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Hernando Pizarro

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Hernando Pizza
[[File:Historia de la conquista del Perú, 1850 "Hernando Pizarro herido en Puná". (3971678154).jpg|frameless]]
A steel etched print of Hernando Pizarro y de Vargas
Birth nameHernando Pizarro
Bornc. 1501–1508
Trujillo, Extremadura, Spain
Diedc. 1578
Trujillo, Extremadura, Spain
San Francisco Church, Trujillo
Allegiance Spain
Battles/warsSpanish conquest of Navarre

Italian Wars
Spanish conquest of Peru

AwardsKnight of the Order of Santiago
Spouse(s)Francisca Pizarro Yupanqui
RelationsPizarro brothers

Hernando Pizarro y de Vargas (Spanish: [eɾˈnando piˈθaro]; born 1504, died 1578) was a Spanish conquistador and one of the Pizarro brothers who ruled over Peru.

Hernando was born in Trujillo (Extremadura), Spain, son of Captain Gonzalo Pizarro y Rodríguez de Aguilar (senior) (1446–1522) – who as colonel of infantry served in the Italian campaigns under Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, and in Navarre, with some distinction – and his wife, Isabel de Vargas.

Pizarro Brothers


As one of the Pizarro brothers he was related to Francisco, Juan and Gonzalo Pizarro.[1]: 136  He had two full sisters, Inés Pizarro y de Vargas and Isabel Pizarro y de Vargas, married to Gonzalo de Tapia. Through his father he was a second cousin of Hernán Cortés.[2]

Inca Empire


Starting in 1532 and succeeding in 1533, Francisco Pizarro conquered the Inca Empire and claimed what we know today as Peru for Spain.[3] In the 16th century the Incas were conquered by the Spaniards, Hernando Pizarro, who was the brother of the chief commander of the conquest Francisco Pizarro, writes a letter to the royal audience of Santo Domino about the expedition. Hernando Pizarro wrote this letter on November 1533. Hernando Pizarro starts his letter by explaining how the government founded a town called San Miguel and then proceeded to search for the town of Cajamarca whose rulers have been fighting. In this letter, we get a better understanding of what type of person Hernando Pizarro was. In the letter, Hernando gives a description image of his surroundings while on the expedition "The road over the mountains is a thing worth seeing, because, though the ground is so rugged, such beautiful roads could not in truth be found throughout Christendom. The greater part of them is paved. There is a bridge of stone or wood over every stream. We found bridges of network over a very large and powerful river, which we crossed twice, which was a marvelous thing to see."[4] Hernando Pizarro was a very intellectual man with a great appreciation for his surroundings, one of the many reasons for why his part in conquering the Inca Empire with his brother, Francisco Pizarro, was essential.

The New World


Unlike his other brothers he was born in wedlock, and he was educated and gained influence in the Spanish court. In 1530 Hernando departed for the New World with his half-brother Francisco Pizarro and accompanied him during his conquests in Peru.[5]: 25  In 1533 Hernando was sent back to Spain with the royal fifth for the Emperor, which consisted of "a number of the most beautiful articles" collected for Atahuallpa's ransom.[1]: 196 

Hernando arrived Seville on 9 January,[6] 1534, proceeded to Calatayud and an audience with Charles. Hernando delivered the royal fifth and recounted the Pizarro brothers' adventures. Charles confirmed Francisco Pizarro's previous grants, extending them seventy leagues further south, and then gave Francisco's partner, Diego de Almagro, a grant two hundred leagues further south.[1]: 230 

When he returned to Peru he ruled with his other half-brothers (Juan and Gonzalo Pizarro) over the prized Inca capital of Cuzco. Governing with an iron fist, he helped with the eventual suppression of Inca uprisings led by Manco Inca.



After Diego de Almagro returned from Chile from a fruitless gold-seeking expedition, he found that Hernando and his brothers were in control of Cuzco. However, as he had not obtained any credit for having been Francisco Pizarro's main partner in discovering Peru, he decided to claim Cuzco as part of his share. Almagro seized the city in 1537, capturing Hernando and Juan.[7] Hernando was eventually released after negotiations between Almagro and Francisco, and in 1538 he and Gonzalo returned with an army to confront Almagro. In the ensuing Battle of Las Salinas, the Pizarros won a decisive victory, capturing Almagro and the city.[7]: 300–301 [3]

The execution of Almagro later that year and the general disorder caused by the Spanish infighting caused substantial fallout in the Spanish court. Hernando was again called upon to leverage his royal contacts: in 1539 he returned to Spain to lobby in favor of the Pizarros. Their perceived treachery was too great, however, and despite Hernando's bribery, he was imprisoned for the next twenty years,[7]: 336–338  from June 1541 until May 1561, in the Castle of La Mota.[8]: 143  He then lived in his Trujillo palace until his death in 1578.[7]: 338 [8]: 143 



In 1552 Hernando married his niece, the 17-year-old Francisca Pizarro Yupanqui (the daughter of Francisco Pizarro and his Inca mistress Inés Yupanqui) in Spain. Although born out of wedlock she was legitimized by Imperial Decree. They had five children. One of their sons, Francisco Pizarro y Pizarro, married twice and had offspring, the Marqueses de La Conquista. As a result the Pizarro line survived Hernando's death, though currently it is extinct in the male line.

His father was a son of Fernando Alonso Pizarro and his wife, Isabel de Vargas Rodríguez de Aguilar, paternal grandson of Fernando or Hernando Alonso de Hinojosa and his wife, Teresa Martínez Pizarro, and brother of Juan Pizarro, who died without issue in 1521, and Diego Fernández Pizarro, who married Marina López and had a son Fernando Pizarro López, who had a natural son named Diego Pizarro de Vargas, married to Juana Rodríguez de Bobadilla, with female issue in Portugal.[2]




  1. ^ a b c Prescott, W.H., 2011, The History of the Conquest of Peru, Digireads.com Publishing, ISBN 9781420941142
  2. ^ a b Machado, J. T. Montalvão, Dos Pizarros de Espanha aos de Portugal e Brasil, Author's Edition, 1st Edition, Lisbon, 1972.
  3. ^ a b Andagoya, Pascual de. "Narrative of Pascual de Andagoya". Narrative of the Proceedings of Pedrarias Davila. The Hakluyt Society. Retrieved 21 June 2019 – via Wikisource.
  4. ^ Markham, Clements R., Francisco De Xerez, Miguel De Estete, Hernando Pizarro, and Pedro Sancho. Reports on the Discovery of Peru. London: Printed for the Hakluyt Society, 1872. Print.
  5. ^ Hemming, J., 1970, The Conquest of the Incas, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., ISBN 0151225605
  6. ^ "The Last of the Brothers Pizarro".
  7. ^ a b c d MacQuarrie, Kim (2007). The Last Days of the Incas. Simon & Schuster. pp. 272–276. ISBN 978-0-7432-6049-7.
  8. ^ a b 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
  9. ^ GeneAll.net – Fernando Pizarro
  10. ^ "The Pizarro Brothers". LatinAmerican History. Retrieved 10 March 2015.