Jose Tomas Boves, a Spanish American military adventurer, born in Spain, killed at Urica, Venezuela, Dec. 5, 1814. While employed as a naval officer on the northern coast of South America he was tried and imprisoned for bribery and prevarication. After his release he acted with the revolutionists on the outbreak of the war of independence in Venezuela, but subsequently joined the royalists and served as captain under Cagigal, after whose defeat he took up an independent position at Oalabozo, and with 500 men, many of whom were slaves, defeated Marino, dictator of the eastern provinces. His band being increased by vagabonds and fugitives from justice, he worsted the independents twice, slaughtered all his prisoners, and gained for his force the name of the infernal division. He was defeated by Kivas, when many of his men were captured and put to death; but in 1814 he beat Bolivar and Mariflo at La Puerta, and captured Valencia after a blockade, and, in violation of a solemn pledge, ordered the republican officers and many of the soldiers to be shot.
Boves, cooperating with Morales, was again victorious at Anguita, obliged Bolivar to retreat to Cartagena, and entered Caracas. He fell in the battle of Urica, and was buried while his victorious troops were massacring their captives.