Tomás Blaque

Brief Biography: 
The birth year for Tomás Blaque (Thomas Blake) ranges between 1506 and 1519. The variation is due to Blaque's own testimony in different documents in which he says he is "about 35" or "more than 25" within the space of several years. Thus, his age during the Expedition is somewhere between twenty-one and thirty-four years old. He was born in Scotland to Guillén Blaque and Ynsmoat. He probably arrived in the New World around 1532. Blaque served in the pacification of Cartagena (Colombia) in 1533 and by 1539 he had made his way to Mexico City and was plying his trade as a hosier, the same trade he had his whole life. Tomás was not present at the 1540 muster but stated in 1547 that he had participated. He married Francisca de Ribera and became a stepfather to Francisca de Caniega.
Gender: 
Male
Date of Birth: 
between 1506 and 1519
Age Set: 
25-35
Birthplace
Country of Origin: 
Scotland
Died on the Expedition?: 
No
Last Known Location: 
Mexico City
European Social Status: 
Commoner
Position on Expedition: 
Unknown
Within Viceroy Mendoza's Sphere: 
No
Pre-Expedition Occupation: 
Hosier
Post Expedition Occupation: 
Hosier
Merchant
Residence After Expedition: 
Mexico City
Married: 
Yes
Name of Spouse: 
Francisca de Ribera
Name of Children: 
Francisca de Caniega, stepdaughter
Ability to sign name: 
Yes
Relatives: 
father: Guillen Blaque;mother:Ynsmoat
References-Documentary: 

1530-1540:

AGI, Indiferente General, 1382A, [in 1533 a Tomás Inglés is granted license to take 2 black slaves (one man and one woman) to the Indies for his personal service "yendo vos en persona a poblar e conquistar las dichas indias];

AGI, Justicia, 270, Pieza 4 September 1539: witness is Tomás Blaque, hosier, estante in México, could sign his name]

APSM, “Bautismos de Españoles, 1536-1746” [fol. 181v: 12 May 1547 Tomás Blaque padrino for daughter of Maestre Sebastián and his wife Felipa de Pedrosa];

APSM, “Bautismos de Españoles, 1536-1746” [fol.187v: 9 June 1547, Tomás Blaque and wife padrinos for son of Gaspar Díaz];

1540-1550

AGI, Justicia, 268, N.2, Pieza 2 [1544:Gabriel de Castellanos con Juan de Sámano, alguacil major of México; both prosecution and defense witness is Tomás Blaque, hosier, Sept. 1539, estante in México, is about 30 years old, could sign his name]; 

APSM, “Bautismos de Españoles, 1536-1746” [fol.152v 25: June 1545 Tomás Blaque and his wife padrinos for daughter of Francisco Nuñez and Francisca Hernández];

AGI, México, 1064, L.1\1\, “Informes,” fol.197v=  Boyd-Bowman, Indice geobiográfico, II:13331 = Icaza, Diccionario, #738 [vecino of México; native of the kingdoms of Scotland; son of Guillén Blaque and Ynsmoat; 15 years in Nueva España; married Francisca de Ribera, widow of Cristóbal de Caniego; was in the pacification of Cartagena under the banner of the Governor Heredia; was on an entrada for 15 months, suffering many hardships; went to Cíbola at his own cost for 3 years; he has en su poder Francisca de Caniega; casa poblada];

1550-1560

AGI, Justicia, 176, N.4 [1570, heirs of don Diego de Guevara; 1551 Interrogatorio of Guevara; witness-Tomás Blaque,  merchant, vecino, 44+ (signature as Thomas)];

APSM, “Bautismos de Españoles, 1536-1746” [fol.7v: 21 Oct 1552, Tomás Blaque and his wife Francisca de Ribera padrinos for daughter of Diego de Zamora];

APSM, “Bautismos de Españoles, 1536-1746” [fol. 23v: 6 Sept 1553, Tomás Blaque and Francisca de Ribera padrinos for daughter of Juan, calero];

Aizpuru, Indices y catálog, Diego de Isla, escribano, #1333, “Herencia” [fol.143v: 1553, Alonso Sánchez, debt of 3 pesos owed by Alonso Sánchez to Blaque];

1560-1570

AGI, México, 206, N.35 [1561: witness for Cristóbal de Escobar, Blaque more than 40 years of age; signed and sealed his testimony-no signature on copy];

AGI, Contratación, 199, N.15 [November 1561; almoneda is conducted in June 1553 in Mexico City; Tomás Blaque buys a jubón de raso carmesi viejo to 2 pesos];

AGI, México, 97, R.1 [méritos y servicios, Luna y Arellano, 1559, witness for Luna y Arellano, Blaque, natural de los reynos de Escoçia, vecino de México, about 40 years old; has known Luna y Arellano for 23 years, este testigo fue en la dicho jornada e conquista, could sign his name-no signature on copy];

Catálogo, Resumen e Índices [22 Apr 1560: Juan Guijelmo, vecino, otorga poder general a Juan Vellerino, procurador de causas, vecino. Firmó. Testigos: Gonzalo Hernández, Tomás Blaque y el bachiller Fulgencio de Vique, vecinos y estantes];

