Balli, Pedro, fl. 1574-1600

Pedro Balli (Petri Bailli, Vailly) was of French and Spanish descent from Salamanca, Spain. In 1569, he arrived in Mexico with books and bookbinding tools, having declared that he was a bookseller when he initially solicited passage to the Americas. His name and occupation as a printer appear in imprints as early as 1574. However, he apparently did not abandon his profession as a bookseller for he also indicated this occupation on the title pages of several works he published.

He probably used or bought numerous printing implements from tradesmen Pedro Ocharte and Antonio de Espinosa. For example, Balli employed the same frontispiece printer Juan Pablos used in Gilbert’s Vocabulario (1559) in Fray Alonso de Molina’s Confesionario mayor (1578).

Balli married Catalina del Valle in Mexico and had three daughters and a son, Juan Bautista Balli, a well-known attorney. In 1596, the tradesman published his son’s work, Oratio in lavdem ivrisprudentiae. Pedro Balli died in 1611.


Medina, José Toribio, Guillermo Feliú Cruz, and José Zamudio Zamora. Historia de la imprenta en los antiguos dominios españoles de América y Oceanía, v. 1. Santiago de Chile: Fondo Histórico y Bibliográfico José Toribio Medina, 1958. pp. 114-116.