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Hernando Pizarro

Hernando Pizarro
Born c. 1478–1508
Trujillo, Extremadura, Spain
Died c. 1578
Nationality Spaniard
Occupation Conquistador
Known for The conquest of the Inca

Hernando Pizarro y de Vargas (born between 1478 and 1508, died 1578) was a Spanish conquistador and one of the Pizarro brothers who ruled over Peru. He ultimately died in Spain at a very advanced age, unlike his brothers who all suffered violent ends.

Hernando was born in Trujillo, (Extremadura), Spain, son of Captain Gonzalo Pizarro y Rodríguez de Aguilar (senior) (1446–1522) - who as colonel of infantry served in the Italian campaigns under Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba, and in Navarre, with some distinction - and wife Isabel de Vargas.


  • Pizarro Brothers 1
  • The New World 2
  • Cuzco 3
  • Family 4
  • Ancestors 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Pizarro Brothers

As one of the Pizarro brothers, he was related to Francisco, Juan, and Gonzalo Pizarro.[1]:136 He had two full sisters, Inés Pizarro y de Vargas, who married but did not have children with Francisco's only legitimate son, and Isabel Pizarro y de Vargas, married to Gonzalo de Tapia. Through his father, he was second cousins to Hernán Cortés.[2]

The New World

Unlike his other brothers, he was born in wedlock, and he was educated and gained influence in the Spanish court. In 1530 Hernando departed for the New World with his half-brother, Francisco Pizarro, and accompanied him during his conquests in Peru.[3]:25 In 1533, Hernando was sent back to Spain with the royal fifth for the Emperor, which consisted of "a number of the most beautiful articles" collected for Atahuallpa's ransom.[1]:196

Hernando arrived Seville in Jan. 1534, proceeded to Calatayud, and an audience with Charles. Hernando delivered the royal fifth and recounted the Pizarro brothers' adventures. Charles confirmed Francisco Pizarro's previous grants, extending them seventy leagues further south, and then gave Francisco's partner, Diego de Almagro,a grant two hundred leagues further south.[1]:230

When he returned to Peru, he ruled with his other half-brothers (Juan and Gonzalo Pizarro) over the prized Inca capital of Cuzco. Governing with an iron fist, he helped with the eventual suppression of Inca uprisings led by Manco Inca.


After Diego de Almagro returned from Chile from a fruitless gold-seeking expedition, he found that Hernando and his brothers were in control of Cuzco. However, as he had not obtained any credit for having been Francisco Pizarro's main partner in discovering Peru, he decided to claim Cuzco as part of his share. Almagro seized the city in 1537, capturing Hernando and Juan.[4] Hernando was eventually released after negotiations between Almagro and Francisco, and in 1538 he and Gonzalo returned with an army to confront Almagro. In the ensuing Battle of Las Salinas, the Pizarros won a decisive victory, capturing Almagro and the city.[4]:300–301

The execution of Almagro later that year and the general disorder caused by the Spanish infighting caused substantial fallout in the Spanish court. Hernando was again called upon to leverage his royal contacts: in 1539 he returned to Spain to lobby in favor of the Pizarros. Their perceived treachery was too great, however, and despite Hernando's bribery, he was imprisoned for the next twenty years,[4]:336–338 from June 1541 until May 1561, in the Castle of La Mota.[5]:143 He then lived in his Trujillo palace until his death in 1578.[4]:338[5]:143


In 1552, Hernando married his niece, Francisca Pizarro Yupanqui (she was the daughter of Francisco Pizarro and his Inca mistress Inés Yupanqui) in Spain. Although born out of wedlock, she was legitimized by Imperial Decree. They had five children. One of their sons, Francisco Pizarro y Pizarro, married twice and had offspring, the Marqueses de La Conquista. As a result, the Pizarro line survived Hernando's death, though currently it is extinct in male line.

His father was a son of Fernando Alonso Pizarro and wife Isabel de Vargas Rodríguez de Aguilar, paternal grandson of Fernando or Hernando Alonso de Hinojosa and wife Teresa Martínez Pizarro, and brother of Juan Pizarro, who died without issue in 1521, and Diego Fernández Pizarro, who married Marina López and had a son Fernando Pizarro López, who had a natural son named Diego Pizarro de Vargas, married to Juana Rodríguez de Bobadilla, with female issue in Portugal.[2]



  1. ^ a b c Prescott, W.H., 2011, The History of the Conquest of Peru, Publishing, ISBN 9781420941142
  2. ^ a b Machado, J. T. Montalvão, Dos Pizarros de Espanha aos de Portugal e Brasil, Author's Edition, 1st Edition, Lisbon, 1972.
  3. ^ Hemming, J., 1970, The Conquest of the Incas, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., ISBN 0151225605
  4. ^ a b c d MacQuarrie, Kim (2007). The Last Days of the Incas. Simon & Schuster. pp. 272–276.  
  5. ^ a b Leon, P., 1998, The Discovery and Conquest of Peru, Chronicles of the New World Encounter, edited and translated by Cook and Cook, Durham: Duke University Press, ISBN 9780822321460
  6. ^ - Fernando Pizarro
  7. ^ "The Pizarro Brothers". LatinAmerican History. Retrieved 10 March 2015. 

External links

  • Letter from Hernando Pizarro to the Royal Audience of Santo Domingo, in Reports on the Discovery of Peru
  • "Hernando Pizarro", The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia.
  •  "Pizarro. III. Hernando".  
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