Spanish leadership in Peru?

Mar 2015
853
Europe
#11
Francisco Pizarro was a keeper of pigs in his childhood... and he was a soldier in the Spanish Infantry. Not may yes or not.. .His father was a Hidalgo (Spanish Low nobility) Don Gonzalo Pizarro whose family settled in Trujillo (Extremadura, Kingdom of Castile in the Crown of Spain) in 13th Century. Don Gonzalo was a Professional Soldier, a Captain.. a veteran fought in Granada, Sicily, Naples and Navarra.
Captain does not equal professional soldier - not for a hidalgo.
All the Pizarro´s family.. generation after generation had been soldiers (at least in in ARchives from early 14th Century): Don Rodrigo Alfonso Pizarro and his brother Martin Pizarro...both from Trujillo. They were Hidalgos as Cortes.

So we have that Pizarro´s family (at least from the last 10 generations) were soldiers.. (not bankers, sailors, trade men, farmers... but soldiers)
No.
All Pizarro family had been hidalgos - that´s Francisco´s father´s family.
Not all Pizarro´s family - his mother´s family had been exactly farmers. And as a bastard, he was raised mostly by his mother´s family, not father´s.
And hidalgo does not equal professional soldier. Certainly Hernando Jr. boasted no military service after his father´s death in 1522. He joined the army along his father - but then went home to be a landlord rather than be a professional soldier in peacetime standing army.
A lot of hidalgos were not professional soldiers in being in standing army in peacetime - they fought in wars but went home to be landlords in peacetime.

Most of the men of Cajamarca were under 30 and had been at least 5 years in Indies. Overwhelmingly, they had been under 25 when they went to Indies - and Indies was the first time they had experience fighting.
By Real Cédula, dated on December 22nd, 1537...not very much time as you say.. only 15 year after his father death...and when still lot of veterans are alive...
35 years after his possible service.
It is obvious that Francisco Pizarro was a soldier in the Spanish infantry
If in army then in infantry.
Not cavalry. And that´s significant.
To say he didn´t know how to use a sword..
Francisco Pizarro first became notable in 1510, when Ojeda deserted his expedition to bring help and left Francisco Pizarro in charge of the 70 starving men left behind.
By that point Francisco was 32 and had been in Indies for 8 years.
By then he had the skills and experience to lead, but since his past was so obscure, it is not clear whether that experience was acquited in Indies or whether he had brought any from Europe.
to say he lacked of military experience.. to say his family were a kind of "flower power".... you should prove.
Overwhelming majority of conquistadors lacked military experience in Europe, because they went to Indies as young men. Fighting Indians was the first military experience they got.
Francisco had been doing it for 30 years before Cajamarca. And as I pointed out, the family who raised him - his maternal grandparents and mother - were peasants. He was a young man without previous experience setting out to get that experience, and got it - almost or quite all of it in Indies.

About getting control of Ollantaytambo area...
Encomienda.
But Spaniards were directly forbidden to settle in Indian villages. Only short visits were allowed - even for the encomendero "in control" of the area.
The arrangements worked out during the conquest 1533-1537 required the Spaniards to stay in Cuzco city as a garrison, and leave the countryside around under the direct control of Indian chiefs, who would bring the taxes to the town. Areas were distributed and earmarked to individual Spaniards as encomenderos - about 90 people in Cuzco, so not all Spaniards in Cuzco were encomenderos, because by 1535, there were a total of 190 Spaniards.
The only Spaniards officially allowed to stay permanently in Indian villages were priests preaching to Indians, but there were few, because the priests did not want to go - the priests wanted to preach to Spaniards.
An encomendero in Cuzco would be a prominent person... but he was one of many peers living in the same city, and not the most prominent.
 
