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VENEGAS, Francisco Javier de, viceroy of Mexico, born in Ecija, Spain, about 1760 ; died in Madrid about 1820. He entered military life, and in 1805 retired on half-pay as lieutenant-colonel When Spain was invaded by the French troops in 1808, he returned to active service, participated in the victory of Bavlen in July of that year, and under the protection of the minister Saavedra obtained rapid promotions. He held the rank of major-general, and had been sent as viceroy to New Granada, when the Spanish council of regency in 1810 resolved to appoint him viceroy of Mexico, as his energetic character seemed adapted to quell the popular commotion that had begun in that country. He received news of his promotion in Carthagena shortly before his departure for Bogota and arrived in Vera Cruz, 25 August, 1810. On the road to the capital he heard of a threatened outbreak in Queretaro, and two days after his arrival in Mexico the revolution of Miguel Hidalgo took place in Dolores, 16 September, 1810. With great activity Venegas gathered forces to oppose the advancing host of the insurgents, and after the defeat of General Trujillo at Monte de lax Cruces, 29 October, he sent two brigades against the retiring Hidalgo, who was defeated at. Aculco on 7 November He was greatly assisted by the energy of General Felix Maria Calleja, who on 17 January, 1811, totally defeated the insurgents at Calderon, and in the same year took Zitacuaro from Ignacio Lopez Rayon. Continued success made Calleja believe himself superior to Venegas; from that time he began a secret opposition to the viceroy, and the latter, to keep him from the capital, sent him against Morelos's forces in Cuautla. But when the latter town was abandoned by Morelos after a seventy days' defence, on 2 May, 1812, and Calleja with his tired forces did not pursue the enemy, Venegas censured him severely, and the former resigned. In the same year Venegas took the oath on the new constitution, and repressed a seditious movement in the capital with the utmost cruelty, ordering the execution of several accused persons for whom the prosecutor had only demanded imprisonment. In other instances he had acted VENNOR against the decrees of the Spanish cortes, and this, together with the intrigues of Calleja's friends, caused the regency to order his recall in February, 1813. He delivered the executive to Calleja on 4 March, and left Mexico on the 13th of that month, with the reputation of an honest and energetic but haughty and cruel ruler. In Spain he submitted to the French government, and was rewarded with the titles of Marquis de la Reunion and member of the supreme council of war. After the restoration of Ferdinand VII. he retired to private life.
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