Europe 1804-1814 – part 5

Sat 24th Nov 1804

A diabolical plot by 20 crewmen on HMS Montego, one of the blockading force off Brest, has been discovered. The officers were to be murdered and the ship taken into the French port.

The ring-leaders have been sent back to Britain for punishment. Another 13 men will be punished on board.

Sat 8th Dec 1804

London news:

  • The King has had another attack of his old illness. He seems to get it whenever he is frustrated – the American loss, the occupation of Hanover, Pitt’s lese majeste (below), the public French accusation of bad faith – but he has since recovered and is expected to holiday in Weymouth in July.
  • Pitt and the Grenville party, in consequence of the King’s exclusion of Fox from any ministerial post, have declined to form a government (Pitt is making the Constitutional point but Fox also has practical use – he is the most trusted British parliamentarian in Europe).
  • Addington is in difficulties because the House follows Pitt who has twice defeated the ministry on divisions (by 28 then 42 votes). He wants to resign (as several of his ministers have done) but the King will not let him until he finds a suitable replacement – he needs someone young and impressionable like Pitt was in the beginning. Whilst the search continues, the MPs are attacking the ministry to force it out more quickly.
  • There is a Defence of the Empire Bill before parliament dealing inter alia with the recruitment of men for home defence. The Bill requires each parish to identify men suitable for home guard and maintain a register of their names and addresses. When required they will be recruited. The men will be formed into regiments and each regiment will be attached to a regular army regiment. The parish gets fined if it fails to raise its quota. This will impact the manufacturing towns because their young men are all on the production lines. Those towns will have to pay the fines. It removes the old ‘lucky dip’ approach to recruiting (the ballot) but will cause all sorts of undesirables to be recruited. Recruits get a bounty of £12 whereas the bounty for recruitment into the regular army is £16. Wives of recruits get the same allowance that wives of regular army men get. Officers get the same pay as officers in the militias. The reduced bounty is to reflect the temporary nature of employment. It will make the new force slightly less expensive and that has irritated some MPs who make their money from more public expenditure not less. Opponents (led by all the military MPs) say the concept of compulsory military service is unconstitutional. The lower bounty will make recruitment difficult. If parishes have to pay a fine for inadequate quota, they might resort to compulsion themselves. The regular army gets most of its recruits from the towns; there is little prospect of recruiting adequate numbers of people from the parishes. The ministry seems to be endeavouring to employ all the young men of the British Isles – it is even hypothesised that they mean to prevent popular insurrections by denying the dissenters any source of support by this means. Harrison thought the application of this law could become like the Game Laws – highly unpopular everywhere and only enforced where the predominant landowner imperatively demands it be enforced. It would create a standing army under the control of the King, independent of parliamentary oversight. The Army of Reserve Bill (creating the militia) pays high bounties per head. The value of military service has been established by that Bill. The people will expect no less from this Bill. The militias were fixed by parliament at 70,000 men. Now the ministry wants to reduce the militias and create this new force of supposed Volunteers from retired or resigned army men, paying them less because it is an appeal to their patriotism (many have offered to serve, that’s why they are called Volunteers).

Sat 8th Dec 1804

Addington is seen as too consensual and relaxed. The country needs a visionary statesman to lead it. There are three power centres in the House of Commons that are each larger than Addington’s group – the Grenvillites, Pitt’s group and Fox’s liberal Whigs. An attempt was made to unite these three but failed. Now Pitt is Chancellor of the Exchequer, Melville First Lord of the Admiralty, Harrowby Foreign Minister, Canning Treasurer of the Navy and clearly the government has changed although Addington is still retained by the King as Minister.

Grenville, Windham and others have been offered offices but refused them. The Grenvillites will not serve in a ministry in which the King has sought to exclude someone (they care little for Fox – it is the principle). Grenville has written to Pitt on 8th May confirming his group’s position.

The House of Commons is moving to overcome the King, centred on Pitt’s new Bill for defence. The number of MPs discontented with the King is approaching 200. The Royal Duke of Clarence and Lord Moira have supported the King and spoken strongly against the Bill in the Lords but to no avail. The Lords passed the Bill 154 / 69 and it is now law. The King controls the army through the loyalty of the officers and he can expect the same support from the militias but these Volunteers may not be so uncritical. This will not progress the King’s recovery.

Sat 29th Dec 1804

The Bill for the abolition of the slave trade was effectively lost in the House of Lords. Hawkesbury proposed its adjournment for three months. As the House will only sit for one more month, its the same as rejecting it.

Sat 29th Dec 1804

HMS Sirius was cruising on the Guernsey station when the officer of the watch observed a French signalling station on the mainland. They landed, captured the signallers and their equipment, and delivered them all to Major Saumarez on Guernsey for questioning.

Sat 29th Dec 1804

Fox and Grey were called to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s house in Downing street in early June 1804 for an interview with Pitt.

It seems Pitt is seeking for a deal. It must be something feasible to get Fox and Grey to come along.

Sat 29th Dec 1804

Le Moniteur 8th August – Russia should not be interfering in southern Europe (she has sent warships through the Bosphorus to Corfu). She should be attacking the Tartars and Persians and pushing towards India.

Sat 29th Dec 1804

The Hamburg-registered ship Juliana has arrived at Calcutta. She reports that the Hamburg merchant fleet sailed from Tonning this year to avoid the British blockade of the Elbe.[251]

Sat 29th Dec 1804

Bonaparte’s coronation is set for 9th November. His self-designed crown has a laurel, olive and oak leaf pattern. These are symbols of victory, peace and civic virtue.

Sat 29th Dec 1804

Thomas Paine has published an account of the proposed 1798 French invasion of Britain in which he had intended to take part. Bonaparte’s conclusion was the attempt had little hope of success. He preferred the Egyptian option that Talleyrand packaged so attractively.

Sat 29th Dec 1804

Lt Dean and Subaltern Jones, both of HMS Naiad (Wallis), have been tried by Court Martial for fighting on the quarter deck in sight of the crew. Dean is cashiered but Jones was sentenced to be shot. He was pardoned by the King a week later and restored to his former rank.

Sat 5th Jan 1805

The Pope has restored the Jesuit Order in the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. He says Jesuits are good at running schools.

Sat 5th Jan 1805

Bonaparte is restoring the old monarchical forms of etiquette. He may be trying to win the hearts and minds of the Royalists and isolate the Bourbon family. He also seems to downplay the Republican nature of the Revolution. The buttons on military uniforms are now embossed EF instead of RF to denote Empire Francais instead of Republique Francais. The Paris papers now have a section entitled Court News wherein the activities of Bonaparte and his consort are inter alia detailed. He writes to the Kings of Europe ‘Mon Frere’ exactly as they write to each other and to the German Electors as ‘Cousin’. He wants to be accepted.

Sat 12th Jan 1805

Two significant French people are excluded from the honours that are being dispensed on the change of style from Republic to Empire – Jerome and Lucien Bonaparte. Jerome says he will never return to France whilst his brother rules.

Sat 26th Jan 1805

Lord Holland has presented a fine likeness of Bonaparte, painted by David, to the Marquis of Lansdowne.

Sat 26th Jan 1805

The Tsar has agreed to pay all the costs of his garrison in the Republic of the Seven Islands. Formerly the islanders paid 120,000 crowns a year, being half the cost. The President of the Ionian Senate has given public thanks to the Tsar for his benevolence.

Sat 2nd Feb 1805

Napoleon has mollified the Pope who was distressed by their recent exchange of letters. He has asked for Papal permission to send French Catholic missionaries to China and India. (The British East India Company has always routinely excluded Catholic missionaries from its lands but there are a handful of Portuguese priests in both India and China who arrive from Lisbon or New England)

Sat 9th Feb 1805

Hanover is sinking into poverty. The French have requisitioned so heavily, they have got title to this year’s (1804) harvest which is being sold at Hamburg and Bremen and some is being shipped to the Dutch. A local famine appears inevitable. This may pressure George III to invest in relief supplies to his people.

The port of Bremen has consented to a forced loan to pay the costs of its French garrison. Money is extremely short. All the gold and silver has disappeared from circulation and only copper coin is used in the markets.

The British fear Napoleon will give Hanover to Prussia to secure that country’s assistance against Sweden and Russia. Indeed it is said the French emissary to Berlin, Comte d’Arberg, has guaranteed the Electorate of Hanover to the Prussian King’s brother Prince Henry, who recently married a Danish princess and needs more income. The English and Russian ministers to Berlin have been pumping Baron Hardenberg for details but he just recites ‘Prussian neutrality’ over and over.

Napoleon seems intent on removing the Swedish King from the German Electors (through His possession of Pomerania). He is assembling 25,000 men at Lauenberg and they are expected to invade Swedish Pomerania. The Swedish garrison in Pomerania has withdrawn within the walls of Stralsund.

Hamburg and Lubeck officials fear they may be required to contribute to the maintenance costs of the French forces at Lauenberg.

Sat 9th Feb 1805

There is a famine in Spain that has been aggravated by a series of earthquakes that have continued for three weeks. The death toll is high and a new mountain has appeared between Malaga (where the plague rages) and Almeria.

Spain is upset with France for ceding Louisiana to the Americans. The Americans are trying to occupy West Florida too. Pinckney is going from London to Madrid to appease Spanish feelings.

Sat 9th Feb 1805

Napoleon has a set-back in his purported invasion plan for England. Some of the gunboats he will use to transport the troops were exercising off Boulogne last July and were lost in a gale. 570 soldiers were drowned.

The Dutch part of the army has heard about the accident and declines to travel in French transports. They offer to serve anywhere they can reach by land. This is an embarrassment for General Marmont who commands them.

Reports from Amsterdam say desertion has increased and only 18,000 Dutch troops remain in his camp.

Sat 16th Feb 1805

The French ambassador to the Hague, de Semonville, ought to work for England. He supported a couple of Dutch traders in a scheme for raising funds for the Stadtholder. The Dutch merchants have concealed their wealth all over Europe and this subscription might have brought it within his control.

It was only when Schimmelpennick, who knows all about the Prince of Orange’s finances, arrived at the Hague and heard of the matter that a fraud was suspected. Whether the scam was for the French war effort or de Semonville’s pocket is unknown. The two Dutch traders have disappeared.

Sat 16th Feb 1805

Vienna, 19th July – the Austrian Emperor has just bought the island of Lindau. He is negotiating for Kempten and its surrounding area too. He is also negotiating treaties to increase his Swabian possessions by land containing 40,000 people.

It is unconstitutional. The equilibrium of the German states will be deranged by increasing Austrian territory. The true sovereign of Germany is established by the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia – it is not the Emperor but the body of German Electors.

Lindau is in the middle of Lake Constanz and would be useful to an army. Its purchase will certainly provoke France. Lunéville placed a buffer between France and Austria. This purchase diminishes the effectiveness of that buffer.

Sat 23rd Feb 1805

The French government’s complaint against the Netherlands relates to the equivocal Dutch government orders given to Admiral Hartsinck that prevented his uniting his Batavian fleet with Admiral Linois preparatory to capturing the British East India Company’s China fleet (Hartsinck has 4 capital ships and 5 frigates in the East).

France also scolds the Dutch for

  • repression of Catholics near Brabant,
  • the legislature’s rejection of the plan to indemnify the Prince of Orange and
  • a general Dutch lassitude in prosecuting the war.

Sat 2nd March 1805

Milan, 9th October – the King of the Two Sicilies has assigned an annual revenue of 40,000 Ducats to the new Jesuit College that has just opened in Naples.[252] The Queen has accepted the job of furnishing the college.

Sat 2nd March 1805

The Tsar is upset with the Pope for agreeing to bless Napoleon’s coronation. He has severed diplomatic connections with the Vatican and authorised the Metropolitan of the Church in Russia to exercise the rights granted by Pius VI.

The Pope is expected to reach Lyon on 25th November and Paris by 2nd December. The coronation should occur shortly afterwards. The French commenced building a road over the Alps two years ago (an improvement of the Simplon Pass) and it is scheduled for completion in March 1806. This is an extraordinary achievement but it will come too late for the Pope. He will have to use horses and sedan chairs as usual.

Sat 2nd March 1805

3,572,329 Frenchmen, nearly 15% of the population and a clear preponderance of the electorate, have voted for hereditary rule by the Bonaparte family.

Sat 2nd March 1805

Hanover is seeking for a new loan and is offering 4% secured on all the state’s assets.

Sat 9th March 1805

The terms of a proposed AngloRussian treaty have been agreed between Harrowby and Waronzow and sent off to St Petersburg for ratification.

The Tsar has already put his Black Sea fleet into the Mediterranean. He is now sailing the Baltic fleet around to join them. London papers say he intends to protect Sardinia, Sicily, the Seven Islands and the Morea from France.

Sat 9th March 1805

September 1804 – Louis XVIII is staying at the ancient Palace of Kalmar as guest of the Swedish King. He is addressed as Your Majesty. The Comte d’Artois, who accompanies him, is called Your Royal Highness. The regiment of Kalmar attends him. The French princes from London are expected to arrive soon. A new Bourbon plan appears to be underway. The French and Dutch ambassadors to Stockholm are preparing to leave.

The Swedish King is at Stralsund. 5,000 extra troops are to reinforce his garrison there in case the French army in Hanover attacks. The transports for their carriage are fitting-out at Stockholm.

The Tsar has invited Louis XVIII to live at Mittau in Latvia and invites all subjects faithful to the Bourbons to join him there. The Tsar has created two new regiments of émigrés – the Royal Legion d’Honneur and the Legion d’Enghien – to be commanded by Louis XVIII and the Prince of Condé respectively. In the event of war with Republican France these two regiments are to form the vanguard of the Russian army.

Sat 13th April 1805

The British ministry has protested to Spain for not restoring British commercial property seized in Spanish ports at commencement of the last war. Our merchants value their losses at over £2 million. It is withheld in breach of the Treaty of Amiens and London demands Spain perform her agreements.

The Spanish government, on the other hand, is upset at our capturing their treasure fleet.[253]

Our ambassador Frere returned to London in early September. His spat with Napoleon has made him unpopular at Madrid and Henry Wellesley is to replace him with a brief to restore amicable relations.[254]

Sat 13th April 1805

Hamburg has lent $600,000 Rix to Hanover to pay the costs of French occupation. General Bernadotte suggested Hamburg take a mortgage on George III’s salt mines and lime works at Lunenberg as security.

The Hamburg senate demurred, concluding that George would not feel bound to perform an agreement made on his behalf by a French General. They declined to accept the proffered security and just handed-over the money.

Sat 20th April 1805

Count Bentheim owns the county of Bentheim in Hanover which he mortgaged to George III. Now the French have occupied the state, they have given him an opportunity to buy the land back from them ‘on the cheap.’ The offer will complicate and perhaps prejudice George’s precedent claim as mortgagor.

Bentheim has made a proclamation to his people:

“I have spent six months in Paris delivering you from ruin. The French government does not care for the people of Hanover because they are subjects of George III. I have bought back the title. By my act you will in future enjoy neutrality and peace.”

Sat 20th April 1805

16th October 1804 – The postal service from England to the Hague is threatened. The French have tacitly condoned it hitherto but their new policy seems to presage the complete exclusion of the English from the continent. The last four bags of ship’s letters were all seized and taken to de Semonville’s office for examination. Subsequently, numerous ships in the Texel and in the Meuse were alleged to have come from England and were searched. That led to several arrests in both Amsterdam and Rotterdam and the seizure of many Bills of Exchange. The loss of these Bills will prevent their presentation in London for payment and will cause great loss to Dutch commerce.

Sat 20th April 1805

HMS Leander, which is part of the blockade off New York, has intercepted a letter from Dacres, the foreign minister in Paris, to the French ambassador to America directing him to stop paying the allowance to Jerome Bonaparte and order him home (but not his wife, Elizabeth Patterson of Baltimore)

A second letter is to Jerome himself confirming the above and advising him that Napoleon will never countenance the marital alliance he has made.

Sat 27th April 1805

There has been widespread rioting in and around Bilbao. The Spanish government is operating a system of conscription to its army called quinto that requires the induction of every fifth man.

The Basques have consistently resisted all attempts by Madrid to administer their community. They have provided men or money to government from time to time but only on their own terms.

This latest demand for a fifth of the young men is considered to be an imposition on the ancient privileges of the Basques. They offer to provide the supplies demanded but only in their own way. Government refused and thus the rioting commenced.

The escalating level of violence used by both sides is awful.

Sat 4th May 1805

At his coronation Napoleon said he will neither increase nor decrease the territory of France; he will neither extend French influence nor permit it to decline; he will preserve in their present condition those states he has created. He will maintain their connection with France. He hopes that peace can be preserved but noted the late English attack on neutral Spain (Moore’s piracy of the treasure fleet in the ‘Prizetaking’ chapter) which made it difficult to be at peace with that country.

He said Britain could have peace but not on any easier terms than those agreed at Amiens.

Sat 11th May 1805

Madrid newspapers have explained the Spanish declaration of war:

By the 1796 Treaty of Alliance with France, Spain agreed to provide men and ships or a pecuniary equivalent to France.

Through the Spanish ambassador to London and via the English Agent (Frere) at Madrid, Spain notified England of her determination to remain strictly neutral and that she would choose the financial alternative.

The British cabinet seemed pleased but we were unaware that as soon as that country was in a position to renew war she would do so, not in the way required under international law, but by pretexts.

England questioned the wish of Spain to be neutral whilst all along asserting her intention to maintain the peace. In this way our suspicions were lulled while they accused us of having non-existent armaments and of giving France more money than was strictly required as an equivalent for men and ships.

They demanded, as a condition for continuing to recognise Spanish neutrality, that we remove all the warships and batteries in our ports and prohibit the sale of French prizes in Spain. Both conditions were unusual but we complied with them to preserve amicable relations. The British Agent Frere continued to display distrust and soon afterwards he received instructions from London and hurriedly left Madrid without taking leave.

We came to suspect, quite independent of their piracy of our treasure fleet, that the British ministry was a perverse and faithless ministry. At the time that crime was being ordered, the British minister also ordered all her other warships to seize and detain any Spanish ships found on the high seas. The grain shipments that we have arranged to alleviate our famine were not excluded from this order. The order requires all Spanish ships under 100 tons be burned; all ships that run ashore to be burned, and only ships over 100 tons to be taken to Malta for sale.

Maintaining their duplicity, the British ministry told its people that the treasure fleet was not taken as prize but as hostage for Spanish government undertakings to remain strictly neutral. We wonder what greater security we might have given? This barbarous attack on our ships involved the murder of hundreds of Spanish sailors and many passengers of distinction. It was detestable and it would be inconceivable for Spain not to respond appropriately.

The King has therefore declared war on England and, following the example of George III (he gets the droits if war is undeclared), will not bother with a formal declaration thereof.

All English property in Spain is embargoed; Gibraltar will be besieged. The Spanish ambassador to London and his staff are recalled. All Spaniards are invited to arm cruisers and seize English ships wherever they find them. It will only be necessary to show some English property in the ship to obtain its condemnation. The King renounces his usual share of the prize money which will be paid entire and without deduction to the captor.

This announcement is to be distributed to all Spanish colonies and published in all Spanish newspapers.

Sat 4th May 1805

London news:

  • The King has ordered Pitt and Addington to cooperate. Addington is made Viscount Sidmouth and President of the Council, replacing the Duke of Portland who has resigned.
  • Lord Mulgrave is made Foreign Secretary in place of Lord Harrowby who was shocked to discover the acts of his predecessor Hawkesbury (R B Jenkinson) and has taken sick leave.[255] The MPs have been sent home and told to reconvene on 15th January.
  • A large expedition is fitting-out at Portsmouth under the command of Sir John Moore.
  • Buckingham House has been sold to Lord Grosvenor for £120,000.
  • HMS Medusa has captured the Spanish frigate Matilda with a cargo of mercury. The Spanish frigate was sailing from Cadiz to La Plata.[256]

Sat 4th May 1805

The French Council of State is said to be considering abandoning the Revolutionary calendar and reverting to the old Gregorian dating system.

Sat 4th May 1805

The merchants of Rotterdam were informed on 15th November that in future all the cargo of any ship found to be carrying British merchandise, no matter how little, will be seized and confiscated – “you have a brief period to adjust your trade arrangements.”

The new law will be enforced from 26th November to catch the grain cargoes being loaded at Emden on British account.

Sat 18th May 1805

At Napoleon’s coronation his coach was drawn by eight cream-coloured horses taken from George III’s stud in Hanover and the same breed as the British King’s own horse.

There was a regiment of mounted Mamalukes in the procession. They are all Christians.

Sat 18th May 1805

Prince William of Bavaria has dined with Napoleon at Aix la Chapelle several times and it is rumoured Josephine’s son General Beauharnais is likely to marry a Bavarian princess. That would make him son of an empress and son-in-law to an Emperor (Austria).

Napoleon’s endeavours to unite his family with the other leading families of Europe are not always enduring. Princess Pauline Borghese (née Bonaparte) has died and the courts of Rome and Florence are in mourning.

Sat 25th May 1805

The Times, 30th November 1804 – The Russian Tsar has accepted Prussian mediation in his spat with France.

Sat 1st June 1805

London 16th December – Some of the British populace have turned to spiritual matters to relieve them from distress.

The prophetess Johanna Southcote told a congregation of 500 followers in Neckinger Fields, Bermondsey that they had been chosen to restore peace to the suffering world.

The local magistrate awaited the crowd dispersing before arresting Southcote who says her people are the only ones capable of opposing Napoleon. There are many converts to her doctrine.

Sat 1st June 1805

One of the pro-government London papers has applauded the reunion of Pitt with Addington. It says it is popularly supposed that Pitt has bought Addington with a peerage and Addington joined Pitt’s group at the sacrifice of his political beliefs. We disagree. All Addington’s political initiatives have been followed-up by Pitt as though they were his own.

When Pitt assumed the government, almost all of Addington’s ministers were retained, and the policies of his administration continue to pursue those of Addington’s. The main thing is that Addington enjoys the complete confidence of the King whilst Pitt does not always do so.

This union will be good for the country.

Sat 1st June 1805

d’Oubril, the Russian minister to Paris, has demanded passports to leave France. Rayneval, the French minister to St Petersburg, has done likewise. He says the misunderstanding between the Tsar and Napoleon is incomprehensible.

He says it would be easy for the countries to overlook the past and make new treaties for the maintenance of the balance of power and independence of the states of Europe. Russia can command the east and France the west in a new order based on mutual respect and understanding.

France regrets that the pretensions of the House of Bourbon appear to have influenced the Tsar. France recalls that when Paul I was persuaded to support peace, the first step he took was to ignore the special pleading of the Bourbons. France hopes Russia will continue to support and preserve the peace.

June, July, August and September editions all missing from my copy of the Bombay Courier

Sat 5th Oct 1805

Napoleon was crowned King of Italy in Milan on 26th May 1805. There have been celebrations all over Italy and in France.

Sat 12th Oct 1805

According to merchants in Hamburg, the Tsar has declined the subsidies Britain offered to him. He does not want his principled policy to be misconstrued. It is Woronzoff in London who solicited the funds. It seems he is pursuing his own agenda.

The Tsar has now declared he will not depart from his fixed policy of strict neutrality. He still offers his services as mediator between France and England.

The treaty with Russia which Pitt has been talking-up for months has been made but it does not look to be the usual treaty of offence and defence that it has been described as.

The Tsar will unite his land and sea forces with England if Napoleon fails to comply with conditions. It means there must be a negotiation before the treaty terms can be implemented.

Other powers are invited to accede to it. That will bring-in the uncritical King of Sweden – he’d like a subsidy.

Sat 12th Oct 1805

The Austrian Emperor has recognised Napoleon as King of Italy. England has nothing to hope for from the Hapsburgs.

Sat 19th Oct 1805

Jerome Bonaparte has returned from America in answer to his brother’s summons and is currently at Genoa. His wife is staying in Dover, on the English south coast.

Sat 19th Oct 1805

The British people arrested in France at the commencement of the war are all housed in Verdun.

The French guards and the lower classes of Englishman are distressed by the behaviour of the richer prisoners. They say dissipation occurs.

A man who has just escaped says an English couple were detained there until the husband escaped, whereupon the wife took-up with another prisoner. The guards were appalled and the new lover was sent off to cool his ardour at the fortress of La Biche.

Sat 19th Oct 1805

A pantomime is being staged in Paris called Holkar, or The English in Hindustan.

The Bombay Courier Editor says its ‘highly predictable slander’.

Sat 19th Oct 1805

The King of Prussia has awarded the Order of the Black Eagle to Napoleon. On hearing of it the King of Sweden returned his medal of that Order to Prussia saying there was such a distance between himself and Napoleon they could not belong to the same order.

The King of Prussia commented publicly that his cousin at Stockholm (they are fellow Electors) was still living in a past age.

Sat 26th Oct 1805

The French fleet at Toulon evaded the British blockade and sailed to Cadiz where it joined with a Spanish fleet. The combined fleet again eluded the blockade and sailed to West Indies. They arrived off Martinique in about May.

Sat 2nd Nov 1805

The Serbian insurgency under Czerni Georges seems to have taken control of the whole country. They have asked the Porte to order the Muslims in Serbia to sell their property over the coming year and emigrate. The Turks refused and insist the Serbs make peace or face the shock and awe of an overwhelming Ottoman army. The Serbs say they would rather die that live with Muslims.

Reports from Vienna suggest the Porte is willing to make some concessions to the Serbs to preserve harmony.

Tues 5th Nov 1805 Extraordinary

The Russian Tsar has offered Moreau an infantry Generalship in his army. Moreau is the only Frenchman sufficiently popular to represent anything like a challenge to Napoleon’s leadership. The offer includes 120,000 Roubles to pay his expenses to Russia.

Tues 5th Nov 1805 Extraordinary

Jerome Bonaparte’s wife has given birth to a son at Camberwell in London.

Sat 16th Nov 1805

The disadvantages of the French occupation of Hamburg are becoming noticeable.

Le Moniteur of 1st June 1805 says Captain Pierre Paul du Buc (or Dubocque), who formerly distinguished himself in the Indies as Admiral of Tippoo’s fleet, and Thomas Rossolin, a Boulogne pilot living in London for the last ten years, landed at Morlaix on 18th November 1804 from HMS Nile and engaged themselves to the ci-devant Baron d’Imbert (one of the people who surrendered Toulon to the English in 1793) to act as spies for England against France.

They were provided with much money and enabled to correspond with d’Imbert through the British merchant-house of M/s Power of Hamburg. They were charged with espionage, tried by court martial, convicted and executed.

Sat 23rd Nov 1805

The 10th Report of Naval Enquiry contains accusations of corruption against Sir Home Popham but they have been rejected by a Select Committee of the House of Commons.

The MPs concluded Popham tried to get the best rates for the Navy Bills on London that he negotiated overseas.

Sat 30th Nov 1805

Pitt has told parliament that in every year of the Revolutionary War, England spend £2 – £3 millions in subsidies to the continental powers. They were usually not itemised except a payment to Prussia and another to the States-General of the Netherlands.

This is our way in war, he said. The continental powers do the land fighting and we subsidise them to do so.[257]

Sat 14th Dec 1805

Sweden has offered to cede Pomerania to Russia for the duration of the war if the latter power will protect it from the French.

Sat 14th Dec 1805

Colonel Taylor of the Guards, who has long been private secretary to the Duke of York, is to be confidential secretary to the King. Now the King can hardly see he needs someone to read his dispatches and write his answers. Taylor has been sworn to secrecy. When with the King, Taylor will be constantly attended by the Duke of Cambridge.

Sat 14th Dec 1805

11th July – Addington (Sidmouth) does not want to be Prime Minister any more. He has implored the King and received permission to resign.

Sat 14th Dec 1805

The London Post Office says letters to the Batavian Republic (Netherlands) will be forwarded every Tuesday and Friday.

Mon 23rd Dec 1805 Extraordinary

The timing of Napoleon’s incorporation of the Ligurian Republic within France is incomprehensible. It has prevented Russian mediation and the Austrians and Russians are arming.

The threatened invasion of England, that has utilised so much British revenue, has been postponed. Is Talleyrand really a Frenchman? War has definitely started.

Mon 23rd Dec 1805 Extraordinary

Sir Home Popham has taken command of HMS Diadem. She is to take £500,000 in silver to the Eastern Mediterranean.

Sat 4th Jan 1806

Now that war has definitely started, Napoleon has raised a loan from the bankers of Paris to the equivalent of £12 millions, secured on the national revenues for 1807. He has to pay 7% on it.

France has requested the Dutch government to also raise a loan for their mutual war expenses.[258]

Sun 19th Jan 1806 Extraordinary

M/s John Ross & Co are appointed Agents to the India Company in Malta.

Sat 1st Feb 1806

There is a contract existing between American and Dutch merchants whereby American ships are allowed to participate in the loading of colonial goods at Batavia for delivery at French and Dutch ports.

It was discovered by the English government in August 1805.

About 12-14 American ships are contracted. They all sail from Batavia to Europe via America where they appear to break voyage but in fact merely substitute the shipping papers. In this way one voyage appears documentarily to be two voyages and thus comes within the exception in our recent AngloAmerican treaty.

The names of the vessels and their owners are known – it’s a group of merchants from Boston and Amsterdam behind the scam.

Sat 1st Feb 1806

The French army for the invasion of England is packing-up at Boulogne, etc., and removing towards the Rhine where they will be redeployed against the Russians.

Prussia declined to let the Russians march through and they have used ships to reach Swedish Pomerania where they will be well placed to protect the trade of the Baltic and launch offensives into Hanover or wherever.

We have ratified a treaty with Russia but the details are unavailable.

Sat 15th Feb 1806

The arrival of both the East and West India fleets in London has given the Admiralty a good opportunity to impress more seamen for the Royal Navy. A considerable press occurs daily on the Thames.

Sat 15th Feb 1806

Pitt has published a Declaration concerning British nationals detained in France on the outbreak of war. It has been forced on him by repeated questions in the Commons from two MPs – Sir Sidney Smith and Windham – who are concerned for Lt Dillon of the Vincenza (described in the Bombay Courier as a national ship) and Capt Wright[259] who were arrested on the Brittany coast by French gunboats on 20th May. Wright and Dillon are held in the Temple in Paris.

The ministry’s Declaration accuses France of breaching the Law of Nations. There are repeated examples of Britain and France exchanging prisoners-of-war and these chaps should be exchanged in the same way, it says. We sent back the French garrison of Pondicherry and they were exchanged on agreeing not to serve against us for a year.

France has designated the port of Morlaix as the place for prisoner exchanges. We sent a cartel ship there and it was re-directed to Fecamp where it was fired upon. On the occurrence of that event, Britain accused France of breaking the Law of Nations concerning prisoner exchanges.

France says the Hanoverian army are also prisoners-of-war whom she wishes to exchange while Britain says Hanoverians are not British subjects and Hanover is unmentioned in the Treaty of Amiens – that’s a sticking point.

Sat 22nd Feb 1806

The British Foreign Legion consists of 10,000 Hanoverians under the command of the Royal Duke of Cambridge.

Sat 1st March 1806

Algiers is one of the richest cities in the Mediterranean. It derives a fabulous income from piracy. This concentration of wealth has attracted a Jewish population of over 12,000.

In July, a general attack on the Algerian Jews was made by Priskri and Khails amongst the Algerian troops. They initially indiscriminately attacked male and female Jews in the streets and later looted Jewish houses.

These Moors are in rebellion against the Turks who were also attacked. They object to Turkish taxes and seek for independence.

The available wealth was immense and only the great Jewish merchants Bacri and Daminos escaped. One of them paid 150,000 Sequins (the Venetian Sequin is worth c. 6/6d, c. one third of a Pound Sterling) to avoid trouble, the other owes the Regent $400,000 and, so long as he does not pay, he enjoys protection.

