indians," said the emancipator, showing himself to have been an apt pupil of the noble Las Casas.

He did not succeed, however, in incorporating this principle upon the political code of New Spain, though the mining industries of the country seem not to have been materially injured by his act of emancipation. For the mines of Fresnillo and Sombrerete were first worked in his time, and the invention by Bartolomeo de Medina of smelting by amalgamation, known as the patio  process, was first applied in Pachuca. The reign of the second Viceroy continued for fourteen years, and was beneficent. The Santa Hermandad, a Spanish institution of the former century, designed to suppress highway robbery, was introduced into New Spain; the Chichimecan Indians in the neighborhood of Queretaro were subjugated by Fernando de Tapia, an Indian cacique; and the outposts of Chametli, San Miguel, and Durango were established. The University of Mexico dates its rise from this time. Velasco was brought in contact with the water question, with which his son subsequently had so much to do. An inundation of the capital in 1552 led him to direct the construction of the San Lazaro dike.

Velasco, "The Emancipator," died in Mexico in 1564. In the interim between his death and the arrival of his successor, the Audience, composed of Doctor Ceynos and others, governed New Spain, and found plenty to do in quelling a conspiracy headed by Don Martin Cortes, Marques del Valle, son of the Conqueror by his lawful wife. He was aided by Martin, the Conqueror's son by La Marina.

The Marques del Valle gave a grand reception in his palace on the west side of the plaza (where now stands the Monte de Piedad), on San Hipolito's day, the anniversary of the final conquest of Tenochtitlan. The occasion was the baptism of his twin sons. While the festivities were in progress it was designed to kill all the Spanish authorities, overthrow the Spanish rule in America, and elevate the Marques to the throne of New Spain. The plot was discovered in time to prevent its execution. The Marques and his accomplices, Martin, his half-brother, and Alonzo and Gil Gonzales de Avila, were imprisoned and sentenced to be hanged. The third Viceroy, however, Don Gaston de Peralta, Marques de Fakes, arrived in 1566, and suspended the executions and sent the Marques del Valle to Spain. His property, which was confiscated, was subsequently restored.

In 1568 a Royal Visitor, a man of ferocious character, Munoz by name, arrived from Spain to investigate matters pertaining to the conspiracy of the Cortes family. He sent so many persons to prison and to the scaffold, and otherwise so far infringed upon the prerogatives of the Viceroy, that the Viceroy left the country in disgust. Munoz was recalled to Spain and reprimanded by the King. Peralta vindicated himself of charges preferred against him by Munoz and other enemies.

With the fourth Viceroy, Don Martin Enriques de Almanza, who arrived in 1568, a tragic chapter in Mexican history opens. It was in 1571 that, according to a pious chronicler of the Franciscan order, "the tribunal of the Inquisition, the strong fort and Mount of Zion, was founded in the City of Mexico"; and though Almanza's responsibility for its establishment is not apparent upon the face of the records, history has given him the title of "The Inquisitor."

In 1527 the Spanish Inquisition had been extended to Mexico, so far as the banishment of Jews and Moors from the country was concerned. Two years later a conference of notable men of New Spain, ecclesiastical and lay, was held, and it was decided to petition the Spanish king for the exercise of the Holy Office in the New World, as a safeguard against the introduction of heresies and evil customs into the country through the corsairs who infested the coast, or from the countries with which New Spain had commercial relations. In answer to this petition inquisitorial powers were conferred upon certain persons in succession, and their presence in New Spain seems to have been effectual in keeping down flagrant heresies and open violation of canon law for forty years.

Meanwhile the Santa Hermandad—a sort of national police and civil inquisition—did much to preserve order in New Spain. It was by royal order dated 16th August, 1570, that Don Pedro Moya de Contreras was appointed Inquisitor-General of New Spain, Guatemala, and the Philippine Islands, with headquarters in the City of Mexico. It was his arrival in the country the following year that marked the actual beginning of the work of the Holy Office in Mexico. His jurisdiction extended over all but the Indians. They were wisely exempted.