Catálogo, Resumen e Índices [24 julio 1560: Hernán Martínez, cerrajero, vecino, otorga poder general a Juan Vellerino, procurador de causas, vecino. Firmó. Testigos: Tomás Blaque, Baltasar de Rueda y Diego Hernández, vecinos];

Catálogo, Resumen e Índices [12 Nov 1560: Jerónimo Catano, vecino, otorga poder general a Alonso Marín, vecino, ausente, y especialmente para que, en su nombre, en Nueva España y fuera de ella, pueda tomar cualesquier mina o minas de oro, plata y otros metales y las tenga, labre, beneficie y pida y dé estacas y demasías. Firmó. Testigos: Juan Serrano, Tomás Blaque y Josepe Boniver, vecinos];

Catálogo, Resumen e Índices [22 Apr 1563: Tomás Blaque, vecino, otorga poder general a García de Padilla, procurador de causas, vecino. Firmó. Testigos: Diego de Tejadillo, Juan Fernández y Nicolás de Morales, vecinos];

Catálogo, Resumen e Índices [19 May 1564: Mexico, Gabriel Jiménez, vecino, otorga poder general a Hernando de Campo, procurador de causas. Firmó. Testigos: Pedro de Aguilar, Tomás Blaque y Juan de Zaragoza, escribano público, vecinos y estantes];

Catálogo, Resumen e Índices [México, 11 marzo 1564: Pedro del Olmo, herrero, vecino y Hernán García, vecino, se obligan a entregar a Thomas Blaque, vecino, 2 rejas para ventanas del peso y hechura que se contiene en otra escritura que otorgó Pedro del Olmo, la cual dejan en su fuerza y vigor y esto, por cuanto recibieron 10 quintales de hierro de plancha que en nombre de Thomas Blaque les entregó Luis de Mansilla y 40 pesos de oro común en reales. Plazo: dentro de 4 meses. Con condición que, pasado el término, han de ser obligados a pagar en especie el hierro y los reales que recibieron. Y que las rejas han de quedar de la manera de otra reja que Thomas Blaque tiene en la dicha casa y a la medida de las 2 ventanas de ella, que salen para la calle, con sus cuadrados a los lados y de la grosedad de la otra reja. No firmaron Pedro del Olmo y Hernán García. Testigos: Nicolás de Morales, Juan Pérez y Cristóbal Pérez, vecinos y estantes];

Catálogo, Resumen e Índices [México, 23 octubre 1564: Miguel Núñez, vecino y Bautista Personel, mercader, vecino, se obligaron de mancomún a pagar a Tomás Blaque, mercader, vecino, 165 pesos de oro común que les prestó, por hacerles buena obra, en reales de plata, que les entregó en presencia del escribano yuso escrito. Plazo: 41 pesos y 2 tomines para fin de diciembre de 1564; y el resto, de la manera siguiente: para fin de abril de 1565, la tercera parte; otra, para fin de agosto; y la tercera parte última, para fin de diciembre, en reales de plata. Firmaron. Testigos: Pedro Donato, Juan Bravo y Nicolás Núñez, vecinos];

AGI, Contratación, 207, N.2\11 [Mexico, 1565: death of Gaspar de Villena in the pueblo of Chulapa; Chilapa, Nov. 1565, his legitimate heir is Antón Nieto, living in Mexico and married to a daughter of Francisca de Ribera, wife of Tomas Blaque; don Rodrigo Maldonado owes him 2 ducats that he gave his brother in Spain; Andrés Martín, owes him 10 tomines; Juan Rodríguez, estante in Chilapa, owes 15 pesos; Antonio Ruíz owes 71 pesos; Juan Navarro, platero, deceased, owed 16 pesos];

1570-1580

Sentencias pronunciadas, p.360 [1572: Dr. Vasco de Puga charged and found guilty and fined; heard the lawsuit of Tomás Blaque in his courtroom in which Blaque's wife gave to Puga's wife a 1/2 onza de amber and musk and other things without getting anything for them; and another suit in which Pedro Ocharte, vecino of Mexico received from Blaque a sword and other things without paying for them]

Relatives:

?AGI, Escribanía de la Cámara, 1100C [1688, Tomás Blaque, English, pirate and prisoner [grandson?]

Other Info:

Logic for age: [a very specific claim to be 44+ in 1551 probably means not yet 45, so born in 1506 or 1507; in Sept. 1539 he claims to be around 30, this would work with the above date, making him about 32 or 33; in 1559 he says he is around 40 when he should have said around 50; in 1561 he says he is over 40, but he is really over 50];

Hillerkuss, Diccionario Biográfico, vol.1 [says his mother is Inés Moat; served in Cartagena "bajo la bandera de un hermano, el gobernador Heredia"; married in 1538 or sometime after to Francisca de Rivera, widow of Cristóbal de Caniego; lived with his stepdaughter, Francisca de Caniega and his wife; Mexico City in 1555  p.169]