Catholic Encyclopedia (1913)/Alfonso of Burgos

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From volume 1 of the work.

Alfonso of Burgos, b. of a noble family, in the city of that name; d. at Palencia, 8 December, 1489. He was conspicuous for learning before his entrance into the Dominican order, early in life. His preaching attracted the notice of Ferdinand and Isabella, who selected him as royal confessor. On the recommendation of the latter, Alfonso was appointed to the see of Cordova by Sixtus IV, 30 April, 1477. Remaining there only four years, he was transferred to the Bishopric of Cuenca, and in 1484, or according to Gams (Series Episcoporum, P. 64) in 1486, to Palencia. At the same time he held successively the office of Grand Chaplain of the Court, Counsellor of the Catholic King, and President of the Council of Castile. In the latter capacity he was instrumental in getting pecuniary grants from the crown for Columbus. During the years 1487 and 1488 he obtained eight thousand pounds at various times for the fitting out of a fleet. In the absence of the king he exercised his right as President of the Council in giving orders for a payment of three thousand pounds to the discoverer. These duties did not hinder him from repairing many dilapidated churches of his diocese. He built, out of his own revenues, the Dominican convent of St. Vincent Ferrer at Palencia, in 1486. He takes a high rank in the history of Spanish education for completing the Collegium Sancti Gregorii at Valladolid, begun by King Alfonso the Wise (1252–84). Posterity justly calls him the founder of this famous college of his order.

Touron, Hommes illus. de l'ordre de St. Dominique, III, 693–697; Mandonnet, Les dominicains et la découverte de l'Amérique (Paris, 1893), 121 sqq.; Navarrette, Coleccion de los riajes y descubrimientos que hicieron por mar los espanoles (Madrid, 1825), II, 4 sqq.; La Fuente, Historia de las universidades, colegios y demás estableciamentos de ense anza en España (Madrid, 1885), II, 24, 25.