Cristóbal de Benavente

Brief Biography: 

A friend of Vázquez de Coronado, licenciado Cristóbal de Benavente became the second fiscal of the Audiencia of México sometime after 1535, replacing his father-in-law Antonio Ruiz. Benavente, nevertheless, drew up charges against Vázquez de Coronado in 1545 for abuses committed against Natives of Tierra Nueva, charges of which the former captain general was absolved. When Benavente himself testified as a witness during the visita of Viceroy Mendoza's performance in office, he spoke very favorably of the viceroy. After more than ten years as fiscal, the licenciado resigned and returned to Benavente (Zamora province) in Spain.

References-Documentary: 

Pre-1530:

AGI, Indiferente, 1382A [peticiones; a Cristóbal de Benavente, escribano de sus magestades, de publico y del consejo en la ciudad de Antequera, July 19, 1529]; 

1530-1540:

Warren, Vasco de Quiroga and his Pueblo-Hospitals of Santa Fe [p.89, Licenciado Cristóbal de Benavente was sent to Michoacán as corregidor and visitador in 1532];

1540-1550:

AGI, Justicia, 258, pieza 1, “Visita hecha al Virrey, 1544” [witness, October 22, 1544: licenciado Cristóbal de Benavente, native of the villa of Benavente, vecino of México, more than 40 years old; licenciado Ceynos was his padrino at his wedding; signed his name]

AGI, Patronato, 57, N.2, R.1, “Probanza of Francisco de Albornoz Marmolejo, 1592” [Mendoza’s expenditures for expeditions from own funds, méritos y servicios, March 1545; Benavente very positive witness, had known Mendoza since 1535];

AGI, Justicia, 267, Quaderno 6, "Proceso secreto contra los officials de la audiencia, 1546" [61 preguntas on 7 fols.; among those specifically targeted is Benavente, the fiscal] [pregunta 8 asks whether Benavente has been diligent in prosecuting wrongs; 9 asks whether he has ignored infractions by some persons; questions about the fiscal continue through number 16; Benavente viewed as upstanding and conscientious] [93rd witness is Lorenzo de Tejada; on fol. 310v-311r Tejada expresses disapproval of Benavente: no le tocan ny empezan nynguna de las otras pregunta generales excepto que le parecen mal a este testigo sus cosas del dicho fiscal en no usar su oficio con la yntegridad que debe asi siendo abogado como despues que es fiscal; this has to do with a specific case in which Benavente had financial dealings with an accused];

AGI, Justicia, 1021, N.2, Pieza 6, “Relación sacada de la probanza” [México, January 1547] [January 10, 1547, before Gerónimo Ruiz de la Mota, alcalde of the ciudad de México and in the presence of the scribe Sancho López de Agurto, Cristóbal de Benavente appears by virtue of a poder from Villalobos (1546) and presents an interrogatorio regarding López de Cárdenas];

Actas de Cabildo, Tomo V, p.212 [Benavente granted part of a solar that is adjacent to one he already owns in México, April 12, 1548];

1550-1560:

AGI, Patronato, 281, N.1, R.121, “Real provisión de emplazamiento a Cristóbal de Benavente, 1551” [provisión de emplazamiento [summons], May 27, 1551; Benavente, former fiscal of the Audiencia de Nueva España, returned to Spain one year earlier, vecino of the villa de Benavente, collected grant for Villalobos, said to have failed to deliver 250 pesos of that amount; licenciado Juan de Villalobos, former fiscal of the Consejo de Indias, now dead (Schäfer, page 5, indicates death at about August 8, 1550), grant of 1,200 ducados made by the king; request for summons made by his widow, doña Mencia de Carvajal, on her behalf and on behalf of Villalobos’ other heirs];

Surname: 
Benavente