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Pedro de la Gasca

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GASCA, Pedro de la, Spanish bishop, born in Plasencia, Spain, in June, 1485; died in Siguenza, 13 November, 1567. He studied at the University of Alcala, and after leaving College became noted for his knowledge of men and affairs and for an adroit, subtle intellect. In 1542 he was employed by Charles V, in negotiations with the pope and with Henry VIII, requiring great diplomatic skill.

 

When Gonzalo Pizarro, brother of the conqueror, attempted to have himself crowned king of Peru, the emperor, who after a ruinous war was unable to send an army against the rebel leader, commissioned Gasca to restore peace, naming him president of the royal audience of Lima with unlimited powers to punish and pardon. The latter embarked in May, 1546, without troops or money, and accompanied only by two Dominican priests and a few servants.

 

He landed at Panama, where Pizarro's fleet was stationed, and represented himself as a messenger of peace, charged solely with the task of re-establishing justice and granting a general amnesty. At the same time he insinuated that a fleet of 40 sail, having 15,000 men on board, was to leave the harbor of Seville in June, which would quickly restore peace in Peru, if he did not obtain that result by moderation and justice. His adroitness and eloquence, combined with his age and the simplicity of his manners, gained him the affection of the officers, whom he detached from Pizarro, and he was soon master of the whole fleet.

 

Gonzalo still refused to submit, and fled secretly to Cuzco, where he had left the flower of his troops, while Gasca, followed by nearly the whole fleet of Gonzalo, landed at Tumbes in 1547. Here he issued a proclamation announcing the mission with which he was charged by the emperor, and inviting all good citizens to unite their efforts with his, in order to restore tranquillity. By another proclamation he granted a general amnesty to all deserters, and promised rewards to those who would arm in defense of the royal cause.

 

By these prudent arrangements he saw himself soon at the head of a respectable army, which he exercised himself, and with which he marched to Cuzco in December. Pizarro with a strong force encamped on the plain of Xaguijagana, to bar his passage. But Gasca, instead of risking a battle, began to tamper with the principal officers of Pizarro, and won them over by promises and threats. The two armies met in the valley of Sacsahuana, 9 April, 1548, when most of the officers and soldiers of the rebel leader deserted his banner and made their submission to the president, who remained master of the field without having struck a blow.

 

After punishing Pizarro and the fomentors of the revolt with death, Gasca proved himself as good an administrator as he was an able politician. He removed the crowd of adventurers that filled Peru from the country, distributed rewards to the royalists, and pardoned the least guilty among the rebels. He regulated the administration of justice and the collection of the public revenues, while at the same time he issued several regulations forbidding oppression of the Indians.

 

He then surrendered all his powers to the royal audience, and returned to Spain in 1549. On his arrival he was made bishop of Plasencia by Charles V, and in 1561 promoted by Philip II to the bishopric of Siguenza.

 

 

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia by John Looby, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

 

GASCA, Pedro de la, Spanish bishop, born in Plasencia, Spain, in June, 1485; died in Siguenza, 13 November, 1567. He studied at the University of Alcala, and after leaving College became noted for his knowledge of men and affairs and for an adroit, subtle intellect. In 1542 he was employed by Charles V, in negotiations with the pope and with Henry VIII., requiring great diplomatic skill. When Gonzalo Pizarro, brother of the conqueror, attempted to have himself crowned king of Peru, the emperor, who after a ruinous war was unable to send an army against the rebel leader, commissioned Gasea to restore peace, naming him president of the royal audience of Lima with unlimited powers to punish and pardon. The latter embarked in May, 1546, without troops or money, and accompanied only by two Dominican priests and a few servants. He landed at Panama, where Pizarro's fleet was stationed, and represented himself as a messenger of peace, charged solely with the task of re-establishing justice and granting a general amnesty. At the same time he insinuated that a fleet of 40 sail, having 15,000 men on board, was to leave the harbor of Seville in June, which would quickly restore peace in Peru, if he (lid not obtain that result by moderation and justice. His adroitness and eloquence, combined with his age and the simplicity of his manners, gained him the affection of the officers, whom he detached from Pizarro, and he was soon master of the whole fleet. Gonzalo still refused to submit, and fled secretly to Cuzco, where he had left the flower of his troops, while Gasca, followed by nearly the whole fleet of Gonzalo, landed at Tumbez in 1547. Here he issued a proclamation announcing the mission with which he was charged by the emperor, and inviting all good citizens to unite their efforts with his, in order to restore tranquillity. By another proclamation he granted a general amnesty to all deserters, and promised rewards to those who would arm in defense of the royal cause. By these prudent arrangements he saw himself soon at the head of a respectable army, which he exercised himself, and with which he marched to Cuzco in December. Pizarro with a strong force encamped on the plain of Xaguijagana, to bar his passage. But Oasca, instead of risking a battle, began to tamper with the principal officers of Pizarro, and won them over by promises and threats. The two armies met in the valley of Sacsahuana, 9 April, 1548, when most of the officers and soldiers of the rebel leader deserted his banner and made their submission to the president, who remained master of the field without having struck a blow. After punishing Pizarro and the fomentors of the revolt with death, Oasca proved himself as good an administrator as he was an able politician, He removed the crowd of adventurers that filled Peru from the country, distributed rewards to the royalists, and pardoned the least guilty among the rebels. He regulated the administration of justice and the collection of the public revenues, while at the same time he issued several regulations forbidding oppression of the Indians. He then surrendered all his powers to the royal audience, and returned to Spain in 1549. On his arrival he was made bishop of Plasencia by Charles V., and in 1561 promoted by Philip II. to the bishopric of Siguenza.

Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright © 2001 VirtualologyTM

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