CAMERALISM IN GASPAR DE ESCALONA Y AGÜERO
There is no certainty as to the birthplace of Escalona. In various biographical dictionaries, authors such as Mendiburu, Alcedo y Ceballos write that he was a native of Riobamba in Ecuador, while Echave remembers him as being a native of Lima. Nevertheless, Mariano Moreno, Valentín Abecia and finally, León M.Loza maintain that he was born in Bolivia. The arguments of this latter group of authors appear to be convincing. Actually, on the cover of Escalona’s book, it is indicated in Latin that he was an ‘Argentinian Peruvian’, which, directly translated into Spanish, means that he was a native of the city of La Plata in Perú. This thesis is confirmed by the concession of the right to print the work, given by King Felipe IV on 7 July 1647, in which it says: ‘For as much by your part the Licentiate D.Gaspar Escalona y Agüero, native of the provinces of Peru, lawyer before our royal audience of the city of Lima…’. It seems the most correct version is the one given by José Toribio Medina (1852-1930) and accepted by León M.Loza:
Gaspar Escalona y Agüero, son of the licentiate of the same name, native of Riobamba, who was magistrate of Potosí and lawyer of the prisoners of the Holy See of Peru, and of Isidora de la Torre, born in Chuquisaca [La Plata, today Sucre, in Bolivia], and after having completed his studies in Lima, where he was a schoolmate of the famous León Pinelo, undertook the positions of magistrate of the province of Tarija, governor of CastroVirreina, attorney general of Cuzco and inspector of the royal coffers, going later to Chile as a magistrate, a position to which he was appointed 9 May 1649, and which he exercised for a very short time, as he died 21 January 1650. He was married to Elvira Tello de Guzmán.