Bernardo was, as they say, a child of love, the illegitimate son of 56-year-old Colonel Ambrosio O’Higgins and 16-year-old María Isabel Riquelme de la Barrera y Meza of Chillan. He was sent to Chile as a Planning Engineer tasked with preparing plans for the relocation of the city of Concepción. As governor, he focused on development of Chile’s infrastructure, building roads, cities and dikes to prevent flooding. . It was there that he first became attracted to independence movements in Latin America, and joined the Masonic Lautaro Lodge. Post-Independence immigration was more sporadic. When Bernardo was born in 1778, Ambrose was the Spanish governor of Chile. He died in 1884 having greatly advanced the cause of medicine in his adopted homeland. The boy lived in Chile, Lima (Peru), Cádiz (Spain) and London. Miranda won the lost and lonely young man’s heart, and recruited him into the secret lodge he had organised. Exiled in Mendoza, Political developments in nineteenth-century Latin America. Joaquín Blest, journalist, writer, lawyer and historian, later Supreme Court Member and Ministry of Justice prosecutor. O’Higgins was also instrumental in bringing more Irishmen to Chile. While he was Supreme Director of recently independent Chile he had fathered a son, Demetrio, who also lived with him, but the boy’s mother, Rosario Puga, tired of O’Higgins’s indecision and political problems, and unable to marry him because she was a divorcée, had run off with one of Bernardo’s political enemies. He was 45, temporarily blind, financially broken and romantically hurt. When Ambrose died, however, most of the inheritance went to his son, who now found himself a rich man with a huge estate in the south of Chile. He was a Chilean independence leader who freed Chile from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence. (Nick Maxwell), In the end O’Higgins didn’t leave for Ireland but for Lima, a city he had lived in during his early years. The following year he was called to the defence committee of the new Republic of Chile, and in In 2010, for Chile’s bicentenary, the Irish postal service issued postal stamps commemorating O’Higgins and Mackenna. And who was he? He was a protégé of Juan Martínez de Rozas, the political chief of Concepción, the capital of southern Chile, who fiercely opposed José Miguel Carrera, the ill-tempered leader of Santiago’s rich landowners. He was killed in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 1814 by Luis Carrera himself in a shotgun duel (for which the Lautaro Lodge later exacted revenge by having all three of the Carrera brothers executed). They had five children, all of whom still live in Santiago today. He was the son of Ambrosio O'Higgins who came from a poor labouring family in Summerhill in County Meath. S. Collier, Ideas and politics of Chilean independence, 1808–1833 (New York, 1967). He was a Commanding Officer who had trained in England and distinguished himself on the battlefield in Spain and France during the Napoleonic wars, where he reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by his mid-twenties and was decorated with the with the Flor de Lis and the Carlos III Cross. He had also offended the Catholic Church and these actions lost him the support of Chile’s businessmen. They included masons, carpenters, shoemakers and blacksmiths. O’Higgins was the son of a Sligo-born ‘wild goose’ who fled to Spain at 30, became a merchant, moved to South America, joined the king’s army and managed to become, at the end of his long life, viceroy of Peru. Bernardo O’Higgins was the locally-born illegitimate son of Ambrosio O’Higgins and Isabel Riquelme, a criolla from a prominent family of Basque origin in Chillán. 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