Francisco de Leandro de Viana

Francisco de Leandro de Viana

Francisco de Leandro de Viana was an 18th-century Spanish nobleman. According to a biography, “a former student and rector of Colegio Mayor de San Bartolomé of the University of Salamanca, able and highly educated, and a member of the royal council, was dispatched to Manila to develop and implement an economic plan to make the Philippines financially self-sufficient. Deeply imbued with the Enlightenment spirit of reform, Viana arrived in the Philippines on 13 May 1750. Named Fiscál to the court in Manila, Viana found his initial efforts at reform thwarted by religious orders and local officials who had a vested interest in maintaining the corruption of the status quo. He announced that he did not come to Manila to please the rich residents, but to serve the king and expose the neglect. After long service in Manila and hard-won success, Viana returned to Madrid. His efforts were applauded by King Carlos III, one of Europe’s reform-minded, enlightened monarchs. It was for his service to the Spanish Crown that Don Francisco de Leandro de Viana was elevated to the nobility in 1775″ as the first Conde de Tepa and granted a coat of arms.

Description and symbolism: On this document bestowing his noble title, his shield is shown here with that of his wife, surmounted with a coronet of his rank.

Assumed/granting authority: Spanish Crown, 1775.

Artist: Unknown, 1775.

Description and image from Heritage Auctions via Sebastian Nelson at the International Heraldry Society Facebook group.

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