The loot was taken out of the city into the mountains and supposedly buried. The Jews have sought French protection; the Turks are protected by England.

England wishes to establish a separate state for the Moors at Oran.

Sat 8th March 1806

The British prisoners at Verdun have held a Grand Fete on 22nd August in honour of the Prince of Wales. Mrs Concannon organised it. She sent invitation cards to her 120 fellow prisoners. They met at 10 pm and started with a theatrical piece. At midnight supper was served in three rooms with two tables in each. All seasonal foods and some fine wines were available. Afterwards the prisoners sang songs and played Hazard. At 2 am dancing commenced and continued until 6 am when they had breakfast and rested in consideration of the horse racing that was organised for 2 pm that day.

The ladies were remarkably attractive. Lady Clive and Mrs Annersty had bought expensive dresses from Paris. Mrs Concannon had obtained a bird of paradise feather for her dress.

Lord Yarmouth has got permission to live at Paris; the Waller family is going to Nimes and the Anstey family to Orleans.

Sat 15th March 1806

Ewbank, the British banker and merchant at Valenciennes, has been imprisoned for a year for helping Capt Joddrell escape in Aug 1803.

On that occasion Capts Joddrell and Smith attended General Dubois, threw down their paroles and ran off. They crossed the Rhine but were pursued and recaptured.

Ewbank’s role in the escape was recently ascertained by the French.

Sat 29th March 1806

Austria invaded Bavaria without a declaration of war. None of the Kings bother with formalities any more. Napoleon crossed the Rhine on 1st October. He crossed the Danube and Lech on 6th October. The speed of the FrancoBavarian army’s advance completely surprised the Austrians. Napoleon fought eight battles with the Austrian army under Baron Mack and obtained its capitulation at Ulm. 28,000 Austrian troops have been taken prisoner with their artillery and baggage and are sent to France.

The Austrian Emperor has sued for peace but asked that his troops be allowed to stay in Germany. About 60,000+ Austrian troops are involved in the surrender.

Napoleon however will only concede the Emperor’s request if Prince Ferdinand of Liechtenstein gives his word. He assesses Ferdinand as an honourable man whereas the Emperor has violated his treaty undertakings and can no longer be trusted. It is a public insult to the Emperor who responded angrily. He said Ferdinand is unavailable and, as Napoleon does not trust him, he abandoned his captured men who must go to France. All the Austrian cavalry horses and harnesses and the cannon (the whole park of 200 pieces) and ammunition are given up. Bavaria is relieved.

The rump of the Austrian army under Prince Ferdinand has retreated into Bohemia and is repeatedly attacked by French cavalry. Napoleon is in Vienna. He has protested the Austrian attack on Bavaria and demanded to know why the two countries are fighting. He believes (and has told the Austrian Emperor) that the Hapsburg dynasty is approaching its end.

Mack replied that Austria was opposed to war but was forced into it by Russia. Napoleon laughed. He told the Austrians that the only winner was England. Her object had been accomplished.

Murat has demanded 40 million livres as the Austrian contribution to French campaign expenses. A Congress is called at Munich to which the English are necessarily invited. In the interim France will occupy Vienna, Trieste and Venice as security. Napoleon is staying at the Hapsburg palace of Schoenbrunn.

Sat 5th April 1806

Nelson has defeated a combined FrancoSpanish fleet off Cape St Vincent. It will compensate for the Austrian failure at Ulm and relieves England of any lingering threat of invasion.

Sat 5th April 1806

The northern prong of the allied attack on France (the Austrian attack on Bavaria was the southern prong) involved the Russian and Swedish armies which arrived unopposed at Hanover.

As a result the British blockade of the Weser and Elbe has been taken off and a British expedition of 12,000+ men (mainly the Hanoverian Legion) has landed at the Weser.

Generals Don, Finch and Paget lead the British force. George III needs to restore the confidence of his Hanoverian people and Pitt needs to reopen the trade routes through northern Germany.

Pitt has sent Harrowby, with Hammond and Montague, to Berlin to motivate the Prussians. Cathcart is sent to St Petersburg.

The Russian army crossed the Elbe at Lauenberg and entered Hanover. The French garrison withdrew without engagement.

Sat 12th April 1806

When Napoleon heard that Bavaria had been attacked, he took all the ready cash in Paris and instantly led an army to its rescue. That caused the Bank of France to stop payments for several days. It has since resumed payments.

Sat 12th April 1806

Commerce in Spain is almost at a standstill. The Spanish have long operated a system whereby small amounts of exchange, in the shops and markets for example, are done in Papal Dinero, Pope’s money. The holders take their Dinero to the bank monthly and exchange it for dollars.

The government recently published a Decree requiring all exchange to be conducted in Papal Dinero. Everyone is aware that this paper money fell to half its face value in the last war and no-one wants to possess it for long. Most traders are not only refusing the Papal Dinero but also denying credit to their customers.

Everyone opposes the government initiative, even the army. The ministry has had to rely on the 2,000 Swiss Guards to maintain order in Madrid.

Sat 12th April 1806

Austria is generally detested throughout the German states. Most Electors believe if it was not for France they would be treated like the people in Austrian hereditary states (of Hungary and Bohemia where the residents are enslaved to the landowners).

Austria has paid her soldiers in paper money which exchanges at 60% of its face value – the Germans consequently call the Austrian soldier a paper soldier.

The problem is that the country cannot get a loan from anyone – she has discouraged all the bankers by her irresponsible practices and no capitalist is willing to risk his money helping her.

English diplomats have assured the Emperor that the £48 millions they lent to him in the last war need not be repaid.

Sun 20th April 1806 Extraordinary

28th January 1806 – Sir David Baird (army) and Sir Home Popham (navy) have invaded and conquered the Cape of Good Hope. The Dutch government is replaced. A large part of the Dutch force has retired northwards into the Karoo; they do not plan to leave Africa.

Sat 26th April 1806

The French have defeated a combined Russian Austrian Swedish army. It was Murat again who moved so fast the Kings were taken by surprise.

The Russians have endeavoured to extricate themselves with a kind of treaty but Murat requires it be ratified by Napoleon and he, when he learned of it, declined to let the Tsar off so lightly. It was after all Tsar Alexander who galvanised the Austrians and Swedes into fighting on the pretext presented by d’Enghien’s execution.[260]

As a result of this consideration, the French army has again attacked at Guntersdorf and, in spite of facing the cream of the Russian forces, was irresistibly victorious. Dusk saved the Russians from a more humiliating defeat.[261]

Since then the Russians have been retiring and the French advancing. The French line extends from the Adriatic to Moravia. Napoleon is scornful of Austria. So is the Tsar – he did not expect her to surrender so quickly leaving Russia to fight on alone.

Napoleon treats Austria like an occupied country and has appointed General Clarke as his Governor General. No-one respects the Austrian Emperor. Napoleon often stays at the Palace of Schoenbrunn.

After this battle (Austerlitz), Austria drops briefly from the first division of European powers.

In the peace treaty, Venice is added to the Republic of Italy. The Tyrol, Austrian Swabia and part of Franconia are given to Bavaria. Some other lands are given to the Elector of Wurtemburg. Austria’s territorial loss goes to increase the size and effectiveness of the buffer states Napoleon has created to ensure future peace.

Prussia is in a poor position. She welcomed the Russian Tsar in Berlin after which Prussian troops displaced the French in Hanover. Just before Napoleon started knocking heads together, Prussia protested against a French army marching through Prussian land and declared herself absolved of all engagements to France. Napoleon is consistently honourable. This Prussian precedent will doubtless make him feel similarly unrestrained. Worse, according to Russian and Austrian sources, Prussia has actually signed-up to an offensive alliance with them.

The Prussians might soon regret those partisan acts. Berlin has sent Count Haugwitz to Vienna to placate Napoleon. On the other hand, in consideration of her own duplicity, she has more pragmatically mobilised 180,000 men under the Duke of Brunswick.

England is sending troops to unite with the Prussian force in Hanover.

Sat 17th May 1806

During the action off Cape St Vincent (the battle of Trafalgar in British histories), Nelson was killed by a sharp-shooter in the mizzen tops of the Redoubtable. The shooter was himself identified and shot by midshipman Pollard of the Victory and the Redoubtable was later sunk.

Sat 24th May 1806

George Hassel of Brunswick has published his statistical estimates of the European population which he says is 182,509,000.

He divides these into four groups according to the prevailing influences upon them of language and culture.

The British influence 15,694,000 in the west; The French influence 66,030,000 in the centre west; Austria influences 47,535,000 in the centre east and Russia 53,339,000 in the east.

Turkish lands in the south east of Europe, which include many Slavs and all the Greeks, are not included in Hassel’s calculations.

Sat 31st May 1806

Pitt died on 24th January at Putney. His gout spread up his leg to affect his entire body.[262] This irreplaceable loss has allowed the liberal Whigs to gain power. Grey is Chancellor of the Exchequer; Grenville 1st Lord of the Treasury; Fox Foreign minister; Windham Home minister and Spencer 1st Lord of the Admiralty.

Sat 14th June 1806

In the Bombay Presidency’s Remembrance of Pitt is a comment:

“….. When it was thought expedient to make peace with France, Pitt resigned his office, and instead of a factious opposition to his successor, he countenanced his efforts in that experiment. The impossibility of a real peace with France ……” and “….. when he resigned the government in 1800 he had no other income except as Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. He had to sell his estate in Hayes, Kent……”

Sat 28th June 1806

The House of Commons on 1st February 1806 discussed Lord Wellesley’s treatment of the Nabob of Oudh. The Whigs protested seven months ago that the India Company had been unfair but the rest of the House disagreed and the necessary papers from Calcutta on which to take a view are still not available to MPs.

The Whigs have now asked for sight of the letter from Wellesley to the Directors of 21st August 1796 concerning the garrison at Futtyghur and another of his letters of 21st July 1797 dealing with the Company’s relations with the Nabob Vizier. These and several other pertinent papers as far back as 1796 (i.e. pre-dating Wellesley’s administration) were ordered to be produced.

Wallace said the Board of Control believed that parliamentary oversight of these papers was mischievous. It was nevertheless ordered that all the papers be produced including the Board of Control’s draft recall of Wellesley.[263]

Sat 28th June 1806

The Austrian army fiasco in face of Napoleon’s troops has embarrassed the Hapsburgs almost as much as Napoleon’s scornful treatment of the Emperor. It seems the Austrian Generals had recommended against war but the Emperor had been goaded to push ahead anyway.

The Emperor feels his officers did not fight as well as they might have done and now 59 Generals have been broken or suspended; Prince Aversberg is sent to prison for two years and General Franz Jellachich is condemned to be shot (He was later pardoned and fought in the Fifth Coalition. He is considered to have been an unlucky General).

Sat 12th July 1806

The war has stopped in Europe. The collapse of Austria requires the plans of England, Russia and Sweden be revised. The Austrians were able to remove their Treasury from Vienna just before the French arrived otherwise they would be totally bankrupt. Since the French have left, the money has been brought back and the Bank of Vienna has resumed interest payments on Austrian debt.

But the overall plan of the Kings has failed.

The Russian troops in Naples are re-embarking just ahead of the French army’s arrival. Rome is under French protection and the Pope has been sent to live in Venice where he will get an annual allowance. The Prussians have made an agreement with France whereby Prussia takes Hanover and France takes Neufchatel, Valengin and Cleves. Bavaria gets Ansbach.

Sat 2nd Aug 1806

London Government Gazette, 5th April:

“Prussia has invaded Hanover (and other possessions of George III in Germany) and has excluded British ships from Prussian ports.”

The King’s Order-in-Council permitting reprisals against Prussia says inter alia that “All British ships are ordered not to enter Prussian ports. All Prussian ships in English ports are arrested. Their cargoes are to be preserved.”

As a result 17 Prussian ships have been detained.

Sat 2nd Aug 1806

The House of Commons has been discussing the state of the armed forces. Fox objects to the former ministry’s allusions to ‘the prosperous state of the country’ which has been a constant boast since Pitt’s early days. Where is this prosperity to be found, he asked?

The Treasury collects £44 millions of taxes a year. The new Chancellor of the Exchequer (Petty) says he needs more, purportedly to prevent any further increase in the national debt.

The navy was constantly at odds with Earl St Vincent at the Admiralty because he forced some financial rigour on the officers and selected against the more venal chaps. He exposed the padding of payrolls with illusory men, the multiplication of prices for naval stores, the wasteful way that cash was raised outside the country by agreeing heavy discounts on Admiralty Bills, the way that new ships were built and financed, etc.

Ireland and India are not in a prosperous state except for a handful of Company men in the latter country. Where is the prosperity, asked Fox rhetorically.[264]

Sat 16th Aug 1806

Since Austerlitz and the cession of Venice, etc., Austria has only Trieste to develop as a great port of the Mediterranean. The road to Salzburg is being repaired to facilitate the carriage of goods from Trieste into Austrian domains.

Sat 23rd Aug 1806

The House of Commons has voted to pay the debts of Pitt. They voted to pay his Dad’s debts in 1777 too, and that was the precedent that ensured the approving vote on this occasion.

Sat 20th Sept 1806

Prussia has extended her invasion of Hanover to Pomerania. This puts her at war with both England and Sweden who both also want to control the ports of access for central European trade.

The British merchant fleet (which presently uses Cuxhaven for discharge) has sailed away without loss (the Prussians got there too late on about 31st March). The Swedish army in Pomerania has partly returned to Sweden leaving a garrison at Stralsund to protect that town’s trade.

France appears intent on securing the Swedish (Pomeranian) shore of the Sound and thus controlling access to the Baltic. It is the same policy that she tries to effect in the Mediterranean – she wants to keep British trade out to increase the amount of British capital locked-up in manufactures and colonial goods in our warehouses for which we have no market. It is the French response to our commercial war.

All our commercial privateers have put-out from the Channel and South coast ports in search of Prussian ships. A good many of them have been taken already and the number already exceeds one hundred.

The King’s order requires the blockade of the Rivers Ems, Weser, Elbe and Trave. He has concurrently notified the ambassadors of neutrals in London.

Sat 27th Sept 1806

London newspapers, 2nd April – Grenville met the King to discuss the direction of British forces, which is presently under the control of the Duke of York, as CiC.

The Duke is the second son of George III and may not be advised in the way his staff officers think appropriate. Grenville wants to create a Military Council to advise the King and the Duke. The King said it is unprecedented but extraordinary times require extraordinary expedients and, on this occasion, he will agree.[265]

Tues 30th Sept 1806 Extraordinary

France has proposed an hereditary constitutional monarchy for the Dutch with Schimmelpennick supposed to be prime candidate for the office. The proposals suggest an annual income of 2 million Guilders for the King. It disallows a popular vote on the matter.

It gives the King similar powers to the former Grand Pensionary.[266]

Sat 4th Oct 1806

Admiral Villeneuve, who opposed Nelson at Trafalgar, has been found dead in his bed at Rennes. He killed himself by stabbing his left side five times. He has been depressed since the engagement.

Sat 4th Oct 1806

George III calls himself Elector of Brunswick-Lunenburg and never Elector of Hanover as is occasionally printed in English papers. The French call him Duke of Brunswick.

He has just protested the Prussian occupation of Hanover to his ‘near relative’ the Prussian King and requested honourable dealings.

He says he will never abandon the people of Hanover – ‘Russia has lent you troops and we have promised money – what is the matter with you, Brother’.

Sat 4th Oct 1806

Petition of the people of Brunswick-Lunenburg of 14th February 1806 to their Elector, King George III:

Your children fear they are to be separated from their father. We are to lose our mild government and fortunate circumstances. If it did any good, we would sacrifice all our blood rather than let it happen. We rely on you and God. Show mercy to us. Reveal your princely greatness. Extend our good fortune longer.

Sat 11th Oct 1806

Napoleon has reviewed the French Customs tariff and has prohibited imports of all East India goods into France and its allies.

Sat 1st Nov 1806

Napoleon seems unable to see the value of the Pope. He only sees the cost of the church to Europe. It is rumoured the Pope has been persuaded to resign and a new Kingdom will replace the Papal States.

Sat 1st Nov 1806

George III’s present minister in Brunswick-Lunenburg is Baron de Reden.

Sat 15th Nov 1806

The peace treaty between France and Russia was signed at Paris on 20th July 1806. The embargo on Russian shipping in French ports is lifted.

Lord Holland is expected in Paris soon to negotiate for Britain.

Sat 15th Nov 1806

Britain has a garrison of 10,000 men in Sicily of whom nearly 6,000 have been shipped into Calabria to assist the King of Naples against the French.

Thurs 27th Nov 1806 Extraordinary

Tsar Alexander has refused to ratify the peace treaty with France that was made by his ambassador at Paris.

Sat 29th Nov 1806

Le Moniteur – Bavaria, Wurtemburg (the Dukedom of George III’s son-in-law), Ratisbon, Baden, Berg, Hesse-Darmstadt, Hohenzollern, Hechingen, Nassau and other states in S W Germany have resolved to resign from the Austrian Empire and confederate themselves.

The Treaty of Pressburg puts all these states in alliance with France and makes their continuing allegiance to Austria impossible.

It is also the case that Austria is in decline after losing the war – the Diet does not express the will of the people; the orders of the Court are not executed; the security of membership of the Empire has evaporated; Hanover has been absorbed by Prussia; the Imperial Constitution no longer works.

This realisation is rooted in the division of the Empire that occurred in 1795 and separated the interests of North and South. The Treaty of Lunéville was intended to strengthen the Empire by removing its weakest parts but the latest aggressions have caused further weakness to the point it is no longer worth preserving. The Holy Roman Empire is no more.

France offers protection to the Confederation of the Rhine (the collective name of the states listed above). “Together, we will preserve peace and close our ears to the insinuations of those preaching eternal war.”

Sat 29th Nov 1806

Bavaria has claimed £1.25 millions (340 million Livres) from Austria as the costs of boarding and lodging the French army when Austria breached the terms of the Treaty of Pressburg and France intervened. Austria agrees to pay and Salzburg will remain in Bavarian hands until completion.

Sat 29th Nov 1806

Lord Caledon is made Governor of the Cape. His relative Henry Alexander, one of the MPs for Old Sarum, had sold his representation to Lord Blayney in order to join Caledon at Capetown.

Mon 5th Jan 1807 Extraordinary

The creation of a Confederation of the Rhine prompted the Prussians to attempt something similar in the north of Germany. That has drawn a military response from France. In turn that has induced the Tsar to offer support to Prussia.

In light of the changes, Francis II, the Austrian Emperor, has abandoned his former title of Emperor of Germany and recognised the Confederation of the Rhine. The Prussians likewise recognise the new Confederation.

The British have sent reinforcements to Sicily where they have a toehold in Europe. It seems that peace has not been agreed by that power and war may start again.

Sat 10th Jan 1807

The British invasion of Calabria from Sicily under General Stuart has been obliged by the French to re-embark and return to Messina.

Only the coastal fortress of Gaeta remains in our hands – it is being provisioned from Sicily and will provide a base for landing men and supplies in any future invasion.

Sir Sidney Smith has concurrently seized Capri from the French. This gives him a convenient base to disrupt the maritime trade of Naples.

Sat 31st Jan 1807

The Prussians were defeated at Jena on 14th October 1806. The Duke of Brunswick and Prince Ferdinand were killed. Some 28,000 troops were taken prisoner after the battle and a similar number in follow-up action.

Next day the Prussian King asked for an armistice but Napoleon refused. He is irritated by the King’s duplicity. Both the King and Queen have gone on tour to the east and were last reported at Custrin on the Oder.

The Russians are belatedly marching to Prussia’s support and are now crossing the Prussian bit of Poland. It seems Napoleon may wish to restore the Kingdom of Poland (a Polish Countess has been urging the justice of this upon him and he always falls for the equitable argument). He has called on the Poles to join his army.

Another report says the Duke of Brunswick survived the defeat of his army and has reached Altona on his way to England. This version says he asked that his lands be spared from plunder (he is the Duke of Brunswick Lunenberg Wolfenbuttel). The French general opposed to him reminded him of his (Brunswick’s) widely published threat to bring fire and the sword against the people of Paris.[267]

Sat 14th Feb 1807

Russia seems to be moving closer to England. The Emperor has just laid the foundation stone for a new Exchange at St Petersburg and all the English merchants resident at the port were invited. The merchants of other countries were not invited.

Afterwards the Tsar personally presided over a feast.

He then presented a gold medal of about 6 guineas in weight to each British merchant. It has his likeness on one side and the architectural drawing of the Imperial Stock Exchange on the other. He said it was a memento of his friendship for England.

Sat 14th Feb 1807

There is a small crack in Napoleon’s wall against commerce. It opened when we started talking peace. On 15th September Florence was able to get an authorisation from Paris permitting the import of British provisions of all kinds and such manufactures as are necessary to keep Florentine factories going.

Other English goods may be imported provided they are not English manufactures. Even English manufactures can be landed provided they are for re-export. This should revive the trade of Leghorn.[268]

Sat 7th March 1807

Prussia is defeated. The French are in Berlin. The Dutch now occupy Hanover.

Sat 7th March 1807

The late war in Prussia was pressed on the King by his Queen and her son Prince Louis. It seems the Prussian King was aware of the risks and averse to taking them but submitted to his wife’s importunities.

Now young Prince Louis has been run through by Mareschal de Logis and killed in battle, his mother’s addiction to military solutions may have abated.

Sat 21st March 1807

On 15th October 1806 the French army invested Erfurt and captured it. The Prince of Orange is amongst their prisoners. Mollendorff was injured and also captured. Totally 600 Prussian officers were captured and paroled. The Prussian King asked for an armistice. He said:

The Duke of Brunswick is dead, Prince William of Brunswick is injured, most of my generals are dead, my (unpaid) army is fleeing in all directions and can hardly be assembled; I ask for an armistice.

Napoleon equates the King’s request with the Tsar’s earlier request for an armistice after Austerlitz – an attempt to escape the natural consequences of defeat. France gave the Tsar an armistice at that time and he used it to reassemble his army and fight on. Why should France be generous when her enemies are never so?

The campaign has continued for only a couple of weeks and Prussia is already on her reserves.

In a few days France pushed Prussia out of Saxony and Westphalia. She occupied Leipzig and advised the merchants and bankers that, as England respects no flag on the high seas, English goods will receive no respect on land. “The English are to be blocked-up in their island and may stuff themselves on the world’s goods” the French General said.

Leipzig is the main entrepot for English goods into central Europe. The merchants are required to declare their English goods and funds. The declarations will be checked by the army and errors will be punished.

Sat 4th April 1807

With Austria and Prussia hors de combat, the Tsar has taken the opportunity to declare war on Turkey.

The Porte complains Russia has already infringed the Treaty of 1774 by occupying the Crimea and Georgia and by garrisoning the Seven Islands.

He says he has reinstated the Hospodars of Wallachia and Moldavia (a Russian demand) and there is no other Russian reason for war.

It appears Tsar Alexander is merely taking the opportunity to expand his territory.

Sat 4th April 1807

French Jews called a Sanhedrin at Paris on 6th October 1806 and petitioned Napoleon to notify him of the justice of returning them as masters of the Holy Land.

Sat 4th April 1807

A Lloyd’s broker is selling a special insurance policy. He offers 100 guineas for every 5 guineas in premium received should a French army be in St Petersburg before next June.

Sat 4th April 1807

France has requested contributions of 150 million Livres from Prussia and her allies. The French will not evacuate Berlin or Poland until the Porte is re-established in his independence and Moldavia and Wallachia are confirmed as Ottoman lands by the Tsar.[269]

Sat 25th April 1807

It is rumoured that British relations with Turkey have deteriorated and our ambassador Arbuthnot at Constantinople is expected to be recalled.

This will affect the Company’s communications with London (the overland route) and may conceivably presage the removal of all the Company’s Residents throughout the Porte’s lands in the Middle East.[270]

Sat 2nd May 1807

Government-financed newspapers in London are proposing a plan of continental operations for our army to divert French attention from the Tsar. Lord Moira should lead the British army to Brabant, Flanders and Holland where the people will support him, the papers say.

They also propose again inciting rebellion in La Vendée and landing a French émigré army there composed of Bourbon retainers plus any of the French prisoners-of-war in England that are interested. They suggest this army should be led by General Moreau. It should hoist the old Royal Standard of the Bourbons and proclaim monarchy in the Western departments.

The government papers also say that the southern provinces of France are ripe for rebellion.

Note – In April and successive editions since then, the Editor has been providing brief biographies of sitting MPs, none of which are recited here but many are well worth study.

Mon 18th May 1807 Extraordinary

A letter from Baghdad just received at Bombay says that immediately after our ambassador Arbuthnot left Constantinople, Rear Admiral Sir Thomas Louis sailed through the Dardanelles with 10 capital ships and on 19th February attacked the Turkish fleet.

Sat 6th June 1807

Partial list of MPs in the new parliament. According to it, William Wickham is returned for two constituencies – Callington and Millhurst. It is otherwise unremarkable.

Mon 29th June 1807 Extraordinary

The public executions of Haggerty and Holloway at Newgate for the murder of Steele attracted such a large crowd of spectators that thirty were killed in the crush and many more were maimed.

The bodies of the executed men, which are at the disposal of the King, were sent to hospital for dissection as has become possible under the new law.[271]

Mon 29th June 1807 Extraordinary

The Prussians have made a treaty of peace with France. They have also accepted £80,000 from our minister at Berlin but the terms are not published.

Sat 4th July 1807

The merchants of St Petersburg, who are aristocrats, are pleased with the Tsar’s alliance with England. They offered to lend him 6 million Roubles but he declined.

One of the principal merchants, Count Alexey Grigoryevich Orloff, has donated 2 million Roubles and 2,000 of his serfs to the Tsar’s war effort. Many others nobles have made or offered similar donations to government.

Sat 25th July 1807

When Napoleon arrived in Poland after defeating the Prussian / Russian armies in December 1806, he issued a Proclamation requiring French troops to remain in occupation of all the territory they had conquered until either a general peace was arranged or the freedom of commerce was admitted by England.

Sat 15th Aug 1807

Consequent on the establishment of the Confederation of the Rhine, the Duke of Wurtemburg, George III’s son-in-law, has become King of Wurtemburg. Some might expect George to be pleased but contrarily he has withheld his recognition of the Duke’s elevation.

Sat 12th Sept 1807

The French are driving back the Russians in the north. Danzig has fallen and 14,000 Prussian with 6,000 Russian troops are made prisoners.

In the south the Russia offensive against the Ottomans is going better. The Russian army is concentrated in Moldavia. The Serbians have attacked Bosnia and captured Belgrade. The Russian Black Sea squadron is blockading the Dardanelles and Smyrna.

Sir Arthur Paget has gone to Constantinople to make peace but the Porte will likely require his sovereignty of Egypt be restored before he will lay down his arms.[272]

Sat 26th Sept 1807

The French have achieved substantial progress in war in the north of Europe. They have captured 4,000 cannon and taken 200,000 prisoners. They have occupied Berlin and secured most of the important fortresses of Europe.

But things are not going entirely their way. The Tsar has brought his Cossacks into Europe and they have introduced the Mongol form of fluid guerrilla warfare. They have routinely attacked any small French units that get detached from the main army such as the advanced posts that every military formation puts out. They are frightfully bloodthirsty – the Tsar has to bribe them to preserve their prisoners. He gives them a ducat for every live Frenchman brought in for questioning.[273]

Sat 31st Oct 1807

The first meeting in London of Alopeus the Russian ambassador, and Canning the new Foreign Secretary did not start well. There was a problem of communications. Canning schooled at Eton and Christchurch where he studied classical languages.

Alopeus, on the other hand, studied numerous modern languages and claims proficiency in French, German, High Dutch, Slav, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. Relying on the Latin appearance of Alopeus’s name, Canning, who has no modern languages except English, suggested they converse ‘as the Romans’.

Alopeus spent several years as Professor at Moscow University and responded that he would welcome a chat in either Latin or Greek.

It soon transpired that the pronunciation taught at Moscow and Oxford varied so extensively that despite repeated efforts and considerable reflection, neither official could understand a word that the other was saying.

Canning’s secretary is FitzHarris whose father Lord Malmesbury, as mere Harris, had successfully negotiated at the Hague (less successfully at Lille) and Canning now suggested FitzHarris call his father to interpret. Regrettably, Malmesbury’s arrival was not progressive, that gentleman having increased in years and decreased in hearing. English, Russian, Latin or Greek – it was all the same to Malmesbury.

The conference was on the point of breaking-up when Alopeus sprang to his feet. He faced Canning, turned his trouser pockets (which were empty) inside out, and said repeatedly ‘oroom’, ‘oroom’, ‘oroom’. Canning stared fixedly at him until the ‘eureka’ moment dawned. ‘Aurum’ is it? Thereafter it was just a matter of writing figures on paper to establish the extent of subsidy required.

Mon 16th Nov 1807 Extraordinary

Napoleon is beating the Russians and Prussians and has offered an armistice. The Prussian King says he has to ask England first. England has sent more ships and men and a good subsidy to Russia. This last was expensive.

To collect sufficient bullion, the ministry had to buy silver in Copenhagen and elsewhere in exchange for Bills on London which were heavily discounted. We then had to ship the specie from Copenhagen to St Petersburg on HMS Wanderer costing a percentage fee to the Captain.

Mon 16th Nov 1807 Extraordinary

War news:

  • There is a spat between Sir Sidney Smith and Admiral Duckworth concerning the Royal Navy’s attack on Constantinople. Sir Sidney takes the line he was encouraging the Porte to ally himself with England – a lightning attack on his city so worried the Porte he would sign anything to stop it, Smith reasons. Duckworth contrarily thinks forcing the Dardanelles, destroying the Turkish fleet and threatening the bombardment of Constantinople may have been considered the acts of an enemy rather than an ally. We are not at war with Turkey and no mention of these attacks is made in parliament (it is an aspect of Sir Sidney’s special powers – he is now also an MP). It is the British alliance with the Tsar, who is fomenting insurrection in the Slav lands of the Ottomans, that hinders our case with the Porte. Indeed Britain is supposedly mediating peace between Russia and Turkey and Smith’s attacks are in furtherance of that mediation as a first step in the restoration of friendship. British mediation had focused on our declared alliance with Russia and was intended to get Turkey to join-in, but the Porte was reluctant and needed encouragement.
  • Fortunately the concurrent invasion of Egypt under General Fraser has secured Alexandria to Britain. We had great difficulty at first, both at Rosetta and Alexandria, and our losses are in the thousands. The garrison from Sicily is now in occupation of the Egyptian coast and the overland route to India (via Egypt and the Red Sea) is protected.

Sat 28th Nov 1807

The Austrian Emperor has returned to Vienna. He has been trying unsuccessfully to interview the Tsar. He returned to the news of the Empress’ death which is good news for England. The Empress led the peace party which will now lose the benefit of her influence.

Austria can field 330,000 troops against Napoleon if she can only be induced to fight. The Archduke Charles is introducing conscription to the Austrian army like the French.

Sat 5th Dec 1807

Admiral Duckworth’s correspondence with the Reis Efendi is reproduced in the newspaper but not the Efendi’s answers.

This is apropos the Royal Navy’s attempts to get Turkey into alliance with her inveterate enemy Russia and us against France.

Sat 23rd Jan 1808

The peace negotiations in Europe were ended by the Russians. When France captured Danzig (now Gdansk – then one of the richest cities in Europe), Russia became fearful that Prussia would submit to any French terms, and on 4th June commenced an attack along the whole French line.

This provoked a counter-attack and the Russians were driven back by repeated defeats ending in a serious reversal at Friedland in which they lost their baggage and most of their artillery.

Observers, including the Tsar, concluded the Russian army of serfs could not withstand French assaults. They then abandoned Konigsberg and fell back on Tilsit.

