1810: Death of the Count of Buenos Aires – the Spanish Colonial Viceroy of French Origin

1810: Death of the Count of Buenos Aires – the Spanish Colonial Viceroy of French Origin
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/ Execution of Santiago de Liniers.

On this day in 1810, Santiago de Liniers was killed.

He held the interesting title of Count of Buenos Aires. He was a Frenchman who fought against the British. He played a major role in the defense of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, when the British wanted to conquer the city.

Santiago de Liniers was born as Jacques de Liniers in Niort in France in 1753. He was a member of a French noble family (his father held the title of French count). He was trained as military officer, but it is interesting to note that he served as officer on the side of Spain, the ally of France at the time (the kings of the Bourbon dynasty ruled the both countries).

Jacques (his French name) became known as Santiago de Liniers in the Spanish-speaking area. He served in today’s Argentina (Rio de la Plata). When British troops conquered Buenos Aires during the Napoleonic Wars, Santiago de Liniers organized his local military forces and the British had to withdraw. He was even appointed the new Viceroy of Rio de la Plata, which was quite an unusual procedure because the local authorities, rather than the royal authority in Spain, appointed him. Furthermore, he allegedly served as the first viceroy who wasn’t born in Spain, in the area of the Spanish colonies.

But the royal authority confirmed his appointment due to his earlier work. He was awarded the title of Count of Buenos Aires. Liniers was killed by local revolutionaries. Namely, he fought for the Spanish colonial interests, and against the attempts of the South Americans who wanted to gain independence from the Spanish Crown. On this day, he was executed as a counterrevolutionary near the village of Cabeza de Tigre (today’s Argentina). He was 57 years old at the time.

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