Félix Berenguer de Marquina y FitzGerald, Virrey de Nueva España

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El Excelentísimo Señor Don Félix Ignacio Juan Nicolás Antonio José Joaquín Buenaventura Berenguer de Marquina y FitzGerald

Also Known As: "55th Governor General of the Philippines from Alicante", "Spain"
Birthplace: Alicante, Alicante, Valencian Community, Spain
Death: October 30, 1826 (92)
Alicante, Alicante, Valencian Community, Spain
Immediate Family:

Son of Don Ignacio Vicente de Marquina y Pascual de Riquelme Berenguer and Lady Mary FitzGerald
Husband of María de Anzoátegui y Barrol
Ex-partner of Doña Demetria Lindo Berenguer
Father of Joaquín María Berenguer de Marquina y Ansoátegui and Isabel Berenguer de Marquina

Occupation: the 55th Governor-General of the Philippines of Alicante, Spain and from The Royal.& Noble House of FitzGerald of Ireland
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Félix Berenguer de Marquina y FitzGerald, Virrey de Nueva España

Félix Berenguer de Marquina was the 55th Governor-General of the Philippines from July 1, 1788 to September 1, 1793.


the 55th Governor-General of the Philippines of Alicante, Spain and from The Royal.& Noble House of FitzGerald of Ireland.

Berenguer de Marquina, Felix (1738-1826). Military and Spanish colonial administrator, born in Alicante in 1738 and died in the same city in 1826. He was governor of the Philippines between 1788 and 1793 -a period characterized by the continuation of the enlightened policy initiated by his predecessor, José Basco y Vargas- and Viceroy of New Spain from 1800 to 1803.

Officer of the Navy, Félix Berenguer Marquina had his first destination aboard the Ibizan Jabeque , who participated in tasks of Corsican on the Moroccan coast, and then embarked on the Astute ship of the Mediterranean fleet. He was appointed governor-general of the Philippines in March 1787 at his own request, since he aspired to occupy a position of greater relevance than the one previously held as professor of the Marine Guard Academy. Arriving in Manila in June 1788, the new governor was soon inclined to exercise power in an all-embracing manner, a circumstance that led him to have dissensions with the hearers of the audiencia. In his mind was to govern without interference as his predecessor Basco and Vargas had already done, but unlike the latter, Berenguer apparently sought more personal enrichment than the progress of the colony; Proof of this was the accusation leveled at his person for having sold public office. In addition, its management was characterized by increased spending, the result of the waste of large sums in the construction of warships and the organization of expensive expeditions to the islands not yet colonized.

During its mandate the port of Manila was opened to the European merchandise (decree of August 15, 1789) and arrived to the islands the ships of the famous scientific expedition commanded by Alexander Malaspina (March of 1792). The policy of enlightened reforms had continuity in an order for the creation of new schools (December 1792) and various measures for the improvement of colonial government; likewise, at this time the colossal general history of the Philippine Islands (1788), by Fray Juan de la Concepción, was printed . In 1792 Manila suffered a smallpox epidemic that forced Governor Berenguer to dictate extraordinary measures of health care.

Relieved of the charge by Rafael Mª de Aguilar (August 1793), Felix Berenguer left immediately for Spain without waiting to be submitted to the mandatory residence trial , which is why he was fined two thousand pesos.

He returned to Spain to occupy positions in the administration of the Navy; he was promoted to lieutenant general of the Spanish Armada and, in 1799, Carlos IV appointed him Viceroy of New Spain. In 1800, when making the crossing from Cuba to Veracruz, he was taken prisoner by the English who sent him to Jamaica. Finally, he managed to get to Mexico at the end of April 1800.

During its mandate it reinforced the garrisons of San Juan de Ulúa and the port of Veracruz, as well as the presidios or strengths of the territories of the north, since by then some attempts of incursion took place, especially the one that carried out Philip Nolan, whose intervention occurred in the late 1800s. Nolan and his followers camped on March 23, 1801, on a tributary of the Colorado River, where they were attacked by a company of Spanish soldiers commanded by Captain Múzquiz . Nolan died and Muzquiz sent his ears to the military chief of the north zone, Brigadier Felix Maria Calleja , as proof that he had faithfully carried out his orders.

In 1801 he opposed the request of the Casa de la Moneda, the Royal Treasury and the Court of Accounts, which recommended taking some measure to help the silver miners, who saw their production decline due to the British naval blockade. With the support of the prosecutor Lorenzo Hernandez de Alba, he refused any reduction, since the Crown at war with Britain needed up to the last peso that could be obtained through taxes.

However, the Superior Board of the Royal Treasury, consultative body of the viceroyalty, yielded to the strong pressure of the miners and granted a 50% reduction on the silver that was presented to the Royal Treasury. This reduction lasted six months and cost the crown half a million pesos that it stopped entering. From Madrid, the Minister of Finance strongly criticized, both the viceroy and the Superior Board, for this violation of royal prerogatives, on understanding that this dispensation was proper to the sovereign authority. It should be noted that the majority of the members of the Supreme Board were Creoles. The king accepted the loss and considered it a gift to the miners, mostly Spanish Americans with titles of nobility.

De la Torre points out that " his was a mediocre government, due not only to his character but also to the political circumstances and the terrible state of the economy, which aggravated the social situation ". His performance remained for posterity in an inscription that popular malice added to that which was recorded in a public work: " For the perpetual memory, Viceroy Marquina built this pile "; the vulgar wrote: " in which he urinates and here his story ended ".

In 1802 peace was signed with England, which benefited the overseas trade with the peninsula and other nations but Marquina, who had to continue to endure the discomfort caused by his actions and the actual disapproval of its provisions, resigned the position to mid 1802. He handed over the baton to his successor José J. Iturrigaray in January of the following year.

Back in Spain, he took part in the War of Independence and died in Alicante in 1826.

Bibliography BRADING, DA Miners and merchants in Bourbon Mexico . 2nd ed. FCE. Mexico, 1985.

ENRIQUE RÍOS, E. "The insurgent Don Pedro Elías Bean " in Annals of the National Museum of Archeology. Mexico, 1934. Volume 1. Fifth epoch. No. 3

TORRE VILLAR, E. The Independence of Mexico . Mapfre Editorial. Madrid, 1992

M. Ortuño / MAH

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Félix Berenguer de Marquina y FitzGerald, Virrey de Nueva España's Timeline

November 20, 1733
Alicante, Alicante, Valencian Community, Spain
November 24, 1733
Basílica de Santa María, Alicante, Alicante, Valencian Community, Spain
December 10, 1763
Cádiz, Andalucía, España (Spain)
November 19, 1790
Cagsawa Franciscan Church, Busay, Albay, Bicol, Philippines
October 30, 1826
Age 92
Alicante, Alicante, Valencian Community, Spain