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Jesuit Wealth and Economic Activity Within the Peruvian Economy: The Case of Colonial Southern Peru

  • Kendall W. Brown (a1)


Muffled by the night and sobered by their unexpectedly serious task, Corregidor José Manrique y Guzmán and two squads of militia quietly approached the Jesuit college of Arequipa at four o'clock on the morning of September 17, 1767. Manrique had secretly gathered his scribe and the troops during the night after receiving an astounding royal decree from Viceroy Amat in Lima. The top-secret dispatch ordered Manrique to detain all Jesuits within the province of Arequipa in preparation for their expulsion from the Spanish empire. Similar orders had gone out to royal officials throughout Charles III's domains. In Arequipa Manrique found all but three of the local Jesuits housed within the college. He read them the royal edict, placed them under house arrest until provisions could be made for transporting them to Lima, ordered the detention of the three padres absent from the college, and confiscated all the Jesuits' properties.



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* The author is associate professor of history at Hillsdale College. He wishes to thank J. Ignacio Méndez for his comments and suggestions on an earlier draft of this study and the American Philosophical Society and the Tinker Foundation for financial support for the research.

1 For Manrique’s report of the night’s events, see “Inventario del Colegio de la Compañía de Arequipa, en que se halla la ejecución del Real Decreto,” Arequipa, 17 Sept. 1967, Biblioteca Nacional del Perú (heréafter BNP), C224.

2 Chevalier, François, Land and Society in Colonial Mexico, trans, by Simpson, Lesley Byrd (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1970), 239.

3 Worcester, Donald E. and Schaeffer, Wendell G., The Growth and Culture of Latin America (New York, 1956).

4 Moses, Bernard, Spain’s Declining Power in South America 1730–1806 (New York, 1965), 128.

5 For an example of this type of interpretation, see Martín, Luis, The Kingdom of the Sun; A Short History of Peru (New York, 1974), 146149.

6 Among the recent economic studies of Jesuit holdings in Spanish America, see Fontana, Estebán, “La expulsión de los Jesuitas de Mendoza y sus repercusiones económicas,Revista Chilena de Historia y Geografía, 130 (1962), 4799 ; dall’Orso, Pablo Macera, “Instrucciones para el manejo de las haciendas jesuitas del Perú (ss. XVII–XVIII),Nueva Coránica, 2 (1966); Medina, Fernando de Armas, “Las propiedades de las órdenes religiosas y el problema de los diezmos en el virreinato peruano en la primera mitad del siglo XVII,Anuario de Estudios Americanos, 23 (1966), 681–721; Colmenares, Germán, Haciendas de los Jesuitas en el Nuevo Reino de Granada: Siglo XVIII (Bogotá, 1969); Martín, Luis, S.J., “The College of San Pablo in Lima: 1568–1767. History of a Colonial Institution” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Columbia University, 1966); Fleener, Charles Joseph, “The Expulsion of the Jesuits from the Viceroyalty of New Granada” (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida, 1969); Benedict, Harold Bradley, “The Distribution of the Expropriated Jesuit Properties in Mexico, with Special Reference to Chihuahua (1767–1790)” (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Washington, 1970); Polzer, Charles William, “The Evolution of the Jesuit Mission System in Northwestern New Spain, 1600–1767” (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Arizona, 1972); Riley, James Denson, “The Management of the Estates of the Jesuit Colegio Máximo de San Pedro y San Pablo of Mexico City in the Eighteenth Century” (Ph.D. Dissertation, Tulane University, 1972); Hamnett, Brian R., “Church Wealth in Pera: Estates and Loans in the Archdiocese of Lima in the Seventeenth Century,Jahrbuchfur Geschichte von Stoat, Wirtschaft und Gesellschafl Lateinamerikas, Band 10 (1973), 111132 ; Riley, James D., “The Wealth of the Jesuits in Mexico, 1670–1767,The Americas, 33:2 (Oct., 1976), 226266 ; de Santamaría, Carmelo Saénz, “La vida económica del colegio de Jesuitas en Santiago de Guatemala,Revista de Indias, 37 (1977), 543–584; and Konrad, Herman W., A Jesuit Hacienda in Colonial Mexico: Santa Lucía, 1576–1767 (Stanford, 1980). Especially valuable with respect to the Jesuits in viceregal Peru are the three studies of Nicholas P. Cushner, although these also show far more familiarity with Jesuit economic enterprises than with the Peruvian economy and the Jesuit role in it: Lords of the Land; Sugar, Wine, and Jesuit Estates of Coastal Peru, 1600–1767 (Albany, 1980); Farm and Factory: The Jesuits and the Development of Agrarian Capitalism in Colonial Quito, 1600–1767 (Albany, 1982); and Jesuit Ranches and the Agrarian Development of Colonial Argentina, 1650–1767 (Albany, 1983).

