Fray Tomás de Berlanga

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Statue of Fray Tomás in Berlanga de Duero

Fray Tomás de Berlanga (1487 – 8 August 1551) was the fourth Bishop of Panamá.[1]

Tomas de Berlanga was born in Berlanga de Duero in Soria, Spain. In 1534 he was consecrated bishop of Panama. In 1535, he sailed to Peru to settle a dispute between Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro over division of territory after the conquest of the Inca Empire.[2]:388 His ship stalled when the winds died and strong currents carried him out to the Galápagos Islands which he thus discovered on March 10, 1535. He sent an account of the adventure and discovery to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Spain.

When Tomás de Berlanga returned to the Berlanga de Duero from America, he brought with him a cayman from the Chagres River in Panama. This cayman measured 3 meters. It is currently on display in the Colegiata de Nuestra Señora del Mercado in Berlanga de Duero.[3]


  1. ^ Fray Tomas de Berlanga - Catholic Encyclopedia article
  2. ^ Leon, P., 1998, The Discovery and Conquest of Peru, Chronicles of the New World Encounter, edited and translated by Cook and Cook, Durham: Duke University Press, ISBN 9780822321460
  3. ^