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RONQUILLO, PEDRO DE

RONQUILLO, PEDRO DE (?–?). As Spanish ambassador to England in the late seventeenth century, Pedro de Ronquillo played a vital diplomatic role in dealing with the French threat in America. Although King Charles II of England was noted for his mercenary relationship with Louis XIV of France, Ronquillo obtained from him news of the renegade Spaniard Conde de Peñalosa's scheming with the Sun King to conquer parts of New Spain. On Charles's death in 1685, his brother, the Catholic James II, took the English throne. James manifested a new friendliness toward Spain, and Ronquillo was instructed to cultivate the friendship and assure the new king of Spain's close alliance and support. It became a crucial matter when, in March 1686, word reached Spain of La Salleqv's invasion of the Gulf of Mexico. Though at first not convinced that La Salle posed a real threat, Ronquillo spared no effort to carry out his instructions. As a result, James II issued a warning to Louis XIV against extending his American possessions at Spain's expense and is said to have received Louis's reassurance. Ronquillo was successful also in gathering information on La Salle. On February 7, 1687, he forwarded to the viceroy of New Spain a copy of a report of La Salle's activities on the Texas coast up to the time the ship Joly had left to return to France and copies of maps of the Matagorda Bay area drawn by the French engineer Minetqv. The document and maps enabled the Spanish officers who had found the wreckage of La Salle's ships to reconcile their data and strengthened their belief that La Salle had met disaster and no longer posed a threat.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Copia de relación hecha al Rei...que remitió el S.or Dn Pedro Ronquillo, February 7, 1687 (Archivo General de Indias, Mexico, 616, transcript 68, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin). William Edward Dunn, Spanish and French Rivalry in the Gulf Region of the United States, 1678–1702: The Beginnings of Texas and Pensacola (Austin: University of Texas, 1917).

Robert S. Weddle

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Robert S. Weddle, "RONQUILLO, PEDRO DE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/froac), accessed December 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.