Fernando Norzagaray

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A portrait of Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero, Governor-General of the Philippines (1856-1860) (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Pedro Chamorro y Baquerizo)

Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero (29 July 1808 – 12 September 1860)[1] was the Governor-General of the Philippines from 9 March 1856 to 12 January 1860.[2]

Biography

Norzagaray was from San Sebastian, Spain.[3] He is the son of Fernando Norzagaray Casado and Faustina Escudero Villanueva.[4] His father, who is a member of the Corps of Engineers, died on 15 February 1809 during the Spanish War of Independence, a few months since his birth.[5]

He began to render military services and proceed with his studies in July 1820.[6] He was granted a temporary leave in Alcalá de Henares in March 1823, and waited to continue his studies at the Academy of Engineers.[7] He continued his studies at the Royal Academy of San Fernando after he contributed to the reorganization of the Sapper Regiment and joined the King's Infantry Regiment.[8]

From then on, he took an active part in military campaigns during the First Carlist War (1833 – 1840), supporting the Liberal cause.[9] Throughout the war, he received promotions and decorations for his actions.[10] He was then promoted to brigadier and appointed as undersecretary of the Ministry of War by March 1839.[11] As undersecretary, he made efforts which led to the signing of the Convention of Vergara, the treaty that ended the First Carlist War.[12] He became Minister of War on numerous occasions.[13] However, he was imprisoned in October 1841, and was sentenced guilty of sedition and punished by being deprived of his rank and decorations and imprisoned in the Marianas Islands for six years on 18 October.[14] It was eventually decided that he will be imprisoned in the Philippines.[15] He arrived in Manila in November 1842, and was imprisoned in Fort Santiago.[16]

During his imprisonment in Fort Santiago, the Novales Revolt occurred.[17] He then offered his services to the colonial military, and participated in storming the fort which was then taken over by the insurgents.[18] He was granted an amnesty on 26 May 1843, and went back to Spain in 1844.[19] He was promoted as field marshal in February 1846, and as lieutenant general in 1849, and continued participating in campaigns across the country.[20]

He was then appointed in 1852 as governor of Puerto Rico.[21] He occupied the post from May 1852 until in January 1855.[22] During his term, he ordered the construction of the Grand Bridge, arsenals, and cavalries.[23] He eventually returned to Spain, and was appointed as the new Governor-General of the Philippines.[24] He succeeded Ramón Montero, who resigned from his post due to poor health.[25]

During his term as Governor-General, he built establishments offering foreign exchange services, and organized the infantry through a decree of 23 September 1859.[26] He also designed a complete plan of road networks in the archipelago.[27]

He resigned from his position in 1859 due to health reasons, and was succeeded by Ramón María Solano on 12 January 1860.[28] He went back to Spain, where he was appointed as senator for life in 1860.[29]

He died on 12 September 1860 due to dysentery.[30]

Trivia

The town of Norzagaray in the province of Bulacan is named after Governor-General Norzagaray, who established the area as a separate town from Angat.[31]

References

  1. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero," accessed 2 February 2021, http://dbe.rah.es/biografias/13592/fernando-norzagaray-y-escudero
  2. Carlos Quirino, Old Manila, ed. María Eloísa G. Parco-de Castro, 2nd ed. (Quezon City: Vibal Foundation, 2016), 297.
  3. Quirino, Old Manila, 297.
  4. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  5. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  6. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  7. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  8. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  9. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  10. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  11. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  12. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  13. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  14. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  15. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  16. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  17. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  18. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  19. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  20. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  21. Quirino, Old Manila, 297.
  22. Quirino, Old Manila, 297.
  23. Quirino, Old Manila, 297.
  24. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  25. Real Academia de la Historia, "Ramón Montero Blandino," accessed 2 February 2021, http://dbe.rah.es/biografias/137356/ramon-montero-blandino
  26. Quirino, Old Manila, 297.
  27. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  28. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero;" Quirino, Old Manila, 297.
  29. Senado de España, "NORZAGARAY Y ESCUDERO, FERNANDO," accessed 3 February 2021, https://www.senado.es/web/conocersenado/senadohistoria/senado18341923/senadores/fichasenador/index.html?id1=2029
  30. Real Academia de la Historia, "Fernando Norzagaray y Escudero."
  31. Provincial Government of Bulacan, "Municipality of Norzagaray," accessed 3 February 2021, https://www.bulacan.gov.ph/norzagaray/history.php

External links

Citation

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