Gaspar de Munibe y Tello, II Marquis of Valdelirios

(Huamanga, Peru, 1711- Madrid, 1793)
Court Counsellor (1768-1793) of the Royal Basque Society of the Friends of the Country.

A key figure to understanding the development of the Basque Enlightenment in Madrid having represented the Royal Basque Society for over twenty years at the highest level in Bourbon state institutions. As Court Counselor, an office that was never recognized in its Statutes, he succeeded in bringing together the supporters of the Enlightenment project, who resided in the capital, to move forward with important initiatives such as the Royal Seminary of Bergara or the failed Fisheries Company in Cecial. A group, including some from his circle and the vice treasury in Madrid, with strong ties to the Royal Congregation of St. Ignatius of Loyola was organized, among which were Eugenio de Llaguno (1724-1799) and Domingo de Marcoleta (1717-1796).

This prominent position in the Royal Basque Society of the Friends of the Country came to him through his distant kinship, although they would always be "uncle" and "nephew", with the Count of Peñaflorida, becoming, to some extent, the Madrid extension of the rule exercised by the Munibe family within the institution. In spite of the distance, our protagonist remained closely linked to the preservation and aggrandizement of his lineage, always favoring the education of the Count's sons.

His career was linked to American affairs and was marked by his appointment as officer to establish the new boundaries agreed between Spain and Portugal (1750), a mission that would cause major troubles and, more often than not, would lead to hostility between the supporters of the Society of Jesus. He was also Counselor of the Indies (1750), a Member of the House (1785) and Counselor of State (1792). Carlos III rewarded his loyalty and conferred him with the office of Gentleman of the King's Chamber (1777). His concerns on the Enlightenment led him to becoming the founding member and first elected Director (1779) of the Royal Economic Society of Madrid.




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