Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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PORTOCARRERO LASO DE LA VEGA, Melchor de (por-to-car-ray'-ro), Count of Non-clova, viceroy of Mexico and Peru, born in Madrid, Spain, 4 June, 1636; died in Lima, Peru, 22 September., 1705. During his youth he was page of Queen Elizabeth of Bourbon, and he served in the armies of Flanders, Sicily, Catalonia, and Portugal, from 1653 till 1662. He lost an arm in the battle of the Downs of Dunkirk, and used a silver one till his death. In 1665 he took part in the siege and battle of Villaviciosa, where he was taken prisoner, and on his liberation he was promoted lieutenant general. He was appointed viceroy of Mexico in 1685, and arrived there 30 November, 1686. During his administration there was a destructive eruption of the volcano of Orizaba (1687), the Indians of Coahuila were conquered, the city of Monclova was founded, and the aqueduct from Chapultepec to the Salto de Agua was constructed at his private expense. In 1688 he was appointed viceroy of Peru, and he entered Lima, 15 August, 1689. He introduced many reforms and rebuilt the city of Lima, which he found almost entirely destroyed by the earthquake of 20 October. 1687. He also reconstructed the church of Copacabana and the hospital of the Bethlemi-tas. Another important work was the reconstruction of the dock of Callao, which he began in 1694, and the repairing of the cathedral of Lima. During his government several destructive earthquakes occurred; in 1698 the cities of Tacunga and Ambato were destroyed, and in 1701 a great flood inundated Trujillo. He ordered the construction of three ships, and appointed the admiral, Antonio Beas, to explore the islands of Juan Fernandez. In 1698 a Scottish colony occupied the Isthmus of Darien (see PATERSON, WILLIAM), and the king ordered the viceroy to attack them; but the Scotch soon abandoned the isthmus, and, although they returned next year, before the viceroy could leave Lima with an expedition, he received advice from General Pimienta, the governor of Carthagena, that he had expelled them.
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