Gil González Dávila

Gil González Dávila (a.k.a. Gil González de Ávila) was a Spanish Conquistador and the first European to arrive in present-day Nicaragua. González Dávila first appears in historical records in 1508, when he received a royal commission to examine accounts and tax records of estates. He probably traveled soon afterward to Santo Domingo for his assignment, and to establish himself. In 1511, from Valladolid, Spain, he was given the title of Accountant of Hispaniola, replacing Cristóbal de Cuéllar. His enhanced position enabled him to become a landowner and he soon had an estate with over 200 Indian slaves. In 1518, González delivered a report to King Carlos which was highly critical of the colonial management of Hispaniola. He was at Ávila in Spain when he was approached by Andrés Niño. Niño was an expert pilot and resident of the Spanish Main. He had come to Spain to seek Court support for an exploration of the Pacific Coast. His first attempts had failed, but then he encountered González, a retainer of the bishop of Palencia. The bishop, Juan Rodriguez de Fonseca, was president of the Council of the Indies.

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