7 On the early history of Arequipa, see Leguía, Germán y Martínez, , Historia de Arequipa, 2 tomos (Lima, 1917); and Barriga, Victor Manuel, ed., Documentos para la historia de Arequipa, 3 vols. (Arequipa, 1939–1955), both of which deal primarily with the sixteenth century. Keith Arfon Davies has studied Arequipan land tenure in “Landowners in Colonial Peru” (Austin, 1984). On the evolution of Arequipan viticulture, see Brown, Kendall W., “A Evolução da Vinicultura em Arequipa, 1550–1800; um Aspecto da Agricultura Colonial,Estudos Ibero-Americanos, 6:1 (julho, 1980), 3952.

8 See Ugarte, Rubén Vargas, Historia de la Compañía de Jesus en el Perú, 4 vols. (Burgos, 1963–1965), I, 125126.

9 See, for example, the data in Macera, “Instrucciones,” between pp. 8 and 9.

10 Medina, Alejandro Málaga, ed., Fuentes documentales para la historia de Arequipa: Propriedades jesuitas (Arequipa, 1978), 29.

11 On the early status of Sacay, see, for example, “Libro de gastos del colegio de Arequipa,” 1679–1688, Archivo Nacional del Perú (hereafter ANP), Compañía de Jesus 29, folio 11. The visita of 31 May 1674 reported, however, that Sacay had 130,000 sepas (Libro de gastos del colegio de Arequipa, 1653-1679, ANP, Compañía de Jesus 29, folio 252v.) If that is true, many of the vines must have been old and unproductive enough to make the Jesuits decide to destroy them and replant. Later visitas definitely show that Jesuit operations at Sacay started with about 60,000 sepas.

12 “Gastos del colegio de Arequipa,” 1679–1688, ANP, Compañía de Jesus 29, folios 97–98.

13 “Tasación e inventario de la hacienda Sacay la Grande hecho al tiempo de la entrega hecha por D. Domingo Caverò y Espinosa,” 1768, ANP, Temporalidades 49, folios 11–12. According to Viceroy Amat’s report, there were 69 slaves. de Amat, Manuel y Junient, , Memoria de gobierno, ed. by Casado, Vicente Rodríguez, and Embid, Florentino Pérez, (Sevilla, 1947), 149.

14 These were 75-pound jugs. “Relación sumaria de lo que ha producido la Hacienda titulada Sacay la Grande,” 1762–1766, ANP, Temporalidades 150. To compare production at Sacay with other vineyards in the Mages canyon, see the tithe accounts for 1789 in ANP, Real Hacienda, Caja de Arequipa 66.

15 From 24 June 1633 to 30 June 1636, for example, San Javier produced 28,507 out of the college’s total income of 94,710 pesos. See “Obligaciones del Colegio de Arequipa,” 1627–1679, ANP, Compañía de Jesus 28, folio 68v. At that time the college had 29 slaves in the Vitor valley (ibid., folio 71v).

16 Málaga Medina, Fuentes documentales, xi and 28, mistakenly implies that the Arequipan college had no vineyards in the Vitor valley until 1652, but the lands purchased by the Jesuits in that year simply added to their already existing Vitor vineyard. The accounts compiled immediately after 1652 refer to two vineyards in the valley: the viña nueba, which produced 15,820 pesos from 28 Feb. 1652 to 30 April 1660; and the viña vieja, which generated 62,732 pesos during the same period. See “Obligaciones del Colegio de Arequipa,” 1627–1679, ANP, Compañía de Jesus 28, folio 165v. Later, the accounts combine the two properties and call them Vitor or San Javier.