Peace is reported to have been agreed on 4th July between Russia and France and separately between Prussia and France. The Russian Tsar has acknowledged Napoleon’s title to Emperor and the titles of his brothers Joseph, Louis and Jerome as Kings of Naples, Holland and Westphalia respectively. The ports of Prussia are closed to British trade. The fourth allied coalition is no more.

Sat 23rd Jan 1808

The Hanoverian troops under Baron Linsingen have left England for the north of Europe. The newly elevated peer, Lord Cathcart, is in command of the entire expedition. It is supposed they will enter the Baltic. Sir Home Popham has a command in this expedition.

Sun 28th Feb 1808 Extraordinary

The British expedition of Hanoverians arrived at Denmark and demanded the surrender of Copenhagen. We need Denmark on-side to ensure our merchants have easy access through the Sound. There is no other reason for our invasion.

The water supply and provisions to the town were cut off to expedite agreement. Cathcart permitted the Royal Family to leave through the English lines. They have gone to Holstein.

This attack completely surprised the Danes. Like the Spanish at Buenos Aires, they had no idea we would invade them. Both actions were commanded by Popham.[274]

The initial Danish response was to order the confiscation of all English property throughout the country and the arrest of all English merchants. The assumption throughout continental Europe is that England is satisfied to see Europe in turmoil and wishes it to continue whilst she consolidates her monopoly of global trade.

Sun 28th Feb 1808 Extraordinary

George III’s Hanoverian Legion has occupied the island of Rugen opposite Stralsund for the protection of our trade. Swedish Pomerania is the last place in the Baltic that is still open to our merchants. Only Sweden has avoided Napoleon’s onslaught – like England, she is protected by the sea.

As encouragement to the Swedish King, England has agreed not to disrupt his nationals’ trade with the Netherlands.

Sat 5th March 1808

Cathcart’s Proclamation to the Danes:

French success in Europe ensures that Denmark cannot remain neutral although she may wish for it. Britain has accordingly made a pre-emptive strike to prevent Danish arms being turned against her. She requires the temporary possession of all Danish capital ships. They will be detained in English harbours.

We are your friends. We do not want to have you obliged to be our enemy. When a general peace is obtained, all your ships will be returned. While our forces are in Denmark we will pay for all the things we requisition.

Sgd Gambier and Cathcart.

Sat 5th March 1808

Crown Prince Frederick (of Denmark) is unhappy with the British. He says the English approached his coast as friends and took his country by deception (no hint was published in London until the deed had been done). The Prince calls on his people to be courageous and kick-out the English.

On the voyage to Copenhagen Gambier stopped at the remote Danish island of Heligoland. Its off north west Europe and is being developed as a commercial depot for the storage of British goods before they are loaded to small boats for shipment into Europe.

The Crown Prince is not happy about that unauthorised use of his island either.

Sat 5th March 1808

All Danish communications by sea are monitored by the English although letters are being permitted through after perusal. The Danish overland semaphore has been destroyed in a few places to prevent its use. Postal communications are continuing to Lubeck.

Prince Charles of Hesse, Governor of Danish Schleswig Holstein, has prepared letters of marque against the English. After a brief warning period, any one found in possession of English property will be arrested and his goods seized.

The Danes have published a Declaration:

They refer to their constant policy of 15 years of strict neutrality; their scrupulous performance of those duties, and the impossibility of satisfying both sides, etc., and resent the British acts.[275]

Sat 12th March 1808

The King has approved the new full dress and undress uniforms for masters and pursers of H M ships. The officers are required to buy their own, but wealth from prize-taking has percolated through the Royal Navy. They can afford it.

Sat 12th March 1808

Lord Thomas Cochrane has introduced his complaints against the running of the Navy in debate in the House of Commons. He identifies the loss of HMS Felix and HMS Atalanta as particular cases of neglect. The crew of the Atalanta was lost, so its an emotive issue.

Most MPs resent his motion. They believe publication of Admiralty failure, if that is what it is, is mischievous. He also complained that the fund available for medicines had been reduced and many sick sailors now went untreated.

Sir Samuel Hood disputed Cochrane’s motion. He said the real complaints of sailors and officers was the limited chance to go ashore. He said that was for their own good – they got sick ashore and recovered at sea.

Admirals Hervey and Markham likewise disagreed with Cochrane. Markham feared the complaint would get into the newspapers. He noted Sir Samuel Hood had served 13 uninterrupted months off Cape Finesterre without complaint.

Cochrane was then repeatedly called to order until he sat down.

Sat 12th March 1808

The Treaty of Tilsit, dated 25th June and 7th July 1807, is reproduced. The detailed terms of Napoleon and Alexander’s basic agreement have been negotiated by Talleyrand for France and Prince Alexander Kurakin and Prince Dimitry Labanoff van Rostoff for Russia:

  • Napoleon agrees to return all the lands and towns of Prussia that he has captured. Prussia is restored to its 1772 extent. Prussian seizures in Poland, specifically the Duchy of Warsaw, are transferred to the King of Saxony. The independence of Danzig is restored and guaranteed by Prussia and Saxony. A natural river is made the boundary between Russia and the Duchy of Warsaw.
  • The Dukes of Saxe-Cobourg, Oldenburg and Mecklenburg are restored to their lands except their ports which continue under French occupation until a final peace is ratified with England.
  • Russian mediation with England for peace is expressly agreed, provided the English agree to it within a month of the ratification of this Treaty.
  • Russia recognises King Joseph Napoleon of Naples, King Louis Napoleon of Holland and King Jerome Napoleon of Westphalia (on the left bank of the Elbe).
  • Russia recognises the Confederation of the Rhine and any additional states that may become members of it in future.
  • Russia cedes Jever in East Friesland to the Netherlands.
  • Russia agrees to stop warring with Turkey, withdraw from Moldavia and accept French mediation in its dispute with the Porte.
  • Commercial relations between France, Italy, Naples, Holland and the Rhine Confederation on the French side and Russia are restored to their pre-war status.

Sat 19th March 1808

The French peace treaty with Prussia is reproduced.

Sat 26th March 1808

After reaching agreement at Tilsit, the two Emperors each awarded national honours to officers of the other side. Napoleon ordered that his Russian prisoners be fully clothed, equipped and armed before they were returned to the Tsar.

Both Emperors seem to be in complete accord. There were numerous proofs of affection exchanged between them. In Paris they are saying that the peace of Europe has been eternally fixed.

Sat 2nd April 1808

The British ministry suspects there are secret articles appended to the Treaty of Tilsit.

Specifically, Catarro and the Seven Islands have been ceded by Russia to France; Wallachia and Moldavia are confirmed to the Porte; Mecklenburg, which was held by Napoleon as security for the Tsar’s return of the two provinces to the Porte, has been released back to Duke Charles II.

Sat 2nd April 1808

Napoleon has sent our Foreign Secretary Fox the Stuart dynasty archive that Fox went to Paris to examine during the short peace. The papers were received months ago but the gift has just now been published.

Sat 2nd April 1808

General Stuart is leading our army in Egypt. He is fighting militias raised from amongst the inhabitants as well as the Arab and Albanian soldiers of the Porte.

Our supporters are the Mamalukes (mostly Georgians who had been earlier defeated and enslaved by the Ottomans) but overall we seem to be unpopular.

Sat 9th April 1808

The British assess the Russians as less powerful than they appear to be, based solely on their huge population. This reassessment results from their recent performance in battle. Even the Tsar acknowledged his troops were no match for the French army. The British attribute Russian weakness to unskilled officers.

At the start of 1806 Prussia was a power occupying 6,191 sq miles with a population of 10 millions. By the end of the year it occupied 3,000 sq miles with a population of under 6 millions. All the troops from the south and east of old Prussia are discharged from the army as they are no longer Prussian citizens. Whilst the state has been diminished in size and population, and consequently revenue, it retains all those debts it incurred prior to and during the war.

The only remaining British ally in Europe now is Sweden. She is also labouring under huge state debts and her population is discontented by the disruption of trade and uncertain supply of provisions. She still has a toe-hold in continental Europe at Stralsund in Pomerania.[276]

British diplomacy tries to woo Denmark from her neutrality to get advantage from her control of the Sound. It is the place to supervise access and egress to / from the Baltic. Unfortunately the Danes are displeased with us.

Napoleon has offered the Danish Prince Regent an alluring alternative – to be King of Scandinavia by the union of Denmark and Norway with Sweden under the Danish crown.

Sweden owns Finland but the Tsar has been nibbling at it. We have no way to match Napoleon’s offer. Its fortunate the Danes no longer have a war fleet or they could inconvenience us.

Sat 30th April 1808

Sir John Moore’s force has abandoned Sicily and is to proceed to Gibraltar with the force from Egypt.

Sat 30th April 1808

London news – Trade is very slow at London. Parliament is prorogued. The manufacturing towns are sending in petitions asking the King for peace.

He has explained his conduct in Denmark – he says the Danes previously asserted good will towards us but were obliged by France to oppose us and he was not going to be fooled twice.

Sat 30th April 1808

St Petersburg, 26th October 1807 – The Tsar has publicly recriminated George III for a failure of support. He says he has twice taken-up arms on England’s behalf and on each occasion he has been let down:

“While my people were dying under French guns, his people are off in Buenos Aires looting.[277]

“His force in Sicily, which might have created a diversion in Italy, was withdrawn so he could possess Egypt.

“Worst of all, he has been ravishing my trade in violation of treaties.

“When peace was breaking out all over Europe he comes along furtively to Denmark and relights the flames of war. And he has the effrontery to ask me to guarantee Danish submission to him.

“I have broken-off all contact with him. I proclaim anew the Armed Neutrality. If George wants to be friends with me, he will first satisfy Denmark in everything.”[278]

Sat 7th May 1808

There is criticism of England in the European newspapers for the pre-emptive strike on Denmark. Europeans think it was illegal to burn Copenhagen and seize Danish warships without some prior discussion or at least a declaration of war.

They say the point is settled under the Law of Nations and it has been honoured since the Romans – “Arms are the last reason of Kings and the first reason of Brigands.”

The German press has been particularly virulent – ‘take care you are not next’ is a common expression in editorials. They examine the King’s Declaration paragraph by paragraph and ridicule its logic. They think his suggestion that he knows Napoleon’s future intentions is laughable. For months Napoleon has had sufficient troops in Mecklenburg and lower Saxony to occupy Denmark had he wished to do so. They say the fault of the Danes was to trust England and they call us ‘the country that conspires, assassinates and proscribes.’

Every European believes England is simply removing the competition to its maritime trade. The unprovoked attack on Denmark came at a time the Russian Tsar was offering his mediation to bring peace. They say Britain is not governed; it is a business ruled by merchants.

Sat 7th May 1808

London, 8th December 1807 – The Prince of Wales had to force his Dad to release the revenues of Cornwall to him.[279] George III does not like potential competitors to have any money. Now the Prince has control, he has appointed his old friend General Lake as Receiver of the revenues. Sheridan resigned to permit the new appointment (Lake is about 70 years old and soon dies allowing Sheridan to get the job back almost immediately).

Sat 7th May 1808

Napoleon has been putting on weight. As he is quite short it makes him look round and friendly. He eats mainly vegetables but drinks meat-flavoured soups. He drinks no alcohol (the wagons of champagne he takes from Moet on campaign are for his officers). His indulgence is 5-6 cups of strong coffee daily.

He dresses plainly – a green coat, white waistcoat and pantaloons and boots. His hat has no feathers, just a small round (national) cockade.

When in Paris he always sleeps with Josephine in a huge bed. Above it is the famous sword adorned with the Pitt diamond.[280]

Sat 21st May 1808

As of November 1807 England had 600 warships at sea. If you include guardships the total is nearer 800. This excludes the Danish and Portuguese fleets. We are strong.

Sat 21st May 1808

The English government has established a Maps and Charts Committee of the Admiralty to collect all the information we have on the World’s islands and harbours. Sir R Barlow is Chairman and Home Popham is on the Board.

Sat 21st May 1808

Cobbett’s published opinion:

“The British action against Denmark was to assert our dominion of the seas. It will continue so long as Napoleon’s dominion of Europe continues. Napoleon and Alexander may toast ‘the liberty of the seas’ at Tilsit and the Americans may applaud them, but we will not relax our control.

“We will not be bullied by foreign merchants and foreign holders of our funds. All Britain supports our government, except Whitbread and his Edinburgh Review. My only fear is that, in the event of another peace overture, the present ministry may abandon our maritime authority to preserve its jobs.”

Sat 21st May 1808

The Danish King has warned the residents of Schleswig Holstein they will be imprisoned if they have indirect correspondence with the English. If they have direct communication they will be executed. English goods will be confiscated. If the goods mentioned in documents are not surrendered, the merchant will be fined their value. The King will pay every informer $50 – $100 per information. The informer will also receive half the value of the goods realised on sale.

Sat 28th May 1808

The Tsar is having trouble retaining the affection of his nobles. He may assert the honourable basis to his conduct but that does not pay their bills. They monopolise Russian trade which inevitably makes them friendly with the English.

They are hardly enforcing the Tsar’s law on British merchants. We are allowed to remove with all our property or to remain.

Sat 28th May 1808

The two French Royalist journals that are published in London for distribution in France are not demonstrably supportive of the arrival at Yarmouth of the pretender to the French throne, the self-styled Louis XVIII, with his two nephews.[281]

The Gazette de la Grande Bretagne merely says he came via Stralsund and Karlskrona but could not obtain a refuge from the Swedish King who suggested he continue to England. The Courier de l’Angleterre says he is a torch of freedom and an opposer of injustice and violence.

Sat 4th June 1808

Lord Hamilton in the House of Commons has moved a reply to the King’s Address about the attack on Denmark:

“The enemy’s commerce is annihilated whilst ours is constantly increasing. Our navy has swept every hostile fleet from the face of the ocean and now sails triumphant on every sea. The war in almost all other countries is a grievous curse but is a blessing to this country (‘hear’, ‘hear’ from the ministerial benches).

“The other nations of Europe had thought themselves bound to adhere to the old rules of war. They have brought upon themselves the calamities that now overwhelm them.”

Sat 4th June 1808

18th December 1807 – George III has replied to the young Russian Tsar’s offer of mediation with France (authorised in the Tilsit agreement) in the following terms:

“It never will be endured by His Brittanic Majesty that any government shall indemnify itself for the humiliation of subserviency to France, by the adoption of an insulting and peremptory tone towards Great Britain.”

Sat 18th June 1808

The Swedish King is being publicly abused by his people. They prefer the ancient connections with France to his new policies. The Russian frontier with the Swedish colony of Finland has been reinforced by the Tsar. That is a chink in Swedish maritime protections. The Aland Island bridge is not that remote from Petersburg.

Sat 18th June 1808

The MSS of Fox’s History of the Stuarts has been sold by his Executors for £4,500. It will be printed as a single volume in quarto.[282]

Sat 9th July 1808

The British army is introducing new epaulettes that will identify the rank of the officer wearing them.[283]

Sat 9th July 1808

The opposition exerted its full strength in the Commons to promote the chance for peace but it was voted down. Their best result was 70 / 210. The House is pro-war.

Sat 16th July 1808

The King of Prussia has removed from Memel to Konigsberg and is living in retirement. He is depressed. Some of his regiments lost half their officers (killed and wounded) in recent battles with the French and he has lost half his kingdom in the peace treaty.

He is unwilling to return to Berlin because the costs of maintaining himself in the former style are beyond him. This has caused his courtiers to fall away and he is now served by some formerly rather humble chaps.

Sat 27th Aug 1808

England has made an alliance with Sweden. We sent them money as a sweetener then gave them troops and ships; they have given us the island of Mastrand opposite Gothenburg which we will use to base a fleet of warships to convoy our merchant ships through the Sound and into the Baltic.

Mon 20th Aug 1808 Extraordinary

Reports of a naval battle off Majorca say 8 British capital ships engaged 12 French and Spanish ships and achieved a bloody victory after many hours.

Sir Richard Strachan is said to have been killed along with 1,500 of his men but three enemy ships were sunk and six captured. We lost two ships sunk so its a victory.[284]

Mon 20th Aug 1808 Extraordinary

The English have a small garrison within Fort Scylla on the Italian mainland side of the Straits of Messina. It provides a measure of control over traffic in the Straits.

Sat 10th Sept 1808

Our treaty with Sweden requires us to pay the King £1.2 millions a year to continue his present policy and keep a reasonable army and navy in the Baltic.

Sat 17th Sept 1808

The King of Sweden has belatedly recognised the danger of his situation. It had appeared that the Baltic would protect him from Napoleon but Russia is now France’s ally. The Tsar has invaded Swedish Finland and will slowly approach. He does not need to march an army right around the Bothnian Gulf which would be difficult – he can use the Aland Islands as a short-cut direct to Stockholm.

The Swedish King’s policy has been based on the assumption that the commercially-minded Russian nobles would ensure the Tsar remained an enemy of France. The failure of his noble merchants before French arms has given the young Tsar the upper hand.

The Swedish King has sent his Adjutant von Damsfeldt to Paris to see if it is not too late to arrange an accommodation. Regardless of this, there appears to be no interruption in the preparations for a Russian maritime invasion of his country.

An important part of the invasion force against Sweden is made-up of Spaniards under the Marquis de Romagna. He is moving from Hamburg through Holstein to the Sound where a flotilla of transports is being assembled to carry him and his men across the Baltic.[285]

Sat 17th Sept 1808

The Morning Post is a government-funded London newspaper which receives and publishes leaks from the ministry.

Sat 24th Sept 1808

The Marquis Wellesley, instead of being impeached as some of the India Company’s Directors wished for the heavy expenses of his wars in Oudh and Poona, has sufficient support to not only escape that criticism but has been rewarded with appointment as a Secretary of State.

Sat 29th Oct 1808

The ladies of the Bourbon family are coming to England and the Marquis of Buckingham is preparing new quarters for them at Gosfield Hall, near Braintree in Essex. The Prince of Condé is at Wanstead where the self-proclaimed Louis XVIII visits him.

Sat 3rd Dec 1808

Seventy French military officers have been granted estates in Hanover by Napoleon. The rents are collectively worth 500,000 Florins a year.

Sat 3rd Dec 1808

All civil servants in Prussia have had their salaries halved.

Sat 21st Jan 1809

The future residence of the self-styled Louis XVIII in England is being completed at Gosfield Hall in Hartwell Park (the Editor has conflated Gosfield Hall in Essex with Hartwell House in Buckinghamshire, two estates occupied by Bourbons at this time). The Gosfield estate belongs to the Rev Sir George Lee who has leased it to the Bourbons for five years. Lee will remove from Gosfield as soon as the Duke and Duchess of Angouleme arrive in England from Mittau.

Sat 28th Jan 1809

Lord Berrington has prosecuted General Sir Arthur Paget in the criminal court on 19th July 1808 for seducing his wife. He won £10,000 in damages.

Sat 4th Feb 1809

The press in England has become quite successful. The daily London papers sell 10,000 copies; the papers printed every other day also about 10,000; the evening papers about 14,000; Sunday papers 20,000 and weekly journals about the same. The grand total is around 250,000 every week. The figures are ascertained from the Stamp Duty Office which collects a duty on every newspaper sold.

Sat 4th March 1809

On 10th May 1808, Pope Pius VII reiterated his perpetual authority as the Vicar of Christ on Earth and the proprietor of the ecclesiastical states of Urbino, Macerata, Ancona and Camerino[286]:

“I am like Daniel surrounded by lions; the vessel of St Peter entrusted to my care is combated by the fierce apostate whom I myself placed on the throne. He pants for the destruction of his mother Church to whom he formerly swore fidelity. The God of Israel will grant to His people strength and virtue. I am still extant though groaning under French chains. My rights will be recovered when it pleases God to do so. If you spill your blood for your religion, country and King the world shall be witness to my gratitude”

The Spanish uprising had commenced a few weeks before this Papal Proclamation, on the same day that the Spanish Royal Family abdicated. Spain has provided the first instance in which France faces a hostile populace. Throughout the rest of Europe France enjoys popular support which completely negates the hostility of aristocrats and clergy.

At about the same time, the Austrian Emperor promised the Spanish insurgents 100,000 muskets to support their rebellion. When Napoleon learned of it, he left Spain to his Generals and hurried to Germany to confront Austria where, by the use of paper money, the Emperor has amassed an army of 500,000 and invaded Bavaria and Italy (without declaring war – the Hapsburgs categorise those countries as rebel provinces). Napoleon determined the result of war in 48 hours.

Sat 1st April 1809

Hamburg, 20th August 1808 – Local newspapers report the Danish Generals Pyeman and Bielfeld who surrendered Copenhagen to the English are to be executed.

Sat 29th April 1809

The following is culled from a long article on the prospects of Italy:

“The Pope is a great corn factor – he buys all the grain grown in his states at a price he fixes himself and sells it to his subjects at the price necessary to provide his regal expenses.

“…… under the last Pope there were on average no less than 2,000 assassinations annually. It was a rare event for any one of these murderers to receive punishment. This impunity derived from the acts of the Pope’s valet de chambre who sold indulgences for any and all offences at reasonable prices.

“The ecclesiastical states provide the worst example of misrule but elsewhere in Italy conditions are rather better. All the Italian states with the exception of the Two Sicilies are Francophile.”

Tues 16th May 1809 Extraordinary

France has attacked Capri and recovered the island from us. Sir Sidney Smith captured it from its French garrison in May 1806. It was fortunate for us that the French surrendered at that time as it is difficult to attack. It is an excellent watering place and gives shelter to our ships. We had formerly used it to observe and interdict the maritime trade of the city of Naples and interfere in the political administration of the city.

Now our own commandant of Capri has surrendered the place to the French just before our reinforcements from Sicily arrived for his relief.

Mon 26th June 1809 Extraordinary

In the House of Commons, Colonel Wardle, MP for Okehampton, has accused the Duke of York as CiC of the British Army of using the Half Pay Fund for his private purposes. The Fund is comprised of the proceeds of sale of commissions of officers who die or are promoted or dismissed.

Wardle suspects the Duke is using Mrs Clarke, a girlfriend, to enlarge the fund. A variety of officers told Wardle they paid Mrs Clarke money for promotions. The money was sometimes held by Dr Donovan a military surgeon on the establishment of the London garrison but not required to perform duties. Wardle says Mrs Clarke uses the money to buy jewellery and silverware.

On her special tariff, a deputy Barrack Master at the Cape is worth £1,000; a majority £900, a captaincy £700 and an ensigncy £200. If payment was not made or not completely made, the officer appeared on the half-pay list until it was. This list is under the Duke of York’s control.

In 1804 and 1805 the government raised troops by levies and Mrs Clarke instituted a rate per man for this conscription.

A Committee of Enquiry has been formed to check the allegations. (Wardle is a new MP, elected in 1807, and an unknown quantity in the House)

Wed 28th June 1809 Extraordinary

More of Wardle MP and his complaint – the regular price of commissions is higher than Mrs Clarke’s tariff. A majority is routinely £2,000, a captaincy of a company £1,500, a lieutenancy £550 and an ensigncy £400 – Mrs Clarke is too cheap. Not only was she selling commissions and staff appointments but she was capable of augmenting the military force of the country by selling levies.

(the enquiry is reproduced in full in this and succeeding editions of the Bombay Courier through the summer until September)

Sat 8th July 1809

Napoleon’s embargo on British goods has for the first time in this long war brought the effects of commercial war into the British Isles. Merchants and bankers are complaining. The Russian Tsar remains firmly allied to France and continues to propose peace negotiations on any basis acceptable to George III.

George says he represents and negotiates for Britain, Portugal and the Two Sicilies. He is in alliance with Sweden and with the junta in Spain. He rejects the French suggestion that representatives of the Spanish insurgency attend the talks with delegations from the Portuguese Regent in Brazil and the King of Naples – he will speak for all of them.

He will not negotiate unless the Spanish King is represented.[287] Having given his terms, George III reiterates he is willing to talk.

Sat 22nd July 1809

The Bombay Courier Editor is concerned for the accuracy of the news he receives from London – English victory at Corunna, death of Napoleon, etc. – and the occasional irritated letter from new arrivals who are better informed. He says he just recites what he gets from the London papers brought by the shipping.

Sat 22nd July 1809

Rogo Barho has died. He is the man said by Morier in his book to have administered poison to the French sick and wounded in Egypt to permit Napoleon to remove from that country with his army more quickly. He said on his death bed that he would not have done it if he had been in good health.

Sat 29th Dec 1810

British account of Roget (or Rogo or Roger) Barho’s intoxication, on Napoleon’s orders, of 580 wounded soldiers at Jaffa whom he abandoned on his retreat to Syria. The event happened after the Battle of the Nile but has not been much discussed until Roget’s death, which has just been reported. Roget never admitted the occurrence but the émigré rumour, recited in British accounts, is that Napoleon ordered opium be added to the soldiers’ evening meal. The wounded men fell asleep and did not awake.

The first public notice of this event was in James P Morier’s 1801 book Campaign with the Ottoman Army.[288] He says after reducing El Arish the French took Gaza without resistance and advanced to Jaffa in Syria. They annihilated the garrison of that town. Later when the siege of Acre was raised and the French began their march to Egypt, all their wounded were put down by order of the General.

Napoleon publicly protested Morier’s account.

Robert Wilson’s subsequent 1802 book History of the Campaign in Egypt refers to General Hutchinson’s anger with his Turkish troops for mutilating and beheading their prisoners. The Captain Pasha remonstrated against Hutchinson saying their cruelty was justified by prior French cruelty in executing the Jaffa garrison. Wilson believes this evidences Napoleon’s determination and makes Morier’s version more plausible.

Sat 22nd July 1809

The Grand Duke Constantine, brother of Tsar Alexander, is the principal supporter of the French Republic at the Russian Court. Since the Tsar befriended France, he has become the target of assassins. His aide-de-camp has just been killed by an armed group of men but the Duke managed to run off.

Constantine published a reward of 100,000 Roubles for information on the attackers. A placard immediately appeared around Petersburg offering 200,000 Roubles for Constantine’s head.

The assassins seem to be well-funded. In a country where the last Tsar was removed by the merchants, it is dangerous to assert French principles.[289]

Sat 22nd July 1809

The Duke of York has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, now the House investigation into sale of commissions is concluded, to say he denies everything. The MPs are furious. They have been sitting long hours for a month and say they recognise the thrust of the information obtained and will not act unjustly.

The Duke attributes everything the MPs have heard to a wicked conspiracy against the House of Brunswick. He fears his chance for a fair trial has been destroyed.

Sat 22nd July 1809

Austria is importing unnecessarily large shipments of grain, mainly from Bavaria, and is expected to declare war against France again soon.

Napoleon has intercepted and published a letter from the Prussian Queen to her father the Duke of Mecklenburg saying she expects her husband to be restored to his former glory soon.

The Austrian Court is in secret communication with Russia reportedly in respect of action against France.

It looks as though another coalition is forming.

Sat 29th July 1809

25th February – the House of Commons was debating the war in Spain this evening but the MPs were disturbed by the flickering light of an immense fire consuming the Drury Lane Theatre. Many of them went out to Westminster Bridge to watch.

The leaden water cistern of the theatre collapsed with an explosion that shook the ground but the outflow of water had no discernible effect on the flames; then the roof fell in.

Since the death of the Duke of Bedford, the theatre belongs to Sheridan and others. It is worth in excess of £100,000 but is insured for only £40,000.[290]

Sat 29th July 1809

The Frankfurt Journal (quoted in Courier du Bas Rhin) says Austria has informed some of its friends in Germany that a new war with France is soon to commence and it will give them the signal.

The Frankfurt Journal Editor says those who intrigue to start war will likely be the first victims – they will be forced to exist on whatever pension the British ministry will allow them.

Sat 26th Aug 1809

Frederick, Duke of York, has submitted his resignation as CiC to his father and it has been accepted. General Sir David Dundas has been sworn-in to replace him. Dundas was first a surgeon in the army. Lt Col Gordon, the Duke of York’s secretary, is continuing as Dundas’ secretary. His job is worth £2,000 a year plus the extensive (but temporarily diminished) patronage. Gordon is also Colonel of the Royal Africa Corps which was recently raised for him.

General Clavering, one of the army’s MPs, has been accused of lying to the Select Committee investigating the sale of commissions and been arrested. In spite of the Attorney General’s public bias in favour of the Royal Family, this matter will not go away.

MPs are asking the AG why in this case, instead of representing the public as prosecutor, he is representing the defendant.

Both sides in the dispute over the Duke are saying that something has gone terribly wrong. The AG is running a defence of stupidity – the Duke was misled by people around him. Its preferable to corruption. Army MPs are saying the whole matter should be hushed-up as its damaging army discipline.

Another group play the patriotic card. The Duke is a good General and devotes his life to the interests of the country – his services should not be lost over one small lapse.

At the end of the debate, the Chancellor of the Exchequer proposed a motion that there is no evidence discovered by the Select Committee of personal corruption of the Duke. This won a 278 / 196 majority. Nevertheless, the Duke felt it appropriate to resign next day. He has abandoned Ms Carey, another paramour living in Fulham, and the house she was provided with has been re-let.

Sat 26th Aug 1809

The young Swedish King, who has been too boisterous diplomatically, has been replaced in March 1809 by Carl Lagerbring, Duke of Sudermania, an heir to the Goths and Vandals.

Lagerbring is installed as Swedish Regent and proposes to keep the peace and restore commerce. The young King’s party has been arrested and imprisoned.

Sat 26th Aug 1809

The King has, inter alia, appointed Henry John, Viscount Palmerston, a vice Admiral of the Red.

Sat 16th Sept 1809

24th April – an Austrian diplomat has arrived in London to collect the £6 million subsidy that his government is to receive for opening another front against Napoleon. He came via Hamburg and Heligoland to Harwich on the Lark packet.

The war in Spain has not been going well and we imperatively need a new front to take the load off the Spanish guerrillas. The emissary will discuss means of transferring the silver to Vienna. The ministry has asked the London representative of the Spanish junta to contribute to this loan – they only control Cadiz but that gives them access to the South American silver supply.

Sat 7th Oct 1809

Napoleon has rushed from Spain to Germany in forced marches and administered a terrible rebuke on the Austrian army – 100 cannon captured, 50,000 troops made prisoner, 3,000 wagons of baggage captured, etc. He has again occupied Vienna and the Hapsburgs have again gone on tour.

On the other hand, the Archduke Charles has simultaneously reported a magnificent victory over the French to the Austrian Emperor. He says Napoleon’s men were routed near the Isle of Lobau in the Danube and are in full retreat.

Sat 7th Oct 1809

Napoleon is protecting the flower of French womanhood. He has created two nunneries at Ecouen and St Denis, each for 300 girls, and restricted entrance to the daughters, sisters, nieces and cousins of members of the Legion of Honour. The only males permitted access are Grand Dignitaries of the Empire.

Sat 21st Oct 1809

M/s Chateaubriand, de Guoyon, Quintal and Boise Lucas Jr have been convicted in France on 31st March of spying for England. They were caught with incriminating papers boarding a boat for London and three were shot the next day.

Boise Lucas Jr was pardoned by Napoleon in view of his youth and apparent ignorance of the purposes of his colleagues.[291]

Sat 21st Oct 1809

The Edinburgh Review has published a commentary on the French Code of the Conscription. It is part of the revised legal code shaping French society. The other parts are the civil, rural, commercial and criminal codes.

The first impression of the reviewer is that the Conscription Code is sufficiently comprehensive to preclude all possibility of evasion. Even volunteers to the French service receive no bounty (the payment given to English soldiers on volunteering) – they are expected to offer their services for patriotic reasons. Indeed the fundamental ideology permeating the whole Code is that the interests of the citizen are identical to the interests of the state. Conscription has been the foundation of French military power.

