Alonso Núñez de Haro y Peralta

Dr. Alonso Núñez de Haro y Peralta (October 31, 1729 – May 26, 1800) was archbishop of Mexico from September 12, 1772, to May 26, 1800, and viceroy of New Spain from May 8, 1787, to August 16, 1787.

Alonso Núñez de Haro y Peralta
50th Viceroy of New Spain
In office
8 May 1787 – 16 August 1787
MonarchCharles III
Preceded byBernardo de Gálvez y Madrid
Succeeded byManuel Antonio Flórez
Archbishop of Mexico
Appointed30 March 1772
Term ended26 May 1800
PredecessorFrancisco Antonio de Lorenzana y Butrón
SuccessorFrancisco Javier de Lizana y Beaumont
Ordination13 September 1772
Personal details
Born(1729-10-31)31 October 1729
Villagarcía del Llano, Cuenca Province, Spain
Died26 May 1800(1800-05-26) (aged 70)
Mexico City, New Spain (now Mexico)
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
Alma materUniversity of Toledo
University of Bologna
University of Ávila

Origins and educationEdit

Núñez de Haro was born in the diocese of Cuenca, Spain, probably on October 31, 1729, although some sources give the date as November 1. He began his studies at the University of Toledo, then received his doctorate from the University of Bologna. Thereafter he became professor at the University of Ávila. He was also a canon in Segovia and Toledo. Studious and intelligent, he learned Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French and Italian.

In 1771 he was named archbishop of Mexico.

Archbishop of MexicoEdit

As archbishop, he converted the Jesuit colegio of Tepotzotlán into the Seminario de Instrucción, Retiro Voluntario y Corrección, a combined site of instruction for priests, retirement home, and jail for ecclesiastics, since with ecclesiastical privileges (fuero eclesiástico), priests were under the jurisdiction of canonical courts. At the seminary, he committed to studies relevant to Mexico by creating chairs in Mexican, Otomí, and Church history.[1] He advanced the work on the Chapel of Pocito in Guadalupe and on the cathedral in Mexico City. He established a foundling home and a Capuchin convent. He added many books to the library of the archdiocese and ordered scholarships and prizes for distinguished seminary students.

In 1770 Archbishop Núñez de Haro also converted a Jesuit seminary and residence into the Hospital San Andrés. This hospital was modeled on the General Hospital in Madrid and was intended to treat all ailments. In 1788 he added to its functions those of the Hospital Amor de Dios, ("love of God") which was dedicated to the treatment of syphilis. The Hospital San Andrés remained the responsibility of the archdiocese, although it received considerable official support. It eventually had a capacity of 1,000 beds, arranged in 39 wards. In addition, it contained the largest apothecary shop in New Spain, a chandler's shop, a laboratory, and a department for dissections and post mortem examinations. It had the income of 22 urban properties, a share of the tithes, and a monopoly on the game of pelota.

He was concerned about Church doctrine and orthodoxy, and condemned the doctrine of probabilism, promoted by the Jesuits. Haro supported obedience to the Spanish monarch, and followed the request of Minister of the Indies, José de Gálvez to "exhort his flock not to defraud the Crown of its legitimate revenue by engaging in contraband."[2]

Viceroy of New SpainEdit

In general, the Spanish monarchy appointed non-Churchmen to the position of viceroy, but New Spain's archbishops had to step in as interim viceroy throughout the colonial period. Viceroy Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid died November 30, 1786, so as Archbishop of Mexico Núñez de Haro was named as interim viceroy on May 8, 1787. He served for three months, until turning over the office to the newly arrived viceroy Manuel Antonio Flórez on August 16, 1787.

During his term, he consolidated the establishment of the intendencias, proposed by José de Gálvez when he was visitador general. These were provincial administrations throughout the colony responsible to the viceroy. A botanical garden was founded, and plants were brought from all parts of the colony. Naturalist Martín Sessé y Lacasta was named the director.

He tried to aid the Indigenous by abolishing their tribute requirements, but his orders were not carried out. He proposed reforms of the court for the Indians, cutting costs and red tape. He sent a large sum of money to Havana to buy slaves from the British and Dutch.

After leaving the office of viceroy, Núñez de Haro continued as archbishop of Mexico for the remainder of his life. In 1792 King Charles IV decorated him with the Gran Cruz de Carlos III. Until his death in 1800, he continued to receive the treatment and honors due the viceroy of New Spain.


  1. ^ D.A. Brading, The First America: Spanish Monarchs, Creole Patriots, and the Liberal State. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1991, p. 501.
  2. ^ D.A. Brading, The First America, p. 501.

Further readingEdit

  • (in Spanish) "Hospitales," Enciclopedia de México, v. 7. Mexico City: 1987.
  • (in Spanish) "Núñez de Haro y Peralta, Alonso," Enciclopedia de México, v. 10. Mexico City: 1987.
  • (in Spanish) García Puron, Manuel, México y sus gobernantes, v. 1. Mexico City: Joaquín Porrúa, 1984.
  • (in Spanish) Orozco Linares, Fernando, Gobernantes de México. Mexico City: Panorama Editorial, 1985, ISBN 968-38-0260-5.

External linksEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Francisco Antonio de Lorenzana y Butrón
Archbishop of Mexico
1772 – 1800
Succeeded by
Francisco Javier de Lizana y Beaumont
Government offices
Preceded by
Bernardo de Gálvez y Madrid
Viceroy of New Spain
Succeeded by
Manuel Antonio Flórez