17 “Gastos del Colegio de Arequipa,” 1679–1688, ANP, Compañía de Jesus 29, folios 97–98.

18 In that month the college bought four slaves, two males and two females, for 1610 pesos. “Libro de gasto de la Compañía de Jesus,” 1755–1767, ANP, Compañía de Jesus, Cuentas de Colegios 30, folio 61.

19 The Vitor and Moquegua botija was 55 pounds and thus smaller than the jug used by the Mages vintners. “Relación sumaria de lo que ha producido la haz titulada Vitor,” ANP, Temporalidades, Cuentas de Haciendas 150.

20 It is impossible to know exactly how San Javier’s production compared with other vineyards in the valley in 1767, when the expropriation took place. Data from later years, however, lead to the conclusion that San Javier was large but several other haciendas probably equalled or exceeded it in size. In 1781, for instance, San Javier produced 2789 botijas, down somewhat from its yield during the final years the Jesuits owned it. In that same year Domingo Benavides’ vineyard gave 3940 botijas and Nicolás de Barreda tithed a harvest of 7,637. See “Diezmo de Vino del Valle de Vitor,” 1 June 1781, ANP, Real Hacienda, Caja de Arequipa 116. Tithe documents for later years show similar relationships between the former Jesuit hacienda and the other principal Vitor vineyards.

21 Medina, Málaga, Fuentes documentales, 2223.

22 “Libro de Gasto del Colegio de Arequipa,” 1723–1735, folio 3, ANP, Compañía de Jesus 30.

23 See “Relación sumaria…de Hazienda de Panllevar nombrada San Gerónimo,” ANP, Temporalidades, Cuentas de Haciendas 150; and Medina, Málaga, Fuentes documentales, 24.

24 Compare “Estado genera) del Colegio de San Josef que fue de la Compañía del nombre de Jhs. de la Villa de Moquegua,” ANP, Temporalidades, Colegios 166, folios 1–30; and Ugarte, Rubén Vargas, Historia de la Compañía de Jesus, 4, 1012.

25 In 1762, for example, the royal novenos on Mages wine was 752 botijas and 644 on Vitor wine. The novenos were equal to one-ninth of the tithe, which in turn was 1/15 of the total harvest. Thus Vitor tithed 86,940 botijas that year and Mages 101,520. See the novenos data in the treasury accounts for this period in Archivo General de Indias (hereafter AGI), Lima 1281.

26 On Yarabico and Santo Domingo, see “Hacienda de Yaravico,” 1733–1753, ANP, Compañía de Jesus, Haciendas 96, folios 203–206; and “Libro de Gasto y Recibo de la Hazienda de Santo Domingo,” 1733–1767, ibid., folios 174–176. Production levels for the Moquegua valley are calculated from novenos and tithe data. See, for example, “Testimonio de los autos seguidos por los jueces visitadores da la Caxa R1 de Arequipa,” 7 April 1755, BNP, C2197, folios 43–49, 51–55; and the novenos figures in the treasury accounts in ANP, Real Hacienda, Caja de Arequipa 23–25.

27 Guasacache averaged 505 fanegas of wheat and 362 of corn and San Gerónimo added 557 of wheat. See “Relación sumaria del Producto y gasto de la Hazienda de Panllevar nombrada Guasacache,” ANP, Temporalidades 150; and “Relación sumaria…de Hazienda de Panllevar nombrada San Gerónimo,” ibid.

28 On grain production, see Travada, Ventura y Cordova, , Historia general de Arequipa (Arequipa, 1923), 133 and 135.

29 Macera, “Instrucciones,” between 8 and 9.

30 This is, of course, an extrapolated figure.

31 “Representación de la Ciudad de Arequipa,” 22 Jan. 1791, AGI, Lima 939, expediente 63, folio 39. This compared with 60,000 from southern Peru.

