Francisco Bilbao

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Francisco Bilbao Barquín
F Bilbao.jpg
Born (1823-01-19)January 19, 1823
Santiago, Chile
Died February 9, 1865(1865-02-09) (aged 42)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Nationality Chilean
Notable work The Chilean Sociability

Francisco Bilbao Barquín (19 January 1823 – 9 February 1865) was a Chilean writer, philosopher and liberal politician.

Early life[edit]

Francisco Bilbao Barquin was born in Santiago on January 9, 1823. His parents were Rafael Bilbao Beyne and Argentina Mercedes Barquin.

His father, an opponent of Diego Portales, was exiled to Lima, Peru in 1829. Francis therefore split his early years between Santiago and Lima. There he experienced the political events of the civil war of 1829-1830[clarification needed].


In Peru he studied astronomy, sciences and music, and also practised swimming and gymnastics. He returned to Santiago in 1839 and studied at the Instituto Nacional, taking courses including public law, constitutional law, Latin and philosophy, although he did not earn a degree. His teachers included Andrés Bello and José Victorino Lastarria.

Works and political career[edit]

Statue of Francisco Bilbao Barquín in Valparaíso

In 1844 he published his controversial[why?] book The Chilean Sociability. He moved to Paris in 1845. He returned to Chile in 1850, the year he also founded the Society of Equality. In 1851 he led an unsuccessful insurrection against the government of Manuel Montt, after which he again had to move to Peru. He never returned to Chile.

In Lima, he joined the Peruvian political life. In May 1855 he had to leave the country after being persecuted for criticizing the clergy. He went back to Europe, settling in Paris and Belgium.

In 1857, he returned to the Americas, specifically Argentina. He died in Buenos Aires in 1865, aged 42.