Pizarro, Gonzalo

Pizarro, Gonzalo

(gônthä`lō pēthär`rō), c.1506–1548, Spanish conquistador, brother of Francisco PizarroPizarro, Francisco
, c.1476–1541, Spanish conquistador, conqueror of Peru. Born in Trujillo, he was an illegitimate son of a Spanish gentleman and as a child was an illiterate swineherd.
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. A lieutenant of his brother in the conquest of Peru, Gonzalo aided in the defense of Cuzco (1536–37) against the Inca Manco CapacManco Capac,
d. 1544, last of the Inca rulers, son of Huayna Capac. After the deaths of Huáscar and Atahualpa, Manco Capac was crowned (1534) emperor by the Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro but was tolerated only as a puppet.
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, subdued Charcas (present Bolivia), and fought against Diego de AlmagroAlmagro, Diego de
, c.1475–1538, Spanish conquistador, a leader in the conquest of Peru. A partner of Francisco Pizarro, he took part in the first (1524) and second (1526–28) expeditions and in the bloody subjugation of the Incas after 1532.
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 (1537–38). Appointed (1539) governor of Quito, in 1540 he commanded a disastrous expedition down the Napo River to the Amazon River in search of El DoradoEl Dorado
[Span.,=the gilded man], legendary country of the Golden Man sought by adventurers in South America. The legend supposedly originated in a custom of the Chibcha people of Colombia who each year anointed a chieftain and rolled him in gold, which he then ceremonially
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. After extreme hardships, augmented by the disaffection of OrellanaOrellana, Francisco de
, d. c.1546, Spanish explorer of the Amazon River. He took part in the conquest of Peru and was a lieutenant of Gonzalo Pizarro on the expedition that started into the interior of South America in 1538.
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, he and his few remaining men staggered back two years later. Gonzalo then learned of the assassination of Francisco and offered to help the crown's representative, Vaca de CastroVaca de Castro, Cristóbal
, fl. 1540–45, Spanish colonial administrator in Peru. A judge of the royal audiencia at Valladolid, he was chosen by Charles V to restore order between the Pizarro and the Almagro factions. He was a man of integrity, sagacity, and courage.
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, but was refused. When the newly arrived viceroy, Blasco Núñez VelaNúñez Vela, Blasco
, d. 1546, first viceroy of Peru (1544–46). Sent to replace Vaca de Castro and to enforce the New Laws of Bartolomé de Las Casas, he had a violent, short career.
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, peremptorily enforced the New Laws, framed by Bartolomé de Las CasasLas Casas, Bartolomé de
, 1474–1566, Spanish missionary and historian, called the apostle of the Indies. He went to Hispaniola with his father in 1502, and eight years later he was ordained a priest.
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 and promulgated in 1542 to protect the Native Americans, popular indignation broke out, and Gonzalo was chosen to lead the revolt. In 1546, aided by Francisco de CarvajalCarvajal, Francisco de
, 1464?–1548, Spanish conquistador. For 40 years he fought in European wars before going to Mexico and subsequently to Peru, where he aided Francisco Pizarro.
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, he defeated Núñez. His support evaporated, however, when the king's new representative, Pedro de la GascaGasca, Pedro de la
, c.1485–1567?, Spanish colonial administrator. A priest as well as a lawyer, he was selected by Charles V to end the anarchy prevailing in Peru. He arrived in 1547 after the death of the viceroy Blasco Núñez Vela.
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, arrived and offered pardon as well as repeal of the New Laws. Most of his army deserted just before the crucial battle. Their commander surrendered and was beheaded.

Bibliography

See P. de Cieza de León, The War of Quito (tr. 1967).

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