Juan Martínez Téllez de los Ríos

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Juan Martínez Téllez de los Ríos
Mayor of San Salvador
In office
MonarchPhilip IV of Spain
Preceded byAntonio Justiniano Chavarri
Succeeded byJosé Portal de Artavia
Personal details
Bornc. 1590s
Colmenar Viejo, Crown of Castille
Died(1657-02-09)February 9, 1657
Guatemala City, New Spain
SpouseAna de Ubois y Salazar
Military service
Allegiance Spain
Branch/serviceMarine Infantry

Juan Martínez Téllez de los Ríos (Colmenar Viejo, Crown of Castile c. 1590s – Guatemala City, February 9, 1657) was a captain of the Royal Armies who participated in the defense of Callao (in the Viceroyalty of Peru) in 1624. He served as a Chief Scribe of the city council of Guatemala City (from 1631 to 1637), Attorney General appointed by the city council of the same city (from 1639 to 1642), and Mayor of San Salvador (from 1647 to 1650). [1][2][3]


Juan Martínez Téllez de los Ríos was born in the 1590s in the town of Colmenar Viejo of the Crown of Castile of the Spanish Monarchy, son of Juan Martínez de Madrid y Ríos and Catalina Téllez.[3]

He moved to the American continent in 1618.[4] In May 1624, he participated as Captain of his own ship in the defense of the port of the Callao (of the Viceroyalty of Peru), which Dutch pirates led by Jacques L'Hermite were attacking. Also, the viceroy of Peru, Diego Fernández de Córdoba, would commission him to give warning to the port city of El Realejo (in the Province of Nicaragua) to ensure they were prepared for unexpected events.[4]

He would continue to serve under the orders of Maestre de campo and Chief Magistrate of Paita, Sebastián Ruiz de Castro, for three months. He would later become Lieutenant General of the province of Nicaragua. He also would be in charge of arranging the accounting items of the Royal Treasury of that province. He would also take charge of quelling a mutiny in the Corregidor of El Viejo and Nueva Segovia.[4] Additionally, on December 19 of that same year, 1624, he would be named procurator of the Real Audiencia de Guatemala. [1]

From 1631 to 1637 would become the chief public scribe, council, tax collector, and the town council of the city of Guatemala City. [2] He also dedicated himself to the trade between the Americas and Spain. He gave bonds to newly appointed officials for the province's government. Thus, on July 4, 1631, he granted a bond to Royal Scribe Francisco de Santos (who had been appointed by the President-Governor and Captain-General of Guatemala, Diego de Acuña, as Chief Justice of the corregimiento of Acasaguastlán while awaiting the new Chief Magistrate named by the Spanish monarch). On November 15, he would give a bond to the newly appointed corregidor of Monimbó (in the province of Nicaragua), Francisco de Balcárcel. Guatemala's royal treasury had to approve these bonds so officials could take office.[2]

On October 20, 1623, Ana de Ubois (Dubois) y Salazar (window of Chamber Clerk, Cristóbal de Escobar) was granted power of attorney to represent her in all her affairs. This relationship resulted in their marriage on December 21, 1632, in the El Sagrario de Santiago de Guatemala church. Because of this union, their only daughter, Juana Téllez de Salazar, was born on June 24, 1635.[2][5]

In 1639, the city council of Guatemala City named him Attorney General (the last one to be conferred for this position). So that same year, he moved to Spain, where he succeeded in issuing several decrees that fixed procedures imposed by the Royal Audience that affected the work of the Guatemalan council. Likewise, he was granted the right to use and exercise the office of Chief Scribe as a Lieutenant and to possess two slaves. [2]

On February 15, 1640, he presented a list of achievements before the Council of the Indies, requesting the king to grant him a position on the American continent.[4] On the other hand, on October 4 of that same year, his wife, Ana de Ubola, passed away, for which their daughter stayed under the care of a member of the council of Guatemala City, Miguel de Matheo, until his passing. Instead, she was under the care of Capitán Pedro de Nájera until the return of Juan Martinez Téllez in 1643.[6]

On December 1642, King Philip IV designated him as Mayor of San Salvador. He also ordered the Guatemalan Royal Audience to refrain from sending commissioner judges during his administration as mayor.[1][7]

On March 23, 1643, he would embark for the American continent in the company of three servants. But because Antonio Justiniano Chavarri had already been serving as the Mayor of San Salvador for five years (since January 1642), it wouldn't be until May 2, 1647, when the Royal Audience would approve the king's mandate, and he took office.[8][1]

On October 20, 1648, the king ordered by royal decree that all of the mayors appointed by the monarch could hold the office of Governor and Captain-General if the case warranted. Due to the dangers posed by piracy, all of the Mayors of San Salvador, from Juan Martínez Téllez to the creation of the Intendancy of San Salvador (in 1786), also carried the title of lieutenant Captain-General.[1]

He held this position as mayor until 1652, settling in the city of Guatemala, where he would continue to serve as Chief Scribe. Later, in January 1653, he was appointed member of the Spanish Inquisition.[1][2]

He died on February 9, 1657, leaving a sealed will he made before the public scribe, Luis de Andino Lozano, on July 8, 1655. He was awarded a close codicil on February 8, 1657.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Rubio Sánchez, Manuel (1979). "Juan Martínez Téllez de los Ríos". Alcaldes mayores: historia de los alcaldes mayores, justicias mayores, gobernadores intendentes, intendentes corregidores, y jefes políticos, de la Provincia de San Salvador, San Miguel y San Vicente. Vol. 1. Ministerio de Educación, Dirección de Publicaciones.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hernández Méndez, Rodolfo (5 April 2010). Biografía de Juan Martínez Tellez. Asociación para el Fomento de los Estudios Históricos en Centroamérica (AFEHC). ISSN 1954-3891.
  3. ^ a b Falla, Juan José (2006). Extractos de escrituras públicas. Guatemala: Archivo General de Centroamérica. pp. 119–120.
  4. ^ a b c d Consejo de Indias (1640). Relación de Méritos y servicios del capitán Juan Martínez Téllez, procurador general de Santiago de Guatemala. Meritos. Archivo general de Indias.
  5. ^ Falla, Juan José (2006). Extractos de escrituras públicas. Guatemala: Archivo General de Centroamérica. p. 219.
  6. ^ Hernández Méndez, Rodolfo (20 June 2011). Biografía de Ana de Ubois. Asociación para el Fomento de los Estudios Históricos en Centroamérica (AFEHC). ISSN 1954-3891.
  7. ^ Rey Felipe IV (1642). Real Provisión al capitán Juan Martínez Téllez, nombrándole alcalde mayor de la ciudad de San Salvador en Guatemala. Archivo general de Indias.
  8. ^ Casa de la Contratación de Sevilla (1643). Expediente de información y licencia de pasajero a indias de Juan Martínez Téllez, Mayor of San Salvador en la provincia de Guatemala. Licencia de pasajeros a Indias. Archivo general de Indias.