Andrés Lopez de Galarza Biography

We are going to try to reconstruct a biography about Andrés López de Galarza, the founder of Ibagué (see: Ibagué Foundation), or better, enrich the common data about it.

Let’s see what different data to the wikipedia we can add to make this speech as original as possible on the web. Oh now! Andrés López de Galarza was born in Villa Brajima (Spain, in Wikipedia they say that he was born in VillaBrágima) in the year of 1522. Castilian of cradle, being his surnames native of the Basque country.

His parents were called Andrés López de Galarza and his mother Juana López Barbosa. His brothers: Juan (eldest brother), Catalina (religious of the Monastery of Santa Clara la Real de Tordesillas), Juana and, Antonia (half sister, daughter of his father).

The only thing we know about his youth and adult life before coming to American territory is he received training in accounting and public finance. There is also no evidence that he had made a military career.

We all know that Andrés López de Galarza arrived in the New Kingdom of Granada (Colombia) with his older brother Juan (ambition to enrich their golden coffers), being one of the first Hearers of the Royal Audience. This brother of his had received a degree in law from Valladolid.

He held various public offices (In 1548 he was appointed Accountant of the Royal Treasury and remained in office until 1550, 1551-1552 was Governor and Chief Justice of the Province of Santa Marta, 1553-1557, Treasurer of the Caja Real de Santa Fe; 1555, Ordinary Mayor of Santafé, 1569 was Mayor of Tunja).


In 1556-1557, when he was Treasurer of the Royal Audience, he married Marina Herrezuelo Carvajal (widow of Alonso Téllez Girón, Escribano and encomendero, who died together with Juan López de Galarza and Pedro de Heredia, when they went to Spain to solve administrative problems). The aforementioned woman was the cousin of Pedro Escudero (brother of Oidor Montaño) and had married Téllez while he was in prison. An alleged visit to his new wife allowed him to flee from justice.

The marriage would be celebrated in the church of Santafé by the lawyer Francisco Adame, the first Dean-parish priest most important of the local parish

When the lady in question was widowed (who did not know how to sign according to her own will), she claimed as her husband’s inheritance the Commendation of Bosa. The dowry requested for Lopez de Galarza to marry Marina was $ 1,000, mediating the deal that would be titled the Commander of the lady. There was a long legal fight to legalize his possession until in July 1557 the Royal Court issued a judgment in favor of Don Andrés, above other interested parties, although there were other incidents in the way. Only two years would last this encomienda held by Andres Lopez.

According to Alvaro Cuartas Coymat, in his book «Ibague ciudad Histórica», published by Pijao Editores, November 1994, the marriage of Andrés López de Galarza was based in Tunja, where the in-laws resided (and where López de Galarza had been mayor in 1569 and the Cocuy ranch).

It is said that the founding process of the city of Ibagué cost Captain López de Galarza around 6,000 pesos gold, without charging for its management; the Spanish Crown, «paid» titling the Encomienda de Tenza, giving his wife the Encomienda de Bosa and, «de ñapa», letting him exploit the Ecomienda del Cocuy, in addition to the performance of several public offices for 20 years.

The illustrious personage did not have children in his marriage. Although he had, previously a natural daughter named Catalina,

Don Andrés López de Galarza would die in Tunja, November 9-10, 1573, leaving a testament where he indicated heirs and executor. How is this? Being encomendero of the Cocuy, a September 23, 1573, the date on which he signs the will, he says he does not leave offspring, donates 300 pesos gold to build a hospital that favors the Indians of Ibague and an indeterminate amount of cotton blankets for give them to the people of that sector of the country. His universal heiress, Marina, his faithful companion. He orders to deliver 250 ducats in favor of his sisters Juana and Catalina, as well as 100 for his sister on behalf of his father, Antonia. He did not leave money or property to his mestizo daughter Catalina, we only know of a recommendation made to his wife Marina to honor and marry her.

To read this post in Spanish including its bibliography.

Por Angel Eulises Ortiz

Residente por muchos años en la ciudad musical, estudioso de la ciudad y blogger por excelencia, consultor en posicionamiento web y marketing digital

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