Gaspar de la Torre

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Gaspar de la Torre (17th century – 21 September 1745)[1] was the Governor-General of the Philippines from July 1739 to 21 September 1745.[2] It was during his term that Francisco Dagohoy and the Boholanos began their revolt against the Spanish colonial government.[3]


A painting of Samuel Scott depicting the capture of the Spanish treasure galleon Covadonga on 17 June 1743. (Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Samuel Scott)

Torre was born in Flanders, Belgium. He was a brigadier of royal armies and gentleman of the king’s bedchamber.[4] He was appointed as governor-general in July 1739, succeeding Fernándo Valdés.

During his term, he tried to urge Sultan Ali Muddin of Sulu to comply with the peace treaty that the colonial government and the sultanate had signed in 1737, and to allow missionaries to evangelize the Tausugs.[5] However, this did not stop Joloan pirates from attacking, which the colonial government cruelly responded to.[6]

It was also during his term when British Admiral George Anson managed to capture a Spanish treasure galleon near the Philippines.[7] On 17 June 1743, the Centurion captured the Covadonga, which was loaded with a total of 34.5 tons of silver worth USD 54 million (in 2011 prices). The Spanish galleon suffered with 67 deaths, 84 injuries, and 150 shots.

His governance was characterized as being harsh. Because of this, Francisco Dagohoy and the Boholanos to incite a revolt against the colonial government in 1744.[8] The Dagohoy Revolt, which was considered the longest in Philippine history, was triggered when a curate refused to give Dagohoy’s brother Sagarino a Christian burial. Sagarino had died trying to bring a fugitive to justice.

Torre died on 21 September 1745.[9] Bishop-elect Juan de Arrechederra, OP assumed the position as acting Governor-General.


  1. Real Academia de la Historia, "Gaspar Antonio de la Torre Ayala," accessed 19 February 2021,
  2. Carlos Quirino, Old Manila, ed. María Eloísa G. Parco-de Castro, 2nd ed. (Quezon City: Vibal Foundation, 2016), 293.
  3. Quirino, Old Manila, 293.
  4. Quirino, Old Manila, 292.
  5. Quirino, Old Manila, 292.
  6. Quirino, Old Manila, 292.
  7. “George Anson, Baron Anson”.Britannica. (Accessed on 19 January 2021).
  8. Quirino, Old Manila, 292.
  9. Quirino, Old Manila, 292.



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