32 See Hamnett, Brian R., “Church Wealth in Peru: Estates and Loans in the Archdiocese of Lima in the Seventeenth Century,Jahrbuch für Geschichte von Stoat, Wirtschafi und Gesellschaft Lateina-merikas, Band 10, (1973), 118125. Hamnett also notes an instance of 4.5% interest.

33 The case of Sgt.-Maj. Luis de Tobar, who owed censo money to the Hospicio de la Buenamuerte in Arequipa, is not unusual. An earthquake in 1784, he claimed, destroyed his house and upset production on his hacienda, making it impossible for him to repay his loan. For five years he managed to avoid paying anything. Thereupon the Hospicio sued to gain control of his property. See the unlabeled autos on this case in Archivo Histórico Departamental de Arequipa (hereafter AHDA), Intendencia, 1789–1.

34 “Razón de los sugetos que se hallan deviendo de corridos a este nuestro Monasterio de Sta Catha-lina de Sena por los censos,” 8 May 1789, AHDA, Intendencia 1789–11.

35 For example, the crown lowered the censo rates after the Lima earthquake of 1746. “Poder del MYC para pedir mercedes: al Señor Marqués de Monterreal,” Arequipa, 28 June 1784, Archivo Municipal de Arequipa, LCA .01.

36 See Table 6.

37 Macera, “Instrucciones,” between 8 and 9.

38 The Office of Temporalities only succeeded in selling Guasacache in 1777 (“Estado general de la Hazienda nombrada Guasacache que pertenecía al Colegio de Jesuitas de Arequipa,” 6 April 1779, ANP, Temporalidades 153); Sacay la Grande in 1779 (“Compulsa de la Certificación del Remate de la Hazienda de viña nombrada Sacay la Grande,” 1779–1782, ibid., legajo 50); and San Javier in 1785 (“Expediente promovido sobre poner en poseción a dn Juan Antº Piélago y Herrera de la Hacienda de Viña nombrada San Xavier,” 1785–1786, ibid., legajo 60).

39 Occasionally the government did give the administrators permission to undertake much needed maintenance of the haciendas, as shown in “Oficios dirigidos al Sup Gob por la RI Junta de Temporalidades de Arequipa,” 1775, ANP, Superior Gobierno 17, cuadernillo 441.

40 Ligarte, Rubén Vargas, Jesuitas peruanos desterrados a Italia (Lima, 1935), 177178, 191.

41 Cushner, , Lords of the Land, 6.

42 For information on the income of the other convents and monasteries in the diocese of Arequipa, see Echeverría, Francisco Xavier y Morales, , “Memoria de la santa iglesia de Arequipa, 1804, ” in Barriga, Victor M., ed., Memorias para la historia de Arequipa, 4 tomos (Arequipa, 1940–1952), IV, 7778 , 104, 114, 125, 142, 159, and 167. Also see “Relación de las Provincias y Combentos de la Orden de Nrs Sra de la Merced” (undated, but probably about 1644), Newberry Library, Ayer Manuscripts 1106M2.

43 Cushner, , Lords of the Land, 2.

44 That the Jesuits had such a far-flung commercial network is one of the chief points of Cushner, Lords of the Land. It finds support in Riley, , “Wealth of the Jesuits,243.

45 Cushner, , Lords of the Land, 78.

46 Riley, , “Wealth of the Jesuits,235, 248–249.

47 See, for example, “Obligaciones del Colegio de Arequipa,” 1627–1679, ANP, Compañía de Jesus, folio 134.

48 For this argument, see Konrad, , Jesuit Hacienda, 315.

49 Cushner, , Lords of the Land, 134.

50 Cushner, , Lords of the Land, 183.

51 See the testimony of Juan de Zámbrana regarding the operation of Sacay la Grande in ANP, Temporalidades, Títulos de Haciendas, Cuadernillo 1022.

52 See Brown, , “Evolução da Vinicultura,41 , 46–48. On Jesuit slaveholding in Peru, refer to Cushner, Nicholas P., “Slave Mortality and Reproduction on Jesuit Haciendas in Colonial Peru,Hispanic American Historical Review, 55:2 (May, 1975), 177199.