A small monastery erected by the Dominicans upon their arrival in the country in 1526, but abandoned by them upon the erection of their new and commodious monastery in 1530, was adopted as the headquarters of the Holy Office. It was shortly replaced by another and better building. A subsequent building upon the same site was erected in 1732, It was converted into the Medical School (Escuela de Medicina)  in 1854.

A brasero  or quemadero  (burning-place) was erected upon what is now the western end of the Alameda, but was then the western limit of the city,—the edge of a swamp,—over which the ashes of victims might be strewn. But burning alive was resorted to only in cases of extreme offences. Strangulation in most cases preceded the burning of the victim. The auto de fe  was attended with much pomp and ceremony, as in Spain. How many actually perished by means of the Inquisition is not known. A few notable autos de fe  are mentioned in history. The first was in 1574. Twenty-one "pestilent Lutherans" (probably meaning Protestants merely, without further attempting to classify them) were then burned.

The Inquisition was intimately connected with the Dominican Order in Mexico, as elsewhere, and was a powerful factor in the politics of New Spain down to the time of its final overthrow in 1815.

In 1572 the Jesuits arrived in New Spain, and the following year the first stone of the magnificent Cathedral, now the center of attraction in the Mexican capital, was laid. That the former Cathedral might continue in use while the new one was in process of erection, the new was begun just north of the old. And as the old marked the site of the great teocalli  of Tenochtitlan, that site may now be identified as directly in front of the present Cathedral, probably extending over a large portion of the main plaza, or Zocalo. More than a century elapsed before the Cathedral was completed.

A pest carried off two millions of Indians in the time of Almanza, and an inundation of the capital turned attention again to the necessity of taking steps to carry off the waters of the lakes which constantly threatened the city. It is a subject kept constantly before us in the times of the Viceroys, and even in later days. Almanza pushed colonization so far north as to encounter savage Indians.

The fourth Viceroy was promoted to the vice-royalty of Peru in 1580. His successor, Don Lorenzo Juarez de Mendoza, Conde de Coruna, an affable and honorable man, died in July, 1582, having been in the country less than two years, and having accomplished nothing worthy of mention.

The Inquisitor-General, Don Pedro Moya de Contreras, was, upon the death of Alonso de Montufar, advanced to the vacant archbishopric, and in 1584 (the Audience having taken control of affairs upon the death of Mendoza) he was made Viceroy, and held office long enough to give his portrait a place on the walls of the National Museum. He was quickly recalled to Spain to become President of the Council of the Indies, and was succeeded by Don Alvaro Manrique de Zuniga, Marques de Villa Manrique, who ruled for five years, extending the commerce of Mexico with the East, but otherwise failing to distinguish himself. He was replaced in 1590 by Don Luis de Velasco, the son of "The Emancipator." He also ruled for five uneventful years, and was promoted to the viceroyalty of Peru. A monument of Velasco the Second's reign exists in the Alameda of the Mexican capital, the eastern half of which was laid out by him. The growth of the city in that direction is thus shown.

During this somewhat rapid succession of Viceroys, explorations and colonization extended as far north as New Mexico. In 1542 the Spaniards are reported as having possession of numerous pueblos in that portion of the country. A Franciscan friar, Agustin Ruiz, had settled at Paura, and introduced sheep into the country. Capt. Francisco de Leyva Bonillo discovered the mineral wealth of the territory, and named it Nueva Mejico. Antonio Espejo went to the rescue of the good friar Ruiz who had fallen into the power of unfriendly natives, and visited Zuni and Moqui, but meeting with a large number of warriors while on his way to Tiguex or Tigua (now Santa Fe), he had retired to the Pecos and Concha valleys. In 1585 Humana's expedition resulted in the settlement of Paso del Norte. In 1595 Juan de Onate founded a colony near the junction of the Chama and Rio Grande, and about the same time Santa Fe was settled by the Europeans. It had been an Indian pueblo of some importance.

