This article is about an 18th-century official of New Spain. For the football club named for him, see José Gálvez FBC. For the district in Peru, see José Gálvez District. For the photojournalist, see José Galvez (photojournalist).
José de Gálvez, Visitador generál in New Spain and later member of the Council of the Indies.
José de Gálvez y Gallardo, marqués de Sonora (2 January 1720, Macharavialla, Spain – 17 June 1787, Aranjuez, Spain) was a Spanish lawyer and Visitador generál (inspector general) in New Spain (1764–1772); later appointed to the Council of the Indies (1775–1787). He was one of the prime figures behind the Bourbon Reforms. He belonged to an important political family that included his brother Matías de Gálvez and nephew Bernardo de Gálvez
1 Early career
2 Visitador (inspector general) in New Spain
2.1 Management of Baja California missions
2.2 Plan to expand into upper California
2.3 Expeditions from Baja to Alta California
2.4 Gálvez’s personal imprint on California history
2.5 End of the Visita
3 Bourbon Reforms in Spanish America
6 Further reading
7 External links
Following the death of his noble but impoverished father, Gálvez became a shepherd, then studied at an elite Catholic seminary in Málaga. After he realized he was not cut out for a priestly vocation, the local bishop sent him to study law at Salamanca. He received his law degree at the University of Alcalá.
Practicing law in Madrid, he handled many legal cases involving the Indies. He gained the attention of powerful people in Madrid, including the marqués de Equilache and the marqués de Grimaldi, ministers of Charles III. Gálvez married María Magdalena de Grimaldo, who died a year later. He then married Lucía Romet y Pichelín, an elite woman of French origin, well connected at the royal court. Lucía’s connections enabled Gálvez to work as legal adviser at the French embassy in Madrid. Climbing the social and political ladder, he secured a job as personal secretary to Jerónimo Grimaldi, minister to the newly ascended king Carlos III. In 1762, Gálvez secured a position as attorney to prince Carlos, the future king Carlos IV. In 1765, he was appointed visitador (inspector) of New Spain, where he both gathered information and implemented royal policy to increase crown revenues.
Visitador (inspector general) in New Spain
In 1765 at the age of 45, Gálvez ar