Juan de Céspedes

Brief Biography: 
Juan de Céspedes was possibly born in 1522 in Cuenca (Cuenca). He came to New Spain in 1532 after having served the king in Orán and Italy. Prior to the Coronado Expedition, he was a corregidor and alcalde mayor in Oaxaca. Juan was present at the 1540 muster as an unassigned horseman. Shortly after the return of the Expedition to Mexico, Juan left for Spain where his wife was living. In 1549 he returned to New Spain with the new viceroy, Luis de Velasco. He again assumed several governmental posts in Oaxaca and Puebla.
Gender: 
Male
Date of Birth: 
1522
AGE-1540: 
18
Age Set: 
15-25
Birthplace
Country of Origin: 
Spain
Place of Birth (modern province/state/region): 
Cuenca
Place of Birth (City/Town): 
Cuenca
Died on the Expedition?: 
No
Last Known Location: 
Mexico City
European Social Status: 
Sobresaliente
Position on Expedition: 
Horseman
Within Viceroy Mendoza's Sphere: 
No
Pre-Expedition Occupation: 
Alcalde Mayor
Corregidor
Post Expedition Occupation: 
Alcalde Mayor
Residence After Expedition: 
Oaxaca, Mexico City, Puebla
Married: 
Yes
References-Documentary: 

1530-1540:

Zárate Aquino, Pequeño Diccionario [p.103:corregidor of Antequera, siglo XVI, fue el primero de 42 corregidores que gobernaron 1536-1787];

Álvarez, Historia General [p. 70: 1536: el Gobierno Español…suprinió las Alcaldías Mayores, instituyendo los Corregimientos…Como primer Corregidor fue nombrado Dn. Juan de Céspedes. Duró en el cargo hasta 1540]

?AGI, Justicia, 269, Pieza 8 [fol. 10r: Juan de Céspedes is a witness along with Juan Coronel to the sentence handed down to Francisco de Terrazas, 7 Feb 1538, no signatures on copy]

1540-1550:

1540,Feb: Muster in Flint & Flint, Documents, Document 12 [2 horses, native arms]

?Garmendia Leal, Fundadores, p.7 [Listed in the Padrón de Tetlán, 1541]

AGI, México, 1064, L.1 \ 1 \, “Informes,” = Icaza, Diccionario, #1379 [fol.281r: doesn't say where he is a native, except to say he served in Orán in His Majesty's company; 15 years in New Spain; Cíbola as alférez; now returned to New Spain with viceory Luis de Velasco with his uncle, Luis Piçano; he has not been remunerated for his services; wants a repartimiento];

1550-1560:

AGI, Contaduría, 663B, [Payments made from funds paid to the cámara: to Juan de Céspedes, albacea of don Alonso Manrique, alcalde mayor of Veracruz, 50 pesos authorized in September 1555, “carta de pago de Juan de Céspedes,” (scribe, Juan de Cuevas)];

?Catálogo, Resumen e Índices, 2674, AA81 [fol.153-153v: Mexico  25 Junio 1558, Poder General, Pedro Ortiz, vecino, otorga poder general a Francisco de Escobar, procurador de causas, vecino, ausente. Firmó. Testigos: Juan de Céspedes y Gaspar Rodríguez, vecinos y estantes]

AGI, Contaduría, 663B [payments to corregidores y tenientes de corregidor: to capitán Juan de Céspedes, 300 pesos, as corregidor of Chinantla, for his second year of service ending in May 1554, paid 300 pesos for his third year of service ending in June 1555];

AGI, Contaduría, 663B [Payments en quitas: to capitán Juan de Céspedes, corregidor for Chinantla, 150 pesos for ayuda de costa for the period ending in June 1555 in recognition of the services to His Majesty including in Italy]

AGI, Contaduría, 664, 1557 [Other grants: Juan de Céspedes, alcalde mayor for the port of Guatulco, 400 pesos, 24 Oct 1555-24 Oct 1556, sustenance; and was corregidor of Pochutlaytunameca and alcalde mayor of the port of Guatulco, 81 pesos, 18 Mar 1555-8 Mar 1557];

AGI, Contaduría, 664, 1557 [corregidores: Capitan Juan de Cespedes, corregidor of Pochutla y Tunameca and alcalde mayor of the port of Guatulco, 119 pesos]

AGI, Contaduría, 664, 1560 [Payments to alcaldes mayores, corregidores y tenientes: Juan de Céspedes, was corregidor of Tevcapotlan, Yztepeque and alcalde mayor of Oaxaca, 900 pesos, 25 July 1558-25 July 1559 and 20 July 1559-20 July 1560];

