Francisco de Aguilar (conquistador)

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Francisco de Aguilar (1479 — 1571?), born Alonso de Aguilar, was a Spanish conquistador who took part in the expedition led by Hernán Cortés that resulted in the conquest of the Aztec Empire and the fall of Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec state in the central Mexican plateau.

He was granted an encomienda after the conquest near, but in 1529, eight years after the fall of Tenochtitlan, he gave up his encomienda and entered the Dominican Order, adopting the name Francisco. Aguilar spent the remaining 40 years of his life as a Dominican friar. According to Patricia de Fuente, who translated his account to English, Aguilar "was contemplative by nature, and ... he brooded about the moral aspect of the Conquest."[1]

Late in his long life, in his early 80s, his fellow Dominicans urged him write an account of the Aztec conquest drawing from his experiences. This account, known as Relación breve de la conquista de la Nueva España ("Brief Record [Account] of the Conquest of New Spain"), went unpublished in his lifetime, however a manuscript copy of it was preserved at the royal library of El Escorial outside of Madrid, Spain. It was first published in 1900 by the Mexican historian and archivist, Francisco del Paso y Troncoso. A modern English translation of Aguilar's chronicle is published in The Conquistadors: First-Person Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico,[2]

In his elderly years, he was diagnosed with gout and he soon died in Mexico at the age of 92.[3]


  1. ^ Patricia de Fuente, "Introduction to the Chronicle of Fray Francisco de Aguilar," in The Conquistadors, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1993, p. 134.
  2. ^ The Conquistadors, Patricia de Fuentes, editor and translator. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press 1993, pp. 134-164.
  3. ^ Nash, Gary B. 2003. Encyclopedia of American history. New York: Facts on File.  
Aguilar, fray Francisco de (1993) [1561]. "The Chronicle of Fray Francisco de Aguilar". The Conquistadors: First-Person Accounts of the Conquest of Mexico. Patricia de Fuente (trans.). Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. 
Díaz del Castillo, Bernal (1963) [1632]. The Conquest of New Spain. Penguin Classics. J. M. Cohen (trans.) (6th printing [1973] ed.). Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-044123-9. OCLC 162351797. 
Himmerich y Valencia, Robert (1996). The Encomenderos of New Spain, 1521-1555. Foreword by Joseph P. Sánchez (originally published as author's PhD thesis, UCLA, 1984; 1st pbk ed.). Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-73108-6. OCLC 36279278. 
Keen, Benjamin (1971). The Aztec Image in Western Thought (1st pbk [1990] ed.). New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-1572-6. OCLC 211372. 
Warren, J. Benedict (1973). "An Introductory Survey of Secular Writings in the European Tradition on Colonial Middle America, 1503-1818". In Howard F. Cline (Volume ed.), John B. Glass (Associate vol. ed.). Handbook of Middle American Indians. Vol. 13: Guide to Ethnohistorical Sources, part II. R. Wauchope (General Editor). Austin: University of Texas Press. pp. 42–137. ISBN 0-292-70153-5. OCLC 163392725. 

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