Manuel de Bernardo Álvarez del Casal
, May 21, 1743 – September 10, 1816, Bogotá) was an influential Criollo
figure in New Granada
at the time of the independence movement. He occupied several important positions in the rebel government. He was also the uncle of Antonio Nariño
, forerunner of independence. He served as president of the rebel State of Cundinamarca in 1814.
Álvarez' father, Bernardo Álvarez, was a lawyer of the Royal Council of Castile
before he was named prosecutor of the Royal Audiencia
of Bogotá. He arrived in Bogotá with his family in 1736
. Manuel was born there a few years later.
His sister Catalina married Vicente Nariño y Vásquez, the accountant for Bogotá. Their son, Antonio Nariño y Alvarez del Casal, is considered the forerunner of Colombian independence.
Álvarez studied jurisprudence and the humanities at the Colegio de San Bartolomé from 1762 to 1768. In the latter year he received a doctorate in theology and humanities and became a professor of civil and ecclesiastical law. He was admitted to practice law before the Audiencia.
Also in 1768 he married Josefa Lozano de Peralta, fourth daughter of the first Marqués de San Jorge. This marriage allied him not only with the Marqués's family, one of the richest in the capital, but also with many other rich and influential families of the colony.
From 1768 until the Cry of Independence on July 20, 1810, Álvarez worked for the Spanish administration in Bogotá as... Read More