Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Torrubia, José

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TORRUBIA, José, Spanish naturalist, b. in Granada, Spain, late in the 17th century; d. in Rome, Italy, in 1768. He entered the order of the Barefooted Franciscans, in the convent of St. Peter of Alcantara, in Granada, went as missionary to the Philippine islands, and was secretary to the commissary-general of the religious orders in Mexico. When this official attempted to reform some of these orders, they rose against him, and after his death in 1748 Torrubia was imprisoned for four months, when he was released, by the syndic-general of the Franciscans, who sent him to Cadiz. He went to Rome, was appointed president of the Franciscan chapter of the province of Mexico, and filled several other posts of responsibility in his order. He travelled through various Asiatic countries, and spent some time in every Spanish province in South America. He knew several Indian languages, while his acquaintance with those of Asia and Europe acquired for him a great reputation, both in Italy and Spain, and scientists of note visited him in his cell. He published many works, of which the most important are “Disertación histórica geográfica sobre la América del Sur” (Madrid, 1742); “Descripción poética de la planta Gia que se halla en los campos de la Habana” (1744); and “Aparato para la historia natural de la Nueva España” (1754).