Antonio López, 1st Marquess of Comillas
The Marquess of Comillas
Litography of the Marquess of Comillas, 1883
|Born||April 12, 1817|
|Died||January 16, 1883 (aged 65)|
|Spouse(s)||Lluïsa Bru Lassús|
Antonio López y López, 1st Marquess of Comillas, GE, OIC (1817 in Comillas – 1883 in Barcelona), was a Spanish businessman and shipping magnate. He was the founder of a number of important Spanish companies.
After his death his son Claudio López Bru took over the responsibility of running the companies his father had founded.
Antonio López emigrated to colonial Cuba in 1831 while still a teenager and lived in Santiago de Cuba. He took an interest in shipping and in 1850 he founded the "Compañia de Vapores Correos A. López" which began operations with a 400-ton hybrid sailing ship-sidewheel steamer. This company would eventually become the Compañía Transatlántica Española ocean line in 1881.
In 1876 he became the co-founder and first president of the Banco Hispano Colonial, established in Barcelona. He also led the Banco de Crédito Mercantil. Around that time Antonio López transferred his residence to Barcelona and married Catalan lady, Lluïsa Bru Lassús, with whom he had four children. Claudio Lopez Bru was his fourth son. During this decade he moved to Spain the head offices of some of his companies as well. Eventually his children became part of the high society in Barcelona and Antonio López became the father in law of Eusebi Güell after his daughter Isabel López Bru married him.
At the prompting of Jesuit Tomás Gómez Carral Antonio López accepted to finance the construction of the Comillas Pontifical University, but he died in 1883 in Barcelona in the very year of the groundbreaking ceremony.
Legacy and honors
He was ennobled with the title of Marquis of Comillas in 1878 and was also awarded the Order of Isabella the Catholic. King Alfonso XII made a eulogy of Antonio López following his death, saying that "Spain has lost one of the men who has given it the greatest service."
In Barcelona there is a monument dedicated to him and the companies he founded. Located close to the Compañía Transatlántica Española head office, the monument A López and López was erected in 1884 and was designed by architect Josep Oriol Mestres and sculptor Venanci Vallmitjana. On its sides it has reliefs by Lluís Puiggener, Joan Roig i Solé, Rossend Nobas and Francesc Pagès. The monument was destroyed in 1936, but was restored in 1944 by Frederic Marès. On March 4, 2018 the monument was finally removed after a campaign denouncing the involvement of Antonio López in the slave trade.
- Antonio López y López - Biografia
- Pictures and history of CTE ships
- Antonio López López 1817-1883 desde 1878 primer «Marqués de Comillas»
- Diario Montañés; Antonio López y López
- Eusebi Güell - Catalan Encyclopedia
- Enciclopedia de la Cultura Española - Comillas. Universidad Pontificia de Comillas
- Antonio López López (1817-1883) desde 1878 primer “Marqués de Comillas”
- Jaume Capó & Aleix Catasús. Guia d'escultures de Barcelona. Barcelona: Polígrafa, 2003. ISBN 84-343-1019-8
- "Barcelona retira la estatua de Antonio López por "esclavista"" [Barcelona removes Antonio López monument under slavery allegations]. La Vanguardia (in Spanish). Barcelona, Spain. 2018-03-04. Retrieved 2018-03-04.