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Alberto del Canto (c. 1547 – after 31 December 1607)[1] formally Alberto Vieira do Canto, [2] was a Portuguese conquistador of northern New Spain.

Alberto del Canto
Born c. 1547
Terceira Island, Azores, Portugal
Died after 31 December 1607
Spouse(s) Estefanía de Montemayor (married 1586–?)
  • Miguel de Montemayor (b. 1587)
  • Diego de Montemayor (b. 1589)
  • Elvira de Montemayor



A native of the Terceira Island of the Azores, to an established and noble family. During the colonization of America, del Canto explored the northeastern part of Mexico, and founded several cities, such as Saltillo, of which he was the first mayor (1577).[3]

He was one of the main enemies of the native Chichimeca peoples. He took numerous prisoners to work as slaves in the mines of Santa Lucia, Monterrey, and San Gregorio, Cerralvo, Nuevo León.[1] This resulted in his arrest in 1578 by the Inquisition for slavery.[3] He escaped and was able to hide out, among the same Chichimecas that he was charged with enslaving, until the charges were dropped.[3]

In 1581 in Saltillo, del Canto had an affair with doña Juana Porcallo, wife of Diego de Montemayor (founder of Monterrey).[3] Upon learning of the affair, de Montemayor killed his wife and vowed to kill del Canto as well.[3] In 1585, del Canto married Estefanía de Montemayor daughter of de Montemayor and Porcallo (his former lover), and had three children: Miguel (born 1587), Diego (born 1589), and Elvira, whose birth date is unknown.[1]


  1. ^ a b c del Hoyo 2005, p. 102.
  2. ^ see Portuguese name
  3. ^ a b c d e del Hoyo 2005, p. 101.


  • del Hoyo, Eugenio (2005). Historia del Nuevo Reino de León (1577-1723) (in Spanish). Fondo Editorial de Nuevo León. ISBN 9789709715071.

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