Mar 2015
853
Europe
#13
For the present case, and to follow your reasoning, what is the significance of that distinction?
Being able to afford a horse, AND to learn horseriding from childhood, to a good level, was a social dividing line between "upper middle class" (hidalgos) on one side, and "lower middle class" on the other side.
In Indies, Francisco Pizarro made career after 1510. Received property, held leadership posts when his betters were away... but never learned to read. And the fighting in the jungles of Panama was on foot or by boat - little space to ride a horse.
When Francisco finally got to be leader of his conquest, he was past 50. He had never learned to read, unlike a slight majority of his subordinates - that is, more lower class than even lower middle class. He did ride a horse but not well, and preferred to stay on foot. Besides illiteracy, he was unable to pretend the habits of a gentleman in many other respects, while holding the top position. He was a clear parvenu.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,463
Portugal
#14
Being able to afford a horse, AND to learn horseriding from childhood, to a good level, was a social dividing line between "upper middle class" (hidalgos) on one side, and "lower middle class" on the other side.

In Indies, Francisco Pizarro made career after 1510. Received property, held leadership posts when his betters were away... but never learned to read. And the fighting in the jungles of Panama was on foot or by boat - little space to ride a horse.

When Francisco finally got to be leader of his conquest, he was past 50. He had never learned to read, unlike a slight majority of his subordinates - that is, more lower class than even lower middle class. He did ride a horse but not well, and preferred to stay on foot. Besides illiteracy, he was unable to pretend the habits of a gentleman in many other respects, while holding the top position. He was a clear parvenu.
Got the idea, even if it doesn’t seem directly related with the part of Martin’s post that you addressed, and that I thought that you answering, the question of military experience in Europe:

It is obvious that Francisco Pizarro was a soldier in the Spanish infantry and served with his father (and the Great Captain and the Duke of Alba) before going to the West Indies.

Anyway, I don’t have enough knowledge about Spanish Social history to say that the hidalgos were "upper middle class", its meaning in Castile in the 16th century may have a different connotation than the term “Fidalgo” in Portugal that I am unware. My idea is that they were lower nobility, often with scarce property – the work Don Quijote is a caricature of that scarcity. And had certainly different significance from the following centuries when the word became more generalized, in many ways, to a point that it was almost a synonymous of nobility. But in both sides of the border the term had been replacing other designations of lower nobility, such as the Medieval “Infanzón/Infanção”. Besides, as you also said previously something similar, a bastard of a hidalgo isn’t necessarily a hidalgo; even if that status didn’t seem difficult to achieve in the New World, see 16: Carlos V - Miscelánea de textos breves relativos a la época del emperador
 
Likes: martin76

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,344
Spain
#15
Dear Tulius,

Not possible to say better: Hidalgos, Fidalgos, Hijoedalgos... were Low Nobility... never "middle class" and never "petit burgeois"... they were full of honor, full of pride...to say a Hidalgo was a "little burgeois" is understand nothing about the Hidalgos.... as you well know.. dear Tulius, El LAZARILLO DE TORMES...you can read how were the Hidalgos... before dying of hungry than working!!!! Hidalgos were Professional soldiers.. they fought in each war the king wanted... but they are never going to work with hands!
Around 5% Spaniards are Hidalgos (Fidalgos, Hijoedalgos, Hijodalgos, Infanzones).

In XIII Century, las Partidas, Alfonso X says what is to be a Hidalgo:

E por esso sobre todas las cosas cataron que fuessen hombres de buen linage, porque se guardassen de fazer cosas porque pudiessen caer en verguença: e porque estos fueron escogidos de buenos logares y con algo. Quiere tanto dezir en lenguage de España, como bien. Por esso los llamaron Fijos de algo,

(And therefore, above all things decided that they were men of good lineage, because they were careful not to do things because they could fall into shame: : and because they were chosen from good homes and something. He wants to say in the language of Spain, as well. That's why they called


And that is why, above all things, they decided that they were men of good lineage, because they were careful not to do embarrasing things; that the reason because they were chosen from good homes and with something. the meaning of the word in the language of Spain means Son of something: Hijo de Algo).

Hidalgos belonged to the lower nobility... poor, but they didn´t pay tributes and they were bound to serve the king in war. Hidalgo was obliged to have weapons, horse and military training. For a Hidalgo, the sword was the prolongation of his hand.

