Lorenzo de Tejada


AGI, Contratación, 5787, N.1, L.4, “Nombramiento Lorenzo de Tejada oidor de Nueva España, 1537” [Tejada named oidor of Nueva España to replace Vasco de Quiroga who had been named bishop of Michoacán; May 4, 1537; salary: 500,000 maravedis];

AGI, Contratación, 4676, L.4, "Account book, 1535-1549" [December 11, 1537, licenciado Lorenzo de Tejada is paid 400 ducados, as salary as oidor];

AGI, Justicia, 259, Pieza 2, "Visita hecha por el licenciado Francisco Tello de Sandoval, 1544-48," [fols. 234r and 234v (93): cédula, May 15, 1540, granting Tejada the right to establish a huerta and arboleda and to plant grapevines and wheatfields in Chalco and Tlacubaya]; [folios 46r-48v: Tejada writing on behalf of Mendoza];

AGI, Justicia, 261, Pieza 1-8, "Visita hecha al virrey...por Francisco Tello de Sandoval, 1546-47" [N.1: cargos al licenciado Tejada]; [N.2: descargos del oidor Tejada];

AGI, Justicia, 260, Pieza 4, "Charges against Cristobal de Benavente, fiscal, 1543-47" [cargos y descargos...licenciado Lorenzo de Tejada]; 

AGI, Mexico, 68, R.11, N.25, “Cartas de Audiencia, 1544” [carta al príncipe de Tejada, May 24, 1544] [received commission for pesquisa and residencia on ships that brought Tello de Sandoval] [planned to leave immediately for Nueva Galicia except for the visita that he had to undergo and, further, he had a very high fever and a pain in his side, for which he was bled six times; that left him so hurt that for many days he couldn’t attend to business] [hopes to leave for Nueva Galicia on June 30 or within a week thereafter] [before leaving he will make the investigation into cruelties in Mexico City] [he will have to take a scribe, an alguacil, and an interpreter with him; that costs 2,000 pesos];

Actas de Cabildo, Tomo V, p.23-24 [January 1, 1544, Tejada at cabildo]; p.157 [November 4, 1546, Tejada and other oidores exempted from payment of excise tax--sisa--on meat]; p.205 [January 5, 1548, in response to complaint from regidor Ruy González regarding attendance of oidores and president of audiencia at the cabildo, Vázquez de Coronado responds specifically in defence of Tejada, saying that he has not seen or heard that Tejada had caused any injury or applied any force by coming to the cabildo, nor had he interfered with the regidores right to speak and vote]; p.240 [January 1, 1549, Tejada at the cabildo and seems to be voting]; p.270 [August 26, 1549, Tejada asks for and is granted permission to put a small bridge over a break in a calzada near his houses]; p.272 [September 6, 1549, Tejada asks for permission to open doors from his houses onto the tianguiz]; p.299 [May 23, 1550, complaint from Ruy González that all of Tejada’s building are injurious to the city and that because of removing stone and earth he has left large dangerous holes in the plaza and tianguiz];

AGI, Patronato, 57, N.2, R.1, “Méritos y servicios, Antonio de Mendoza, 1545” [Mendoza’s expenditures for expeditions from own funds, méritos y servicios, March 1545] [Tejada is judge for this información]] [opinion of oydores Ceynos and Tejada: Mendoza in debt because of expenditures for exploration, should be recompensed];

AGI, México, 68, R.12, N.29, “Cartas de Audiencia, 1545” [carta al rey de Tejada, March 12, 1545] [left Mexico City July 19, 1544] [in residencia Vázquez de Coronado and Diego de Colio found guilty; Coronado fined 600 pesos] [Vázquez de Coronado much diminished in ability; said to be because of fall from horse] [“esta mas para ser gobernado en ella que para gobernar el agena” fol. 1v] [lacks much worth and is different than he was] [Coronado and Guzmán encomiendas in Nueva Galicia found fraudulent] [Coronado blamed for lack of courts and justice in Nueva Galicia] [Tejada recommends establishment of second audiencia] [Indians selling Indians in Nueva Galicia] [Indians perfidious, tried to kill messengers] [guilt for cruelty in Tierra Nueva placed on García López de Cárdenas] [copy of información--Justicia 1021--sent with this letter];

