Diego Columbus

Not to be confused with Diego (Giacomo in Italian), the youngest brother of Christopher Columbus[1].
Diego Columbus

Diego Columbus
4th Governor of the Indies
In office
Preceded by Nicolás de Ovando y Cáceres
Succeeded by Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar
Personal details
Born 1479/80
Died February 23, 1526
(aged 45)
Montalbán, Spain
Spouse(s) María de Toledo y Rojas
Occupation Navigator

Diego Columbus (Portuguese: Diogo Colombo; Spanish: Diego Colón; also, in Italian: Diego Colombo) (1479/80-1526)[2] was a Portuguese navigator and explorer under the Kings of Castile and Aragón. He served as the 2nd Admiral of the Indies, 2nd Viceroy of the Indies and 4th Governor of the Indies as a vassal to the Kings of Castile and Aragón. He was the eldest son of Christopher Columbus and wife Filipa Moniz Perestrelo.

He was born in Portugal, either in Porto Santo in 1479/1480, or in Lisbon in 1474. He spent most of his adult life trying to regain the titles and privileges granted to his father for his explorations and then denied him in 1500. He was greatly aided in this goal by his marriage to María de Toledo y Rojas, niece of the 2nd Duke of Alba, who was the cousin of King Ferdinand.


Diego was made a page at the Spanish court in 1492, the year his father embarked on his first voyage. Diego had a younger half-brother, Fernando, by Beatriz Enriquez de Arana.

El Alcázar de Colón

In 1509, he was named Governor of the Indies, the post his father had held. He established his home (El Alcázar de Colón), which still stands, in Santo Domingo in what is now the Dominican Republic. He was made Viceroy of the Indies in May 1511, remaining in charge until 1518. He continued to fight encroachments on his power and for the remainder of his father's privileges and titles. He also made trips to Spain in 1515 and 1523 to plead his case, without success. After his death, a compromise was reached in 1536 in which his son Luis Colón de Toledo was named Admiral of the Indies and renounced all other rights for a perpetual annuity of 10,000 ducats, the island of Jamaica as a fief, an estate of 25 square leagues on the Isthmus of Panama, then called Veragua, and the titles of Duke of Veragua and Marquess of Jamaica.

The first major slave revolt in the Americas occurred in Santo Domingo during 1522, when enslaved Muslims of the Wolof nation led an uprising in the sugar plantation of admiral Don Diego Colon. Many of these insurgents managed to escape to the mountains where they formed independent maroon communities among the Tainos.

After Columbus' death on February 23, 1526 in Spain, the rents, offices and titles in the New World went into dispute by his descendants.

Marriage and children

Initially planned to marry Mencia de Guzman, daughter of the Duke of Medina Sidonia[3] but was forced by King Fernando to marry the king's cousin María de Toledo y Rojas (c. 1490 – May 11, 1549), who secured the transportation and burial of her father–in–law, Christopher Columbus, in Santo Domingo. She was the daughter of Fernando Alvarez de Toledo, 1st Lord of Villoria, son of García Álvarez de Toledo, 1st Duke of Alba, and his first wife María de Rojas, and had:[4]

See also


Government offices
Preceded by
Nicolás de Ovando
Governor of the Indies
Succeeded by
Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar
Military offices
Preceded by
Christopher Colombus
Admiral of the Indies
Succeeded by
Luis Colón de Toledo
Spanish nobility
New title Duke of Veragua
Succeeded by
Luis Colón de Toledo
Marquis of Jamaica
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