Diego Columbus became “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” (Spanish: Almirante de la Mar ocean) and “Viceroy of the Indies” (Spanish: Virrey de las Indias) by his father’s inheritance.
On this day the only legitimate son of the famous Christopher Columbus died. His name was Diego Columbus and he was his father’s successor. Not only did he inherit his father’s material legacy, but also his titles and positions, and these were many indeed due to his father’s merit for the Spanish crown. Namely, before embarking on his first voyage, Christopher Columbus arranged with the Spanish king and queen impressive benefits for himself and his heirs in case he succeeds in finding new lands.
Diego Columbus became “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” (Spanish: Almirante de la Mar ocean) and “Viceroy of the Indies” (Spanish: Virrey de las Indias) by his father’s inheritance. To explain, the Spaniards at that time still called America “The Indies” (las Indias). Along with these fancy titles, Diego Columbus was also awarded the aristocratic title “Duke of Veragua” (Spanish: Duque de Veragua).
The title of Duke was the highest in the hierarchy of the Spanish nobility (next to the honour of the Spanish Grandee). The Duchy of Veragua, which was assigned to the Columbus family, was located in present-day state of Panama, and included a large area of several hundred thousand hectares (close to one million hectares).
Duke Diego married well. His chosen one was María de Toledo y Rojas, from one of the most powerful Spanish families. In fact, her family Álvarez de Toledo had the glorious title “Dukes of Alba” (the Dukes of Alba belonged among the most powerful European aristocrats).