Velasco the Second was succeeded by Don Caspar de Zuniga y Acevedo, Conde de Monterey, and his administration extended into the seventeenth century. He pushed forward the explorations and colonizations begun by his predecessors. He sent an expedition under Sebastian Vizcayno along the Pacific coast in 1596, and another in 1602 which reached a point two degrees north of Cape Mendocino on the coast of California. In honor of the Viceroy, the Count of Monterey, the Californian coast was named Monterey. In Nuevo Leon, the town of Monterey was founded and named also in his honor. Many settlements were made in New Mexico, and in the year 1600 the city of Vera Cruz was, by royal order, removed to the spot where it had been originally located by Cortes, and where it now stands. The Viceroy, Zuniga, was promoted to the government of Peru in 1603, and carried with him the affection of the Mexicans.

Missionary efforts kept pace with—in some cases even led—the colonizing expeditions which especially marked the history of New Spain in the sixteenth century. It is scarcely necessary to state that the wealth of Spain was already materially increased by her American colonies.

Don Juan de Mendoza y Luna, Marques de Montes Claros, was the tenth Viceroy, succeeding the Count of Monterey, and entering Mexico in October, 1603. The next year an inundation of the capital raised the question of the expediency of removing the city to the site of Tacubaya. Nothing was done, however, further than the construction of various dikes and the reconstruction or enlarging of the calzadas  or highways, of San Antonio Abad and Guadalupe, and the construction of the Calzada de Chapultepec. The guardian of the Monastery of Santiago-Tlatelolco, Fray Juan de Torquemada, directed the construction of the Calzada de Guadalupe. The causeway to Tacuba had been rebuilt soon after the Conquest, but under the Marquis of Monies Claros the aqueduct was constructed along this causeway by which water is now brought into the city from beyond Tres Cruces, by the foot of Chapultepec, entering the city at Tlaxpana, and ending abruptly at San Cos me.

Mexico seems at this time to have been but a training-school for Viceroys of Peru, and Juan de Mendoza y Luna passed on to that higher estate in 1607, being succeeded by Don Luis de Velasco, the son of "The Emancipator," who came the second time to rule over New Spain, this time with the title Marques de Salinas. He had resigned the government of Peru, to which he had been promoted in 1593, and had chosen Atzcapotzalco as his residence. He resumed the reins of government in New Spain in time to grapple with the already ancient question of immunity from inundation for the capital. He was a man of energy. He made a personal reconnaissance of the valley, and arrived at the conclusion that by securing some means of egress beyond the mountain wall for the overflow of Lake Zumpango in times of excessive rains (that being the highest of the lakes in the Mexican Valley), all further trouble could be obviated. He consulted with the Jesuit Juan Sanchez, and the engineer Enrico Martinez. The latter proposed what has lately been successfully accomplished,—the draining of the entire valley, the lowest and all the intermediate lakes, as well as the highest,—thus ending for all time the question which has so long vexed Mexico.

It was not deemed advisable at that time to do more than construct a tunnel for the waters of Zumpango, and this work was entrusted to Martinez, and begun at Huehuetoca on the 28th of December, 1608, in the presence of the Viceroy. Fifteen thousand Indians were employed, and worked to advantage by means of shafts and galleries, so that at the end of eleven months a tunnel was completed four miles in length, thirteen feet high, and eleven feet wide. This was, however, as we shall shortly see, but a single incident in the long history of the labors to render the City of Mexico safe from inundation, and leading up to that other question, that of draining the valley for the sanitary improvement of the city.

In 1611 Velasco received the appointment of President of the Council of the Indies, and returned to Spain. He was succeeded by the Archbishop of Mexico, Fray Garcia Guerra, who governed New Spain less than a year, when he died from the effects of a fail received when mounting his coach. The Audience took up the reins of government as he let them fall, and held them pending the appointment of his successor. And, as was usual with the Audiences in such cases, it was called upon to suppress a conspiracy. In consequence, thirty-two negroes were hanged in the great plaza in the year 1613.