The Code was first published in 1798 (pre-Napoleon) and has been occasionally revised but without any material change. It was largely the work of Carnot whose model was the relevant provisions in the Constitution of the Roman Republic which made every citizen a soldier up to the age of 46 years.

The terms of the Conscription Code are triggered by the Directory with a declaration of national danger. It is initially applied to citizens aged 20 – 25 years and the military requirement is filled in order, from the youngest to the oldest. To make its application equal in all parts of France, the country is organised in Departments, divided into Arrondisements, sub-divided into Cantons and again into Municipalities which each contain some 55,000 people. Government is strictly hierarchical.

The French have a fascination with universal monarchy. Rousseau wrote of it in his Project for Perpetual Peace. So did Montesquieu in the Spirit of Law and Mably in Observations on the Romans. The population of France was estimated in 1789 at 25 millions. Peuchet now estimates it (1807) at 35 millions exclusive of Tuscany.

Sat 21st Oct 1809

In Ramel’s History of the Finances of the Republic it is noted that from 1790, when Assignats were first issued, until 1801 (11 years), the value of national lands sold-off by the government (mainly the estates of the church and some émigré aristocrats) totalled the equivalent of £100 million. In the year 1803 the value of confiscated lands sold had reduced to about 18 million Francs.

Sat 21st Oct 1809

All the British Orders-in-Council restricting international trade to that which England authorises may have back-fired, according to the critical Edinburgh Review.

Each new restriction has induced French reciprocity by modification of the restrictions she herself imposes on Europe which is now, except for a handful of ports, sealed against our merchants.

Sat 18th Nov 1809

Captain Christie of the Fifeshire militia has been tried by court-martial for calling Major Rutherford (his CO) an idiot. The award of the Court will remain secret until it has H M’s approval.

Wed 6th Dec 1809 Extraordinary

The Cape packet has arrived from Basra bringing letters from Europe via Baghdad up to 18th September.

It turns out the earlier Austrian reports of victory were incorrect and the French obtained a decisive result at Aspern on 2nd July. The Austrian commander sought an armistice that was granted on 12th July.

Pressburg, Raab, Gratz, Prague and Brunn were occupied by France as security for performance. The Austrian emperor however refused to ratify the armistice.

Sat 16th Dec 1809

London newspapers, 14th June:

  • Last Saturday’s Gazette was swollen by a 9-page list of debtors who have taken the benefit of the new Insolvent Act.
  • Lord Harrowby has assumed the Presidency of the Board of Control from Castlereagh who had to forego it in light of his parliamentary embarrassments.[292]

Sat 9th Dec 1809

British allies in the struggle with Napoleon are presently:

  • Portugal, of which the ruler and his court along with several ten thousands of his nobles have emigrated to Rio leaving the homeland government under British supervision,
  • Spain through our alliance with the merchants of Cadiz whom the Seville junta represents. They are fearful of a British take-over in South America and willing to take measures to pre-empt that event.
  • Austria, which has just been conclusively defeated at Aspern, but has diverted the French armies from Spain and allowed us to consolidate there, and
  • Sweden were the young impetuous King has been imprisoned and the country taken over by a Regency friendly to commerce.

The rest of Europe is in Napoleon’s camp with the possible exception of Prussia which King is resentful of England, having lost half his kingdom due he believes to inadequate British support, but fearful of and unequal to French power.

Sat 16th Dec 1809

Napoleon has belatedly responded to the Pope’s call to the people of Spain to rebel against France. A Decree has been issued to take effect on 1st January 1810.

On that day the Papal states are united with France. Rome is declared an imperial free city. Its government will be regulated under a separate decree. The monuments of Roman grandeur will be preserved at the expense of the French Imperial treasury. The Pope’s public debts become debts of the Empire. The nett revenue of the Papal states available to the Pontiff will be reduced to 2 million Francs. The possessions and palaces of the Pope will be exempt from taxation. A Consultum is to be formed on 1st July 1809 to organise the transition.

The Consultum’s first act was to proclaim that Rome would continue to be the seat of the Pope and the Vatican, both of which institutions were to be forever freed of foreign interference and raised above mundane concerns by a guaranteed income. The genius of the Romans will be patronised by France and no longer rely on your labour.

Sgd Salicetti & Januet for Count Miolis, Governor General and President

Tues 23rd Jan 1810 Extraordinary

We have news via Basra that a British expedition to the Scheldt has landed on the islands of Walcheren and Goree and commenced its march towards Antwerp. Flushing has been taken where the arsenal was found to contain valuable naval stores.

The Austrian Emperor is on holiday in the east of his realms and currently holds Court at Buda. He has refused Napoleon’s peace terms saying they must be compatible with his honour and the integrity of his empire. Prince Charles has been obliged to resign command of the Austria army to Prince Liechtenstein who enjoys the reputation of a brave and skilful general.

The French are retreating in Spain. They sustained a heavy defeat by Sir Arthur Wellesley at Talavira on 27th – 28th July. It was a battle of the bayonet and British losses exceeded 5,000 men.[293]

This opening of new fronts is dividing the French armies and giving us better chances against their overall strength but its expensive.

Sat 3rd Feb 1810

The French Royalist émigré General Chasteller is accused of atrocities.[294]

On 10th April, before the Danube campaign commenced between Austria and France, Chasteller, who commands the Tyrolese insurgents (they oppose the cession of Tyrol to Bavaria by treaty), encountered 700 French conscripts marching through the Tyrol to rejoin their regiment at Augsburg. They had a passport of the Austrian Emperor to cross his lands. Chasteller took them out in small groups and executed them all. The following day at the same place Chasteller also massacred 1,800 Bavarians who were marching through the Tyrol under the same authority. Innsbruck then fell to the Tyrolean insurgency.

Napoleon issued an order for Chasteller’s delivery to a military tribunal as soon as he has been captured and for his subsequent execution.[295]

The Austrian Emperor Francis, on learning of the French response, instructed his brother Charles, who has command of the army, to remove the two captured French Generals, Durosnel and Foulers, into his own custody and to punish them precisely as the French punish Chasteller.

Napoleon responded by sending his prisoners Prince Colloredo, Prince Metternich, the Count de Pergen and Count Frederick de Harddeck to Paris to answer for the lives of the two French Generals. He has captured 40 Field Marshals, 36 Generals and a huge number of other officers who are being fed and housed at French expense in the usual way. Tit-for-tat is not a game the Austrians can win.

The city of Vienna and the states of Lower Austria have petitioned Napoleon (he is living at Schoenbrunn). They recognise the cost of this spat to Austria would be far greater than the cost to France and they wish to send a deputation to Emperor Francis to solicit his reconsideration. Napoleon has agreed to retain the four named aristocrats at Vienna until the political deputation returns.

Francis told the mediators that France is already in possession of upper and lower Austria, Croatia, Carniola, Carinthia, Styria and most of Hungary as well as the imperial capital and the information he receives is mingled-up with all sorts of misinformation and forgeries. He says he has not actually heard of any atrocities in the Tyrol and his present intention is to conciliate France and not irritate her further.

When Napoleon heard this he assumed that the Emperor had lost control of his Empire and others were issuing instructions in his name (the safe conduct issued to the massacred French troops was in the name of Francis). He notes the Archdukes Palatine and Rainier always wished for peace and the Empress too, since the war has gone so badly. Amongst the Austrian nobility there is only the Archduke Maximilian who wants war and he has been sent-off to Hungary. By elimination, he somewhat suspects England is directing Austrian army aggression but he lacks proof.

Tues 6th Feb 1810 Extraordinary

Lt General Lord Chatham has reported on the Walcheren expedition. They left England on 28th July and arrived at the Scheldt the following day. They landed unopposed near the fort of Haak. Middleburg, Ramakens and the other nearby villages capitulated. Flushing was taken except the citadel. The island of South Boveland was occupied on 1st August and its town of Goes surrendered the same day. 120 pieces of Dutch artillery were captured. Many prisoners have been sent to England.[296]

Tues 6th Feb 1810 Extraordinary

A Russian flotilla has been captured near Percola in the Gulf of Finland. It consisted of 8 gunboats and 12 ammunition boats.

Sat 10th Feb 1810

On 10th July, Napoleon wrote to the Archduke Charles, CiC of the Austrian army, after the frightful battle of Znaim:

“Conqueror of Aspern, both our armies need to bury their dead. I propose an armistice of two months. Let Ulm and Austerlitz be forgotten. Let no third power prevent the re-establishment of peace. Remember the happiness of Lunéville and return the sword to its scabbard. Remember Zunaym’s words – ‘these heroes knew the greatness of each other’s souls.’”

On 26th July, the Archduke Charles proclaimed to his men:

A good many officers and particularly Generals have been publishing disgusting opinions commending peace with France. Our military valour has won French esteem. Even in retreat we are formidable. We have survived the murderous battles of 9th and 10th July and forced the enemy to ask for armistice. Most armies love fighting and glory but ours dishonours itself with talk of fault and blunder. Those who hold these views will be dismissed if they do not instantly resign.

Sat 10th Feb 1810

Court of King’s Bench, Dublin 13th May 1809.

Judgment in the case of the King on behalf of Henry Browne v Manus Blake:

“Manus Blake you have been found guilty of duelling with Colonel Browne and of using insulting language to provoke that gentleman to challenge you.

“On 9th April you accosted Browne in the street demanding satisfaction saying he offended you. You said you had formerly been prevented from expressing your feelings due to his senior rank. Browne declined your challenge saying the Law of the Land was adequate to address all injuries. You called him a coward and a poltroon and other shocking things too base to mention.

“You are convicted of intent to commit murder. The law of this country and of God holds life sacred. You break that law, whether you skulk behind a hedge like an assassin or stand in manly fashion in a duel. Browne’s refusal to rise to your baiting deserves the esteem of every wise and virtuous man in the community. You have been an officer in H M’s army. What would be the state of our defence if every officer holds his personal interests as important as those of the state? I will tell you Sir – every ruffian will tread down the law with impunity, military discipline will collapse and our tribunals will be superseded by the sword as arbiter of right and wrong.

“You are to be imprisoned for six months and you will find sureties each in £25 for your good behaviour for the next seven years.”

Editorial – duelling has been a popular activity of late. Its not only military officers who concern themselves with honour; the King’s two principal Secretaries of State (and principal advisers in his Council) – Castlereagh and Canning – had a go recently on Putney Heath and Canning has a hole in his right thigh to prove it, but there was no suggestion they be prosecuted, they instead resigned on 11th October.

Canning had aroused Castlereagh’s anger by ridiculing the expedition to the Scheldt, which was Castlereagh’s project, and preferring an attack in Pomerania or Spain, but those suggestions were mere matters of opinion.

It however went further – Castlereagh was infuriated to discover that the Etonian Canning had proposed to the Duke of Portland as early as last March, and repeatedly since then, that he should convince the King to remove the Irishman from the War ministry and replace him with Lord Wellesley. Effectively, certain secret aspects of war policy were concealed from Castlereagh and conducted by Canning. Castlereagh was left with the expedition to the Scheldt and some subsequent expeditions assuming that was the totality of British war projects. He met Canning almost daily and never suspected what was being done. He now suspects the failure of the Scheldt expedition was intended by Canning to be the cause of his removal. Effectively Canning had Castlereagh’s dismissal in his pocket and was simply awaiting an appropriate time to deliver it. His first recommendation was made after the failure to invest Antwerp but that and Canning’s subsequent demands were repeatedly frustrated by Portland. Ultimately Portland resigned before Castlereagh. That induced Canning to likewise resign. No-one is going to trust him again.

Its a provocative thing for a Minister to intend the removal of his war secretary but still entrust him with an expedition of 100,000 soldiers and sailors, the biggest action that Britain has taken in this war. It is more provocative to think that in our present danger our affairs are in the hands of men who deceive and shoot at each other. What happened to the sacrifices formerly made for unanimity, to collective responsibility? Is this war serious with us or just a commercial game for personal profit?

Napoleon will understand the significance of this duel even if we overlook it. Wilfully shooting at another Briton with intent to hurt is a felony punishable by death. Nevertheless these felons remain at large. Unequal treatment at law is the root of misrule.

When Castlereagh got a whiff of the conspiracy after the corruption debate in the Commons, he put it to Canning who admitted it, saying it was his duty to King and country. This was the reason assigned in Castlereagh’s letter to Canning demanding satisfaction.

Canning blames Camden for failing to keep Castlereagh informed of his acts. He also ridiculed Castlereagh’s bartering of an Indian writership for a seat in parliament but this risked Castlereagh’s total removal from government whereas Canning only sought his removal from the war ministry.

It seems an unrelated matter but note that Canning’s Royal support comes from the Princess of Wales – she may be concerned for the reputation of the Brunswick family in light of her brother-in-law’s embarrassments as CiC and wish to show that sale of offices is customary in London (See the Political Management chapter for better details).

Mon 19th Feb 1810 Extraordinary

Lord Chatham’s attack on Antwerp was postponed as Bernadotte, the Duke of Ponte Corvo and Governor of the City, had assembled too considerable a force.

The prior attack on Flushing cost us 1,800 men and that town was almost totally destroyed before the garrison would agree to surrender.

The majority of the expedition is returning to England but 10,000 men have been left in Flushing and we have retained Walcheren for the protection of our smuggling trade into Bergen op Zoom.

Mon 19th Feb 1810 Extraordinary

Napoleon was ultimately successful in his discussions with the Archduke Charles and an armistice of one month with 15 days notice thereafter was agreed after Znaim.

Sat 24th Feb 1810

Reports from Dresden say the Austrians sustained a serious defeat from the French at Wagram. General Norman was killed; the Prince of Hesse-Homburg, the Prince of Liechtenstein, the Archduke Charles and Generals Stutterheim and Paar were wounded; Generals Vecsey, d’Aspre and Vukassofich were captured.

Sat 24th Feb 1810

Napoleon has intercepted the correspondence of ‘this wretch’ Gentz with Stadion and finally got something solid on English influence on Austrian policy. Gentz was Grenville’s man. He has been a British pensioner since late 1808, employed to write polemics in German against Napoleon.

He was made an imperial counsellor of Austria and reported to Stadion. He drafted the Austrian declaration of war. On making peace Stadion was dismissed and Gentz lost influence.

The correspondence has not yet been published.

Sat 3rd March 1810

Lord Chatham landed at Deal from HMS Venerable and is on his way to London. He commends our withdrawal from Walcheren. A couple of years ago, when Nelson landed at Deal, the local people turned out and rushed into the surf to bring his boat ashore. At Chatham’s landing the people held back and all was gloom and silence although the surf was up and the boat made a difficult landing. We suppose the people suspect his culpability in the failure of the Scheldt expedition although a formal enquiry has not yet been decided upon. Communications with Walcheren take just one day from London. It seems ministers might have been able to influence proceedings had they been of a mind to do so.

Chatham says the expedition was misconceived due to under-estimating the extent of opposition. By 29th August, the French had assembled at least 35,000 men against our force. Our losses have been high and there are still 8,000 men in hospital at the beach-head. There is an infectious fever that has affected our garrison and funerals have become so frequent we have discontinued military honours for them. We are able to muster about 35 men per company. Regiments that have been ordered home are unable to leave for want of transports. Those that have transports are sick – Picton and his entire staff had to be carried to the wharf. All the Generals have left or are leaving. Command has devolved on Colonel Hay of the Royals. Without the expected possession of Antwerp it will be difficult to maintain our presence here. Chatham’s maximum force is now 22,000 men and 2,000 cavalry.

Strangely, the battalion of Royal Marines under Sir Eyre Coote is at full strength and shows no trace of the disease. The War Office attributes it to Coote’s better management.[297]

Sat 3rd March 1810

Sweden and Denmark have agreed peace with Russia and France. Sweden cedes Finland to Russia. Another term is reported to be the exclusion of British shipping from Baltic ports but this is uncertain. The British ministry says it has been expecting difficulty with its Baltic policy since the coup d’etat that toppled the young Swedish King.

Sat 3rd March 1810

The new Francophobe Duke of Brunswick, Frederick William, is staying at Newport, Isle of Wight. About 1,500 of his followers are with him and 800 more are on their way. This is all that is left of the George III’s German Legion of 8,000 troops. The rest perished at the Elbe or were captured due to the inadequate supply of transports to get them off. The Duke is nevertheless very popular with his men.

Meanwhile 22,000 men who are surplus to the defence of Walcheren have returned to England. 8,000 remain of whom a large minority are sick. The problem is re-infection. The men appear to be recovering, then relapse and die. They all hate living on Walcheren.

Sat 10th March 1810

Corporal punishment for desertion from the army has been abolished (except at the German Legion depot on Isle of Wight). Instead deserters are now transferred to the condemned regiments. There are now 700 of them detained in two prison ships at Medina, Isle of Wight, awaiting transfer.

Sat 10th March 1810

All the silverware and the gold chandeliers of the Prussian ruling house have been melted down and sent to Paris as part of the reparations required.

Sat 10th March 1810

There is a general intolerance, occasionally amounting to hatred, of Jews in London. The banker John King is the present target.

The novelist and wife of Major Plunkett, daughter of General Gunning, has been accused by King (in handbills he has posted around London) of forging her husband’s signature on notes for loans King made to her of totally £3,000. The handbills offer a reward of £100 for the arrest of Mrs Plunkett for forgery. They have thus attracted the attention of all the scallywag debt collectors in the City and a couple of London bailiffs arrested her in Devonshire on King’s complaint and brought her to London where she appeared at Marlborough Street Magistracy to answer King’s charge.

King then amended his complaint to a single case of forgery of a note for £70. The magistrate treated the amendment with ineffable contempt and bailed Mrs Plunket in £2,000 which was instantly tendered by two of her supporters and she was freed. The judicial contempt for King was tangible. A complaint has been made that his handbills were published without legal authority.

A few days later the magistrate examined Mrs Plunkett again in camera. We understand that no new evidence was adduced. The ‘ruthless son of Abraham’ is known for his plausibility but this time his prey is nearly related to the noble house of Argyle as well as being a popular and well-respected writer.

When the case came on for hearing it was James Northwood, a surveyor, who represented the complainant. He has a sideline negotiating money transactions. The Magistrate found a case to answer against Plunkett and committed her to the superior court for a hearing before a jury.

Sat 10th March 1810

General Lacroix has written to Sir John Stuart on 1st July 1809:

Lacroix represents the new French King of the Two Sicilies. He has received a letter from General Colunas claiming to write on behalf of the Sicilian people. He declines to enter into correspondence with rebels. He however notes that a group of Sicilian rebels headed by Marco the Caccipopuli, have landed in Calabria in southern Naples and have been guilty of murder and cannibalism.

Marco has surrendered to the King and says he landed at Vico from a British warship in Stuart’s squadron. He has three brothers still aboard the warship. Lacroix writes:

“It appears that you are harbouring rebels contrary to your earlier letter denying any knowledge of or support for them. In view of this unfortunate development we can correspond no more with you, neither can we permit the further exchange of prisoners that you request. The prisoners taken at Palmi and recently at Scilla are being sent into France. Our authority has now been re-established throughout Calabria.”

Sir John replied that he has never heard of Sr Caccipopuli.

Sat 17th March 1810

Guernsey, 4th October – Information has arrived from Cherbourg reporting that Napoleon has experienced a meditative state at Schoenbrunn. It was a kind of trance that lasted over an hour. Doctors have been sent from Paris.

The trance is supposed to have been induced by overwork.

Sat 17th March 1810

The peace treaty between Austria and France done at Vienna on 14th October 1809 is reproduced in this edition. It has 18 articles. The 16th is:

“Austria desires maritime peace and adheres to the prohibitory system adopted by Russia and France against England during the continuance of the maritime war. The Austrian Emperor will cause all communications with England to cease.”

Sat 24th March 1810

The Edinburgh Review has commented unfavourably on the cost of our foreign military expeditions. They say the country cannot afford to waste money so long as our commercial policy diminishes our trade.

Sat 24th March 1810

Dr Blane has concluded his investigation of the sickness affecting the British troops on Walcheren. It is due to an epidemic which occurs annually in the area in autumn.

He recommends the sick be removed elsewhere until the disease naturally ends. That means our remaining 6,000 men are to return.

Sat 24th March 1810

On 11th October Sir Sidney Smith married at St James’ Church. His bride is the relict of Sir George Rumbold who died 1807. The only people present for the ceremony were Mr Rolleson, who is a Gazette writer, and Lady Rumbold’s teenage daughter Emily.

Sat 24th March 1810

The Governor and Directors of the Bank of England have paid a bonus of one Guinea to each of their 927 clerks to enable them to celebrate the King’s Jubilee (50 years on the throne) with a dinner.

The Admiralty is issuing extra rations of fresh beef, flour, raisons, wine and rum to all naval ratings for the same celebration.

Sat 24th March 1810

October 1809 promotions:

  • Henry John, Viscount Palmerston, is made Secretary at War.
  • Alexander Johnstone is appointed Chief Justice of Ceylon.
  • Sir William Sidney Smith is promoted to Rear Admiral of the Red.

Sat 28th April 1810

Villiers, our man in Lisbon, is replaced by Henry Wellesley. That gives the Wellesley family control of the Peninsular war. Henry administers Portugal; Lord Wellesley directs the junta at Cadiz and Arthur commands the Anglo / Spanish / Portuguese army.

Sat 28th April 1810

Napoleon has united the ceded Austrian provinces of Fiume and Trieste with part of Croatia and Dalmatia and some other adjacent lands and made it into one province to be called Illyria. He has appointed his Counsellor of State Douchy to be the Intendant General of Illyria.

Sat 5th May 1810

Part of the French peace treaty with Austria involved a cession of land to the Duchy of Warsaw which somewhat recreates the old kingdom of Poland. The Poles are delighted and a Jubilee is planned to celebrate Napoleon’s birthday – he is ‘the restorer of our liberties and our Constitution,’ they say.

Sat 12th May 1810

For sale by J Mitchell & Co of Bombay – One complete set of views of the victories of Bonaparte’s armies in Italy and of the more recent battles of Ulm, Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland, etc., from sketches made by French and Italian artists. A valuable collection for the historian. 1,700 Rupees.

Sat 12th May 1810

European news:

  • Napoleon and Josephine were divorced on 16th December 1809. She cannot give him an heir upon whom to found a dynasty. She’s gone to Malmaison, he to the Trianon. It has caught the heart of the country. They are truly in love. Thus Napoleon takes up the cross of Charlemagne, Philip Augustus, Louis XII and Henry IV.
  • The Swedish peace treaty with Russia, France and Denmark accedes to ‘the cause of the continent’ and excludes British shipping and people from Swedish ports. The deposed King Gustav is living in Switzerland.
  • English troops evacuated Flushing on 22nd December and destroyed all the military works and stores before departure.
  • Napoleon’s brother Louis is in trouble. He is King of the Netherlands and invariably supports his Dutch merchants against French policy. Napoleon has now threatened to incorporate Holland within France if the Dutch do not cease smuggling English goods.
  • Le Moniteur reports the French army has been doubled – it is now composed of 1.2 million men.

Sat 12th May 1810

General Monnet, the late French commander at Flushing, is under investigation for surrendering that town to the English. The enquiry has not found evidence of treason or cowardice but it has incidentally discovered he was taxing the merchants to permit the export of Geneva Gin from 1803 – 1806 and pocketing the proceeds. He is in trouble for that.

Sat 12th May 1810

The City has petitioned the King for an enquiry into the planning of the Scheldt expedition. The King has refused it.

Perceval is Chancellor of the Exchequer and he has given Palmerston the War ministry.

Sat 12th May 1810

The new Persian ambassador to London was effectively detained in his hotel until the King returned to London. It is Persian etiquette not to show oneself until one has presented one’s credentials. He was ‘released’ on 20th December when the ceremony occurred at the Queen’s Palace.

The India Company needs Persian co-operation to exclude France from their territory. The Persians, for their part, want a British minister in Teheran to help them with the Russians.

We were determined to show the ambassador the utmost respect and he was permitted to enter the Queen’s Palace through the great doors which are normally reserved solely for the use of royalty; everyone else has to go through the lodge. He is a handsome and affable chap and apparently very friendly – he has 63 children, 6 of whom were born on the same day. (Editor’s Note – this is Abu’l-Hasan Shirazi. His unpublished diary of this mission is drawn upon by C A Storey in his book Persian Literature, Vol 1, Part 2. Shirazi was accompanied by the India Company’s officer James Morier. His mission was to quantify the subsidy offered by Britain and means of its payment)

When he left the Queen’s Palace, the crowd gave him three cheers. Soon afterwards Sir Gore Ouseley was appointed minister to Persia. Once the Persian ambassador heard of the appointment he commenced preparations to go home. He will leave in March.

Sat 12th May 1810

Wardle, the MP who exposed the sale of commissions to the House of Commons, was later sued by Mrs Clarke, one of the Duke of York’s girlfriends, for a debt of £2,000 in respect of furniture she said he had given her. Wardle as Defendant was not allowed to give evidence in the case and lost it.

Later he asked Ellenborough for a retrial and rather well established that the prosecution case was tainted. Ellenborough was concerned it went against the rules that judges impose on themselves to mete out justice but was persuaded to let Wardle have a ‘Rule to Shew Cause’.

Sat 19th May 1810

The Memorial from the Court of the City of London to the King about Walcheren was originally rather strongly-worded but ministers obtained a revision.

Mr Waithman’s original proposal, which was adopted by the Court, refers to City ‘grief and indignation’ at the recent ‘unwise, ill-digested, ill-conducted and calamitous’ expedition to the Scheldt whereby the blood and treasure of Britain have been ‘scandalously wasted’.

It accused H M’s confidential advisers of being ‘regardless of the sufferings of the people and the honour of the King’ and ‘insensible or indifferent to the dangers and impending fate of the country’. They have instead engaged in ‘contemptible squabbles, intrigues and cabals, disreputable to government and ruinous to the country.’ It attributes a long train of grievances to ‘the corruption and abuse of the state and the consequent want of constitutional parliamentary control over public expenditure and the ministers of the Crown,’ which latter it designates as irresponsible. The merchants prayed for an enquiry into the plans and instructions upon which the expedition was based, and into the conduct and competence of the commanding officers, and they beseech HM to instantly reconvene parliament to do so.

The ministerial revision however is a humble approach to HM for his graceful condescension in convening parliament to consider ‘the disastrous failure of the Walcheren expedition’ and to consider ‘the unhappy dissensions that have prevailed amongst ministers’ which we fear may prejudice the interests of the nation. It prays for an enquiry into causes.

The King says ‘no – it will be for my parliament to consider appropriate action.’

Sat 19th May 1810

London, 8th December – three convoys, totalling 300 ships, have arrived here from Russia with hemp and flax. It represents many years of national consumption. The involved merchants are asking for permission to export the bulk of it but the ministry is inattentive to their views. They do not know when they can get a further supply of Russian hemp and the Royal Navy prefers it to others.

Sat 2nd June 1810

The rumour of Lord Melville’s return to power has its basis in an offer of the job of Colonial Secretary that Perceval made to Melville’s son, Robert Dundas. Dundas said he would have to ask Dad and Dad said he wanted a job too.

Perceval said giving Melville a job might have been possible for Pitt but he himself found it too difficult. He said if Melville would give his support, he would commend the King to grant Melville an Earldom. Melville replied that Perceval must be crazy if he thought the King would grant him an Earldom. He said he would vilify Perceval’s administration to everyone.

Sat 9th June 1810

Napoleon has finally taken the Dutch crown from his brother Louis – he has been overly solicitous of the Dutch merchants. He is to get the compensation of the Portuguese crown now the House of Braganza has emigrated.

Sat 30th June 1810

Europe news – Napoleon has married the Arch-Duchess Maria Louisa, daughter of the Emperor of Austria, at Vienna on 5th March. The Arch-Duke Charles officiated as Napoleon’s proxy.

Sat 7th July 1810

French note to Baron de Roell, Dutch Foreign Minister, 14th January 1810:

France is having a problem with your people. They are consummate traders and cannot abstain from the practice. The Berlin and Milan Decrees are anathema to them. Twice the French Customs Houses have been closed to Dutch goods and this prevents the lawful trade of the Netherlands with Europe. The Customs Houses are closed at this moment (March 1810) but the Dutch are addicted to trade and circumvent the embargo by smuggling. They are selling some Dutch goods but the bulk of their trade is actually British manufactures and British colonial produce. This is irritating Napoleon – his own brother is King of the Dutch and is supposed to be supporting him.

The Emperor is particularly annoyed by what appears to be pro-British activity. When the English launched their Walcheren expedition, the fort at Weere, which might have opposed the landing was neither armed nor provisioned; the military post at Batz, which should have seriously inconvenienced if not frustrated the British landing, had its garrison withdrawn hours before the British arrived (Batz was where the expedition landed).

France sought to make peace with England at Tilsit and again at Erfurt but both overtures were rejected. Even a discussion on prisoner exchange at Morlaix was avoided when the English ministry thought it might tend towards peace negotiations. Then the Order-in-Council of November 1807 introduced the twin concepts of universal British hegemony and eternal war. Since then there has been no discernible prospect of a negotiated peace with Britain.

It remains to be seen if the recent change in British ministry will restore the chance for peace. Should the King’s Speech, shortly to be made to parliament, reveal no such intention, France will take effective steps to restrain the Dutch merchants and restore the embargo on English goods. That will mean a French garrison in every Dutch port – effectively a reversion to the state of the country in 1794. The merchants of Holland should not expect their interests to outweigh the interests of Europe. Sgd Duke of Cadore

Sat 7th July 1810

Since the Pope called on the Spanish people to revolt against their King, France has been perfecting its plans for Rome.

It will be the second city of the Empire after Paris. The old Papal States are divided into two parts – Rome and the rest. The City will send 7 Deputies to the French Imperial legislature. The Papal lands will send 4.

The Pope is divested of all worldly concerns and property so he may focus on his pastoral role. He is to have 2 millions a year and several palaces throughout the Empire.

Popes are to act in accordance with the four propositions made by the Assembly of the Clergy of the Gallican Church in 1682.[298]

Sat 7th July 1810

Cobbett’s Political Register:

Windham is a man of strong views. He was the first to reprobate the sale of parliamentary seats, once it was published. He is always quick to defend or apologise for the proceedings of parliament. He is a man schooled to value literacy and honour and he professes an ineffable contempt of merchants and those who struggle for greater wealth.

When it comes to bankruptcy, even through no fault of the debtor’s own, he expresses an abhorrence that is hard to understand. Everyone knows one or two excellent men who have unexpectedly found themselves unable to pay their way. Windham makes bankruptcy seem contemptible. When he takes a position, if there is a bankrupt amongst those holding the opposite view, it always gets a notice in his pronouncements.

Windham holds that bankruptcy is a slur on a man’s character.

Sat 21st July 1810

The Arch Duchess Maria Louisa seems very taken with Napoleon and is not ‘the lamb to the sacrifice’ of English newspaper reports. She is one of very few people who can read Napoleon’s writing. He writes everything in such haste – its more scrawl than style – but she has no problem with it. She does not connect Napoleon with the execution of her mother at all. Her father caught her looking joyful shortly before her marriage and asked why. She said she had just read Le Moniteur and was jubilant at French successes in Spain!

There is a very great part of the European population who delight in the forthcoming marriage. It is widely expected to provide a solid basis to future peace. This is foremost a political marriage. It will be done by proxy in Vienna on 11th March.

Sat 18th Aug 1810

France has been experimenting on ways to compensate for the lack of colonial goods. An attempt to grow cotton in the Gironde has been abandoned but grape sugar is being used in place of cane sugar.[299]

Sat 8th Sept 1810

The Russian Tsar has taken fright at the union of Napoleon with Maria Louisa. His advisers say this will diminish his influence amongst the Slavs of south east Europe who live under Austrian protection. France’s arrangements for a revival of Poland are a further concern for Russia. He would normally ally himself with Prussia but that country is not what it used to be.