AGI, Contaduría, 664, 1560 [Misc. payments: Captain Juan de Céspedes, alcalde mayor for the province of Oaxaca, 400 pesos, 20 July 1559-20 July 1560; and, 400 pesos, for service as alcalde mayor, 20 July 1558-20 July 1559; and cost reimbursement of 400 pesos, 17 July 1557-17 July 1558];

AGI, México, 96 [9 Nov. 1559, Juan de Céspedes, alcalde mayor in Antequera];

AGI, México, 281 [8 Feb 1560, Mexico City, probanza of Domingo de Alaves, clerigo, vecino in Oaxaca; 1 March 1560, petition presented in Antequera before captain Juan de Céspedes, alcalde mayor; witness in Mexico City: Juan Gallego, alcalde ordinario, vecino, 60+, has lived in these parts for 38+ years, signed-no signature on copy; Bartolomé Sánchez, regidor, age-60 +/-];

AGN, Instituciones Coloniales, GD72, Real Audiencia, Mercedes, vol.5-6, primera parte, exp.196, 1560 [fols. 67v – 68r:July 1560, Juan de Céspedes is alcalde mayor for Antequera y province of Oaxaca y corregidor of Teozapotlán; he is directed to continue in office temporarily, altough his term has expired, until a replacement can be named]

1560-1570:

AGN, Instituciones Coloniales, GD72, Real Audiencia, Mercedes, vol.5-6, primera parte, exp.s/n, 1561 [fols. 262v and 263v – 264r:April 1561, a Juan de Céspedes is appointed “capitán de la gente y criados que su magestad tiene en estas casas reales y de la artillería y municiones” at the king’s pleasure with a salary of 400 pesos de minas per year];

Muro, La expedición Legazpí-Urdaneta [89, capitán Juan de Céspedes encargado de la "artillería y munición que Su Magestad tiene en estas casa reales" de México, January 1563; he sent the powder and other munitions, as well as weapons and armor, on to La Navidad];

Valderrama, Cartas, #32, p.235 [1563, Velasco paid him 1831 pesos from Su Magestad's cashbox; criado of Viceroy; brought him from Spain; married in Castilla];

Valderrama, Cartas, #28, p.208 [1564, criado of Velasco I; captain of artillery and munitions; provided a corregimiento worth 400 pesos de minas each year; married in Spain];

AGNEP, Notaría 4, Caja 1, 1564 Carpeta 1.7 [Juan Alonso Velázquez, mayordomo de la santa yglesia de Puebla, sells to captain Juan de Céspedes, of Mexico City, absent from this document's execution, a black hispanized slave, called Magarita, 30 years old, along with her mulata son, for 280 pesos de minas];

Suárez de Peralta, La Conjuración [p.57: el alcaide, el cual era un caballero, que servía de capitán de la guarda, que se llamaba Juan de Céspedes];

AHMP, Actas, Vol. 10, Document 28, Asunto 2 [fol.22f:November 29, 1566, Nombramiento a capitán Juan de Céspedes como alcalde mayor de la ciudad de los Ángeles, corregidor do los pueblos de Cuauhtinchan y Ocopetlayuca];

AHMP, Actas, Vol. 10, Document 38, Asunto 1 fol.30v:[April 2, 1567, Alcalde mayor Juan de Céspedes attends cabildo [also April 18, April 24, May 12, May 22, May 30, June 23, July 31, September 9, September 19, October 4, October 27, 1567 (same signature as AGN, Instituciones Coloniales, GD61, Inquisición, Vol. 63, exp. 4, 1572)]; April 2, Francisco de Vargas, alguacil mayor (signature is not Francisco Díaz de Vargas)];

AHMP, Actas, Vol. 10, Document 63, Asunto 2 [fol.46f:March 15, 1568, Prorrogación al capitán Juan de Céspedes por un año en el cargo de alcalde mayor de la ciudad de los Ángeles y corregidor de Cuauhtinchan];

AHMP, Actas, Vol. 10, Document 68, Asunto 1 [fol.49v:August 30, 1568, Alcalde mayor Juan de Céspedes attends cabildo meeting [also September 17, November 15, November 19, December 15, 1568; January 1, 1569, January 3, January 7, February 18, February 28, March 8, April 4, May 2, May 27, July 11, August 12, 1569; January 1, 1570, January 2, January 9, February 6, 1570];

 AHMP, Actas, Vol. 10, Document 70, Asunto 2 [fol.53f:September 27, 1568, Capitán Juan de Céspedes, alcalde mayor, y Francisco de Vargas, alguacil mayor, fueran a besar las manos del señor virrey];

