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  • A. Jorge Aguilera López

A lineage of Montezuma

The lineage of the Huey Tlatoani Moctezuma II was not extinguished neither with his death in 1520, nor with the death of his brother Cuitláhuac, nor with that of his second nephew Cuauhtémoc and last Huey Tlatoani of the Excan Tlahtolloyan (Triple Alliance), the confederation of states better known as the Mexica Empire or the Aztec Empire. The Castilians, whose objective was to obtain power and wealth, sought to become the ruling elite of the new lands. To achieve and maintain that new order, they did not hesitate to bond and integrate the previous indigenous elite, as well as raising indigenous collaborationists to power. Certainly, it was a good way for the Spaniards to consolidate and legitimize –beyond arms– their new position and the new order.


The document that I show you is from 1557 and corresponds to a copy of a royal ordinance from 1536 of Emperor Charles V, where it was granted the following coat of arms to Don Pedro Yohualicahuacatzin de Moctezuma (son of Moctezuma II):

General Archive of the Indies (Seville)


You begged me and asked by favour that, in recognition of your services and those from your parents, we should grant you a coat of arms an escutcheon [shield] that inside has a sable [black] eagle in a field of or [gold] and two gules [red] sashes that cross the mentioned shield and in the upper sash two or letters that say: K [and] I which are the first letters of our names [Karlos and Iohualicahuacatzin], and in the middle of them an or rose, and in the lower sash, two other or roses and in the middle of them another one [letter] that says F that is the first of the name of the king don Felipe. And surrounding the said shield, eight or letters that say: Ave Maria; and among them some sea waves in an azure [blue] field and as crest closed helmet, on top of it a twisted scroll of or and gules and two sable eagle wings and from the middle of them, a hand that has an argent [white] label with sable letters that they say: In domino co[n]fido.

One of Pedro's sons, Diego Luis, went to Spain in 1567 in order to represent his family's interests at the Court. He married there and from him, it descends the entire lineage of the Dukes of Moctezuma de Tultengo, dynasty still endures nowadays and whose current head (since 2014) is José Juan Marcilla de Teruel-Moctezuma y Valcárcel. The coat of arms of these dukes preserves, in the left party, the coat of arms granted in 1536. This is just one of the many cases that existed (and not only one among the various lineages that descend from Moctezuma).

Coat of arms of the Dukes of Moctezuma de Tultengo [Wikipedia commons]


As an additional curiosity, one of these descendants of Diego Luis was the Duke of Ahumada Francisco Javier Girón, first director of the Civil Guard in 1844.



Tags: #Mexico #NewSpain #America #Spain #heraldry #nobility #16th

  • Aguilera López, A. J. (2020) "A lineage of Montezuma", in Rowing through History [online].

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© 2020 by A. Jorge Aguilera López