Melchor Liñán y Cisneros

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Melchor Liñán y Cisneros

Melchor Liñán y Cisneros (sometimes Melchor de Liñán y Cisneros) (1629, Madrid—1708, Lima, Peru) was a Spanish prelate, colonial official, and viceroy Peru, from July 7, 1678 to November 20, 1681[1]).


He studied theology in the University of Alcalá de Henares, where he took his doctorate. Thereafter he was chaplain in Buitrago. He was also calificador (censor) of the Holy Office of the Inquisition. He arrived in America in 1664, as bishop of Santa Marta. In 1666 he became bishop of Popoyán, and then archbishop of Charcas in 1667.

He was sent as visitador (inspector) to Nuevo Reino de Granada in what is now Colombia in 1671 because of the inaction of Diego de Villalba y Toledo, president of the Audiencia there. He replaced Villabla in that position on June 2, 1671. At the same time he served as interim governor and captain general of Nuevo Reino de Granada.

He was archbishop of Lima in 1678 when he was appointed viceroy of Peru. As viceroy, he improved the fortifications of the port of Callao to defend against attacks by Dutch filibusters. He repressed rebellions of the clergy, who were opposed to the nomination of prelates from Spain — the Franciscans in Cuzco and the Dominicans in Quito.

On the death of the Peruvian astronomer Doctor Francisco Ruiz Lozano, Viceroy Liñán y Cisneros (with the approval of the Crown) gave mathematics a permanent position in the University of San Marcos. Mathematics was attached to the chair of cosmography. Doctor Juan Ramón Koening, a Belgian by birth, was named to the chair.[2]

As a reward for his services, the Spanish Crown granted Liñán y Cisneros the title of conde de la Puebla de los Valles. He wrote Ofensa y defensa de la libertad eclesiástica (Offense and Defence of Ecclesiastical Liberty). He died in Lima in 1708.


Government offices
Preceded by
Baltasar de la Cueva Enríquez
Viceroy of Peru
1678 – 1681
Succeeded by
Melchor de Navarra y Rocafull