The next year Don Diego Fernandez de Cordoba, Marques de Guadalcazar, arrived as the thirteenth Viceroy. He took an interest at once in the schemes for protecting the capital from inundation. Upon application to the Spanish King, Adrian Boot, an engineer from Holland, was sent to inspect the drainage works of Martinez. He reported the tunnel insufficient, and advised that dikes be built about Lake San Cristobal, on a lower level than Zumpango, to catch all the overflow from the higher lake in excessively rainy seasons and to prevent it being precipitated upon the unfortunate city. The dikes were accordingly built.

Under this Viceroy the aqueduct to San Cosme was extended to Santa Isabel (the extension has long since been taken down), and as then standing, consisted of nine hundred arches, and cost about $250,000.

The Marquis of Guadalcazar was promoted to Peru in 1621, and the Audience assumed charge of public affairs until the arrival of Don Diego Carrillo Mendoza y Pimentel, Marques de Gelves, who had scarcely seated himself upon the vice-regal throne before, in his efforts to rid Mexico of highwaymen, he became involved in serious disputes with the Archbishop, Juan Perez de la Serna. Both were hot-headed Spaniards, and the trouble arose over the arrest of a robber who had sought "sanctuary" in the Church of Santo Domingo. The Viceroy decreed the deposition and banishment of the Archbishop, and the Archbishop retorted by excommunicating the Viceroy. The populace took up the matter. The partisans of the ecclesiastic assaulted and attempted to burn the vice-regal palace; but the Viceroy made his escape,—himself seeking the privileges of "sanctuary" until the way was open for him to return to Spain. The Archbishop was also recalled. This was in 1624. Don Rodrigo Pacheco y Osorio, Marques de Cerralvo, was appointed Viceroy, and with him came to Mexico a famous inquisitor of Valladolid, Martin Carrillo, with authority to punish the participants in the commotions of the previous administration.

And now had come the time for testing the respective merits of the engineering schemes of Enrico Martinez and Adrian Boot. In 1629 the rainy season set in with unusual violence. On the 29th of June Martinez, either to prevent the destruction of his work, or through pique at the popular criticism of it, or through spite at having the suggestions of an engineer from Holland preferred to his, closed the mouth of his tunnel. Zumpango accordingly overflowed into San Cristobal, and the latter lake overflowed the dikes, and in a short time the streets of the city were three feet under water; and thus they remained three years, Martinez spending that time in prison.

It would be impossible to picture the results of this inundation. Many edifices suffered total destruction. The population of the city (it had been estimated at 15,000 in the year 1600) was decreased by the death of three thousand Indians and the removal of nearly all the European families. The courts and local legislative bodies suspended their sittings, churches were abandoned, and the mass was celebrated on the balconies and house-tops. People moved from place to place in canoes. The city really became what it had been called before the Conquest, "the American Venice." Its removal to the high ground between Tacuba and Tacubaya was again discussed, and it has been stated that a royal edict was procured directing the removal. But in 1632 the waters subsided, and the royal edict (if any there were) was suppressed. It was estimated that the cost of the removal would have been $50,000,000.

In 1634 the fearful scenes of 1629, 1630, and 1631, were repeated to some extent. But after the rainy season of that year earthquakes opened rents in the ground which caused the rapid subsidence of the waters. Martinez was released from prison and commanded to employ such measures as would prevent any further inundation of the capital. He reopened his tunnel, and so far made concessions to his Holland rival as to rebuild the dikes about San Cristobal as they remain to-day,—two in number, two miles and three quarters, and a mile and a half in length, respectively, and eight or ten feet high by twenty-eight feet wide. The tunnel has a further history.