Sweden is resentful of the results of her recent war with Russia and a serious revolution is continuing in Finland which the Swedes where reluctantly obliged to cede to Russia. The Tsar is surrounded by threats on all sides. At home, he has to satisfy the commercial interests of his aristocrats – not something on which France can offer much help.

British newspapers are naturally playing on his fears. They say the Emperor of all the Russias will soon be just Tsar of Muscovy.

Sat 29th Sept 1810

The French and Dutch governments have made a new treaty on 30th March 1810. The Dutch government pledges to extirpate the smuggling trade through its provinces. It is agreed that trade between Holland and England will cease until the British Order-in-Council of November 1807 is withdrawn.

A combined FrancoDutch force and French Customs officers will be deployed at the mouths of all the rivers to ensure compliance. The troops will be maintained by the Dutch government. All ships arrested shall be considered as Prizes.

Once the Order-in-Council is withdrawn, the French troops will evacuate Holland and Dutch independence will be restored. The Dutch agree to provide a squadron of 9 capital ships and 6 frigates to cruise off the Dutch coast commencing 1st June 1810. The Dutch will also supply 100 gunboats for river patrols.

All merchandise imported by the armed smugglers since 1st February 1810 will be surrendered to the French government. The prohibition on English goods in Holland is recited.

The next few articles relate to General Sarrazin. Thereafter the reports resume their chronological order.

Sat 20th Oct 1810

General Sarrazin, 2ic of the Boulogne garrison, which port is essentially involved in any invasion of England, has defected.[300]

He was previously captured during the early part of the war, induced to agree to help the émigré cause, and exchanged on 8th October 1798 for General Sir Harry Burrard. Thereafter he assisted the British.

French investigations of the Commandant of Antwerp subsequent to our attempted occupation have revealed widespread assistance for the British invasion of Flanders, and all sorts of British spies, inter alia Lt General Sarrazin, were exposed. In a way, he was unlucky.

He fled France in a rowing boat with his African servant and was picked-up by one of our blockading cruisers and brought to Dover. He was kept incommunicado until Shaw, the King’s Messenger, arrived and escorted him to London.

Sat 5th Sept 1812

Lt General Sarrazin, whilst commandant at Boulogne, provided us with plans and advice about French defences. He became suspected by Paris and fled to us.

He asked for £10,000 as compensation for his personal effects left behind at Boulogne and £50,000 for the secret information he provided. He also wanted to naturalise as a British subject and receive an annual pension of £3,000 from the British government.

Sat 6th March 1813

General Sarrazin has written to The Times:

London 18th August 1812 – I have long been pestered in London by people calling me to return to France. They have even sent carriages to my door at night. When I refused them, they abused and threatened me. My petition to parliament to avoid exchange was rejected. My request to naturalise as British was also dismissed.

I wrote to Ellenborough and he said my exchange was just, but he told me the authority for executing the terms of the Aliens Act lay with the minister’s police. Since April I have written many letters for help but they are all unanswered. I guess its because the minister instructed an MP to make a proposal to me on 23rd March that I could not accept – I cannot consent to my enslavement.

On 4th April I put myself under the protection of Charles XIII, King of Sweden. The Swedish ambassador to London arranged passage for me to Gothenburg. Before I could pack, a group of Bow Street runners surrounded my house and captured me. I was taken to Reeves, Superintendent of the Aliens Office, who said I must consider myself a prisoner until the peace. He said the ministry would pay me nearly half my army salary but the actual sum was so small it was inadequate for survival. He then said I was a prisoner. I would get nothing unless I supported the British minister. The pension I was supposedly awarded has not been paid although the magistrate of Soho Square has kindly tried his best to influence the government to release the funds. The draft of the book of my experiences remains with the ministry and cannot be published.

Napoleon has decreed my execution for providing information to England. The English minister has uncaringly ordered MacKenzie of the prisoner-exchange office to offer me in exchange for British prisoners-of-war. I seem fated to die whether I stay here or am sent to Morlaix. I wished to bring my experiences to the attention of your readers so they may assess which government is without morals or honour.

The London press has published several letters of people I am supposedly in correspondence with. The letters are in a cypher reportedly based on the page numbers of my book. They are all forgeries sent to and intercepted by the Post Office. I made a complaint of criminal forgery to Ellenborough, the Chief Justice, and told him who the authors likely were but he ignored me.

That is what I have to say to your readers.

Sat 6th March 1813

Sarrazin’s petition to parliament for the Prince Regent was by hand of Lord Thomas Cochrane, dated 6th January. Cochrane is one of the representatives for Westminster where Sarrazin is living.

Cochrane is decidedly out of favour with the ministry for publishing details of judicial frauds on prize awards at Malta. His relative Basil has been convicted of an old and inconsequential charge of corruption at Madras, that centre of venality.

The conspiracy of Ministers, Lords and Admirals against Cochrane has made him a convert to the liberal cause and he now attends the dinners of Burdett and other Foxites. Sarrazin’s confidence in the egality of parliament and the authority of representatives in the British system is however misplaced – the minister’s majority remains real although reduced.

Sarrazin’s petition notes the sentence of death awarded him in abstentia in France and protests his exchange. Cochrane has not replied – it seems he can make no progress – and parliament has now been prorogued.

Sarrazin says he has abandoned his claims to a pension and compensation – he only wants to preserve his life. He demands to be imprisoned or permitted to travel under the Swedish passport he has obtained. He expects Bernadotte will protect him. He is embarrassed to trouble Cochrane but his position is remarkable and unprecedented. Sarrazin says the ministry demands he write letters to Napoleon making proposals for peace.

Sat 6th March 1813

Sarrazin has been allowed to leave England. The recent publicity has assisted him. The Aliens Office issued a passport to him for a trip to Sweden and he left on 9th September. The fourth volume of his book ‘The Philosopher’ is being published.

NB – www.french has recently (2017) published a biographical sketch of Jean Sarrazin by Nathan D Jensen. The chronological review now continues:

Sat 20th Oct 1810

Jeffery, the British seaman who was impressed into the Royal Navy and abandoned on Sombrero Island by Captain Warwick Lake of HMS Recruit, is alive. He was seen waving his arms by the American Capt Dennis of the schooner Adam in December 1807. Dennis put a boat ashore and rescued him. Jeffery had by then been abandoned for eight days and was only slightly emaciated but initially incapable of speech. He is now living in Beverly in America and pursues his original trade of blacksmith.

Sat 20th Oct 1810

London, June 1810 – Le Chevalier d’Eon (Charles Genevieve Louis August Andre Timothe d’Eon de Beaumont) has died at his house in Miltman Street, London aged 93 years. He was at one time the Secretary to the French Embassy in England and was involved in the French treaty of 1763.

About 30 years ago the Chevalier asserted female sex and commenced wearing women’s clothes, a practice he continued until his death. The determination of his sex attracted speculators at that time and considerable sums were invested on the matter. Several London doctors then conducted an examination and issued a joint report certifying the Chevalier to be female.

His long-term companion, Mrs Cole, has now authorised a surgical examination of the corpse. The autopsy was carried out in the presence of three famous surgeons and a French physician. Also attending were the Earl of Yarmouth, Sir Sidney Smith and M/s Lyttleton, Douglas, Adair, Wilson, etc. A complete set of male genitalia was discovered in the usual place.

It is expected that the underwriters who paid-out on the basis of the previous certificate will now seek for a recovery of their settlements.

The body is put on public display. The visitors number three women to every one man. He will be buried in St Pancras Churchyard.

Sat 20th Oct 1810

Napoleon’s new wife Maria Louisa is already pregnant according to reports from Ostend of 4th June.

Sat 20th Oct 1810

The latest cartel negotiation (prisoner exchange) with France is complex. Dickinson has been negotiating for England. He says the French have a huge number of Spanish prisoners whom they want to exchange but they are guerrillas – basically peasants with guns. Their recovery is useless to us. Dickinson is negotiating to fix a ratio of value and establish how many guerrillas are worth one soldier.

Sat 27th Oct 1810

Brougham notified the MPs that in spite of the passage of the Slave Trade Act, six slaving ships had been fitted out at Liverpool in the last two days.

Sat 3rd Nov 1810

Earl (Charles) Grey has said in the Lords that our present prospects in this endless war are so poor that it would be inconceivable to make peace, yet the country was scarce able to continue the struggle. In a few short years annual national expenditure has risen from £16 millions to £83 million last year. Taxation had for years caused hardship and was now openly resented. The collectors (the revenue outside London is farmed) are literally fighting throughout the country to get payments. It is in any event inadequate to pay our way; we have to pledge this revenue as interest on our annual loans which have unsurprisingly risen to an unimaginable amount and we may never be able to pay them off.

Napoleon has achieved the ambition of Louis XIV. He rules over all Europe and needs only to settle the turmoil in Spain to be master of the entire continent. He will then have the fleets of every European maritime country to send against us.

As we cannot stop making war and we cannot raise more money, it behoves us to economise in everything we do. This was the policy of the brief Whig administration Grey had enjoyed the honour of belonging to.

Our unwise former policies have estranged Denmark from us and she controls access to the Baltic, one of our important trade routes. We have a force in Sicily but all our naval power will be insufficient to retain it unless we win the hearts and minds of the Sicilian people. America, which was largely peopled by former Britons, had been alienated by our Order-in-Council which was enforced, so it is said, for the protection of our trade. How is it with such Draconian protection we are ourselves forced to abrogate those Orders in a routine way (the Licensing System) in order to obtain goods that are otherwise unobtainable?

The real effect of the Orders-in-Council has been to subordinate our merchants to the executive government. The Licensing System will foreseeably cause a decline in the numbers of British seamen (it is carried on in neutral ships) and ultimately hit us in our most vulnerable place – our ability to run an unbeatable navy. Our attitude to neutrals is the most inscrutable part of our entire foreign policy. We should be wooing them not predating on them.

The domestic policy of ministers was as bad as their foreign policy. Every year the Chancellor scrambles for some new temporary expedient to bring in the cash. Because of the credit system we have foisted on the British people, the ministry has the power to control the issue of paper money and, as every schoolboy knew, paper money is getting less valuable by the day. The necessary ratio between value (silver & gold) and credit (paper money) has been ignored. When our army in Spain offers Bills in payment for provisions, the Portuguese merchants discount them enormously. It was the same at Walcheren.

The Earl of Liverpool (formerly Hawkesbury – Robert Banks Jenkinson) led a discussion on reform following Earl Grey’s speech. Grey himself has been a consistent advocate of reform for 20 years. The other Lords were not enthusiastic. They acknowledged there was a theoretical inequality between people but the House of Commons was there to remedy grievances and it did a fair job. Reform means substituting population for property as the determinant of power. How can that conceivably tend to improvement?

If the House of Commons really tried to entrench equality they would not know when to stop and it would assuredly end in the destruction of our system. Look at America – their government costs £800,000 a year, almost the same as the British Civil List, and they are only 6 million people.

Liverpool said the advantage England had over France was her navy which ensured British colonies remained productive and the home country supplied whilst French colonies were either occupied by us to our own advantage or made worthless like Santo Domingo and in either case gave no benefit to France. When the fighting stops this will assure England of a great advantage. We will have an effective and profitable colonial system whilst France will not.

Liverpool adverted to the Orders-in-Council. France was willing to let America trade with Europe but not with England. The Orders counteracted that Decree. Our commerce and manufacturers had flourished under the Orders. It was Liverpool’s belief that Britain was more prosperous not less so. He referred to the national accounts in support. The permanent taxes in 1803 had produced £31.5 millions; in 1810 £34.4 millions. He quoted several other statistics to show that the revenue was increasing. The army has increased by 27,000 men since 1807.

The French, for the first time in any war, have been entirely removed from the West Indies. We have captured 40 capital ships and 45 frigates of the French navy. The House of Braganza had been saved from French influence to return ‘when the time is right’. Spain is being encouraged to struggle for her independence. Liverpool concluded that things may have changed since 1807 but on balance they were still favourable to England.

Sat 19th Jan 1811

There has been an insurrection at Stockholm. Its not England’s fault. We supported a young King who turned out to be imbecile. It is generally supposed that Count Fersen was involved in the King’s murder but the truth may never be known – Fersen unwisely placed himself within reach of the crowd at the funeral of the King and the people tore him to pieces.

Bernadotte, the French General, has inexplicably been elected Head of State in Sweden. The Gothenburg mails from Baltic to England are discontinued. Sweden is lost to us for the foreseeable future.[301]

Sat 19th Jan 1811

The Austrian Emperor Francis has signed a treaty of offence and defence with France on 14th June 1810. This will concern both Russia and the Porte.

Sat 19th Jan 1811

The Prussian Court has barred American ships from its ports.

Sat 19th Jan 1811

Napoleon has issued a Decree from the Trianon on 5th August 1810 fixing the duty payable on various types of cotton, sugar, tea, indigo, cocoa, cochineal, pepper, spices, tropical timber and other colonial goods imported into France. This is to regulate the Licensed trade we have been conducting with France. Formerly all colonial goods were deemed to be English goods and confiscated. There is still a threat of confiscation if the declarations accompanying the goods are not made out perfectly.

The following day he told Armstrong, the American minister in Paris, he would revoke the Berlin and Milan Decrees. He said, as America has now legislated to oppose any belligerent that denies the maritime rights of neutrals, he will rescind the Decrees effective 1st November 1810. The revocation is conditional on England both revoking its Order-in-Council and renouncing any substitute way of attempting blockade. He says he loves America – its achievement of independence is a principal evidence of the glory of France.[302]

Sat 26th Jan 1811

Paris, 9th July – King Louis of Holland (Napoleon’s brother) abdicated on 3rd July in favour of his eldest son. He believes it is impossible to continue the government of the country. The problem can be stated as either inadequate revenue or excessive public spending. The merchants of Holland complain that their competitors at Antwerp, Ghent and Middleburg (all now in France) are catching business on the Scheldt that formerly went via Holland. Some of the commerce of the Rhine has been diverted to the Scheldt. Rotterdam and Dortrecht are being diminished commercially.

The public debt of the Dutch state now approaches 90 million Florins, it is a quarter more than the entire debt of the French empire. Even 30 millions is beyond the present ability of the Dutch to service. The Dutch people are paying three times the interest that France pays. There are 25 distinct taxes the Hollanders must pay. In spite of these imposts, the revenue is still inadequate and interest on the public debt has not been paid for 18 months.

The financial situation will get worse and the only salvation for Holland lies in her incorporation in the French state. The Dutch accordingly apply to France for incorporation in the Empire. Foreign Minister Cadore has commended incorporation to Napoleon and has sent him a draft enabling Decree.

Napoleon gave his nephew a briefing (the replacement King of Holland is Napoleon, Grand Duke of Berg – he is 6 years old). The Emperor told him “I will be your father while your real father is ill. His infirmity explains his abdication. Remember that in whatever position my policies may place you, your first duty is to me and your second to France. All your other obligations come afterwards.”

Sat 2nd Feb 1811

The King of Denmark is upset he was not offered the crown of Sweden. He should take care or a French general will replace him too. Denmark’s commerce is now solely derived from privateering.

Their traditional trade is at an end with the closure of the Baltic to the English but they make a good living from seizing merchant ships coming through the Oresund.

Sat 2nd Feb 1811

The Bourbon King Ferdinand IV of the Two Sicilies has proclaimed to the people of Sicily on 10th July 1810 against Napoleon (‘that ferocious enemy’):

“You may place unlimited confidence in the navy of our ally England. Join your abilities to theirs to defeat the common foe. Our brothers on the mainland have been misled by the French and suppose the British to be their enemy. It is untrue. Britain is deeply concerned for your welfare. A friend in need is a friend in deed. The French army being sent against you has been promised five days of plunder – do not trust a word they say. Remember – France bad; England good.”[303]

Sat 2nd Feb 1811

The British have obtained a blank French Licence from supporters in Nantes. The form costs the licensed trader 80 Napoleons (each worth 20 Francs). It shows the form of the Licence and its terms:

  • A French trading house must be named as security merchant for the American ship.
  • The principals of that House must submit a written recognition of the offence of providing intelligence to the enemy.
  • They must have a good reputation and extensive credit.
  • The counterpart is to be completed by the French agent at Charleston or New York.
  • The type of cargo that may be licensed for import is listed (cottons, fish oil, dye stuffs and cod from USA; coffee and sugar from French colonies in West Indies and Asia; cocoa and bullion from the Dutch islands; indigo, mahogany, ebony – in short all the produce of the East and West Indies that may be legally imported into France, except tobacco).
  • The export cargo of the American ship will equate in value with the imports. The licensed trade is to be a moneyless barter trade.
  • Exact prices will be fixed by the Prices Current of the port of trade.
  • Half the exports will consist of French wine and brandy; the rest may be woollen, silk, hemp or linen cloth or any other French manufacture.
  • No grain, flour or cheese may be exported.
  • Ship masters engaged under this licensing system are not required to produce Certificates of Origin for their cargo.
  • The Captain shall carry a letter of identification from the French Agent at port of loading, addressed to the French Foreign Minister.
  • The Agent will provide American newspapers published on the date of the ship’s departure.
  • Before the master may open the holds, he must obtain permission from the Customs Commissioner in Paris.

In return for performance of these conditions the ship will not be molested by French cruisers during its voyage to / from France but if any fraud is attempted whatsoever the licence will be instantly cancelled, the ship confiscated and the security merchant fined.

Sat 23rd March 1811

The new Duke of Portland has sold off £500,000 of family property to extinguish his father’s debts.

Sat 23rd March 1811

Frankfurt Journal, 2nd May:

Napoleon has taken a special interest in Rome. He thinks the ancient monuments should be preserved and he says the Pope has been a poor steward of them.

He has ordered the restoration of the Temples of Vesta and of Fortune, the remains of which are still extant on the banks of the Tiber in the middle of what has become the main city drain. Judging from the simplicity of form and the type of ornaments within, the Temple of Vesta was last rebuilt by Augustus.

He is also arranging the restoration of the Temple of Antoninus, of Faustina, of Concord and of Jupiter Stator, the Theatre of Marcellus, the Portico of Octavius and several other ancient structures of significance to our own civilisation.

Sat 23rd March 1811

Paris, June 1810 – Fouché has accepted the title and benefits of Duc d’Otrante. He will apply his undoubted talents as Police Minister to affairs in the Papal States.

Given the endless intrigue that has always characterised the court of the Pope in Rome and has flavoured the characters of the people of those states, Napoleon has send the analytical old Fouché to penetrate the veil. Fouché has happily accepted the new job but worries at being so far from Paris in case he is needed by Napoleon.

At the same time the arrangements for removal of the priests from Rome have been published. They get free passports and financial assistance in relocation. The monks of Ireland, Scotland, Sicily, Malta, Armenia, Greece and the archipelago, who cannot return home immediately, will be registered with the police for the duration of their continuing residence.

Sat 23rd March 1811

The Arch Duchess Maria Louisa was deeply affected by a gift of Napoleon which she received whilst on her way from Vienna to Paris. It was at first glance a rather simple box but on opening it she found an acquittance for 25 million Florins, the sum that Austria owes France in reparations for her recent war.[304]

Sat 20th April 1811

Lucien Bonaparte, his wife and seven children together with their 40 servants have fled Italy and arrived at Malta on 23rd August. Lucien is unhappy because Napoleon expects him to divorce his American wife and marry into one of the European royal families to better secure the family’s future.

Napoleon also required Lucien’s agreement that his 15 year old daughter, who has been schooling in Paris, marry Ferdinand VII, the ex King of Spain. Lucien was said to be mindful of the difficulties that his brother Louis had faced in Holland in reconciling Dutch and French interests. He decided to run away.

He took passage on the American ship Hercules which was to take the family to Cagliari in Sardinia but Hill, the British Consul at Cagliari, refused them permission to land. Adair, the late British minister to Constantinople, coincidentally passed through Cagliari at that time and commended Hill to send the family to Malta. They themselves wished to go to America.

Lucien’s family is presently detained in the citadel at Valletta fort awaiting to know George III’s pleasure.

Sat 27th April 1811

A large number of ancient marble and porphyry statues from the Villa Borghese in Rome have arrived at Paris and will be exhibited in the Louvre.

Sat 27th April 1811

Napoleon is keen to prevent all the Baltic ports receiving British trade but this brief self-abnegation is beyond the Russian merchants’ ability to achieve.

It is also irritating the Danes – they need trade to continue, both for itself and to make their privateering profitable. Much smuggling is passing through the ports of Sjelland, the very island on which Copenhagen stands, and the Danes are reluctant to police the ports with 30,000 troops as Napoleon demands.[305]

Meanwhile, in Poland, the people of Konigsberg are said by British merchants to suppose a rupture between France and Russia is imminent. Their rationale relates to the sovereignty of Poland. France wishes to give the crown to Berthier while Alexander does not want a French general for a neighbour and proposes John Poniatowski, heir to the old Polish Royal Family.

Sat 4th May 1811

Napoleon has been unable to effectively stop the import of British goods through Holland. In October 1810 he ordered that all British manufactures found in Holland, Berg or the Hanseatic towns were to be burned. It is the same for Italy, Illyria, Naples and Spain and any other place under French influence. He will try to prevent the corruption of his Customs officials.

Sat 4th May 1811

The Lord Chancellor has told the House of Lords on 1st November that the King is presently unable to sign commissions, precisely the Commission to Prorogue Parliament (which has already been published in the Gazette).

The Lord Chancellor can himself affix the Great Seal but without a signature it is likely not legally enforceable. He expects the King to recover soon. He is said to be distressed by the illness of his daughter, Princess Amelia. The Lord Chancellor suggests for good order that the House be prorogued as required, for the shortest possible period.

Liverpool suggests there is a precedent for two weeks vacation and requests the Lord Chancellor to write to each Lord requesting his return on 15th November. Agreed.

The Commons managed to collect 100 MPs and did the same.[306]

Sat 4th May 1811

The long negotiation with France at Morlaix for exchange of prisoners failed in early November and the negotiators are returning home.

Sat 25th May 1811

The European situation, November 1810:

  • The Tsar has obtained the cession of Wallachia and Moldavia and ended his war with Turkey.
  • Sweden under Bernadotte has declared war on England and confiscated all British property in the country that arrived after 24th April 1810.
  • Denmark is pressing all the seamen in Danish and Norwegian ports to create a pro-French naval force for use in the Baltic.
  • British and American ships are being seized in Prussian Baltic ports – about 40-50 have been taken in Memel alone. There can be no doubt that Napoleon is determined to exclude British trade from the Baltic to induce us to make peace.
  • The Hamburg bankers, as of October / November 1810, were declining to draw, accept or endorse any Bills to which an English merchant was a party. The French garrison of Frankfurt has searched the warehouses and discovered a huge amount of English manufactures and colonial goods.
  • All commercial goods from Westphalia arriving at the River Weser are routinely returned, regardless of Certificates of Origin (which are invariably forged in any event).
  • Leipzig is infested with troops to enforce the Proclamation against British trade. They stand guard in front of every large shop and patrol the suburbs. A large quantity of English goods, which had been removed from Leipzig on wagons and was being taken to a place of safety by the owners, was pursued and brought back. Similar events are occurring all over Europe.

Sat 1stJune 1811

All the French documents relative to the succession in Spain are published.

Sat 15th June 1811

Stockholm, 21st January – Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Prussia have agreed the terms of an offensive / defensive treaty. It is to be signed shortly. It provides that no British-flag ship or ship carrying British manufactures or any sort of colonial goods will be permitted in any Baltic port.

If such a ship or cargo is found in any Baltic port it will be confiscated and sold and the proceeds kept by the involved government. Any colonial goods found anywhere in a Baltic state will also be confiscated and sold for that government’s account.

Neutral shipping is welcome provided they carry the produce of America or of French or Dutch colonies, have not visited a British port, have not bought a British licence and have not, in any other way, violated their neutrality.

Sat 15th June 1811

13th December 1810 – HMS President has arrived at Plymouth bringing Lucien Bonaparte, his family and household and all his 33 tons of luggage. A message has been sent along the signalling stations to London to ask directions for their disposal. The warship has been put in quarantine and will remain so until the London answer arrives. Lucien is annoyed at his treatment.

The ship anchored in the Sound where a heavy swell made his wife ill but no-one seemed to care until he himself complained. He is about 50 years old 5’ 7” tall and sallow. His wife is plump but handsome. They have 5 daughters and 2 sons aged 8 – 17 years.

They eventually landed on 23rd December and were housed in the King’s Arms with a group of British naval and army officers. They will later go to the seat of the Earl of Powis in Montgomeryshire. Lucien is to be treated as a Prisoner of War.

Sat 15th June 1811

Court of King’s Bench, 25th January – a man who was impressed into service in the Royal Navy has applied for a Writ of Habeas Corpus:

Counsel for the Admiralty says the man, named Jervis, had been first impressed five days prior to the incident complained of, but was exempted as he is the master of a coal-carrying ship, and that was sufficient to earn his release from the earlier impressment.

On the second occasion, which is the subject of these proceedings, he was inadequately submissive to the officer conducting the press-gang and was accordingly drafted into HMS Eliza and later transferred to HMS Standard, in spite of his complaints.

Counsel for the Admiralty says he would have been discharged on the second impressment if he had been humble and apologised satisfactorily. HMS Standard was then dispatched to Cadiz and could not be recalled without great national inconvenience, Counsel said, hence the long delay between Jervis’ second impressment and the hearing of his complaint.

Lord Ellenborough said it was the duty of the Court to guard against such unpopular acts as impressment. The Admiralty agree that Jervis, as the master of a ship, is exempt from impressment. He was ordered released from naval service.

Sat 22nd June 1811

The selection of Bernadotte as Crown Prince of Sweden is an embarrassment to England. The English people have been told consistently for years that France is the aggressor everywhere; that she oppresses the groaning populace of Europe by armed force, and similar stories.

Now there is this incomprehensible decision of the Swedes to have a French General lead their country in preference to their own Royal Family. Its like Swiss, German and north Italian choices previously and the opinions of a majority of the Dutch.

Why are these countries tolerant of Napoleon?

Sat 29th June 1811

Danish attempts to press seamen in their Norwegian colony have failed. By early January 1811 it was apparent that all the Norwegian sailors are unwilling. Not only that, but the army was ordered to enforce compliance and declined to do so. They all say impressment forces them to serve in what are effectively French warships.

This is a great opportunity for England. If we can sever Norway from Denmark we can use those ports to provision and refit our Baltic fleet and keep the Oresund open to our trade.[307]

Mon 22nd July 1811 Extraordinary

Lord William Bentinck is appointed Minister Plenipotentiary to Palermo in Sicily.

Mon 22nd July 1811 Extraordinary

British merchants at St Petersburg say that colonial produce will again be received in Russia shortly but at very high duties. They also expect to make no losses on the cargoes that were sequestrated.

Something has changed Russian policy.

Sat 27th July 1811

Le Moniteur says the check given to the British economy by the Continental System will be fatal. In the last three months the speculators of London have lost their appetites. In his speech to parliament on ascending the throne, the Regent said the national revenue had decreased, particularly in Ireland.

The Moniteur infers Britain cannot hold-out for long. On the other hand, it says, the French economy has been steadily growing at 3 – 10% a year for the last 4 years.

Sat 10th Aug 1811

Henry Hope, head of the great Scottish banking firm Hope & Co of Amsterdam has died in London. He fled Holland for England at the commencement of the Revolution. He had nearly £1 million in British funds and other securities.

He owned the most extensive collection of paintings in Europe.

Sat 31st Aug 1811

Maria Louisa has given birth to Napoleon’s son on 20th March. He is to be known as the King of Rome.

Sat 31st Aug 1811

A large British fleet, made-up mainly of ships that have been in port for repair and refit, is leaving for the Baltic under Admiral Saumarez’s command. He is a French-speaking Channel Islander. It sailed north on 18th March.

Sat 28th Sept 1811

The merchants of Hull have complained that in the last three years over 200,000 tons of foreign shipping has been employed to carry British exports to the Baltic and those foreign owners require, on average, three times the amount of freight that a British ship would charge for the service. These foreign ships are often Dutch, Danish, Swedish, etc., and are operated by nationals of countries hostile to us.

During their visits, they are inevitably able to obtain detailed up-to-date information on our ports and the state of our country.

The use of foreign shipping has two other indirect effects – there is less ship building for British trade and there is less employment available for British sailors.

The Hull merchants have petitioned the Board of Trade in these terms. They ask that no more Licences be issued to foreign ships. They ask that at least those ships from ports where our own ships are excluded should not be licensed.

Sat 9th Nov 1811

Heligoland, 16th May – an English merchant has just arrived from the continent. He waited three weeks at the mouth of the Elbe to obtain passage here. He says there has been a rumour for many months that France and Russia will fight but time has passed and nothing has happened so he is unsure how sound the forecast is.

Sat 30th Nov 1811

The Anholt mail of 1st June (carrying letters from Konigsburg, Gothenburg and ports around the Baltic generally) reports Admiral Sir James Saumarez is at Gothenburg with the British fleet. He is awaiting reinforcement before attempting to force the Oresund. He has demanded that the Swedish authorities at Karlshamn surrender all the merchant shipping and cargoes in their port.

It seems our informal trade at Karlshamn was interrupted when all the Customs Officers of the port were arrested for impropriety. At the same time, all resident foreigners were sent inland. A similar enforcement of the law against British merchants, shipping and goods has occurred at Karlskrona, further east on the Swedish coast. The ships in that port had started to offload when they were peremptorily ordered to cease and all foreigners were required to leave the country. The goods at Karlskrona however remain in the control of the shipowners under the sole condition that they may not be exported.

Napoleon has confiscated Bernadotte’s property in France but the General is unconcerned. He is popular in Sweden and these acts against our smuggling trade must be his acts. He has ordered the capture of all Danish ships and the imprisonment of their crews. The Danes have licensed over 400 privateers in the Baltic and these ships have been as assiduously piratical as the British – a huge number of Swedish ships were captured by them before this response. Their removal from Baltic trade is predictable and will be welcomed in Sweden.

Sat 30th Nov 1811

The preliminary articles of peace between Russia and Turkey were signed on 23rd April whereby Russia gets Moldavia and Bessarabia and all their ports while the Porte gets Wallachia. Serbia’s neutrality is guaranteed. If this agreement is ratified, Russia gets another slice of Black Sea coast and control of the River Dnestr along its entire course to that sea.

The German papers are saying that any peace between Russia and Turkey must ipso facto cause a rupture between Russia and France.[308]

Sat 28th Dec 1811

On 13th May 1811 several libel actions were commenced at the Court of King’s Bench, inter alia:

The Rev Blacow was sued for libel of Mrs Fairclough, wife of the famous Liverpool merchant. Blacow has admitted the offence. The Faircloughs have a country estate in the village where Blacow is curate. Blacow is also vicar of St Marks Church in Liverpool where he preaches on a licence. After regular contact between the parties, the Faircloughs decided to retain Blacow as the tutor of their son. They paid him £100 a year and fed him during teaching hours. After 7 years the Faircloughs were minded to enter their son into a public school and Blacow disagreed. In the discussions Blacow alleged that Mrs Fairclough had been unfaithful for years. He said unless he was allowed to continue teaching the boy, he would publish details of her infidelities.

Sat 18th Jan 1812

Sir Francis Burdett is to move a new plan for the army in the next session of parliament. He says he can reduce its cost from £16 millions to £10 millions.

Sat 18th Jan 1812

The Archduke Francis, brother of the Austrian Emperor and an Anglophile hawk in this war, has secretly escaped from Vienna with his valuables and has just been brought to Malta. It is said he will travel on to Sicily.