This was a Hidalgo in the West Indies



They were trained in the Sword Art from the childhood. But they were poor "Mesa de Hidalgo: Comida poca y manteles blancos" (Hidalgo´s table: short of food but white cloth)... and yes, Hidalgos fougth in America and in each battle in Europe...all of them, Spanish Hidalgos from the 5 kingdoms (Castile-Portugal-Aragon-Navarre-Leon)

The values of Hidalguía were: Honor, honesty, courage, loyalty, generosity, temperance and service to, with life and property, the King and the nation.

The Hidalgo never (and never) worked...to work was something as dishonest, ruin, coward, contrary to honor. the hidalgo lived a boring lazy or warlike life.

So, Pizarro fought in Italy (because it is written in a Real Cedula from 1537). And Pizarro was not the only War veterans... between Conquistadores fought in Europe: For example: Alonso de Ojeda, Ponce de León, Pedrerías Dávila...three soldiers fought Moors in Grenade and Hernán Cortes was rejected to fight in Italy in Great Captain´s army.
Don Pedro de Valdivia was a veteran of the Italian campaigns he took part in the battle of Pavie and in the Sacco di Roma! And Alonso de Ribera was a professional soldier in Tercios Viejos.. fought under Alejandro Farnesio´s command and he took part in many battles in Italy, Germany, Flanders, France... before going to be a Conquistador in America!!!
 

Ichon

Ad Honorem
Mar 2013
3,588
#16
Was there a distinction between Hidalgo and being a bastard of a Hidalgo and not officially recognized and only partially accepted by the Hidalgo's family? Pizarro being in Italy with his father seems reasonable and there is some substantiation to that but in what capacity? Definitely not in command while in Italy being both young and not of high enough social rank but still maybe not just basic infantry either with his father as some sort of officer. Either way it seems clear Pizarro had some experience with warfare and fighting before arriving to the Indies even if calling him a professional soldier is probably a stretch even for those times when a professional soldier wasn't the same meaning as we know it today.
 
Mar 2015
853
Europe
#17
The hidalgos were a minority in Cajamarca - and also in first generation of leadership of Spanish Peru.
Of the 168 men of Cajamarca, background is known for 91. Of whom 38 were hidalgos.
The rest included 13 merchants and businessmen, 12 professionals, 19 artisans.
Of the 77 of unknown background, hidalgos were probably less represented, because they would have tended to mention it.

And among the men of Cajamarca and Cuzco - the 168 men, plus about 200 men of Almagro, total of about 370 men who went and conquered Peru before there was a known victory - about everyone who wanted got an encomienda.
Not all wanted. Many took their shares of Cajamarca and Cuzco of precious metals and went back to Spain. The about 200 men who went in 1532-1533 and then chose to stay became a major leadership generation.

And in Cuzco and Jauja/Lima, that everyone who wanted got an encomienda meant that a merchant or artisan could become a landlord if he wanted - and most wanted.

That would be the only chance there was. After the victory of the under 400 men in 1532-1533, reinforcements flocked to follow them - maybe 2000 by 1535, 4000 men by 1540.
Already in 1534, there were no longer enough lands to give encomiendas to all applicants - and the leaders were unwilling to hand out more though smaller encomiendas. What they did was give encomiendas to their friends and hidalgos - an artisan could no longer become landlord just by turning up as an ordinary soldier. By 1540, there were about 500 encomiendas in total, and that number stabilized. Thus, from the first 400 men into Peru, perhaps 200 got land and the other half wanted gold not land anyway - of the 3000 who came as reinforcemenrs, only 300 got land.

Furthermore, in the perhaps 200 conquistadors who chose to stay, hidalgos were likely rarer than in the army of conquistador.

Because the hidalgos tended to go back to Spain. Not all did. Of the "horsemen" of Cajamarca, one third stayed, and the rest returned. Of the footmen, over a half stayed.