53 Few subjects are more poorly understood in Peruvian historiography than the demographic trends of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Cook, N. David, Demographic Collapse: Indian Peru, 1520–1620 (Cambridge, 1981), pp. 165166 , does show, however, that toward the end of the sixteenth century the decline in Indian population was most severe along the southern coast of the viceroyalty. A further demographic catastrophe hit the region in 1717–1718, when an influenza epidemic reportedly killed off as much as two-thirds of the Indian and one-half of the white population. Dobyns, Henry F., “An Outline of Andean Epidemic History to 1720,Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 37 (1963), 512.

54 According to the relación of the Conde de Superunda, the Indian population of the bishopric of Arequipa around mid-century amounted to only 14,483. Fuentes, Manuel A., ed., Memorias de los virreyes que han gobernado el Perú, 6 vols. (Lima, 1859), IV, 12 and 15 of appendix. This probably understates the size of the indigenous population, but whatever the case, by the 1790s it had risen to 66,609, according to Kubler, George, The Indian Caste of Peru (Washington, D.C., 1952), 31. In the province of Arequipa, the total population rose from approximately 30,000 in 1752 ( Travada, y Cordova, , Historia, 128 ) to 37,241 by 1795 ( Kubler, , Indian Caste, 31 ). Wages for agricultural laborers held steady during the second half of the century at four reales per day.

55 “Autos hechos sobre la Venta de Negros operarios de la Hacienda de Viña nombrada San Xavier del Valle de Vitor, 1769,” ANP, Temporalidades 58, folio 1.

56 Ibid., folio 2.

57 Ibid., folios 4–14, 77–78. Slavery apparently was much more important to Peruvian sugar planters than to the vineyard owners. Susan Ramírez-Horton has noted that the price of slaves in northern Peru around Trujillo continued to increase during the eighteenth century, even though local sugar planters faced a crisis from Caribbean competition. Ramírez-Horton, Susan, “Land Tenure and the Economics of Power in Colonial Peru” (Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wisconsin at Madison, 1977), 398413 . That the San Javier slaves were finally sold to a sugar plantation in Nazca also suggests that sugar producers there considered slave labor more attractive the Arequipan vinters did. The need for labor was probably more consistent throughout the year on a sugar plantation than in a vineyard. Furthermore, because the wine valleys lay at a higher altitude, there tended to be more Indians available for work than in the hot coastal sugar regions where Indian mortality had been even higher.

58 For references to the mule team or recua, see “Libro 2º del Gasto deste Colegio de la Compa de IHS de Arequipa, “I Agosto 1627–1652, ANP, Compañía de Jesus 28, folio 175; and “Obligaciones del Colegio de Arequipa,” 1627–1679, ANP, Compañía de Jesus 28, folio 27.

59 Ibid., folio lOlv.

60 “Libro de Gastos del Colegio de Arequipa,” 1679–1688, ANP, Compañía de Jesus 29, folios 2–9. For an excellent description of how the Jesuits at Sacay la Grande marketed their wine and brandy during the mid-eighteenth century, see the testimony of Juan de Zámbrana, filed after the confiscation of Sacay, 16 November 1767, in ANP, Temporalidades, Títulos de Haciendas, Cuadernillo 1022.

61 Macera, “Instrucciones,” between 8 and 9; Riley, , “Wealth of the Jesuits,247 ; and Colmenares, , Haciendas de los Jesuitas, 18, 22.

62 dall’Orso, Pablo Macera, “Iglesia y economía en el Perú durante el siglo XVIII,Trabajos de historia, 4 tomos (Lima, 1977), II, 205.

63 He makes this point in “Instrucciones.”

64 Cushner, , Lords of the Land, 57.

65 Refer to Mörner, Magnus, The Political and Economic Activities of the Jesuits in the La Plata Region: the Hapsburg Era (Stockholm, 1953).

66 Keen, Benjamin and Wasserman, Mark A Short History of Latin America, 2nd ed. (Boston, 1984), 97.

Jesuit Wealth and Economic Activity Within the Peruvian Economy: The Case of Colonial Southern Peru

  • Kendall W. Brown (a1)


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