Laureano de Torres y Ayala
|Laureano de Torres y Ayala|
|30º Governor of La Florida|
21 Sep 1693 – 1699
|Preceded by||Diego de Quiroga y Losada|
|Succeeded by||José de Zúñiga y la Cerda|
|42º Governor of Cuba|
18 January 1707/1708 – 18 February 1711
|Preceded by||Pedro Álvarez de Villarín|
|Succeeded by||Vicente de Raja|
|Died||1722 (aged 77)
|Spouse(s)||Catalina Gertrudis Bayona y Chacón|
|Profession||soldier and governor|
Laureano de Torres y Ayala (Seville, Spain, 1645 – Havana, Cuba 1722), Marquis of Casa Torres and Knight of Santiago, was a Spanish soldier and Royal governor of La Florida (1693–1699) and of Cuba (1707–1711 and 1713–1716).
Laureano José de Torres Ayala a Duadros Castellanos was born in Seville, Spain, in 1645, but he grew up in Madrid, Spain, where he settled with his parents when he was small. Ayala came from a noble family. He was the son of Tomás de Torres y Ayala and Elvira de Quadros Castellanos. His father was jury in Seville in 1649, regular mayor and governor and Captain General of Mérida and the La Grita in Venezuela. His brothers were: Pedro Ignacio, Cristóbal and Diego Torres Ayala y Quadros. In his youth he joined the Spanish army.
Later, in June 1693, he formed part a Spanish expedition in Florida, crossing places as Okaloosa County and the Chipola at the Natural Bridge Spring. So, he became the first European to completed overland the crossing of West Florida. In 21 Sep 1693, Ayala was appointed governor of Spanish Florida, replacing Diego de Quiroga y Losada. He held this post until 1699, when he returned to Spain. From 1704 and 1707, Ayala participated in the War of the Spanish Succession in Europe. 
In this first stage of government Cuba, Ayala was principally concerned with the economic problems suffered Cuba.
He heard from a landowner and officer Spain, Orri, who managed a project to sell snuff for Government of Cuba. This measure was contrary to snuff speculators, those who sold it to Spain and other parts of America bypassing customs duties, but Ayala felt that this measure would be as beneficial to Spain, so he worked to be carried out in Cuba. The successful business that originated monopoly snuff, caused him to be appointed Marquis de Casa - Torre. He also worked at Fort Havana. Torres y Ayala had grave disputes with Liutenant - Auditor Jose Fernandez de Cordoba. 
However, he could only maintain this position until February 18, 1711, because to that its auditor Pablo Cavera, imprisoned him in the fortress of El Morro, on the same island, sending King Philip V an indictment of corruption against the governor, after have investigated his administration. However, two years later, he was acquitted and on February 14, 1713, Ayala was reappointed to the same office. This new period was of relative peace. In this, he founded several charities, as la Casa de la Beneficiencia and a home for beggars. Also, on June 9, 1714, Laureano de Torres y Ayala promoted the construction of a hospital for lepers, which was established in the city of Havana. After collecting large donations, he began construction of the Hospital de San Lazaro and its temple in a plot located near that city. In addition, he founded the city of Santiago del Bejucal, snuff industry acquired a great development and the plant begins to be widely cultivated in the district,"Vuelta Abajo". 
Laureano de Torres y Ayala married the Cuban Catalina Gertrudis Bayona y Chacón on August 5, 1687 in Havana. He had three children: Tomasa María, Laureano Antonio José, and Sor Manuela de San Laureano.
In popular culture
He appeared in the 2013 Ubisoft action-adventure video game, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, as the main antagonist and a member of the Templar Order. He wanted to find Assassins and got an Assassin turncoat named Duncan Walpole to help him. Before this, Duncan had been killed by game protagonist Edward Kenway and impersonated by him. Eventually, Torres found out and made Edward a prisoner. Torres doesn't appear very often in the game, using his Templar minions to do his dirty work. His evil plan was to find a location called the Observatory (which is in Jamaica and the blood of a Sage to get in and track people through out the world as a means of ending the Assassins. He is killed by Edward Kenway in the Observatory.
- Laureano de TORRES AYALA Y QUADROS, I marqués de Casa Torres.
- Francesca Hampton (2000). "Newspaper De Cuba Genealogy Club of Miami. Del Pasado - Por el Conde San Juan de Jaruco. El Hospital de San Lázaro, de La Habana". Retrieved March 23, 1947.
- Florida Counties.
- U.S. States F-K.
- The Spanish at Florida Caverns State Park. A Legacy of Soldiers and Priests.
- The History of Cuba (Complete). Written by Willis Fletcher Johnson.
- Vicente de Cádenas y Vicent (1994). "Caballeros de la orden de santiago. siglo XVIII.". Hidalguia, Madrid. Retrieved May 2010.
- - Governor of Cuba, (in Spanish)