Francisco Jose de Ovando

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Francisco José Ovando y Solís (3 October 1693 – 9 December 1755)[1] was the Governor-General of the Philippines from 20 July 1750 to 19 July 1754.[2]

Biography

Ovando belonged to an illustrious family from Cáceres.[3] At the age of seventeen, he participated in military campaigns during the War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714).[4] He continued serving as a cadet for four years. He then became a marine guard cadet on 11 October 1717.[5] He participated in numerous naval expeditions including those during the War of the Quadruple Alliance in 1718, served in various garrisons across the country, as well as studying lessons in educational institutions.[6] He was also assigned to conduct naval activities in the colonies, particularly in Peru.[7] He was made Marquis of Ovando on 18 October 1734 by King Charles III, who was at that time King of Naples and Sicily.[8]

He was then appointed as the interim governor of the Kingdom of Chile on 6 June 1745, succeeding José Manso de Velasco who was appointed as Viceroy of Peru.[9] He formally assumed office eleven days later.[10] During his term, he ordered the reconstruction of buildings that were destroyed by an earthquake in 1930; and the construction of a courtroom on prisons and tajamares.[11] His term of office ended on 25 March 1746, and was succeeded by Domingo Ortiz de Rozas.[12] Afterwards, he was appointed as the new Governor-General of the Philippines.[13]

As Governor-General

He began his term of office on 20 July 1750, succeeding Gaspar de la Torre.[14] Before his appointment, Bishop-elect Juan de Arrechederra, OP served as acting governor-general.[15]

During his term, he implemented numerous economic policies.[16] He carried out activities of the Royal Treasury, regulated the circulation of currency in the archipelago, planned the establishment of a trading company, ordered the exploitation of iron mines in Mambulao (present-day Jose Panganiban, Camarines Norte), and implemented measures to combat fraud and smuggling.[17] He also implemented measures to regulate the Manila Galleon Trade. He ordered the construction of a vessel capable of carrying sixty canons, and instituted new rules regarding trading activities.[18]

As for foreign relations, he reestablished relations with other Southeast Asian nations. He facilitated the establishment of trade relations with Cambodia after receiving its Crown Prince.[19] He also restored relations with Siam (present-day Thailand).[20] He was able to convince the King of Borneo to grant the rights to govern Sulu to the colonial government.[21]

He also implemented measures to strengthen the archipelago's defenses.[22] He improved the armory in Manila, repaired the twenty-one fortresses that were built across the archipelago, and ordered the population of the Marianas Islands.[23] He also organized a military expedition to conquer the islands of Mindanao and Sulu, in an attempt to end Moro piracy in the archipelago's waters.[24]

At the same time, he complied with the order to expel the Chinese from the archipelago.[25]

He ended his term of office on 19 July 1754 after he was asked to be relived of his post on 14 November 1752.[26] He was succeeded by Pedro Manuel de Arandia Santisteban.

Death

He died on 9 December 1755 after the galleon where he was boarded into sunk in the Gulf of California.[27]

Trivia

The town of Obando in the province of Bulacan is named after Governor-General Ovando, who established the town on 14 May 1753.[28]

References

  1. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís," accessed 19 February 2021, http://dbe.rah.es/biografias/7637/francisco-jose-ovando-y-solis
  2. Carlos Quirino, Old Manila, ed. María Eloísa G. Parco-de Castro, 2nd ed. (Quezon City: Vibal Foundation, 2016), 293.
  3. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  4. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  5. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  6. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís;" Quirino, Old Manila, 293.
  7. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  8. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  9. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  10. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  11. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  12. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  13. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  14. Quirino, Old Manila, 293.
  15. Quirino, Old Manila, 293.
  16. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  17. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  18. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  19. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  20. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  21. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  22. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  23. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  24. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  25. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  26. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  27. Real Academia de la Historia, "Francisco José Ovando y Solís."
  28. Official Webpage of the Municipal Government of Obando, Bulacan, Philippines, "Our Heritage," accessed 19 February 2021, https://obandopilipinas.wordpress.com/about-obando/about/

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