Sat 18th Jan 1812

Napoleon has addressed his legislature on 16th June 1811 on the State of the Empire:

He says half of Europe has abandoned the Roman Catholic Church and the reason is obvious – the Pope has preferred to focus on his mundane concerns and left the spiritual guidance of Christians unserved. The truth of religion belongs to everyone. It should not be made secondary to the interests of a few families in central Italy.

To end this scandal I have united Rome with Paris. The Pope is given a palace in both cities. St Paul preferred Rome to any location in the Holy Land and I have simply followed his example whilst up-dating the identity of the preferred city to account for changed circumstances.

The British government does not recognise the neutrality of any national flag on the high seas. To respond to this infraction of the Law of Nations I have taken possession of the mouths of the Ems, Weser and Elbe to prevent British smuggling into our jurisdictions. Holland and France are united in this initiative (the Netherlands has been annexed to France and the trade of the Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt is now under direct French control). I have also created an overland connection to the Baltic ports, not for territorial aggrandisement, but to extend enforcement of the Continental System to that Sea. America is trying to uphold international law concerning her overseas maritime commerce and France supports her.

I publicly express my admiration of the sovereigns of the Confederation of the Rhine. They and their Courts have been under constant British allurement. The British categorise France as an expansionary power, they say that the Confederation is of benefit only to France, implying that those sovereigns are not fully sovereign in their own countries. The Germans have recognised these simple ploys for what they are and maintained the interests of their people. Peace is what they wish for.

Britain has finally responded to the taunts of Prussia and Austria, her erstwhile allies, and changed from a manipulator and financier of European policy into a principal on the European stage. Almost her entire army is serving in Iberia and she has at last shared in the sacrifice. The parallel between Rome / Carthage and Paris / London is clear – this is another Punic War. She regularly brings reinforcements into Iberia to replace her dead and wounded. She is recognising what war is really like. An increasing number of British families are in mourning. After twenty years of eternal war, perhaps the British people will soon demand their government considers the alternative.

I present to you the national accounts for 1809. You will see I have provided the War Ministry with an extra 100 million Francs. I have no need to increase revenue. Our national finances are healthy.

Sat 18th Jan 1812

London report on Russia:

Relations between Russia and France remained uncertain at June 1811. Napoleon does not mention it in his ‘State of the Empire’ address to the Legislature (above). Russia has little revenue and no credit. The army, such as it is, is unpaid. These are the practical reasons for continued peace.

Russia has managed to obtain French recognition of her dependence on maritime trade. Her domestic economy only supplies the necessaries of everyday life. Russia is the poorest country in Europe. She has reportedly been able to argue these facts into French agreement to permit a limited trade between London and St Petersburg in neutral bottoms.

This should give us a ‘foot in the door’. It was not long ago that Napoleon had to increase the licensed trade to meet the needs of his Treasury. Now Russia’s requirement of the same can hardly be refused. Letters from merchants in Berlin corroborate this information.

Sat 1stFeb 1812

The French say England cannot survive a year without loans or without issuing Exchequer Bills (unfunded debt, effectively loans from the Bank of England which is obliged to buy them from the Treasury). She cannot make payments in money or at least in notes that are convertible to money – and the Continental System has only just begun!

France on the other hand has abandoned maritime trade and lost all her colonies. She is content to trade internally with the 60 million people who reside in Western Europe. She has built numerous canals, roads and bridges to bring this huge market closer together.

Britain has for many years consistently spent more than she earns. The result is readily predictable. Her currency will constantly devalue until it is worthless. We French wish for peace but we must counter the British ministry’s aim of ‘perpetual war’ as the route to her hegemony. Once we have created a navy of 150 capital ships we can arrange peace with Britain.

Sat 29th Feb 1812

In the Commons, Whitbread asked Yorke, First Lord of the Admiralty, to confirm that his relative Sir Joseph Sydney Yorke had sailed for a foreign station and, if so, would he be vacating his Admiralty sinecure. Yorke confirmed Sir Joseph had left the country but had not resigned his job.

Whitbread thought the Board of Admiralty would be weakened by his absence. There was Lord Willington’s case as precedent for replacement. He would shortly move to replace Sir Joseph.

Sun 8th Mar 1812 Extraordinary

European news:

  • The King’s health is said to not improve and parliament is to meet in October to debate removal of the restrictions on the Regency.
  • In Spain in July the French divided their forces. They have not been successful in digging Wellington out of the mountains. Marmont has gone North into Castille while Soult has gone South into Grenada. The British suppose Marmont favours a move against Oporto. Soult is supposed to be protecting the rear of the French army besieging Cadiz.
  • The British emissary’s (Augustus John Foster) mission to Washington has failed and war with America appears likely. HMS Melampus has engaged USS President and is said to have captured the American.

Sat 21st Mar 1812

Trotter, the Secretary of Charles James Fox, is publishing his diaries of Fox’s travels in the Low Countries and France in 1802.

Sat 21st Mar 1812

The 6th Edition of The Pleader’s Guide has been published by J Anstey. It is an amusing romp through the corridors of the Courts but has become so popular it is now read by a wider audience. It contains a mountain of good sense wrapped in gentle humour.

Here is Anstey on bamboozling a Judge:

Give him with fustian and bombast

So thick a fog over truth to cast,

With words of such due size and fitness

To badger and confound a witness,

That all who hear him shall confess

For language, manner and address,

He fairly equals in renown

The choicest heroes of the gown;

To puzzle e’en by explanation

And darken by elucidation

For puzzling oft becomes his duty

And makes obscurity a beauty

And, trust me, its of wondrous use

By nonsense to improve abuse.

Sat 4th April 1812

Sir William Bentinck, our man in Sicily, has returned to England for instructions. He has argued with the Queen of Naples who is ‘holidaying’ at Palermo.

The problem is that government officials from Naples are oppressive and they have brought their authoritarian and corrupt methods to Sicily.

Bentinck wants Sicily declared a British colony so he can establish a mild government and win the hearts of the people.

If the ministry agrees, it is supposed he will be sent there as Governor.

Sat 25th April 1812

Lord William Bentinck returned to London in September / October to brief ministers on the policy of the Queen of Naples who herself directs the cabinet at Palermo and collects fees from every merchant in the City. He expects to return to Sicily very soon.

Sat 25th April 1812

A seaman named Oakey struck Captain Collier of HMS Cyane. He was charged, found guilty and sentenced to death. He pleaded for a delay of execution but was denied. Every ship in port was required to send a boat full of seamen to witness his hanging. He came on deck with his arms tied behind him, attended by the Chaplain, and the sentence of the Court Martial was read.

Then Captain Hall produced a letter from his pocket from the Prince Regent which reprieved Oakey on the prayer of Captain Collier. The news had been kept from Oakey until that moment. He fell on his knees and wept. He is to be transported for life.

Sat 2nd May 1812

Letter of Champigny, Duc de Cadore, the French foreign minister, dated 30th October 1810 containing his opinion of Britain:

Had the British Isles sunk under the sea centuries ago, Europe today would be one happy family.

Britain became an impious nation. The sacrilegious Wycliffe introduced religious innovations long before the Bohemian Huss or the Saxon Luther. Impiety is the brother of rebellion and the father of anarchy. The British distributed their spiritual poison amongst the Germans and it festered in central Europe. Since then England has never ceased to disturb the tranquillity of the continent.

They followed-up their religious attack with political attacks. Their contempt for social order allowed them to kill their King and assume the divine right themselves. How many millions of their continental brothers perished because of that evil act? They mislead with sophistry and beguile with bribes.

Napoleon has tried to bring them to the peace table almost annually but they resist. It seems indubitable that the British Constitution must be reformed to accord with those Constitutions that have been adopted by most of the states of Europe. It will require unanimity amongst Europe’s Kings to bring about this fundamental change in the English mindset. It is the divisiveness of English foreign policy that has facilitated their continual abuse and is an important source of their strength.

France proposes a new Constitution for Britain. If she agrees, her independence and dominions will be guaranteed; if she refuses, she will forever be excluded from the European family and may take her place with the piratical states of north Africa.

It should be recognised that her refusal to accommodate her wishes to the whole group of nations will entail punishments. Her abuse of the neutral flag will be ended, her ships and crews will be excluded, those who smuggle for her or buy her goods will be executed, countries who trade with her will be cut-off as she is cut-off. This seeming severity is necessary because she embraces the concept of eternal war against us. This is in fact the only path to lasting peace for Europe.

The British King is a slave of his minister. For half a century he has been unable to nominate his own advisers. Only a tiny handful of the people surrounding the King can claim or deserve his trust. We have just seen his second son despicably libelled throughout the country (the sale of commissions complaint). Not one of his ministers acted to alleviate the insult. England is a country where every man prates incessantly, impertinently and often treasonably.

When the King is not free how can the people claim their liberty? The bondage of Englishmen has become heavier as their brutal policies progress. The ruling passion of England is faction. Their efforts to divide us in Europe are reflected in their efforts to divide themselves at home. Each gang meddles in everything. Even the King is factious in his self-defence. In Greece and Rome it was the era of factions that produced the most oppressive despots.

If France was to reveal the names of those Englishmen who intrigue with their national enemies, accept bribes and take instructions from other states, the World would have a clear idea of the ubiquitous effect of faction on the political administration of that country. Its been going on for over a century.[309]

To recover honourable government, faction must be extirpated. Some few will find opportunities to mislead the ignorant but the institutionalised assumption of unrepresentative democratic government would be greatly curtailed.

They have trampled the reputation of the Duke of York in order to raise a General to supreme command of the army and bring all that patronage within their grasp. They have prevented the King from punishing the political agent F****** who should have been impeached. Another political agent Jackson who precisely carried out the King’s commands was left unrewarded and insulted. Both these injustices are due to the insidious effects of faction in government. A naval Captain brought his Admiral before a Court Martial where he was quickly and honourably acquitted but faction protected the insubordinate Captain.[310] Have not the officers of the Madras Army seduced their soldiers to mutiny (see the Chapter on Asia below) and added rebellion to their original insubordination? It is faction that protects the licentious British press from responsibility. A convicted libeller (Cobbett) published inflammatory essays from his prison cell and defied the law, the Judiciary and the government but remained protected by his faction. A leader of a faction (Sir Francis Burdett MP) told his listeners that their representatives did not represent them and their country was not worth defending. He was instantly assailed and arrested by the same faction that had denigrated and abused the son of the King. This confrontation of faction by faction brought on anarchy in London like a civil war.

These people are ungovernable.

The Drury Lane Theatre raised its ticket prices and the whole of London was in uproar – any little thing can set them off. The Theatre was extensively damaged by those very people who lecture us endlessly about the sanctity of property.

Recently, due to British monopoly of colonial production, a surfeit of colonial goods accumulated in London warehouses. Sugar is perishable and the ministry promoted its sale to the distillers as an alternative to grain. The consequent loss of the distillers’ grain purchases alarmed the landowners and two new factions – the grain and sugar interests – instantly sprang up. There are so many of these groups that the whole country is divided and uncertain and generally licentious.

Only conciliatory national policies can save the British from the fate of the Dutch. They have little time to choose their future. They must compromise or be conquered. Napoleon has for long received the plans of various British factions to support this or that but he will not encourage the subjects of his neighbours to undermine their established Kings. Only monarchs are fit to judge monarchs.

Sat 9th May 1812

On 20th December the French Senate approved the conscription of 120,000 youths for 1812. It seems far too many for the predictable needs of France unless they are expecting a new war.

In 1806 Napoleon’s policy was “ships, colonies and commerce.” Today he has no colonies and little commerce but he has built an impressive and increasing fleet of ships which all remain protected from our cruisers in the shipyards and rivers. We suppose they are for the invasion of England.

Sat 9th May 1812

27th December – Russia and Turkey are concluding their peace talks over Russian penetration into the Porte’s lands west of the Black Sea. The Turks want to get the deal signed as soon as possible because delay simply means Russia takes more. It is said the Tsar is finally willing to agree. He is thought to foresee a danger of war with France in the west and will want to secure his Turkish frontier first. The Imperial Guard has been moved to the Polish frontier.

The Austrian government has received and approved a French request to march an army through their domains to the east. This suggests that Napoleon is heading for Turkey but you never know with that chap.

Sat 16th May 1812

General Bernadotte, now the Crown Prince of Sweden, has made a military assessment of Napoleon’s abilities and decided Sweden can act with more independence.

He has just refused a French request for 3,000 troops saying he is neutral in respect of trade. Napoleon will be upset by this ingratitude but the Swedish merchants are ecstatic.

Napoleon’s concerns are for all Europe whilst the officials he deals with are concerned for their own national interests alone. Napoleon interceded with Russia on behalf of Sweden and got the Tsar’s agreement to return Finland to Sweden. Russia has continued in occupation whilst the detailed negotiations continue and has prevented progress being made in the talks.

Napoleon is confronting Russia militarily and one of the matters in dispute is her definite retrocession of Finland to the Swedes – the French say that was the purpose of the requisition for 3,000 Swedish soldiers. It is thought that the total French requisition would be eventually for about 35,000 Swedish troops. Their non-availability will strain French resources.

Reports from Hamburg say all the French garrisons in Westphalia and along the Baltic coast are being reduced 30% to provide reinforcements elsewhere. If they are for Spain then Napoleon is probably not contemplating a strike against Russia but its difficult to forecast Napoleon’s actions.

Sat 16th May 1812

Heligoland, 20th December 1811 – HMS Mosquito has been blockading the mouth of the Scheldt and has just arrived here to report the departure of the French fleet that has been building at Antwerp for the last two years. Her officers say the fleet has sailed north.

Most of our Baltic fleet has returned home to refit and there is nothing except the weather to prevent the French reaching Copenhagen, if that is their destination. A French fleet in the Baltic will cause a fundamental change in the policies of Sweden and Russia and might end our northern trade.

What is worse is that our returning merchant fleet of 120 ships was dispersed by a storm in the Belt and will be vulnerable to attack.

Sat 16th May 1812

Marybone Park is renamed Regent’s Park. It is the size of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens together. The Regent’s Canal runs through it and will create a great lake within the park. Some prestigious villas, each on several acres of land, are to be built in the park. Each is to be constructed in a different style, picked by the owner. The Prince of Wales wants one in the Etruscan style.

A street is to be laid from Portland Place to Oxford Street and another one will run obliquely to Piccadilly. A third street will run from Carlton House to Piccadilly. A large number of old tenements will be demolished to permit these developments. The profit to the Crown after development will be about £60,000 a year, compared to £500 received at present. For this reason, government is funding the development in expectation of repayment by the leaseholders later. The architect is Nash and his plan is creditable.

Sat 23rd May 1812

Le Moniteur has laid out a logical concatenation that it says represents British foreign policy towards Sicily:

  • Our defensive treaty with the King of the Two Sicilies (a Bourbon) is not an agreement with an individual but with the government of inter alia Sicily.
  • the government of Sicily has suspended some laws and is no longer the same entity with whom we contracted.
  • We are relieved of any obligations to it.
  • the suspended laws make Sicily hostile to us.
  • a country that defends another is ipso facto the proprietor of that defended country.
  • Britain defends Sicily and is its proprietor.

The French say this is the legal background to the reported British intention to induct Sicily into the British Empire.

Sat 30th May 1812

There are now 12,000 British prisoners in France. There have been no exchanges since the negotiations at Morlaix failed. The British government is not allowed to support the prisoners directly but charitable donations are allowed.

Sat 6th June 1812

The butcher Bainbridge has sued the milkman Wyatt for 6/9d being the cost of a leg of lamb that Bainbridge provided to Wyatt.

Facts – Wyatt arrived at the butcher’s shop on the evening of Saturday 9th November and after queuing patiently sought to order the meat. Wyatt has a speech defect and stuttered for so long that Bainbridge was prevented from serving the other waiting customers. Neither could he understand what Wyatt was asking for. Eventually he told Wyatt “if you speak plainly, I will give you what you want”. Wyatt then gave his order in a rhyming song, the last line of which was “I want a leg of mutton”, and Bainbridge, in front of many customers, gave him the meat. Later Bainbridge became suspicious that Wyatt was incomprehensible until the offer of free meat was made, whereafter he spoke intelligibly, albeit in rhyme. He then commenced this action.

The Judge of the Court of Requests concluded that Wyatt had earned his mutton and gave judgment with costs to the defendant.

Sat 6th June 1812

Long account of the destruction of the Mamalukes in Egypt and a suggestion of British perfidy.

Sat 13th June 1812

Trotter’s Life of Fox details the statesman’s life during the short peace with France. During Fox’s visit to Paris, Napoleon conducted a review of some 6,000 troops and Fox ignored it completely, preferring to chat with Marcoff, the Russian ambassador to France. He always hated ostentation.

Afterwards Fox with Lord Holland, Lord R Spencer, Lord St John, Adair and Trotter all went to the levee in the Tuilleries. There was a sense of unreality in this meeting in the palace of the Bourbons.

Merry, the British ambassador, by his actions recognised the reign of Napoleon. As the representative of Britain, doing his best to interfere in French domestic politics, it was unreal. Merry was presented with a magnificent set of china for his boss, the Foreign Minister Lord Hawkesbury.

Had Pitt been there and thought of history he would have been struck by the parallel with England under Cromwell, a situation that evolved through precisely similar foreign interference.

The Spanish ambassador d’Azara asked Fox what he thought of it. They spoke of the flow of art treasures from Italy to Paris. The Turkish ambassador was there sitting cross-legged on a sofa. His suite spoke in fluent French. Lucchesini, the Prussian ambassador, formerly a clerk to the minister, was dressed like a tropical bird in stark contrast to Livingston, the American ambassador, who wore very plain clothes.

Napoleon said to Fox “In you I see with much satisfaction that great statesman who recommended peace because there was no cause for war; who saw Europe desolated to no purpose and who struggled for its relief.” Fox did not reply. Napoleon has grey eyes, strange for a Corsican.

The next day Fox visited Abbe Sieyès about 12 miles out of Paris. He has a grand estate there granted to him by the consular government for services. Fox did not appear to hold any high opinion of him.

On 23rd September Fox dined with Napoleon. For a change, it was Napoleon who dominated the conversation. Fox did not appear to doubt Napoleon’s wish for peace. Napoleon was annoyed by those members of Pitt’s ministry who had tried to kill him, particularly the ‘opera house’ bomb plot, and told Fox he reproached Windham whom he said was involved in it. Fox said he could not believe any British minister would stoop to assassination (see the Assassination Chapter for fuller details).

On another occasion Fox dined with Talleyrand at Neuilly. Several émigrés attended. They were those who had submitted to the new regime and hoped for the restoration of their lands and fortunes. They were completely ignored by Talleyrand. Trotter sat close to them and was distressed. The plight of the Duc d’Uzeze, head of one of the ancient families of France, was particularly poignant. Fox’s amiability and his facility with French, Italian and Spanish were admired.

Another dinner was with Perregaux the wealthy banker who was still overwhelmed with astonishment that he had survived the reign of Robespierre.

Mon 22nd June 1812 Extraordinary

London news, January 1812:

  • The London bank Boldero Lushington & Co has failed.
  • Baron Gibson, late British Consul at Danzig, has died. His estate of £50,000 has been confiscated by the French.
  • Lord William Bentinck has returned to Sicily with a plan for a new Constitution which will displace the influence of ‘the French party’.[311] Many people have since been arrested and support for Britain has increased.

Mon 22nd June 1812 Extraordinary

France has occupied Swedish Pomerania and the Isle of Rugen. Stralsund was occupied on 26th December. Bernadotte cannot be surprised but the Tsar is alarmed.

Sat 11th July 1812

The practise of graffiti has revived in London. Recently (February 1812) many bare walls were seen chalked with “Lord Holland and Peace”

Sat 11th July 1812

Sicily – the French party at the Court of Palermo has been arrested. They are all being boarded and lodged by the British government. Four Calabrians were reported to be acting suspiciously in San Leo. We caught them in bed, killed one and wounded two more. The fourth escaped but was taken nearby.

They confessed they were sent by the army of Calabria to assassinate a British officer. We hanged one named Musolino. Another named Crisera will be hanged as soon as he recovers from his wounds. The third, Rietano, is needed to give evidence in a Court case concerning the planned theft of Bentinck’s dispatches.[312]

Sun 12th July 1812 Extraordinary

The Swedes say they welcome the French into Stralsund and Pomerania but they have also commenced to fortify the islands of Rugen and Bornholm. The parliament has been summoned to meet on 4th April 1812. This is exceptional as Swedish law only permits one meeting every three years.

Sun 12th July 1812 Extraordinary

Russian negotiations with Turkey at Bucharest are making no progress. So far they have an agreement not to recommence fighting until after one month’s notice.

Sun 12th July 1812 Extraordinary

The ministry is hoping to form a 6th coalition against France. They rely on Russia and Sweden and possibly Prussia.

Sat 18th July 1812

In 17th Century, the Scottish Church was Episcopal. At that time the Episcopal Church had 2 Archbishops, 12 Bishops and 900 clergy. After the Dutch occupation, William and Mary abolished Episcopacy and substituted Presbytery. Most of the Episcopalians refused to take the Oath and were replaced in their offices by Presbyterians.

Nevertheless, the Episcopalians had the confidence of the people and this reduced group continued to minister to the Scots although both clergy and laity were acting illegally. This continued until 1792 when the proscription on Episcopalians was legislatively withdrawn.

The only serious difficulty for the Episcopalians was the lack of a confessional. This was remedied in 1804 when the Scottish Bishops adopted the 39 articles of the Church of England. Now the old Episcopalian Bishop of Edinburgh, the prelate of the Scottish Church, has requested permission to resign and an English clergyman has been appointed to replace him.

Sat 22nd Aug 1812

Berlin, 21st March. The King of Prussia seems to be recovering from his long depression. He recently attended a concert and a ball given for the Princess Dowager of Orange and seemed to enjoy himself.

Sat 22nd Aug 1812

A meeting is to occur at the Saxon capital of Dresden on 12th April between the Emperors of Russia, Austria and France. To support his negotiating position vis-à-vis the Tsar, Napoleon has sent 30,000 Bavarians to pass through Dresden en route for Warsaw. They will be followed by 10,000 Wurtemburgers. Finally an Italian corps and a French army are also expected to pass through.

Peace between Russia and Turkey remains elusive. The Russian troops are in defensive positions in Wallachia and Moldavia.

Tues 6th Oct 1812 Extraordinary

Rioting in the British midlands has increased and considerable property damage has been done. The army has been called out. They have fired on the people and several citizens have been killed.

Sat 17th Oct 1812

Unconfirmed reports from Mauritius say Napoleon left Paris for the North. Talleyrand is left in charge with Regency powers.

Sat 24th Oct 1812

Napoleon is in the East and has announced the second war of Poland. He says at Tilsit the Tsar swore eternal alliance with France and eternal war with England but has now changed his mind.

Russia says the Tilsit deal was Russia runs the East and France runs the West. French armies are supposed to remain in western Europe leaving the east to Russian discretion.

The Tsar has given no public explanation for his volte face.

Napoleon considers his choices are war or dishonour. He hopes that war in Poland will procure a better guarantee of Russian support to him. Hogendorp has mobilised the Prussian army to assist France.

Sat 24th Oct 1812

French attempts to negotiate peace with Britain continue unabated. The point of contact is still at Morlaix but it remains mainly for prisoner exchanges. The ministry says it tried to return a reply to the latest French initiative to Calais but our frigate was fired on and we had to revert to Morlaix for delivery. The French later apologised for firing.

Sat 31st Oct 1812

Vienna, 14th March – Austria and France have agreed a defensive alliance. Austria will provide 24,000 infantry 6,000 cavalry and 60 cannon to a combined force (its already in the Duchy of Warsaw liaising with the King of Westphalia’s army). Both countries guarantee the integrity of the Turkish empire i.e. this treaty is directed against Tsar Alexander who has seized Ottoman lands and extended his frontier to Sereth and in Asia. The Porte is expected to accede to the treaty.

Sat 7th Nov 1812

Staff of the Russian Legation in Paris have been caught buying information from the French Department of War. Four clerks were implicated in the sale of army details and one has been sentenced to death. Another (Saget) is fined and has to wear the iron collar for an hour in public.

Sat 7th Nov 1812

The House was cleared of strangers to allow debate on the Orders-in-Council. News reporters were removed. The merchants Benjamin Owen, Thomas Ostler and Joshua Schofield were then examined (Forgotten Books published their evidence and many others in a 2015 reprint of the original Abstract of Evidence against the Orders in Council published in 1812 – they are Birmingham merchants).

Sat 14th Nov 1812

Count Pagnani, the Russian Chancellor to the King of Italy, has commented perceptively in April 1812 on the rumours of war between Russia and France:

Russia has placed an army along the line from Kiev to the Baltic and firearms have been distributed in the frontier provinces. These acts appear to be preparations for war. Russia has been dismayed by the resurrection of Polish nationalism under the government of a French General.

On the other hand, the Rouble exchange rate is worsening, the government has little money, the army is small, under-financed and weakly officered, and Russia has no allies to concert operations with. The recent wars with the Turks and Persians have produced little advantage and another war over Finland may be confidently predicted. These points militate against war with France.

The Russian people dread war but their opinion is irrelevant. More important is Romanzow, the Tsar’s minister, who is also committed to peace. His main concern is to maintain domestic tranquillity.

The war party have told the Tsar that France cannot carry war into the Russian interior, the country is too big to occupy. There is nothing to fear, they say, if we act defensively. If we are forced to retreat, we will devastate the country behind us (as we have seen Wellington do so effectively in India and Iberia) leaving the French with nothing to eat. Our Cossacks and Tartars are masters of destruction. The campaigning season is short in our cold climate and before the French get anywhere they will have to retreat.

It is true that provisioning a large army is difficult at the best of times and very difficult in a desolated country, but it is possible. The French recently wintered on the banks of the Vistula and suffered not at all. Nevertheless, the lack of provisions seems a thin reed on which to found a national policy that could result in losing everything. The Russian army has always lived off the surrounding countryside and that may be why their Generals value this strategy so highly – actually they have never had a well-organised commissariat.

Sat 14th Nov 1812

Crocker, the Bow Street officer, was patrolling in Hampstead on 30th April when he saw two men ‘acting suspiciously.’ They were standing on a wall and, as he watched, one of them appeared to fall off. He hurried to the scene and found the taller man was suspended by his neck from a lamp-post. The shorter man was trying to leave.

Crocker caught him back and brought both of them to Bow Street for enquiries.

It transpired they are canal workers. They had been together the previous afternoon tossing coins for money. When one had accumulated all the money they continued gambling for their clothes and finally for their lives. The short chap won this last bet and the tall one submitted to be hanged from a lamp-post.

Crocker took them before the magistrate who is examining the statutes to discover what offence he can charge them with. Meanwhile they have been committed to Bridewell.

Sat 28th Nov 1812

The Franco-Prussian alliance of 24th February 1812 contains two interesting clauses:

By Clause 2 the parties mutually guarantee the integrity of each other’s lands.

By Clause 4 if England makes a commercial attack by blockade or otherwise that is repugnant to international law (i.e. contrary to the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713 – free ships make free goods), the parties agree to close their ports to all those neutrals that permit their flags to be used by the nationals of other countries.

Sat 2nd Jan 1813

Bernadotte has come over to us. He dines on Admiral Saumarez’s flagship and co-operates with our navy. Sweden has declared war on France and is assembling a force in Pomerania to attack the rear of the French army in Poland.

Sat 16th Jan 1813

The Sicilian parliament is to convene on 15th June to consider the terms of a Constitution that Bentinck has drafted for the island. This has caused great happiness amongst the Sicilians who have formerly been serfs of the Bourbon King of Naples. In May a military expedition was forming at Palermo but its purpose is unknown. About 800 deserters from the German brigade of the French army in Spain have arrived at Palermo to join the Italian Legion, as the Sicilian force is being called.

Sat 30th Jan 1813

Le Moniteur, 3rd July – the French Emperor has presented the senate with treaties of alliance with Prussia and Austria.

Formerly the Russian Tsar was co-operating to reassert the principles of international law and save Europe from the English. In the conference on the River Niemen the Tsar agreed to be France’s second in the dispute and we made an offensive alliance with him. France agreed to forego the advantages she had won in war in order to conciliate and ally with Russia.

In 1806 when Austria renewed the war on France, Russia failed to respond to her treaty obligation. The 150,000 men contractually required of her dwindled to 15,000 and by the time they left Russia the Austrians had already been defeated.

However, it was not until 1811 that some acts of the Russian government confirmed their policy had changed:

  • Earlier in 1811 the Tsar had amassed a force on the Polish frontier to threaten the Duchy of Warsaw.
  • He also took a hostile position to France over the indemnities claimed for the Duke of Oldenburg in Hanover.[313]
  • On 19th December 1811 the Tsar issued a Ukase ending French trade with Russia and substituting English trade.

All three acts were incompatible with the terms of the FrancoRussian alliance. France spent the whole of 1811 in negotiations with Russia but agreement eluded  us. In the face of implacable Russian hostility, France has now allied herself with Austria and Prussia preparatory to a confrontation with the Tsar.

Sat 6th Feb 1813

Castlereagh has advised the Lord Mayor of London on 31st July for the information of the City that a peace treaty was concluded between Sweden and Russia on 18th July. Our emissary to Stockholm (the banker and MP Thornton) has just brought a copy to London. The British ministry has acceded to the treaty as well.

Sat 16th Jan 1813

The Russian plan for the campaign against Napoleon has been changed due to the treason of the liberal Mikhail Speransky.[314] All the magazines containing the army’s stores have been moved further into the interior of the country. It will be inconvenient but safer. The Russian plan still appears to be defensive.

Napoleon appears to have a disciplinary problem among his forces. They come from Austria, Prussia, the Rhine Confederacy, Italy and Holland as well as France. The Dutch regiment (formerly known as the Prince of Orange’s Regiment) mutinied on arriving on Prussian soil and disarmed its officers.

The Governor of Danzig has allowed the import of colonial (British) goods provided half of each ship’s cargo is in rice, lead and tobacco. These three items are almost unobtainable. The French have made progress in producing simulations (sugar from grapes and beets, coffee from chicory, domestic tobacco farming) but they have made little progress in growing or simulating indigo or cotton and still need to import these. British cargoes are also being welcomed at Kronstadt and Riga. Russian exports for return cargoes are more expensive than hitherto. Two ships direct from Britain have been allowed to discharge at Gothenburg.

Sat 6th Feb 1813

Napoleon is disenchanted with Bernadotte. He has offered to restore Pomerania and Finland to Sweden and Bernadotte’s Estates in France and Italy to that General, if he will only co-operate in the assault on Russia.

Bernadotte said Finland is not Napoleon’s to bestow and he might himself recover Pomerania militarily. He says he abandoned his French Estates when he became a Swede. Napoleon appealed to Bernadotte’s sense of gratitude but the ex-General said they had fought side by side and both shown valour and there was no debt of gratitude for Napoleon to call upon.

Bernadotte has done a deal with London. For a subsidy of £100,000 he will raise a force of 30,000 men to cruise the south Baltic coast in British ships, occasionally landing to cut communications, disrupt supplies, etc., in the French rear.

Sat 20th Feb 1813

London, 11th September – The banker and sometime Consul Thornton MP has returned via Copenhagen. He was unable to coax the Danes into befriending us. Not only did they refuse to talk with him but when he presented himself they ordered an increased mobilisation of troops.

As a result we will not be able to include Denmark in the 6th coalition we have assembled against Napoleon.[315]

Sat 13th Feb 1813

The French Generals Moreau and Blucher have arrived in Stockholm and been welcomed by Bernadotte. They are to be employed in the Swedish or Russian army. Moreau enjoys broad support and popularity amongst the French people.

Sat 13th March 1813

Sir Robert Wilson, who is attached to Russian army headquarters, reported on 24th September that the Tsar can count on 100,000 troops in the defence of Moscow.

