Hidalgo Y Costilla, Miguel
HIDALGO Y COSTILLA, MIGUEL (1753–1811). Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, the priest known as the “father of Mexican independence,” was born on May 8, 1753, at his father's hacienda near Guanajuato, Mexico. He was educated in Valladolid (present Morelia), Mexico, and was ordained a priest in 1779. Until 1809 he pursued his priestly functions and exerted himself to introduce various forms of industry among his parishioners at Dolores. After Napoleon's invasion of Spain in 1808, the colonies, unwilling to accept a French ruler, loudly proclaimed Ferdinand VII as king. The societies they formed professed loyalty to Spain, but authorities suspected they were designed to prepare for the independence of Mexico.