The Marquis of Cerralvo was succeeded in 1635 by Don Lope Diaz de Armendariz, Marques de Cadareita. Beyond the founding of the city of Cadareita in Nuevo Leon, the government of this, the sixteenth Viceroy was marked by no events worthy of mention. He was just and moderate in his measures, and when recalled to Spain he was made Bishop of Badajoz. He was succeeded in 1640 by Don Diego Lopez Pacheco Cabrera y Bobadillo, Duque de Escalona y Marques de Villena. Only one event of importance occurred during the brief rule of this Viceroy; that was the burning of the buildings on the Cortes estate, west of the plaza, in what is called the Empedradillo, where now stands the Monte de Piedad.

The Viceroy was the victim of the suspicions of the Bishop of Puebla, who had come with him to Mexico. The Bishop had him deposed and sent to Spain on a charge of plotting against the King; and the Bishop himself, Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, more in the capacity of Royal Visitor than as Viceroy, though he is numbered among the Viceroys, ruled New Spain for about five months. In that time he managed to destroy many of the idols that had been preserved in various parts of the city as trophies and souvenirs of the Conquest, therein following the example of Zumarraga, the first Bishop of Mexico. Palafox was a man of learning, but ambitious and turbulent.

He was superseded, in 1642, by Don Garcia Sarmiento Sotomayor, Conde de Salvatierra, who in 1643 founded the city of Salvatierra in the State of Michoacan (now in the State of Guanajuato). A series of notable autos de fe, held in the years 1646, 1647, and 1648, were the distinguishing feature of his time,—a famous victim being Martin de Villancencio, called the Garatuza. When in 1648 Sotomayor was promoted to Peru, he left Mexican affairs in the hands of Marcos Lopez de Torres y Rueda, Bishop of Yucatan, who, though taking the title of Governor of Mexico, is numbered among the Viceroys. By the continuation of the annual autos de fe, established in the reign of his predecessor, he gained a reputation for extreme cruelty. Fourteen or fifteen persons are known to have been strangled or burned by the Holy Office in 1649,—among them a personage named Tomas Trevino, whose crime was that he had "cursed the Holy Office and also the Pope."

Death put an end to the rule of the Bishop of Yucatan in 1650 and he was succeeded by Don Luis Enriquez de Guzman, Conde de Alba de Liste, who was in 1653 promoted to the Peruvian vice-royalty. His successor was Don Francisco Fernandez de la Cueva, Duque de Albuquerque, the annals of whose rule comprise two events,—the execution of many robbers in 1659, and the attack made upon the life of the Viceroy in the Cathedral by a soldier, who was supposed to be insane, but was nevertheless hanged within twenty-four hours. The Viceroy left shortly afterwards for Spain. It was to a later Duke of Albuquerque that the New Mexican town owes its foundation and its name.

Few events mark the history of Mexico for several succeeding years. Don Juan de Leiva y de la Cerda, Marques de Leiva y de Labrada, y Conde de Banos, was the twenty-third Viceroy. His administration (1660-1664) was unpopular on account of the disreputable character of his sons, and his recall was therefore demanded. He was succeeded by Diego Osorio Escobar y Llamas, Bishop of Puebla, who ruled from June to October, 1664, when Don Sebastian de Toledo, Marques de Mancera, became Viceroy. His rule was continued three years beyond the usual period (1664-1673),—proof that it was acceptable, at least to the Spanish government. He was succeeded by Don Pedro Nuno Colon de Portugal y Castro, Duque de Veraguas, y Marques de Jamaica, a descendant of Christopher Columbus. He was a very old man, and lived only six days after taking possession of his office. It was in 1667 that the great Cathedral, almost a century having been spent upon its construction, was completed (with the exception of the two towers) and consecrated. The sacristy had been completed in 1626, and services were held therein for fifteen years. The cost of the building up to the time of the consecration was one and two thirds millions. The two towers were completed in 1791.