He says the system of warfare Wellington operates in Spain has been introduced into this campaign as well – the majority of 1,100 French prisoners-of-war taken in the opening battle were killed. All the prisoners taken previously were also killed. A Hanoverian Colonel with two officers and 200 men has just been brought in – they are the non-French remains of a body of 600 troops taken prisoner on the Mojaisk Road. Wilson says their survival is doubtful. The Russians explain that their soldiers are resentful of their repeated defeats.

Mon 15th Feb 1813 Extraordinary

The Russians have sustained a severe defeat at Moskwa (Borodino). They lost 40 Generals and 50,000 men – that is five men for every one man lost by the French pan-European army. The Italian and Westphalian units fought well.

Sat 13th March 1813

Napoleon has complained of barbarity under flags of truce (his messengers are being executed). He has assured Marshall Walkovski that it was not the French who torched Moscow.[316]

The French want an armistice for the winter and it has been refused. Col Marchaud has returned from consulting the Tsar in St Petersburg where he was told “I will sooner grow my beard to my waist and live on herbs in Siberia than negotiate with France whilst her soldiers are within my empire.” The Tsar says this is not the usual sort of war.

Lord Tyrconnell[317] is with the Russians at Kiev.

Cossack cavalry is pouring through that town for the front. These horsemen of the Steppe have a way in war that is reminiscent of the Mongols. Some Russians mention the last sack of Moscow, which was done by the Mongols, and its aftermath on the banks of the Volga where the retreating Scythian barbarians were killed without exception.

Perhaps that was the historical event that provided the precedent for present Russian strategy.

Astonishingly, the Russian army has reserves of bread and brandy whilst the French are tightly rationed.

The French conscripts are disheartened. Many of them became tearful in recognition of their difficulties. This is not the war they expected. The rules of war have been abandoned.

Sat 27th Feb 1813

Encouraged by the approach of so many European troops, the Diet of Warsaw has named Prince Csartorynski as President of Council. He is 80 years old and has been Marshall of the Diet for 50 years.

His first act was to declare the re-establishment of the Confederation of Poland. Napoleon has welcomed the development and merely reminded the Poles that he has guaranteed the integrity of Austria.

Sat 6th March 1813

On 21st September a huge fleet of 600 transport ships left Yarmouth for the Baltic. It is rumoured they will carry 20,000 Swedish troops from Sweden to Finland to join with the 30,000 Russian troops in that country and act against the rear of Napoleon’s European army.

Sat 6th March 1813

The Russians have adopted a unique strategy to oppose Napoleon. They chanced battle and felt the sting of French courage; since then they have been retreating. Its unusual for an army to destroy its own country but Russia is thoroughly feudal and the Tsar has no difficulty in doing a thing like that.

The route from Smolensk to Moscow is a desert and Smolensk itself was largely burnt. The garrison commander sought to remove the houses in the suburbs to deprive the Prussian attackers of cover, but lost control of the fires he set.

Napoleon arrived in Moscow to find few people remaining. There were 120 cannon and 60,000 muskets in the arsenal but most of the population (normally 200,000) had left.

The remaining occupants are primarily 30,000 of the Tsar’s injured soldiers left behind in the hospitals and 3,000 prisoners released from the gaols and armed by the Governor of Moscow before his departure. This latter group of desperate men have fired parts of the city and occupied the Kremlin. It required units of the Italian army to remove them before Napoleon could take-up quarters there.

Sat 6th March 1813

The London Docks have become very quiet. The Admiralty is conducting a extensive impressment and everyone is hiding. It is the same at the outports.

All the usual indulgences for merchant navy officers and others involved in work of national importance are waived and any male wandering the streets of an English port does so at his peril.

Five hundred prisoners from the prison ships at Portsmouth have volunteered for naval service and all except French and Italians are accepted.

Sat 13th March 1813

Palermo, 24th July – the feudal system in Sicily is ended. Bentinck’s liberal Constitution is adopted. The King is completely devalued and power is shared by two Houses of Parliament. All the great landowners have voluntarily surrendered their historical rights over the land and people in return for seats in the upper House together with the clergy. A new Constitution is said by Bentinck to be modelled on British arrangements. The Queen of Naples is livid.

Sicilian Judges are made independent and appointed for life. Bentinck is appointed Lord Chancellor.

The King calls annual parliaments. The right of investiture (the royal monopolies) is cancelled. All revenue law must originate in the lower House and be approved by the Upper House. Trial by jury was approved by the lower House but negatived in the upper. Nevertheless, the new political arrangements are a great leap forward for the Sicilian people.

Sat 27th March 1813

The Bourbon Duke and Duchess d’Antraigues have been murdered at their home in Surrey, England by their new Italian butler Lorenzio. The Duke is one of the few Bourbons remaining in England. Lorenzio shot himself in the head afterwards. He has worked there only three months.

Sat 10th April 1813

William Windham has died. He was an eccentric man and his character needs elucidation to comprehend. His intimate friend Amyot has undertaken to edit his public speeches for publication. He has collected all that remains in three volumes and prefaced the speeches with a biographical vignette from which this obituary is drawn:

In 1778 Windham was a major in the militia. His battalion was ordered to march from Norwich to an adjoining county. It was customary at the time to pay each man a guinea when ordered to serve outside his own county. Windham ordered the men to march off but they contrarily grounded their arms and asked for the guinea first. Windham arrested one soldier who seemed to be schooling the others. He was attacked by a shower of stones from the other soldiers and the crowd of their relatives who were on-lookers. Windham stayed with his prisoner overnight. In the small hours, the other soldiers attempted to release the prisoner but Windham drew his sword and opposed them. The prisoner then saved Windham by telling the crowd that, should they release him, he would voluntarily submit to recapture. That defused the situation and the battalion soon after marched into Suffolk.

Windham was an independent thinker who always followed his own mind. This caused him to frequently change his friends. The best example of this trait was when Addington’s government fell and Pitt returned for a 2nd ministry. Windham was then allied with Fox (his old school friend) and opposed to Pitt. They had been in constant agreement until the French Revolution but had drawn different conclusions from that paroxysm. Windham remained ideologically a Foxite but practical considerations required he liaise with Pitt – he was always concerned with measures not men. He was not alone in his decision in 1793 – Burke, FitzWilliam, Spencer and others all went over to Pitt and only Portland remained with the liberal Whigs.

On the commencement of the present war after the farce of Amiens, concern over the Revolution had evaporated with the changes adopted within France. We were no longer fighting for restoration of French monarchy and Catholicism. The concepts of liberty and equality had been subordinated to a military government which had been reorganised into a formidable power.

Sat 10th April 1813

The London Press has insinuated that Lord Yarmouth returned to England by breaking his parole to the French Government. Yarmouth has written a correction to the papers on 13th August:

The peace of Amiens was ended by the British seizure of French crews and ships and other French people in England. France responded with a similar measure. Since May 1803 there has been a large group of English prisoners in France who gave their parole of good behaviour. A few months afterwards, a small group of them tried to escape and our paroles were no longer considered reliable. All the British prisoners, who until then had lived where they chose in France, were subsequently concentrated at Verdun.

After two years, Fox came briefly into power, and, at the command of the Prince of Wales, requested and obtained my release. I, the Earl of Elgin and General Abercromby all signed paroles agreeing to return to France when requested.

We left via Morlaix in May 1806. I was then appointed British Agent in Paris and Fox obtained French agreement to release me from my parole on the grounds that it was inappropriate for a diplomatic agent shielded under the Law of Nations.

Sat 17th April 1813

In August 1812, the émigré Duke of Richelieu wrote a letter from Odessa that reveals Russian strategy in the war with France:

The plan is to abandon part of the country and draw the French in until their communications are very extended. Once France begins to display weakness due to shortages, we plan to attack her in every possible way. In this way we initially declined combat and retreated. Now the French are doing the same on their withdrawal from Russia.

Count Wittgenstein managed to catch Oudinot at the River Dwina. He captured 2 cannon and 3,500 prisoners.

The Tsar is paying off his infantry. He will rely on the Cossack cavalry who will work for plunder alone. Great numbers of demobilised troops recognise the opportunities and are calling for re-employment and a further chance to attack the French. Here at Odessa the people have offered 300,000 Roubles and 400 fully-equipped horsemen to the Tsar. Similar enthusiasm exists everywhere.

The Russian army of Moldavia numbers 60,000 men and I (Richelieu) command a unit. We are marching to attack the French rear.

Sat 17th April 1813

The offence given by the Court of Naples to the Sicilians was unnecessary. The Bourbon King likes to hunt and closed-off some lands around Palermo for this purpose. That irritated the local people who had formerly used those lands. He created another hunting enclosure around the town of Figuzza and alienated still more of his people. The population of Sicily is 1.5 millions.

The King’s friends from Naples took over all the offices of Sicilian government. Whilst the King hunted, the Queen usurped the reins of government in the familiar way of Naples and lavished the national treasure on herself and her friends. To ensure control, the Queen employed the Neapolitan Castroni to operate a police. He filled the gaols with all sorts of people quite independent of the judiciary. Anyone enquiring into this system of detention was himself detained. In this way the Queen has removed all public criticism and spent more than the subsidy granted from London.

She was obliged to meet the expenses of keeping the King content and of deflecting the enquiries of the British minister Sir John Stuart. That meant wasting some money repairing the fortifications at Trapani and erecting batteries at Palermo but it kept complaints within bounds.

The revenue of Sicily is £700,000 and over half of that is British subsidies. When she had spent her allocation, the Queen turned to the ecclesiastical benefices. The monasteries were required to pay a large part of their income to the Queen and her friends. The councils of the various towns all save some treasure for the purchase of grain in times of shortage – she confiscated that and issued a paper currency in substitution. To get the towns to accept her notes, she made the issue interest bearing although it was well understood by the Court that there was no fund from which to meet annual interest charges. Private merchants and landowners throughout the island were visited and required to exchange their treasure for paper notes.

By the time the Queen had spent this, the people had become more wily in secreting their remaining wealth, and the Queen was persuaded to constitute a parliament for the purpose of raising taxes. Her daughter is married to the Duc d’Orleans and she expected support but was restrained by a legal provision in Sicily that permits only parliament to vote taxes.

The Constitution of Sicily has remained unchanged since the reign of Roger the Norman (a cousin of William the Conqueror) in 11th century. Roger was passing through the Mediterranean on the Pope’s great crusade against the Muslims in Jerusalem. He only got as far as Sicily, where he expelled the Muslim government and gave the land in three equal parts to the church, his generals and to himself as King. These three groups appoint representatives. The King’s party has 40 seats and is usually allied with the clerics. The generals became fief-holders and in due course assumed a controlling position – their fiefs, each of which returns one vote, increased to 280. Fiefs are traded amongst the barons – it only requires a payment to the King to ratify transfers. Over time, some of landowners became politically important whilst most others faded away. The assent of any two of these three bodies is necessary to make new law.

The Kings of Naples have historically been cautious in their dealings with the barons of Sicily. They have assumed that everything can be done with baronial support and nothing without it. They have seldom relied on their ability to control two houses and legislate without the support of the barons because such legislation avails them nothing unless it is respected by the people – that requires the landowners co-operation for enforcement.

To direct the parliament, the Queen has had to spend heavily on her spies and that’s the problem – to get more revenue she has to spend more money. She required 360,000 ounces of silver a year from parliament and they approved only 150,000. It was one of those rare occasions when the barons allied with the clerics to defeat the King, or in this case, the Queen. Worse, parliament voted that the main burden for tax payment should fall upon the rich, so it appeared to be the parliamentary intention that the Queen’s group fund itself, so to speak. She got that reversed by a thoroughly unconstitutional process but still she only had 150,000 ounces.

This confrontation with the representatives in 1810 brought her extravagance to the knowledge of the people and a threat to public order manifested. To respond to this she needed more troops. That is always expensive – you have to pay for them whether they are in use or not. She tried a lottery of lands, most of which had been confiscated from people for failure to pay tax, and that added to the odium surrounding her. She then came up with a novel tax – a 1% charge on every property transfer – and all the shopkeepers had to keep records of Bills they had received and paid and send in 1% of their total value each week. 1% sounds inconsequential but Bills circulate continually through the local economy and the cumulative effect of the new tax cost the merchants 15 – 20% of their turnover every week. They could not pay.

This led to the exploitation of the grain reserves, the last thing of value that the country had to offer. The towns of Sicily all bought grain from the farmers to create a reserve for times of shortage. This was now incrementally sold-off to meet tax commitments and provoked considerable popular consternation.

Sir John Stuart raised the alarm when he learned that the warehouses of Messina refused to allow grain to be removed. The people of Messina were angry but remained peaceable in the presence of the British army. They appealed to Stuart for justice and for a while the government collectors became more consensual and compromised on tax payments. The popular champion who emerged at this time was Belmonte, the baron who had opposed the Queen’s attempt to get 360,000 ounces in 1810. He caused a petition to be presented to the King which alarmed the Queen.

This put the entire country in confrontation with the Queen and the Neapolitan émigrés. She had one ace – about 14,000 troops at Palermo were deserters from the French and Italian armies and were as dependant on her as she was on them. If the people chose violence she could ensure it would be a bloody affair.

The Sicilians therefore put their trust in Bentinck who knew their situation and had just gone to London to report. The British had 18,000 troops locked-up in Sicily when they desperately needed reinforcements in Spain. They might also threaten an end of subsidies which act alone might have brought the Queen to her senses. On the other hand the British could not alienate the Sicilian government so long as they relied on Sicilian grain to provision Malta. They were also attracted to the many thousands of troops that Sicily could provide. Thoughts along these lines persuaded Stuart to withhold his troops from executing the designs of the Queen. The British force was adequate to counter any moves of the Queen’s troops. The Queen was obliged to use her spies to denigrate the British as best she could. This inevitably encouraged the Francophile party in Sicily to reveal itself and offer a remedy.

On 19th July the King attended a Council at which it was agreed to arrest Belmonte and four other leading barons and reassert monarchical government. They were arrested at night and sent off in a small boat belonging to a gentleman known as Cacaci.

Bentinck had by then become Governor and his initial policy was to conciliate the Queen’s party, but without success. He returned to London for instructions and Lt General Maitland became the British Resident in his absence. Maitland exposed several plots and maintained a semblance of good order until Bentinck’s return. Then the Duc d’Orleans counselled the King and he was induced to assert his authority over the Queen. He took the troops from her control and put them under Bentinck. He released those Barons who had been arrested.

Britain is now required to restore the Constitutional arrangements of Sicily in a way that will be universally acclaimed. This was the background to Bentinck’s uncommonly liberal Constitution. The farmers and artisans are freed from oppression, whether from clerics, barons or Kings. A balance between freedom and service is established that is acceptable to all.

This measure has prospects of resurrecting Sicily and her famous port of Syracuse to its ancient glory.

Sat 24th April 1813

A man in Vienna received a letter from Austrian Poland in early October concerning the plight of the Pan-European army. He has just provided it to the newspaper.

Napoleon send General Lauriston to General Kutusow and proposed peace. Kutusow said this is not the time for peace – your army is cut-off, your men are unfed, they have neither arms nor ammunition, your horses are starved and unable to work. You must surrender your officers and men unconditionally as prisoners-of-war and order your forces in Poland and Germany to immediately return to France. Lauriston’s response is not reported.

Napoleon is said to have assumed Caulaincourt’s identity and separated from his army. The European troops are making their way west as best they can. All Europe is astonished that these barbarous Cossacks have defeated the French.

Another letter reports the Russians entered Warsaw on 23rd October.

Sat 24th April 1813

It now appears that Napoleon was baited by the Russians. They agreed truces between the advanced posts of each army then broke them. This likely incensed Napoleon who is a stickler for honour. When he saw the trench works thrown-up in front of Moscow he assumed a stand was finally to be made, but the Russians abandoned their lines after dark and left the city for the French. In this way they enticed him on.

Moscow is mainly a wooden city and the Governor fired it after he had released and armed the prisoners in the gaols. Of 8,000 wooden structures, some 500 remain. There are also some 200 stone houses still standing. The population of about 200,000 was left to scour the street for food – it was the army, the nobles and officials who left first. It would have required 20,000 men to secure the city. Kutusow abandoned his 30,000 wounded in Moscow – they would have slowed his retreat.

The only punishment that Napoleon could devise was to destroy the Kremlin, which he did on 23rd September. He is really surprised the Tsar did not defend his capital and shocked that Alexander should adopt Tartar tactics against a European foe.

Napoleon has been told that to avenge the burning of a single village, it is the Tartar way to burn a hundred. There are 2,000 villages within 20 miles of Moscow and about the same number of castles and country estates of the nobility. Napoleon has declined to enter into this type of warfare.

He has destroyed the Kremlin and the Russian army barracks in accordance with the usual rules of European war. He pursued the Russian armies here and there but they always fled. The people the French see regularly are the bands of mounted Cossacks who remain beyond musket-range and adopt the tactics of guerrilla warfare.

Sat 1st May 1813

Cathcart has been given Plenipotentiary powers and sent to St Petersburg to represent England. On 15th September (the day Napoleon entered Moscow), Cathcart reported a magnificent Russian victory over the French at Borodino ten days earlier.

French officers offered emancipation and liberty to the Russian serfs in an attempt to win them to their side but the serfs were fearful. They could not conceive of those possibilities and said they had to first ask their feudal Lord if it was allowed.

The French repeatedly attacked the left of the Russian army at Borodino but were unable to make any permanent impression all day. In the evening they withdrew leaving the field to the Russians, hence the battle is claimed as a Russian victory.

An announcement from the Tsar has also arrived. He acknowledges the loss of his capital city but asserts its only a temporary reversal to effect the ultimate ruin of the French. The population and food in Moscow had been removed before the French arrival:

“Napoleon thought I would wait in my capital to receive his instructions. He erred. I have mobilised my forces around Moscow. Every French foraging party is being annihilated (another breach of the former rules of war). They will have no provisions. He came here with 300,000 troops from all over Europe. Before arriving at Moscow he had already lost half his force to hunger, sickness, desertion and battle. Of my four armies, one confronts and harasses him while the other three have cut off his retreat. It has fallen to Russia to save Europe.”

Kutusow commenced his offensive operations on 18th October.

Sat 1st May 1813

The Russian peace with Turkey establishes a new frontier along the line of the River Prut from the Moldavian border to the Danube, then along that river to the Chilia and thence to the Black Sea. The Danube to its confluence with the Prut may be navigated by Russian warships; the upper part of the river is opened to both country’s merchant ships. Wallachia is restored to Turkey.

Any Muslims wishing to return to Turkish lands have 18 months to remove; likewise Christians in Turkish lands. Turkey agrees to demolish its forts in Serbia and grant amnesty to those people for their rebellion. Turkey agrees to mediate between Russia and Persia and fix their mutual frontier.

Tues 11th May 1813 Extraordinary

Cathcart has written again from St Petersburg on 11th November:

Napoleon has left Moscow on the road to Smolensk. The French have destroyed an immense amount of their ammunition and appear to be fleeing. They are attacked on all sides by Cossack cavalry and dragoons. The road is littered with French dead for mile after mile. They have no food for horses which consequently cannot pull the cannon. Without cannon they are vulnerable to Cossack tactics. The French troops are hungry, tired and dispirited.

Russia re-occupied Moscow on 22nd October.

General Winzingerode and an aide complained under a flag of truce at the resistance of the French rear guard and were arrested (the Russians are not fighting under the rules of war and Napoleon is now reciprocating – truces do not feature in this campaign).

At first it appeared Napoleon would attempt to break through to the southern provinces but he has since resumed the retreat towards Smolensk. The Russians have captured a General from the French commissariat. It appears he was victualling 120,000 men and this had reduced to 85,000 on the evacuation of Moscow.

Sir Robert Wilson and Lord Tyrconnel are attached with the Russian forces and reporting all developments as they occur.

On 23rd November Cathcart wrote again:

The French are being annihilated. The Russians are everywhere victorious. They spray the French columns with grapeshot as they pass. The armies of Davoust and Ney were cut off and surrendered. French artillery prisoners have told us where Napoleon left cannon on his way to Moscow and we are working to discover them and remove or spike them before his arrival.

Tues 11th May 1813 Extraordinary

Parliament reopened on 10th November 1812. The Regent addressed both Houses:

“Wellington is in control of the southern provinces of Spain. We had to withdraw from Burgos and Madrid but we are making progress.

“I have made peace with Russia and Sweden. Russia has consented to put her warships in British ports for the duration of the French invasion of her lands. Her sacrifice is unprecedented.

“I have offered peace to America but she still fights us. Her invasion of Canada was defeated and we are vigorously fighting to induce negotiations.”

Sat 15th May 1813

Winter set in on the French army in Russia on 7th November. Within a week the temperature dropped to 16ºF (-9ºC) and 30,000 horses died. The French now have neither cavalry nor artillery. Their army has become a straggling column of dispirited men. Platoff’s Cossacks fight like Arabs – they continuously circle the French on horseback and move in when they can pick off small groups that have separated from the rest. They are implacable butchers and plunderers.

Sat 22nd May 1813

Napoleon appointed de Lesseps as Governor of Moscow and ordered him to arrange the supply of provisions for the army. The very few Russian merchants remaining in Moscow declined to offer supply but some Russian Jews agreed to visit all the surrounding villages and procure whatever was available. They said they needed gold or silver to pay for it. de Lesseps saw no alternative to handing over the money. The Jews said ‘see you soon’ and he waited and waited until an uncomfortable feeling arose. There was no further sight of the Jews, the money or the food. Lesseps was then formally disgraced.

Sat 29th May 1813

Further to the excerpts from Cathcart’s letters from Moscow published previously, we now have a military report up to 1st December.

The Russians re-occupied Minsk and obtained a great supply of French provisions and war materiel. They defeated General Dombrovski (commander of the Polish army). Napoleon joined his army with Oudinot and Victor but, although he had 80,000 men, he was unwilling to attack us.

The European infantry stayed in a forest where our Cossack cavalry could not get at them. Then General Wittgenstein arrived and our combined forces overwhelmed the enemy. Most of them drowned in the river, the survivors were killed with the sword. Napoleon lost 25,000 men – people from every country in Europe.

Our armies are following and our Cossacks are constantly harassing him. He is hurrying to Wilna (Vilnius).

Sat 5th June 1813

Long review of Memoirs of the Public Life of John Horne Tooke by Hamilton Reid, 1812

Sat 5th June 1813

Lord Folkestone asked last session for details of foreign officers in British service and, after a long delay, the minister has now provided a return of foreign officers in British service in England.

Palmerston said he did not understand the complaint, if that is what it was. The King’s German Legion was a temporary force to employ the great numbers of German officers who came to England in 1804 after the occupation of Hanover. It only superficially conflicted with the terms of the Act of Settlement.

We employed Bourbon émigrés in all the insurrections of Europe and by 1804 we had no officer jobs left overseas for the Germans. Most of these Germans were previously in service to George III in Hanover. They have often fought for Britain. They are almost British. Their employment hardly affects the promotion prospects of British officers. They are not entitled to half-pay. When German officers serve with other nationalities’ forces, it is the senior officer who commands the joint force – they get no preference. They are allowed to retain the ranks and titles they collect in our service – that is just to motivate them.

The British population is small whilst Napoleon has all of Europe to draw his forces from. We need reinforcements. We have always had German mercenaries in our service. They are big chaps who fight hard. Now Europe is under French dominion, these fellows have come to England but its just the same as before.

Lord Ponsonby objected to Palmerston’s characterisation of their employment as temporary. Their Articles refer to permanent employment. When the duties of the War Office end with the peace, will Palmerston’s permanent employment become temporary, he wondered.

Milton said the objection was to German officers commanding British troops. There were language and cultural differences. Baron Linsingen commanded the Eastern district of England and a British regiment. The Constitution allows foreign officers to be employed only overseas.

Palmerston said Linsingen only briefly commanded a district on the death of Lord Chatham but in fact a British officer had been appointed within a few months to replace Chatham and thereafter Linsingen only commanded the depot.

General Stewart said he could see no difference between a German officer commanding British troops and a British officer (Wellington et al) commanding Portuguese and Spanish troops. The German Baron Alten commanded the Light Division in the peninsula. The first regiment of German hussars was the finest regiment in the whole British army of Spain.

Canning said we should not deprecate foreigners. William of Orange gave us our Constitution. We allowed his Dutch troops to garrison England.

Folkestone reminded the House that it was in the first year after the accession of the House of Brunswick that an Act of Parliament was voted to regulate the employment of Hanoverian soldiers.

Sat 12th June 1813

The Russians have entered Vilnius and taken the remains of the French army – 8 generals, 400 officers, 25,000 troops, 400 cannon have been seized. Napoleon’s personal baggage containing a multitude of state papers was also taken. McDonald’s army is still retreating west but the River Niemen is supposed to be impassable and he cannot escape far. Tsar Alexander is travelling from St Petersburg to Vilnius. The armies of all the states of Europe have so far lost 150,000 killed and nearly 100,000 captured. Russians losses are not revealed.

General Kutusow has proclaimed a new organisation of Poland, much to their advantage, and calling on them to oppose the French. Thousands are flocking to his standards.

Sat 12th June 1813

Paris newspaper – we French resent violations of the code of honour. The Tsar promises one thing and does another; General de York commanding the Prussian army is first our ally then our enemy. What will replace honour to adjust the affairs of nations?

All basis to trust between countries is destroyed by English principles – “my word is meaningless, my bribe is my bond”

Sat 19th June 1813

Russia has not only ejected the European army but has co-incidentally over-run Poland. A large part of the French army surrendered at Vilnius and MacDonald’s army surrendered at the River Niemen. The Prussians had changed sides by then and did not defend Prussian Poland which fell to the Russians. The Tsar has occupied Warsaw and Konigsberg and his army is besieging Danzig. The Russian advanced guard has reached Upper Saxony and is at the doors of Frankfurt (on the Oder), Dresden and Berlin.

Since Napoleon started the retreat from Moscow, he has lost 180,000 men to the Russians as prisoners and at least that number again in men killed.

Sat 19th June 1813

Paris, 11th January 1813 – the Senate has voted a conscription of 350,000 men for war service.

Sat 3rdJuly 1813

Whilst Napoleon was away in the East, a conspiracy in Paris arose involving a few disenchanted Generals. The leader was previously caught rebelling but was reprieved. The Paris newspapers are full of the conspiracy and say little about Russia. The rebel Generals seized the Minister of Police, the commander of the Paris garrison and the Prefect of the Seine (the leading official of towns along that river) and were well on their way to a coup d’etat when arrested.

They have since been shot. They had intended to kill Napoleon on his return, declare the abolition of Imperial government and establish a provisional government in a hotel. The garrison of Paris has since been increased with reliable troops.

Sat 3rdJuly 1813

The British ministry sent Lord Walpole to Vienna to observe the peace negotiations with France. The Austrians sent him away. They are still bitter at their great losses of territory and population that resulted from adopting our ideas in the previous coalition.

We sent expeditions to Walcheren and Spain to escape the reputation we had amongst the Kings of Europe but they still retain the idea of our perfidy. They think our concept of ‘eternal war’ is not merely intended to destroy France but all of them as well. They believe we plan to raise England to even greater power. We now treat the world’s oceans as our own property.

It seems our main enemy in the Austrian camp is the French General Rapp, Governor at Danzig, who has been invigorating the Anglophobe Austrians.

Sat 10th July 1813

Leipzig, 10th November – 200 surgeons passed through Leipzig on their way to Warsaw where part of the residue of the French army is in hospital. A caravan of wagons bringing Saxon wounded has started to arrive here from Courland and Dresden and our hospitals are full.

Sat 10th July 1813

London – The French bulletin dealing with the retreat of the army was published in Paris on 17th November. 30,000 copies were sold in the streets. The following day a disturbance occurred at Theatre Feydeau where a variety of things were thrown at a bust of Napoleon that is prominently displayed there. The audience became so irritated they pushed the bust off its pedestal before they left the house.

Sat 10th July 1813

Konigsberg, 17th December – French Generals are arriving here on foot wearing peasant clothes and bereft of everything. They are all injured by frost and hunger. Dukes, who have not slept in a bed for two weeks, arrive in filthy shirts.

The Duke of Brunswick and the Prince of Orange are rousing their Houses to take advantage of the French reversal. French newspapers arriving at Dover are now restricted to a readership of government officials only. English papers in Paris are completely unavailable. Until a few weeks ago they had been available to some officials but now they are being destroyed unread.

A cartel ship has arrived at Plymouth from Morlaix bringing three passengers, one of whom is an Irish priest. He says the Parisians are discontented and Napoleon fears for his safety. Soon after his return from Russia a placard appeared around town ‘Bonaparte is a murderer.’ The perpetrators have not been discovered.

Sat 17th July 1813

Field Marshall Kutusow, Prince of Smolensk, has proclaimed to the Prussians that the entry of his army into Prussia is in hot pursuit of the French – the Germans have nothing to fear from him. He hopes King Frederick will provide every necessary assistance.

Sat 17th July 1813

Lord Tyrconnel has died at Vilnius. He was a volunteer with the Russian armies and advised Cathcart of progress by daily letters.

It was Tyrconnel who estimated that, once the retreat from Smolensk started, 1,500 European soldiers were frozen daily on the road to Minsk and Vilnius.

Sun 1st Aug 1813 Extraordinary

Prussia is wondering why it changed sides. They received the Russians with hospitality at Konigsberg but the Cossacks could not be restrained from looting everywhere and the people were obliged to supply all their wants or be attacked. Berlin was occupied on 9th March and given over to looting.

The process worsens as the Cossacks move west because hundreds of Prussian adventurers have assumed Cossack dress and are participating in the plunder.[318]

The attractions of windfall wealth has greatly inflated the manning of Russian armies with volunteers. They seem to have mostly come from the Prussian army and Lt General de York, CiC Prussia, has issued a proclamation on 9th February calling on the people to deliver the deserters. Gold and silver has disappeared from circulation and the Russian army pays its way with paper.

The Prussians forecast that victory will be worse than defeat. The government of Frederick William has nevertheless declared war on France on 13th March.

The French are defending the line of the Elbe. The Russians reached it at Dresden but will have difficulty in crossing.

Sun 1st Aug 1813 Extraordinary

The Frankfurt Journal of 11th March reports an attempted insurrection at Amsterdam has been frustrated. The leaders have been tried by Courts Martial – two have been executed whilst another four are imprisoned for two years.

Sat 7th Aug 1813

The unexpected result in Russia has reminded Napoleon of his own mortality.[319] On 5th February after his return from Moscow, he established a Regency of his son, to be advised by his Austrian wife, in the event of his death. There is an un-named Prince Regent and other dignitaries mentioned in the Decree who will administer France during the boy’s minority.

Sat 14th Aug 1813

George Canning MP has provided a literary inscription to the Corporation of London for their proposed statue of Pitt in the Guildhall. The Aldermen gave him a dinner afterwards.

Sat 11th Sept 1813

News from France:

The defection of Prussia from the European alliance created by France has caused a shortfall of 80,000 – 100,000 troops in the united army which France will now have to raise domestically. This has created dissent, both in France and in the surrounding countries.

It was the influence of Baron Hardenberg that secured Prussian defection. He alleged treaty violations by France to justify the act. He says the French never listen to Prussia. The Treaty of Tilsit was harsh and humiliating and it was unbecoming for a proud nation like Prussia. “We have had to pay for French garrisons and other arbitrary contributions. Under the Treaty of Bayonne, Prussia had a fund for the Widows & Orphans of dead soldiers which had to be surrendered to France. Peace with France costs almost as much as war. France had occupied Swedish Pomerania without pre-advice to Berlin which felt menaced.”

