Pizarro, Francisco (14761541)

Pizarro, Francisco, the conqueror of Peru, born at Truxillo, in Spain, the son of a soldier of distinction; received no education, but was of an adventurous spirit, and entered the army; embarked with other adventurers to America, and having distinguished himself in Panama, set out by way of the Pacific on a voyage of discovery along with another soldier named Almagra; landed on the island of Gallo, on the coast of Peru, and afterwards returned with his companion to Spain for authority to conquer the country; when in 1529 he obtained the royal sanction he set sail from Spain with three ships in 1531, and on his arrival at Peru found a civil war raging between the two sons of the emperor, who had just died; Pizarro saw his opportunity; approached Atahualpa, the victorious one, now become the reigning Inca, with overtures of peace, was admitted into the interior of the country; invited him to a banquet, had him imprisoned, and commenced a wholesale butchery of his subjects, upon which he forced Atahualpa to disclose his treasures, and then put him perfidiously to death; his power, by virtue of the mere terror he inspired, was now established, and he might have continued to maintain it, but a contest having arisen between him and his old comrade Almagro, whom after defeating he put to death, the sons and friends of the latter rose against him, seized him in his palace at Lima, and took away his life (14761541).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

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