Upon the death of Nuno Colon, Fray Payo Enriquez de Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico, a descendant of Cortes by the female line, became Viceroy. He was beneficent and just, in every way exemplary and progressive. He rebuilt the vice-regal palace, paved many of the streets of the capital, built bridges and acequias, introduced water into the town of Guadalupe by means of an aqueduct, and constructed a stone causeway into that religious town,—that along which now runs the railway to Vera Cruz. Numismatists will be interested in knowing that in 1675 the Mexican mint began the coining of gold. At the end of six years (1679) the good Archbishop, tired of the cares of government in Mexico, civil and ecclesiastical, resigned and went to Spain, where he was appointed Bishop of Cuenca and President of the Council of the Indies. But despite these honors he retired to a monastery, and ended his life there.

His successor was Don Tomas Antonio Manrique de la Cerda, Marques de la Laguna, y Conde de Paredes. His reign is marked by the sack of Vera Cruz by the famous pirate, Agramont, and by the colonization of Texas and California. In 1686 the Marquis of la Laguna laid down the reins of government and returned to Spain, where he died twenty days after his arrival. His successor, Don Melchor Portocarrero Laso de la Vega, Conde de Monclova, is known as "the man with the silver arm," because, having lost his right arm in battle, its place was supplied by one of silver. He gave his attention to the colonization of Coahuila, and was the founder and namesake of the town of Monclova. He began the construction, at his own expense, of the aqueduct which brings the water from Chapultepec to Salto del Agua along the ancient route. Such public-spirited generosity as he evinced in this was not unusual at this period, as we shall see. It attests the immense means at the disposal of the viceroys. The salary of the office at that time was $40,000 annually, and it was afterwards increased to $70,000.

The Duke of Monclova was translated to Peru in 1689, and was succeeded by Don Caspar de la Cerda Sandoval Silva y Mendoza, Conde de Galve. A notable insurrection, growing out of the scarcity of corn, occurred in 1692. An Indian woman buying corn, the price of which was very high, had an altercation with the vendor, who was a mulatto. The mulatto struck her and she died. The friends of the murdered woman took her remains to Santiago-Tlatelolco, where there was little difficulty in inciting an uprising of the Indians. In a short time a force of two hundred Indians surrounded the vice-regal palace, and demanded an interview with the Viceroy and the Archbishop. Failing to accomplish their purpose, they began to stone the doors and balconies of the palace. The number of the insurgents increased hourly; piling up the wooden stalls of the market-place about the building, they set fire to them, and the palace and other buildings were damaged to the extent of three millions of dollars. Some of the public archives were destroyed. The Viceroy and his family sought refuge in the Convent of San Francisco. The mob was finally quelled by the efforts of the clergy. The same year the Indians of Tlaxcala rose in revolt, and there was a tumult in Guadalajara over the scarcity of provisions. The Count of Galve accomplished the conquest of Texas (1691), and completed the conquest of New Mexico. He also founded, what is now an important town of the United States, Pensacola, Florida.

In 1696 the Count of Galve was succeeded by Juan de Ortega Montanes, Bishop of Michoacan, who administered civil affairs for a few months only, during which time the students of the University made a tumult, running about the streets and crying, "Death to the Cathedraticos!"—a precursor of the opposition to ecclesiastical influence in civil affairs which was destined to play such a prominent part in the subsequent history of Mexico. The students did no further damage than burn the small buildings in the plaza.

The Michoacan Bishop was succeeded by Don Jose Sarmiento Valladares, Conde de Moctezuma y de Tula, whose wife was the third Countess of Moctezuma, and the great-great-grand-niece of Moteczuma or Moctezuma II. The disturbances over the scarcity of corn continued, and in 1697 auto de fe  was celebrated, in which a gentleman named Fernando de Molina was burned. The reign of the Count of Moctezuma extended to the second year of the eighteenth century.

The reigning sovereigns of Spain during the vice-regal period thus far, were Charles V (Charles I of Spain), Philip II, Philip III, Philip IV, and Charles II of the House of Austria. In 1700, by the death of Charles II, a change of dynasty occurred,—the throne passed to the House of Bourbon. The next occupant of the throne was Philip V.