AGI, Mexico, 68, R.13, N.38 , “Cartas de Audiencia, 1547” [carta de Lorenzo de Tejada a Marqués de Mondejar, presidente del Consejo de Indias, April 24, 1547] [1544, ordered to leave for Nueva Galicia same time as Tello de Sandoval visita] [in 1543 had conducted residencia of all interpreters of Audiencia] [those who were charged formed enmity against Tejada, especially Antonio Ortiz, Marcos Romero, and Francisco de Triana, all described as Moriscos and Sevillanos; they coached three Indios who, disguised as Spaniards, denounced Tejada to Tello] [Tejada accuses Tello of seeking out damaging witnesses who were enemies of his] [Tello said he was superior to the Audiencia; wanted to take Tejada prisoner and send him to Spain] [Tejada says Tello desires to destroy Mendoza and throw him out of office; as a result Nueva España is factionalized] [Tello insulted the whole Audiencia and the treasurer--Juan Alonso de Sosa] [at one point in an argument over a case Tello “rose from his seat, very angry with me, and, extending his arm across the table, poked his fingers in my eyes, saying now maybe I could see why he was voting to have me bound, because he was the visitador”] [Tejada complains of being treated like an alcalde instead of as a judge serving at the king’s pleasure without time limit] [Tejada says the oidores ought to be allowed to have estates and grain fields like other oidores and consejeros, otherwise they have to live in poverty on salaries only; but Tello applies a stricter rule to them]  [Tello relies on those who want to replace the oidores and governor] [Tejada says his grain fields are on land he bought and traded for, which had previously be granted as “tierras de Moctezuma” that were uncultivated and vacant; in 1535 these has been “given” to the Spaniards by the Indios] [Tejada says he paid the Indios for their work; only the disguised Indians say otherwise];

AGI, Justicia, 267, Quaderno 6, "Proceso secreto contra los officials de la audiencia, 1546" [93rd witness is Lorenzo de Tejada, oidor of the audiencia, signed; 44 years old]; [fol. 310v-311r: Tejada expresses disapproval of Benavente: no le tocan ny empezan nynguna de las otras pregunta generales excepto que le parecen mal a este testigo sus cosas del dicho fiscal en no usar su oficio con la yntegridad que debe asi siendo abogado como despues que es fiscal; this has to do with a specific case in which Benavente had financial dealings with an accused];

AGI, Patronato, 284, N.2, R.24, "Ejecutoría de Juicio de Residencia, 1558" [carta de executoria concerning residencia by doctor Montealegre, oidor, (1554) and visita by licenciado Francisco Tello de Sandoval (1543), 1558] [most charges deal with working Indians without pay or for too little pay, including Indians--hundreds at a time--from Coyoacán, Xalataco, Xochimilco, Ecapuzalco, Tenango, Amecameca, Santiago, Mexicalcingo, Atlacubaya, Tacuba, Culiacan, Santa Fe, Tlalmanalco, Texcoco, and Otumba; found guilty of some charges, exonerated of others] [the work of the Indians includes building a casa de cal y canto; digging, clearing, and covering acequias; building fences of stone, adobe, and sod; killing worms and locusts; bringing vigas--200--and bricks--15,000; bringing cal y tezontle, baking bread; building a road--800 brazas; supplying beds] [Tejada is accused of employing so many Indians--laborers, carpenters, and bricklayers--than other citizens couldn’t obtain them, fol. 5r] [Tejada had molinos, huertas, viñas--109,500 holes for vines, mulberries--4,000 feet] [built heredad on 14 suertes of land belonging to Santiago, fol. 14r] [as a result of this land being taken, an Indian town and church were abandoned] [accused, along with his subordinates, of ill treatment of Indians working on his estate; many died and became ill, fol. 15v] [accused, as oidor?, of punishing Chichimecas for killing livestock on estancia of doctor Santillán, fol. 14v, 20 of 26 Indians died while doing work as punishment] [accused of imprisoning principales because work was not accomplished quickly enough or by enough people] [also a charge concerning taking too much water from an acequia and adversely affecting doña marina] [also accused of taking Indian land];

