Lima seen through the 'Numeración' of Viceroy Count la Monclova, 1700 : preliminary findings




Barnechea, Álvaro

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title





This Report offers a view to colonial Lima during the last year of the Habsburg domination through a relatively unknown censual source: the Numeración de todas Ias personas de ambos sexos, edades y calidades que se ha hecho en esta ciudad de Lima, año de 1700. Fundamentally, the importance of this Numeración is that it is the first complete census of Lima, because the surviving information from other colonial censuses, only provides population totals by ethnic groups but not itemized information about their distribution and composition. The exception to this rule is the Padrón de Indios of 1613, devoted exclusively to the Indians, the only section of the habitant census of 1614 that was found. The Numeración, in turn, although with information less worked out than that of the Padrón, offers a key-access to the analysis of the whole of the socio-racial groups residing in Lima in 1700. This Numeración has been at the disposal of the researchers devoted to the Colony for almost sixty years. The first one who made it known was Julián Paz in 1933, and in the following decades, many Peruvian researchers helped to its spreading. However, it was not until 1985 that David Noble Cook published this work for the first time, based on microfilms of the original. Since then, its 700 page volume has discouraged the researchers from carrying out a deep study, restricting theirselves to the use of population totals and subtotals isolatedly. Due to the abandonment that this source has suffered, my only purpose is to present to the academic world a description, adequately commented, of the information it includes and to offer my prelimary statistical findings so other researchers can make use of them. Although I also use other censual and secundary sources to put the information in perspective and to enrich the data presentation, the analysis of the “process" is, for the time being, unfinished. Moreover, I do not try to describe the Limean urban context in 1700, or to typify castes or social groups in an aprioristic way to work out a reflection about the "static" position that the censual source occupies in relation to them. I simply hope that the richness of the statistical data generated from this work refines or modifies some preconceived ideas related to the cohabitation and transformation of the social groups referred to

LCSH Subject Headings