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Friday, January 28, 2022

Santa Cruz pays tribute to José Murphy on the bicentennial of Canary Islands capital

Laying a wreath at the statue of José Murphy y Meade in the Plaza de San Francisco.

Yesterday, Thursday, 27 January 2022, Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council paid tribute to José Murphy and Meade, on the day that the bicentenary of the designation and recognition of Santa Cruz de Tenerife as the capital of the Canary Islands was commemorated, a situation which the city held for 105 years, before the division by provinces in 1927.

This tribute was made by mayor of Santa Cruz, José Manuel Bermúdez, representing the City Council, accompanied by the first deputy mayor, Guillermo Díaz Guerra, in an act that was also attended by Councillor for Culture and Historical Heritage, Gladis de León, and the official chronicler of the city, José Manuel Ledesma. After the speeches, the municipal councillor made a floral offering before the monument erected to José Murphy, accompanied by the president of the Tertulia Amigos del 25 de Julio, Luis García Rebollo.

Yesterday also marked 19 years since, at the initiative of the Tertulia Amigos del 25 de Julio, it was agreed to pay homage every January 27 in the Plaza de San Francisco to José Murphy, where his sculpture was erected. Known as the "father of Santa Cruz de Tenerife", when it did not even possess the title of city, as it was still a town, deputy to the Cortes José Murphy y Meade (Santa Cruz de Tenerife 1774-Mexico 1841) took the necessary steps so that Santa Cruz de Tenerife obtained the status of capital of the region.


On January 27, 1822, Fernando VII promulgated the royal decree establishing the division of Spanish territory into 52 provinces. It read: “Canarias (islands). Population: 215,108 souls.- Deputies: three.- Capital: Santa Cruz de Tenerife”. This is how the chronicler of Santa Cruz, José Manuel Ledesma, narrates how the deputy José Murphy managed to convince the Cortes that Santa Cruz be named the capital of the Canary Islands. Santa Cruz would remain the sole capital of the Canary Islands until September 23, 1927, when the Government of the dictatorship of General Miguel Primo de Rivera decreed the division of the Archipelago into two provinces: Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Las Palmas.