AGI, Indiferente General, 425, L.23, "Registros generalísimos, 1553-60" [fol.421v: Tejada required to pay remaining 200 ducado fine from above judgement, 1559] [vecino of Granada];

Epistolario de Nueva España, vol.4 [p.161-72: Gerónimo López to the king, 1545] [I certify to Your Majesty that the licenciate Tejeda [sic], who is an Audiencia judge of Your Majesty, has encouraged more than twenty Spaniards to plant trees.  They saw him spending his wealth in this with such confidence and decision that they also spent more than 50,000 castellanos in planting trees, according to his example....This would not have been done if they had not seen Your Majesty’s judge, who not only spent his money in the enterprise but mortgaged himself and incurred debts];

AGI, Justicia, 271, Pieza 1, "Visita a Antonio de Turcios, escribano de cámara, 1546" [de parte witness is Lorenzo de Tejada, more than 40 years old, can sign his name--signature];

Instituto Hispano-Cubano de Historia de América, Catálogo de los Fondos Americanos del Archivo de Protocolos de Sevilla, [#226, p.62: [Libro del año 1538--Oficio XV, Libro I--Escribanía, Alonso de Cazalla--fol. 643--4 de marzo] [oidor Lorenzo de Tejada pays part of 85 ducados to make the trip to Nueva España in the galeón Santa María de la Antigua];

AGI, Contaduría, 419, N.1, "Certificaciones de Pablo de Melgosa en 1572, de las partidas de registro en plata, oro y otros efectos que vinieron de Indias y de las que se cobraron las averías. 1572" [register includes 112 pesos of gold for a licenciado Tejada, 1562];

AGS, Contadurías Generales, exp.3072  [“El Rey, Licenciado Tejada mi alcalde del crimen de la audiencia de la quadra de la ciudad de Sevilla…xxvi de mayo de iUdlvi [1556]"];


AGI, Indiferente General, 2055, N.49, "Licencia para pasar a Nueva España a Lorenzo Tejada, 1574" [permission to Lorenzo de Tejada to go to México to collect goods of his father the oidor, 1574] [permission for passage previously granted by cédula 1566];

Other info:

Ruiz Medrano, “El Oidor como Empresario” [p.210: Tejada, native of Santo Domingo de la Calzada en la Rioja--near Nájera and Haro, p. 210] [oidor’s salary: 500,000 maravedís till 1550, then 650,000, p. 210] [Tejada had conflicts with Luis de Velasco, p. 210] [19 separate agricultural properties acquired by Tejada through purchase, grant, and trade, pp 217-218] [Tejada had at least 3 properties in Tlalmanalco--Tapalcatetelco, Calnaguaque, Sierra de Anchestac (sic), p. 234; acquired for exchange for properties mostly in Tacuba, pp 245-246] [Tejada would call the caciques of towns neighboring his properties together to suggest they trade their land near Tacuba for twice as much land in Chalco; they declined; Tejada threatened; continued protests because land inferior in Chalco; petition to viceroy denied, p. 246] [Tejada’s agricultural production: mostly grapes and wheat, p. 259] [1543 and 1544, Juan de Contreras acting as interpreter for Tejada’s employment of Indians from Otumba, Tacuba, and Cuautitlán; Pedro de Requena, several times escribano for these documents, pp 265-270] [Tejada had stores in Mexico City for his products, p.279] [in total, Tejada owned some 600 hectáreas of agricultural land, mostly near Tacuba, p. 310];

Brief Biography

Licenciado Lorenzo de Tejada was one of the four oidores/judges of the Audiencia de México during the viceroyalty of don Antonio de Mendoza. He served in that position from 1537 till 1552. He was a native of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, La Rioja province, Spain. He was the investigating judge during the investigation into alleged abuses of Natives by the Expedition and also for the visita/administrative review of the performance of the royal officials in Nueva Galicia. He owned many properties in Nueva España. In 1558, after intense dispute with the second viceroy don Luis de Velasco, Tejada returned to Spain, where he lived at Granada, in a region administered by members of the Mendoza family.