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RENTERÍA, PEDRO DE (?–?). One of the two Spanish voyages that touched the Texas coast during explorations preliminary to the 1559 expedition of Tristán de Luna y Arellano to Florida was captained by Pedro de Rentería. With Gonzalo Gayón as chief pilot, Rentería's single ship departed from San Juan de Ulúa at Veracruz. It proceeded first to Havana and thence sailed counterclockwise around the Gulf of Mexico. It discovered "the port of Polonza [Pensacola Bay]," the "coast of Apalache," Mobile Bay, and the "Costa de Médanos." The last name refers to Padre Island, named Médanos de Madalena by salvagers of the three Spanish ships wrecked there in 1554. The Rentería voyage evidently sailed from Veracruz after the return on December 10, 1558, of Guido de Lavazares, who had discovered Matagorda Bay on the Texas coast. Gayón, the only known source for the Rentería voyage, relates that its purpose was to discover the Florida ports in advance of the Luna expedition. Gayón later served as chief pilot for the ships shuttling supplies to Luna from Veracruz.


Robert S. Weddle, Spanish Sea: The Gulf of Mexico in North American Discovery, 1500–1685 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1985).

Robert S. Weddle

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Robert S. Weddle, "RENTERIA, PEDRO DE," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed December 01, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.