Manuel Antonio Flórez

Manuel Antonio Flórez Maldonado Martínez Ángulo y Bodquín[1] (in full, Manuel Antonio Flórez Maldonado) (May 27, 1723, in Seville, Spain – March 20, 1799, in Madrid) was a general in the Spanish navy and viceroy of New Granada (1776 – November 26, 1781) and New Spain (August 17, 1787 to October 16, 1789).

Manuel Antonio Flórez
51st Viceroy of New Spain
In office
August 17, 1787 – October 16, 1789
MonarchsCharles III
Charles IV
Preceded byAlonso Núñez de Haro y Peralta
Succeeded byJuan Vicente de Güemes, 2nd Count of Revillagigedo
Viceroy of New Granada
In office
1776 – November 23, 1781
MonarchCharles III
Preceded byManuel de Guirior
Succeeded byJuan de Torrezar Díaz Pimienta
Personal details
Manuel Antonio Flórez Maldonado Martínez Ángulo y Bodquín

May 27, 1723
Seville, Spain
DiedMarch 20, 1799 (aged 75–76)
Madrid, Spain

Early career


Flórez entered the royal navy of Spain, where he commanded various ships of war fighting pirates, in both the Mediterranean and in Spanish possessions in America. He distinguished himself for his valor as well as his knowledge, and was made a knight of the military Order of Calatrava. He became commandant of the Naval Department at el Ferrol, a major naval base, shipbuilding center and arsenal in northwestern Spain. He served in that position for four years (1771–75).

Flórez was named viceroy of New Granada, and sailed to take up the position on December 3, 1775. He served in this capacity for 11 years and 5 months. He was well liked in New Grenada. He resigned in 1787, citing ill health. However, his resignation was apparently motivated by dissatisfaction of José de Gálvez, Minister of the Indies, and Archbishop Antonio Caballero y Góngora of Bogotá.

As Viceroy of New Spain


In 1787 he was named viceroy of New Spain and president of the Audiencia of Mexico. He arrived in Veracruz on July 18, 1787 and took possession of his new offices in Mexico City on August 17.

In office, he raised three new battalions of volunteers, those of Mexico, Nueva España, and Puebla. He refused to share his authority with Fernando José Mangino, who had been named superintendent of New Spain (1787).

He intervened in a dispute between missionaries and the military governor of California. He arranged that the sons of the largest landowners of the colony be given high positions in the colonial army. In 1788 he arranged with the Spanish government to bring in 11 German miners from Dresden to teach Mexican miners recent technical advances in metallurgy.

During his administration the Real Estudio Botánico opened. On April 28, 1788, the distinguished Mexican historian and Jesuit Francisco Javier Alegre died in exile in Bologna. On June 4, 1788, the expedition of Esteban José Martínez sailed from San Blas, Nayarit, in the Princesa to explore the North Pacific coast. This expedition sailed as far as the Bering Strait. On August 12, 1788, Lorenzo de Zavala was born in Yucatán. He was later vice-president of the independent Republic of Texas.

King Charles III died on December 14, 1788, after a long reign. The sumptuous obsequies after his death cost the treasury of New Spain a great deal. Viceroy Flórez was personally very affected, because Charles III had been his protector.

The Audiencia informed the Crown of Flórez's failing health, and he was ordered to step down because of it. He was granted six months' additional pay to cover his expenses on the return to Spain. He returned there on October 16, 1789, where he was awarded the Cross of the Order of Charles III and named honorary Captain general of the Navy. He died in Madrid on March 20, 1799.


  • (in Spanish) "Flores, Manuel Antonio," Enciclopedia de México, v. 5. Mexico City: 1987.
  • (in Spanish) García Puron, Manuel, México y sus gobernantes, v. 1. Mexico City: Joaquín Porrua, 1984.
  • (in Spanish) Orozco L., Fernando, Fechas Históricas de México. Mexico City: Panorama Editorial, 1988, ISBN 968-38-0046-7.
  • (in Spanish) Orozco Linares, Fernando, Gobernantes de México. Mexico City: Panorama Editorial, 1985, ISBN 968-38-0260-5.
Government offices
Preceded by Viceroy of New Granada
Succeeded by
Preceded by Viceroy of New Spain
Succeeded by