Francisco Navarrete Ladrón de Guevara
A very well known person, who comes to mind whenever the buildings of the town are visited. A beautiful building (the "Casa de los Hierros"), a fabulous Coat of Arms on the cornerstone, a formidable wrought iron balcony, and a deformation in the construction of Virgen de la Plaza Hermitage ("Ochavo u ochavado") are clear legacies of this illustrious townsman.
His baptism certificate has never been found, and very little is known about his childhood.
He was the Abbott of Santander until 1699, when he was promoted to Bishop of Mondoñedo, a post he took up fully in 1703. In 1705 he was promoted to one of the most important dioceses: Burgos. This appointment was widely celebrated in Elciego. He completed several refurbishments of Burgos Cathedral and carried out work on the archives.
In the town parish there are numerous marks left behind by the illustrious Archbishop: an altarpiece which bears his name and his donation, written with the date 1714, a painting by Matías Garrido (1762), which is conserved in the sacristy, and a large number of relics with their corresponding certificates, which he sent back to his home town parish.
He never forgot the town of Elciego. He died in 1722 having achieved great success as the Archbishop of Burgos, passing into history as the 16th Archbishop of this Castile locality.
Padre Andrés Merino (Escolapio)
This cleric of Escuelas Pías was born in Elciego on 25th December 1730, and christened with the name Manuel Antonio. At the age of 28 he received the Escuelas Pías cassock at San Fernando College in Madrid. In 1760, having recently become a priest, he was transferred to the Madrid College of San Antón. In 1781 he was elected to the board of the Provincial Chapter.
He worked on many topics: education, linguistics, religion... However, it was in the field of palaeography and the reading of ancient documents that he excelled. His excellent knowledge of Latin, Greek and Arabic helped him to carry out important linguistic works. He was also highly skilled at drawing and engraving. He died in Valencia on the 17th July 1787. King Carlos III granted him a pension of 30,000 reales to print his works and documents, such as: "The Refutation of Doves", "The Happy Woman Dependent upon the World and Fortune", "Brief Treaty of Latin and Castilian Poetry", Arabic grammar and handwriting...
The attached file, in spanish, includes work carried out by Mr Emilio Palacios Fernández. (Lecturer at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid).