Palacios Ríos, Matilde

First wife of Federico García Rodríguez, father of Federico García Lorca. Matilde was born in Fuente Vaqueros in 1860, daughter of Manuel Palacios Caballero, a wealthy farmer and landowner, who also ran several estates in the Soto de Roma under assignment. Matilde Palacios’s mother, who also enjoyed a wealthy position, built a house for the newlyweds at 4 Trinidad Street in the village in 1880. According to Ian Gibson, after the marriage, Federico García Rodríguez worked for his father-in-law.

In the first years of marriage, the young Federico García Rodríguez consolidated his position in the Vega of Granada: he inherited from his father the post of secretary to the mayor of Fuente Vaqueros, a position that facilitated his appointment as interim municipal judge.

“My father married my mother as a widower. My childhood is the obsession of some silverware and some portraits of another who could have been my mother, Matilde Palacios,” Federico confessed in 1928.

The couple’s happiness was soon clouded. The discovery that Matilde Palacios could not have children provoked a great displeasure in the marriage. On October 4, 1894, that is, 14 years after the marriage, Matilde died unexpectedly of an intestinal obstruction. Federico García Rodríguez became the owner of the house for life and also inherited from his wife a large sum of money that added to his already ample personal wealth.

Part of the money was invested by the widower in buying other lands, among them the estate where the Daimuz Estate is located (1895) which, within a few years, became the most profitable property thanks to the diversion of irrigation water.

Cortijo Daimuz, country estate belonging to Lorca, where he spent moments of his childhood.
Daimuz Estate, Lorca’s father’s country estate, where he spent moments of his childhood.

In 1897, Federico García Rodríguez married a second time to a young teacher assigned to the school of Fuente Vaqueros, Vicenta Lorca Romero, with whom he had five children: Federico (1898-1936), Luis (1898-1900), Francisco (1902-1976), Concha (1903-1962) and Isabel García Lorca (1909-2002). There are indications that Vicenta Lorca and Matilde Palacios met in Fuente Vaqueros. The first descendant of García Rodríguez’s second marriage was Federico García Lorca.

“My father married my mother as a widower. My childhood is the obsession of some silverware and some portraits of another who could have been my mother, Matilde Palacios,” the poet confessed in 1928 in an interview that appeared in La Gaceta Literaria by Ernesto Giménez-Caballero.

In the House-Museum in Fuente Vaqueros there is one of the few, if not the only, memory of Matilde Palacios, a mortar with her initials engraved.

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