Thomas Charles Wright

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Thomas Charles Wright

On 26th January 1799, Thomas Charles Wright was born in Queensborough, Drogheda.

Wright is known as the founder of the Ecuadorian naval school.

He joined the British navy as a teenager and in 1817 he enlisted in the British Legion of Bolívar.

He fought several battles against Spain for the independence of Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Columbia. His successes impressed Simón Bolívar (a revolutionary against Spanish rule) so much that he appointed him Commodore of the Pacific squadron.

By 1826, Spanish rule of South America had ended and Wright settled in Guayaquil, where he founded the naval school that still operates today.

Wright married María de los Angeles Victoria Rico, the niece of the president of Ecuador, converting to Catholicism to do so. When she died, Wright married her sister, Pepita. At this time he was Commander of the Ecuadorian navy and Governor of Guayaquil.

In 1845 the liberal regime of Ecuador was overthrown and Wright went into exile for 15 years. He returned in 1860 to take part in activities against the ultraconservative Gabriel García Moreno.

Wright died in 1868, with his house surrounded by police.

(Sources: Ireland and the Americas:  Culture, Politics, and History by James P. Byrne, Philip Coleman, and Jason King, Editors)

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