López de Villaseñor, Cartilla Vieja [p. 360: refers to Juan de Céspedes as alcalde mayor in 1568]

AGI, Escribanía, 952 [1568: Juan de Céspedes con Diego Sánchez Vadillo sobre dos partidas de oro, una sentencia]

1570-1580:

?AGI, Escribanía, 952 [1571: Juan de Céspedes with Diego Romero sobre Indios; auto and sentence];

AGN, Instituciones Coloniales, GD61, Inquisición, Vol. 63, exp. 4, 1572 [fol. 86: informacion de la limpieza y linaje de Juan de Céspedes; captain of the ysla and puerto of San Juan de Ulua; alcaide; 6 March 1572, investigation done in Mexico City; witness states that he was the alcalde mayor in Guaxaca, thinks he was a native of Cuenca and 50 years old; witness Pedro Calderon in Puebla has known Juan for 30 years in this place; another witness has known him for 35 years here; witness: Juan de Paradinas, native of Paradinas, vecino of Mexico, more than 50 years old; has known Cespedes for 35 years, that they went on the conquest of Cibola together, Céspedes was alferez, doesn't know where he is a native from nor his linage, always took him for a good Christian];

 AGN, Instituciones Coloniales, GD61, Inquisición, Vol. 212, exp. 13, 1572 [fol.2, image 501: 6 July 1572; naming him as familiar in Veracruz; captain on the island of San Juan de Ulua];

AGI, Patronato, 68, N.2, R.4 [has asked to be made alguazil mayor, minas de Zacatecas, or income from renta de indios] [in meantime asks to be made captain general of flota leaving for Spain, spring 1576] [in Nueva España more than 30 years] [Viceroy Velasco had given permission to go to Spain] [Céspedes is a captain] [Céspedes came to Nueva España 30 years before this (1568)] [served as alférez de gente de caballo in the jornada a Cíbola] [Céspedes returned to España and then came back to Nueva España with Viceroy Luis de Velasco, as captain of his guard] [Céspedes served as alcalde mayor and corregidor of muchas ciudades y partes de nueva españa, most recently as alcalde and capitan of San Juan de Ulloa and in Antequera] [Céspedes asks for license to return to Castilla, November 20, 1565] [Céspedes has asked to be made alguazil mayor of the mines of Zacatecas or administrator of the salinas of the mines or to be given a livelihood] [witnesses, Mexico City, 1568: Angel de Villafañe (Céspedes served as captain of artillery for the Audiencia); Juan de Cuevas says Céspedes is uno de los principales hombres de este reyno; Juan de Sámano; Luis de Velasco; Francisco de Velasco; Luis Ramírez de Vargas says Céspedes was hidalgo and alférez under Tristán de Arellano; Céspedes served at his own cost without salary of assistance; Hortuno? de Ybarra (Ybarra saw that Céspedes went on the jornada to Cíbola) = Hackett, Historical Documents [I:47: corregidor and alcalde mayor after expedition]

?AGI, Contratación, 5788, L.1 [fol.102v: named as Alcalde Mayor of Verapaz, June 10, 1577 (can't tell if it is him)];

AGI, Contratación, 475, N.2, R.20, [Bienes de Pedro de Saavedra, Santiago de Guatemala, May 1578; during the almoneda, don Juan de Céspedes, alcalde mayor of Verapaz, buys many items having to do with blacksmithing (2 hammers, 1 bigornia, tenazas, 1 pujavante, 1 almohaza, 1 traspuntador, 1 freno jinete for 12 tostones, also a candelero and a bacinilla; Bernal Díaz del Castillo is also a purchaser; a Francisco de Caravajal buys una maestra de vaqueta con su cadena for 4 tostones; a Francisco de Tórres, cuñado de Alonso Enrubia or Enrrueda, buys 12 mantas de yucatán]

Other Info:

AGI, Indiferente General, 2056, N.120 [1575, license to go to Mexico and Puebla for Pedro de la Vega, son of Elvira Rodríguez with his wife Ana López and daughter, all vecinos of Zafra; in order to be in the company of Juan de Cepeda (this is probably the right Juan de Cepeda);

?Palomino y Cañedo, Protocolos de Rodrigo Hernández Cordero, #12 [I, fols. 130r-132v: Testamento y codicilo de Pedro de Céspedes, Guadalajara; 11 April 1588; son of Juan de Céspedes and María Sánchez, vecinos who were from the villa of Cubas, 5 leagues from Madrid]