Benavides, Alonso De
BENAVIDES, ALONSO DE (ca. 1578–1635). Father Alonso de Benavides, custos of the Franciscan missions in New Mexico from 1626 to 1629, the son of Pedro Alonso Nieto and Antonia Murato de Benavides, was born on the island of San Miguel in the Azores about 1578. He is noted for his memorials, which comprise one of the basic sources for Southwest history. He arrived in New Spain in 1598 and took vows with the Franciscans some three years later in Mexico City. Benavides filled the office of novice master at Puebla for a time and was later associated with the Inquisition, while residing at the friary of Cuernavaca. He was appointed custos in New Mexico in 1623 while serving as guardian at Temanatla. He did not reach New Mexico to assume his new duties until January 24, 1626.