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José de Ezpeleta y Galdeano

Viceroy José Manuel de Ezpeleta

José Manuel de Ezpeleta y Galdeano, 1st Count of Ezpeleta de Beire (in full, José Manuel Ignacio Timoteo de Ezpeleta Galdeano Dicastillo y del Prado, conde de Ezpeleta de Beire) (24 January 1742 in Barcelona[1]–23 November 1823 in Pamplona[2]) was a Spanish military officer and politician, governor of Cuba from 1785 to 1789, and viceroy of New Granada from 1789 to 1797.

A knight of the Order of Charles III and of the Royal and Military Order of San Hermenegildo,[3] he was also a knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.[4] He was a governor of the Supreme Royal Council to His Majesty and a councilor of state, as well as field marshal in the Royal Army.[5]

On 1 December 1785 he became Spanish governor of Cuba. He held this position until 1789 when he was promoted to viceroy of New Granada.

As viceroy of New Granada

His term of office saw the birth of journalism in New Granada, under the direction of Manuel del Socorro Rodríguez, the first director of Papel Periódico in Bogotá.[6] Two hundred sixty-five issues of this periodical appeared.

Ezpeleta founded the first theater in Bogotá. He supported literary circles, in which some of the future heroes of the independence movement participated. In 1794, Antonio Nariño published a translation of the Rights of Man, for which he was tried and convicted.[7]

Like his predecessors, Ezpeleta tried to spur the mining industry in Mariquita, but he came to the conclusion that the operating expenses were greater than the output. He promoted Catholic missions as a means of pacifying the Indigenous who had not accepted Spanish rule, especially the Andaqui people.

Back in Spain

In 1807 he was named Captain General of Catalonia, but by the time he reached Barcelona, the French troops under Guillaume Philibert Duhesme were already closing in on the city.[8] Once the city had been taken, Ezpeleta refused to swear an oath of loyalty to José Bonaparte and was arrested and exiled to Montpellier where he remained until 1814.

After his return in Spain, he was made Viceroy of Navarre, where he had great difficulties in restoring the old institutions. He was faced by an unsuccessful revolt led by Francisco Espoz y Mina and another one in 1816 known as the Conspiración del Triángulo. But in 1820 the Spanish liberal revolution forced him to step down and he was replaced by Espoz y Mina. He went to live in Valladolid until 1823, when he was asked after the Absolutist Restoration to return to his function of Viceroy of Navarre. Ezpeleta returned to Pamplona in July, but aged 83, died a few months later.


  1. ^ Burgo, Jaime del (1992). Historia general de Navarra: desde los orígenes hasta nuestros días (in Spanish). Rialp. p. 495. ISBN 978-84-321-2908-7. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  2. ^ Boletín de historia y antigüedades (in Spanish). Imprenta Nacional. 1920. p. 80. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  3. ^ Guía o estado general de la Real Hacienda de España ... (in Spanish). Imp. de Vega y Compañía. 1818. p. 402. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  4. ^ García, Hernán Alejandro Olano (2006). La constitución monárquica de Cundinamarca (in Spanish). Ediciones Academia Colombiana de Jurisprudencia. p. 25. ISBN 978-958-97605-4-3. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  5. ^ "Virreyes de la Nueva Granada". 2 March 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-03-02. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  6. ^ Henao, Jesús María (1914). Compendio de la historia de Colombia para la enseñanza en las escuelas primarias (in Spanish). Escuela tipografica Salesiana. p. 77. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  7. ^ Orbes Moreno, P (1978). "Los Pseudónimos del Precursor Antonio Nariño Documento Inédito". Revista de la Universidad de la Salle. 1 (3): 43–47. Retrieved 20 February 2024.
  8. ^ "José de Ezpeleta y Galdeano". Retrieved 20 February 2024.
Government offices Preceded byBernardo Troncoso Martínez del Rincón Spanish Governor of Cuba 1785–1789 Succeeded byDomingo Cabello y Robles Preceded byFrancisco Gil de Taboada y Lemos Viceroy of New Granada 1789–1797 Succeeded byPedro Mendinueta y Múzquiz Preceded byFrench occupation Viceroy of Navarre 1814–1820 Succeeded byTrieno liberal
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José de Ezpeleta y Galdeano
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