José de Bustamante y Guerra
(Anonymous, Museo Naval, Madrid)


José de Bustamante y Guerra (1759-1825) was a native of Corvera de Toranzos in Cantabria, and entered the Academy of the Guardiamarinas of Cádiz in 1770. At the end of his course he embarked on the Santa Inés; the ship was bound for the Philippines, but was captured by an English man-of-war. From 1789 to 1794, in command of the corvette Atrevida, he participated in the Malaspina Expedition; his diary, outlining the voyage as undertaken from the point of view of the Descubierta, was published in 1868. Once the expedition had returned to Spain, he continued to work with Malaspina and was promoted to navy brigadier. In 1796 he was made political and military governor of Paraguay and Commander-General of the River Plate. Eight years later, returning to Spain in command of a squadron of four frigates, he was captured, along with all the ships, by an English squadron. Subsequently released, he was brought before a court-martial but emerged without taint. In 1810 he was made Captain-General of Guatemala, a position that he filled up to 1819.

For further information on Bustamante, see:

E. BEERMAN, «José de Bustamante, capitáJanuary 3, 2006ds.), Malaspina '92. Jornadas Internacionales: Madrid - Cádiz - La Coruña, Cádiz, Real Academia Hispano Americana, 1994, pp. 199 -204.

E. BEERMAN, «Don José de Bustamante. Su carrera tras la llegada de la expedición científica a Cádiz», A. Orozco - M. PALAU - J.M. CASTANEDO (eds.), Malaspina y Bustamante '94. II Jornadas Internacionales Conmemorativas del regreso de la Expedición a Cádiz. 1794-1994, Cádiz - Santander, Real Academia Hispano Americana - Astilleros de Guarnizo, 1996, pp. 88-91.

Image courtesy of the Centro di Studi Malaspiniani, Mulazzo, Italy.  Biographical and bibliographical note by Dario Manfredi (Italian version), translated by John Black.

Updated: December 20, 2005