Now it appears that Russia is stronger than France and might provide better protection. An alliance with her should better preserve the independence of Prussia.[320]

Russia and Prussia have offered Norway to Sweden. Russia wants Finland and Prussia wants Pomerania. Norway should satisfy Sweden for both cessions.

Norway is a Danish colony but the Danish King is Francophile. To get the Danes on-side, Russia and Prussia propose some Hanseatic towns be transferred to Danish sovereignty. The Danish King has not approved the deal.

Mon 20th Sept 1813 Extraordinary

News from Europe in March 1813 suggests the Continental System is in tatters and the people are demanding wealth such as the British can offer. The Hanseatic towns, Westphalia and the Dutch are all in rebellion. Russian troops are welcomed and the Prussians are bent on revenge. England is sending goods under convoy to the Weser and Ems. The British Governor of Heligoland reports Hamburg is occupied by Russia and many Hamburg youths are joining the Russian forces as volunteers – they are called the Hanseatic Legion; The people of Hanover want British protection.

Only the Danes are enemies of France’s enemies. Alquier, the French ambassador to Copenhagen, has obtained Danish agreement to send two regiments to Hamburg to support the Customs Officers enforcing the exclusive system. They have executed some merchants. They have sent a fleet of gunboats to disrupt British trade between Heligoland and Hamburg.

Sat 25th Sept 1813

Our merchants at Heligoland have received large orders from Hamburg, Bremen and the other commercial centres of N W Europe. All our colonial produce has doubled in price. 56 boats had arrived at Heligoland from the Elbe and Weser rivers with purchase orders.

Sat 25th Sept 1813

The Austrian army of 80,000 men in Germany has come over to the Russians. A further Austrian army of 100,000 men is being sent into Italy.

Sat 25th Sept 1813

The Danish Court agreed to join the Russian and British cause at end March. That agreement was reached by Count Stroganoff and Admiral Morris. Count Bernstoff is going to London to finalise the treaty. Morris obtained Danish agreement to free navigation of the Oresund and the Elbe.

Sat 25th Sept 1813

Count von Wittgenstein’s Russian army is in Hanover and has published a Proclamation to the German people – any person helping or supplying the French will be tried by Court Martial for Treason.

All of North Germany is in insurrection. They want trade not social justice, individual wealth not shared poverty. Wittgenstein calls his Tsar ‘Alexander the Liberator’ – no suggestion of Alexander as the last feudal monarch of Europe there. Wittgenstein commands both the Russian and Prussian armies.

He later made a second Proclamation saying he has ‘come to break the chains of the people and restore them to their lawful Kings. The time for weeping has ended, the time for revenge has arrived. Join me in freeing your countrymen who still groan under the yoke,’ etc.

The French commandant at Otterberg has warned that any Germans who carry arms will be shot.

Sat 25th Sept 1813

The King of Sweden has reoccupied Pomerania and pledged his country to war with France. He says unilateral French treaty breaches absolve him from performance of those agreements.[321]

Sat 25th Sept 1813

Britain is sending the German Legion to Hanover as quickly as possible to ensure its sovereignty is reserved to the House of Brunswick.

Sat 9th Oct 1813

When the Russians occupied Hamburg they took all the French Customs Officers under their protection. In Hanover, where the Russians will not go (pending the arrival of an army from England), the mob was unrestrained. Several Customs officers had their ears and noses amputated and a few were crucified. The Hanoverians were more barbarous than the other Germans.

Sat 9th Oct 1813

John Bernard Trotter, the Secretary of the late C J Fox, has been imprisoned at Wexford for debt. Jane, his wife, and James McManus, a friend, were accused of attempting to free Trotter from the Sheriff and also briefly detained but were released after enquiries by the magistrate.

Sat 9th Oct 1813

France has sent Bassan to negotiate the release of the French prisoners we hold. We sent him back. Napoleon’s grand armee is destroyed. This is not the time for England to return 50,000 Frenchmen.

Sat 16th Oct 1813

The Royal Duke of Cumberland is going to Berlin for discussions with the Prussian Court and will then assume the government of Hanover.

Sat 16th Oct 1813

The armaments manufactory in the Tower of London has been working overtime. 20,000 muskets have just been shipped to north Germany. Instead of the old polished barrels these are bronzed or Japanned and look smarter.

Sat 16th Oct 1813

The success of the Russian subscription has encouraged London to commence another for the independence of the German states along the Rhine. Hanover is excepted. The Duke of Sussex is organising collections and had obtained large donations at commencement.

Sat 16th Oct 1813

Thomas Bonar, the elderly London merchant and Russian trade specialist, has been found murdered with his wife at their home called Camden Place in Chislehurst, Kent. He is a colleague of the banker Angerstein and a Director of the Bank of England, Their skulls were smashed with a poker. It was not part of the equipment of the house and must have been brought by the murderer. No robbery accompanied the attacks.

The footman Philip Nicholson is missing from duty. He had been seen earlier with Astley Cooper. Bonar’s butler named Dale had been recently discharged for unknown reasons. Bonar’s son is Colonel of the Kent local militia based at Faversham.[322]

Sat 23rd Oct 1813

The Friends of Independence in Germany held a dinner at the London Tavern on 10th May. The Royal Duke of Sussex was in the chair. Sussex told the meeting that they had the support of the Prince Regent, who had subscribed £100 to the aims of the Friends. The Duke of York sent his apologies and a £100 donation as well. £13,530 has already been collected and £2,000 more was promised at the dinner. Sussex said £2,000 had already been sent to Dr von Ess of Westfeldt and Dr Prest who were stimulating the people of the German states to independence. The Duke of Brunswick sent his apologies with a donation of 50 guineas.

Count Munster, the Duke of Kent, also attended. He told the meeting he had commenced his military career in the Hanoverian Guards. Although born in England, he loved Germany where he spent his early years and would give his life for German independence. Anyone wishing to join the Hanoverian regiments or the troops of the Hanseatic towns would be provided free-of-charge with uniform, gun, accoutrements and transport by the British government.

The party toasted Deutsche weiber, Deutsche madchen to great applause and ‘the daughter of Hetman Matvei Platoff – may success attend her husband and Europe’.[323]

The meeting drank a toast to the Hanseatic Legion and to independence – ‘may the morning star of German liberty shine over the ruins of despotism’.

The Emperor Alexander was also toasted as the Liberator of Europe.

Sat 30th Oct 1813

New Scandinavian of 31st May expresses a Swedish view of affairs:

England, Russia and Prussia have guaranteed the sovereignty of Norway to Sweden – its in a treaty signed 3rd March. They promise to use force to wrest Norway from Denmark, if necessary. It is obvious from geography that Scandinavia should be one country (Russia has taken Finland and declines to return it, so Sweden is expecting a quid pro quo in Norway, the colony of Denmark, Napoleon’s ally). England also guarantees the colony of Guadeloupe to Sweden under this Treaty. In return Sweden opens its ports to British manufactures and colonial goods at an ad valorem duty of 2%. There is an MFN clause too.

The King of Denmark, as present owner, has not agreed to relinquish Norway. Our dextrous policy has so far kept us out of the war but it may be necessary to enter the Danish homelands to encourage that King to surrender his colony. Our Crown Prince Bernadotte will lead the army in person. England is paying us £200,000 a month for five months to fund our army. Bernadotte is going to Pomerania to unite with the Swedish army. May God bless his undertaking.

Sat 30th Oct 1813

The Examiner – State of the Civilised World at end 1812 ( NB – The Examiner was a liberal and literary magazine):

In spite of the bloodshed throughout Europe and the onerous taxation of the British people, we are still the most civilised country in the World. We have enacted the abolition of the slave trade; we have ended smallpox by vaccination; we have spread the blessings of rational education.

Apart from events in Spain and Russia, we have continued our fond delusion that our interference in Europe has lasting effects. We are not more clever than other Europeans. We say Russians are more patriotic than others in accounting for their unexpected military success – they are actually slaves and have no concern for their government.

Wherever France has promised liberty, we have bribed the officials to restore the old order. If Napoleon had decreed the liberty of the Russian serf he might have made his trip to Moscow worthwhile but he says he could not loose their barbarous power on the Russian nobility without first making them his friends. Perhaps the only thing that could be more horrific than our endless war would be a revolution of the Russian peasantry.

England remains as she was at the commencement of the year, gazing wistfully across the Channel and ignoring her internal disorder that is Napoleon’s best chance for victory. The French rout from Moscow has made no impression in Austria or the German states. Napoleon has simply turned his attention from the East to Spain. Wellington has just written that he does not expect a speedy evacuation of the British army from Spain.

In the Baltic our attempts to conciliate nations and force alliances has back-fired. Sweden has played a clever game, always on the verge of sending her army but never quite doing so. Bernadotte avoided entanglement with either side (the Swedes are reserving their army to fight Denmark not France). The King of Denmark has shown himself to be the most deserving of respect amongst the European monarchs. He has ‘trod the razor’s edge’ in reciprocating Napoleon’s sense of honour.

In America we continue to reprobate the officials for behaving like independent people instead of colonists. Our aristocratic government holds those people in contempt. We have already lost one war to them.

We say the Spanish fight for liberty in Spain. They are against it in South America. It is probably too late for them to emulate the Portuguese and remove. Tyrannical aristocrats and monks are resented in their prosperous domains in South America.

At home we are considering the future of our Indian empire whilst the public-at-large does not care what happens to it, provided the French do not get it. An Indian government of bankrupt masters and money-making servants is not seen as a likely route to Indian improvement. The sword of ambition and the torch of Calvinism are poor instruments to convert the Hindu who holds it criminal to kill even a goose and believes that God manifests Himself in everything.

Sat 6th Nov 1813

The Dutch merchants of Amsterdam have sent an emissary to London to reopen trade. Their message has been forwarded to the Prince of Orange who is serving under Wellington in Spain.

Mon 8th Nov 1813 Extraordinary

A ship has arrived at Bombay from Basra bringing the overland news (it often comes via Constantinople and Baghdad, but sometimes by warship to the Syrian coast and overland to Baghdad).

  • Austria has declared war against France.
  • Wellington has obtained a substantial victory over Jerome Bonaparte and Jourdan at Vitoria. Wellington has been made a Field Marshall. The French in Spain have had to transfer a large force to Napoleon and this has required them to abandon several of the towns they had been garrisoning. Wellington instantly marched his men into the void and has reached the Pyrenees.

Sat 13th Nov 1813

The Royal Duke of Cumberland has arrived at Berlin on 17th July on his way to Hanover. He is travelling as the Count of Armagh.

Sat 20th Nov 1813

The Russians have been keeping a tally of the dead people and horses they have been burning. They started collecting data some time after the French retreat had commenced and the early figures are not available but they have now (May 1813) burned 213,516 corpses and 95,816 horses.

Sat 20th Nov 1813

Before Russia and Prussia entered the German states, they made a secret agreement that, as they entered each petty state, the government would be handed over to Baron Stein for his provisional administration.

The secrecy and the consolidation of several governments under one nobleman, gave the allied progress an appearance of unification and alarmed Bavaria, Baden and Wurtemburg in the south.

Those three countries, fearing that alliance with Russia or Prussia was the quick road to self-destruction, signed-up with France. It was troops from these states and the Italians that gave Napoleon the edge in his victory at Bauzern.

His own French conscripts were untrained and contributed little.

Sat 20th Nov 1813

Letter from north Germany, 15th June – It is rumoured that Murat, who had the Kingdom of Naples bestowed on him by Napoleon, has offered the Austrian Emperor 40,000 troops and his best assistance in driving the French out of Italy and restoring the Austrian possessions.

In return, he requires allied confirmation of his continuing monarchy. The Emperor Charles agreed if England, Russia and Prussia did likewise. England has now also agreed.

Sat 4th Dec 1813

On 20th May the Comte d’Artois, his son, the Duc d’Angouleme, the Swiss Baron de Rolle and several other European aristocrats embarked at Harwich on the Lady Nepean for the continent.

Sat 11th Dec 1813

The old King of the Two Sicilies has abdicated. Murat is King of Naples and the old King’s son has taken over the sovereignty of the island of Sicily under the unique title – the Alter Ego King of Sicily. The arrangement has British approval.

The old King’s wife, who was the prime mover in most of the venal initiatives we objected to, has left with the King. The new young King is a modern chap and is committed to making Bentinck’s Constitution work.

Sat 11th Dec 1813

England is consolidating its connection with Russia. The deal Napoleon made with Alexander was between two great land powers whereas England and Russia is a much better fit.

The Duke of Cumberland is wooing the Archduchess Catherine, sister of the Tsar Alexander, and has gone to St Petersburg to try his luck. Meanwhile the Tsar’s two brothers Nicholas and Michael are coming to London for a holiday.

Sat 11th Dec 1813

Prior to the defalcation of Russia from the French camp, Napoleon was directly influential over 60 million people (France & Netherlands 32, the Rhineland 12, Italy 11, Switzerland 2 and Denmark 2.5) and was allied with another 20 million in Austria, 10 million in Prussia, 47 million in Russia and 2 millions around Warsaw.

At that time the United Kingdom population had grown to 17 millions, Spain 11 millions, Portugal 3 millions, Sweden 3 millions and Sicily 1.5 million.

The trend of events and the decisive influence of Russia’s massive population in redirecting them in our favour is clear.

Sat 18th Dec 1813

The Danes are feeling isolated. They are surrounded by enemies who intend to dismember their country. King Frederick VI has set an example to his people. In March 1813 he sent all the silverware from his palace to the national Treasury. His Queen has sent in her jewellery as well. The people have responded with very generous subscriptions of their own. The Danes are quickly improving the defences of their ports and towns against an expected attack by the Swedish army.

Sat 1st Jan 1814

The French are showing a Tragedy of Tippoo Sahib in the Paris theatres. They represent Tippoo as the victim of British perfidy. We are said to have boundless ambition and approve of any means provided it leads to success.

They say we made Europe pay for a war from which we alone derive the profit.

Sat 15th Jan 1814

A profile of all the ruling houses of Europe – many inter-connections. More or less every King of Europe has a fief in Germany.

Sat 22nd Jan 1814

The Austrian Emperor’s explanation for his declaration of war against France, here in English (the original was in French):

He says the Continental System was an attempt at the impossible. He complains the French Decree creating the 32nd military division to control the Elbe and south Baltic coast and regulate maritime trade. This impoverished the Confederation of the Rhine and the Kingdom of Westphalia (both Napoleonic creations). It appeared likely to complete the dismemberment of Prussia (by removing her control of her own coast) and make that country a French state.

Russia was concerned at the fortification of Danzig which had been declared a free port in the Treaty of Tilsit and by the friendship displayed by Poland towards France. The Tsar could only befriend France whilst a neutral buffer state existed between them.

Austria sought to prevent the French invasion of Russia but Napoleon only permitted unarmed neutrality and to preserve our neutrality we could only cajole and persuade. Austria had no grounds for war with France. Indeed we have been in reluctant alliance with France since March 1812, although it was an alliance contrary to many of our declared policies and merely to preserve Austrian independence. We gave France as few soldiers as possible.

No-one could have foreseen the result of that invasion; the rapid reversal of fortune that moved the theatre of war from the Dnieper to the Elbe. This caused a reversal of political opinion throughout Europe that coalesced around the alliance of Russia with England and Sweden. Prussia, Bavaria and the other German states changed sides. Austria sought to mediate peace but France declined to contemplate any diminution of her recently annexed Empire. We allowed an armistice to create the conditions for peace and I sent a minister to London to ask them to join in the negotiations but they said Napoleon had used the armistice to re-arm and there was no hope of peace.

I was also affected by Napoleon’s apparent intention to eliminate Prussia from the map as reward for her defection. I feared the removal of Prussia might be preliminary to the demise of Austria. It was clear that Russia’s and Prussia’s interests were Austria’s interests.

Before this time Napoleon proposed the peace conference of Prague. We recognised that peace could not be had unless everyone wanted it and that was entirely dependant on the extent of negotiation that France would permit. France welcomed my suggestion that the British be invited and a maritime peace be obtained as well. They offered safe conduct through France for my couriers but they were in fact stopped and prevented from reaching London. I suspected a change in his policy – he wanted to obtain a maritime peace before a peace on land. It then became apparent that France did not deal at Prague in good faith. The minister sent from Paris said he had to await a superior officer who only arrived on 28th July. It was then apparent that the French Plenipotentiary lacked full powers. It was 6th August before he was authorised satisfactorily to the others. Then we spent days on preliminaries until 10th August on which date the Russian and Prussian representatives’ powers expired. I then resolved to join the Russians and make war on France.

Sat 29th Jan 1814

Napoleon has made a daring attempt to occupy Berlin and turn the Prussian army into allies once more. He needs the Prussian army on-side to prevail against the AustroRussian force combining against him.

According to allied sources, several of his armies were defeated in late August / early September with loss of men and equipment and his plan is said to have clearly failed. This looks like the end.

Sat 5th Feb 1814

Napoleon is having difficulty preventing desertions from his army. It is the Germans from the Confederation of the Rhine who are mostly involved. They are exposed to the German press which has become Francophobe. The defection of Prussia and Austria from the French camp also influences them.

Sat 12th Feb 1814

Copenhagen, 3rd August 1813 – The English papers say a debate has occurred in the Danish parliament on ‘the unworthy conduct of the British ministry towards that country’ (requiring Denmark to surrender Norway to Sweden).

In London Ponsonby requested in the Commons to see the correspondence received from British emissaries to Denmark. He was denied by Castlereagh. A Danish minister who came to London a few months ago says he was offered Hamburg and other Hanseatic towns if his country would voluntarily surrender Norway. These are free cities currently under French occupation. Ponsonby wanted to know if it was true. Castlereagh declined to say but at Copenhagen they say he is locating a quid pro quo for Denmark. The Danes would prefer to do the deal direct with Sweden, and avoid British intermediation. They think a direct negotiation has prospects of providing them with Pomerania or some other immediately useful land in the Baltic.

Sat 12th Feb 1814

Between 20th – 29th June 69 merchant ships entered Kronstadt of which 58 were British. Trade with Russia is resumed.

Sat 26th Feb 1814

The well-respected French General Moreau, who is accompanying Bernadotte in his campaign in Pomerania, has sent his wife to England and she has rented the cottage of the late Lord Melville in Wimbledon.

Sat 12th March 1814

The armed cutter Badger, which is based at Heligoland to protect the smuggling trade, has been sent to Deal to report some news received at the island.

Napoleon is reported to have sustained a severe defeat near Leipzig after a three day battle – he lost 7,000 dead and 70,000 prisoners. 8,000 Poles and Bavarians deserted to the allies.

Napoleon himself was not captured and is believed to have gone to Paris to raise fresh conscripts. After the battle the governments of Bavaria, Saxony, Poland and Wurtemburg came over to the allies too. Total French losses were enormous.

The provinces of Utrecht and Holland in the Netherlands have declared their independence and the Prince of Orange has gone there from London. 6,000 troops are to follow him as soon as possible.

Sat 19th March 1814

Denmark has joined the alliance against France with 30,000 men. Napoleon has agreed to a peace conference on the basis that France will retain her frontiers on the Rhine and the Pyrenees but the German states, Holland, Italy, Switzerland and the Hanseatic towns are to be restored to their former owners.

The federative system of Napoleon is ended.[324]

Sat 19th March 1814

A year ago the French 5% stock was at 81, a few days ago it was 54. It seems the market expects a forced loan or an issue of new paper and there is some risk of riots. The only government initiative was a new conscription of 280,000 men and the market digested that quickly. On 8th October the 5%s were at 55, on the 9th 56 and by the 10th they were trading at 60. By comparison, English 5%s are at 88.

We fear the conscription may not be as successful as expected. France raised a large army on Napoleon’s return from Moscow. At that time the French had little knowledge of events in Russia and Austria, Prussia and Sweden remained allies. Everyone attributed Napoleon’s reverses to the Russian weather. Now, a few months later, he is asking for another army at a time when all his European allies except Denmark have deserted him and he has again been defeated in the familiar fields of Saxony and Prussia. He has also withdrawn from the Iberian peninsula. He seems to have lost the magic touch.

Sat 19th March 1814

The Swedish King Charles, King of the Goths and Vandals, Duke of Schleswig Holstein, heir to Norway, etc., (this must refer to Bernadotte) has declared war on Denmark.

He complains that Danish privateers have been disturbing his maritime trade for years and now the Danes have ordered their warships and privateers to imprison all Swedes found on captured ships as prisoners-of-war.

10,000 more Swedish troops are being sent to Pomerania (their army is now in Saxony)

Sat 26th March 1814

Charles Jean Bernadotte became the adopted son of the Swedish King Charles and has ruled Sweden as Crown Prince since October 1810. After Napoleon’s defeat at Leipzig, during the ten week armistice, Bernadotte wrote to the French Emperor setting-out his views:

“The Duke of Bassano (the diplomat Hugues Bernard Maret) wrote to Olson in a way that appears intended to create discord between me and the Swedish King. It looks like the same tactic you employed with the Bourbons Charles and Ferdinand in Spain that facilitated your entry into that country.

“Sweden has been straight-forward with you. We blame you for our loss of Finland to Russia and expect Norway from Denmark in compensation. Instead of helping us, you have invaded our part of Pomerania and arrested a hundred Swedish ships in Stralsund. These are serious treaty violations.

“Bassano says you provoked the war with Russia. The Swedish and Russian governments foresaw the result of that act as early as August. Your grande armee of experienced and disciplined soldiers, the elite of France, Germany and Italy, was destroyed. That puts the total number of French victims of your ambition at over a million.

“You invoke an expectation of friendship from Sweden. I remind you that when we lost Finland, we begged you to preserve the Isles of Aland to us.[325] You gave no help. On the contrary you complained of British commerce in our ports and told us to ask the Tsar.

“The object of the first coalition (of 1792) was to invade, occupy and partition France. Austria, England and Prussia were all keen. Sweden declined involvement and left the coalition because she had no wish to see our fine country dismembered. We respect the right of every country to its own laws and customs.

“Sweden depends on trade. We cannot produce our needs domestically. Your Continental System threatened us – we trade or die. Trade is what we have always done. You tried to change that. We withdrew from the conspiracy against French liberty in 1792 but now you conspire against us.

“Russia and England want peace. You have the best monarchy on Earth. Why are you always causing trouble? History reveals that all attempts at universal monarchy fail. Why do you think you are different? You should nurture France and heal the wounds of the Revolution.

“I am French. I love France. But I will fight France for the preservation of Swedish liberty. In politics, friendship and hatred are irrelevant. There is only duty to one’s people.

“Bassano says you wish to avoid a quarrel with Sweden. It was you who started it with your attack on Pomerania and our commerce at Stralsund when we were at peace with you. Bassano indicates you will not change the Continental System and intend to retain Swedish Pomerania until it is successful.

In the past four months you have arrested our garrisons in Pomerania and sent them prisoners to France. You sought to bring that invasion within the terms of the Council of Prizes in order to reward your army. You should recall that the Council decided in our favour.[326] You respond with blame for your Generals. When we arrested French privateers attacking our ships, we sent back the crews to you, even Portuguese, Algerians and negroes who said they were French. When will you return our soldiers of Pomerania?”[327]

Sat 26th March 1814

Hanover, 16th November – The Duke of Cumberland has made a triumphant entry to this Electorate. The town of Hanover was illuminated for the occasion. He will stay in the house of the Duke of Cambridge.

Sat 26th March 1814

The Prussians have liberated Hildesheim from the French and restored that Hanseatic city to the House of Brunswick. The Prince Regent has sent the people an Address which was read publicly in town in early November 1813.

Sat 26th March 1814

The Landemann of Switzerland, de Reinhard, and the representatives of the 19 Cantons have declared Swiss neutrality on 20th November. The announcement was made at Zurich which is the seat of the Diet for 1813:

“Neutrality has assured the Swiss of tranquillity and liberty for many ages. Considering our situation and limited power, this is the only proper course for us. We do not expect to be molested but have placed our forces on the frontiers”

Sat 26th March 1814

London, 11th November – the Prince Regent held a levee today – the first for five months. A great number of Petitions were presented.

Sat 9th April 1814

The offices of M/s Thomson Rowan & Co, the English bankers in Moscow, were occupied by the French for administrative purposes during their brief stay and a large amount of documents were left behind. Mr Rowan has been back to Moscow and retrieved some.

They indicate the French grande armee on arrival had 1,194 pieces of artillery, 2,763 ammunition wagons, 561,000 infantry, 35,000 cavalry and a variety of engineers, doctors and other specialists to a total manpower of 616,500 people exclusive of camp followers. Rowan also has complete returns of French losses in the various battles on the way to Moscow.

The Bombay Courier for April, May and the first half of June is missing. No reports of the invasion of France are available.

Sat 18th June 1814

Half-pay is little understood outside the army. Until 1795 it was supposed to be compensation for past services. In that year Windham made a War Office Regulation that all army doctors appointed thereafter should consider themselves as liable to perform active service at any time after their appointments had expired. Since then half-pay appears to be a retainer.

An officer on the new full pay is adequately compensated as a national representative. When moved to the half-pay list, his revised emoluments are calculated on the old subsistence allowance only. Its not just the amount of half-pay that is objectionable, it also the uncertain way it is issued. This is a matter that has never received parliamentary oversight and regulation.

Sat 2nd July 1814

Naples has agreed an armistice with Lord William Bentinck and has sent Neapolitan troops into Rome to secure that town for the allies. The Austrians have elevated the King of Naples to Grand Duke of Tuscany and a Field Marshal in their army.

Tues 5th July 1814 Extraordinary

London, 26th January – The Prince Regent has visited Monsieur (Comte d’Artois) to congratulate him on the impending return to power of the Bourbon family. The Comte has gout and cannot walk.

Monsieur said his brother, Louis XVIII, was fully aware of the debt of gratitude that the family had incurred to Britain. He hoped the allies would agree to hold the coronation in Paris and not Reims as presently envisaged.

Tues 5th July 1814 Extraordinary

Lord William Bentinck on behalf of Sicily has made a treaty of alliance with Naples on 5th December 1813. If the two places are reunited, his Sicilian Constitution will be subsumed in the more liberal regime operated by Murat.

Sat 9th July 1814

The Pope is thought to be exposed to danger at Fontainebleau and has been sent to Limoges.

Sat 9th July 1814

The Bourbons are coming out. Comte d’Artois was at Amsterdam on 27th January using the title Comte de Ponthieu and accompanied by Comte d’Escars (a month later they were at Basel, still trying to enter France); Duc d’Angouleme is sailing from Plymouth to join Wellington’s headquarters at Bordeaux (where the people cried ‘down with the tricolor, long live the Bourbons’); Duc de Berry is at Jersey and trying to get passage to La Vendée; Only Louis XVIII remains in London.

Sat 23rd July 1814

The French National Bank has a cashflow difficulty. It has 38,326,500 paper Francs in circulation (about £1.6 million) and cash worth 14,354,000 Francs (c. £600,000) plus 31,331,000 Francs in Porte Feuille in short-dated Bills. Its debts at the same time were 47,700,500 Francs (£1.9 million).

In December 1813 it paid out a nett 38.8 million Francs and in the first 18 days of January it paid out a further 12,230,000 Francs. After close of business that day the Directors could see no end to the excess of payments over receipts. The bank’s assets (reserves and Bills) had reduced in value to one million Francs which is little more than its debts.

The Directors decided that preserving trade was more important than the sanctity of private accounts.

They have discussed their view with the principal merchants and will discount trade Bills to keep the paper-money system circulating but will in future only provide 500,000 Francs a day for cash transactions.

At the same time, and a contributing cause to the banking difficulty, Napoleon has commandeered essential supplies for his army – silver from public and private bankers, flour from the Parisian bakeries and the equipment of all horse-owners – all is to be surrendered to government.[328]

Sat 23rd July 1814

The attempt of the young Prince of Orange and his supporters to declare Dutch independence has met a reversal – Napoleon has arrested those 40 principal merchants and legislators who form the core of the Prince’s support.

Sat 23rd July 1814

A new palace is to be built in St James’ Park in London by the Architect Nash at an estimated cost of £300,000.

Sat 23rd July 1814

A gentleman named James, who is Joseph Bonaparte’s Treasurer, has disappeared along with the cash-box containing 2.5 million Livres.

Sat 23rd July 1814

The allies have permitted 400 Cossacks to enter Reims, the city of 40,000 people where, historically, the Kings of France have been crowned. Cossack activities are not reported. It seems to be a warning to the Parisians.

Sat 30th July 1814

French news – The marriages of English women to French prisoners-of-war (detained in England on parole) are not recognised by the French government. Each couple must perform another ceremony in France to legalise their union.

Sat 30th July 1814

The Parisians are exhibiting their usual pleasure in frivolity in the matter of the Emperor and his lady. She has remained a favourite of the people whilst Napoleon’s popularity has collapsed.

A placard was seen recently “L’imperatrice est belle, mais il est damage qu’elle a un nez rond’ (sounds like Néron, the Roman Emperor).

A more vicious British caricature has him seated on his throne, with George III holding his head back by the hair and Tsar Alexander administering a laxative. Napoleon is defecating the Confederation of the Rhine.

These amusements appear whilst Paris is surrounded by enemies and threatened by the entry of the Cossacks.

Sat 6th Aug 1814

Apart from the usual figures in British national statistics, the records this year contain some new information.

  • The greatest number of births is always registered in February and March.
  • Of every 51 people born, 26 will be female.
  • Half of all children die before they are 7 years old.
  • Of every eleven old people who die each year, 7 will die in winter and 4 in summer.
  • One person in 3,125 reaches a century.
  • Smallpox affects people with red or yellow hair less than others.

Sat 13th August 1814

The new King of France is Louis Stanislaus Xavier, the younger brother of Louis XVI. He was first known as Comte de Provence until his brother became King after which he was known as Comte d’Artois (prior to Monsieur).

Before the Revolution he was considered a reformer and voted for equality of representation in the Assembly of Provencal Notables. In 1788 he declined to involve himself in the attempt of the Princes to get a double representation.

In February 1791 when the King’s aunt decamped, it was rumoured he would also leave France and he then made a public resolution never to leave the King’s side. When the King fled, Louis XVIII also left an hour later, taking the road to Mauberge under the name Comte de Lille. He arrived safely at Brussels from whence he quickly removed to Coblenz.

He did not attend the conferences at Pilnitz (Monsieur did) but occasioned the Declaration that resulted from those deliberations. The two brothers sent a letter to Louis XVI, who was then captive, urging him to refuse his consent to the Constitution. They told him both the Austrian emperor and the Prussian King had assured them they would make every necessary effort to reinstate the Bourbons. This letter was intercepted and read by the Legislature which then rejected d’Artois claim to the Regency. On 8th August 1792 all the émigré princes signed the Declaration justifying the invasion of France. Louis XVIII and d’Artois joined the Prussian army and led a cavalry unit of 6,000 men based at Verdun. The spectacular defeat of the coalition army caused them to discharge their army on 13th November 1792 and flee to Westphalia where they heard of Louis XVI’s death. They then proclaimed his son King Louis XVII of France and, as he was a minor, d’Artois proclaimed himself Regent. When the boy died, he proclaimed himself Louis XVIII and established a government in exile at Verona.

On the entry of the French Republican army into Italy, he moved to the Rhine and joined Condé’s force but Vienna thought his presence was contentious and he was required to leave. Soon after an assassination was attempted and failed at Dillingen on the Danube. He fled to Blankenburg and focused his efforts on his supporters still in France, particularly General Pichegru whom he secured to the Bourbon cause. In the following years many of his agents in France were arrested and banished culminating in the great proscription of 4th September 1797. He began to suspect his chief adviser, the Duc de Lavauguyon, was leaking information to the Republic and dismissed him. He was able to motivate and ally with the Chouans and the inhabitants around Toulouse and his hopes were beginning to rise when Tsar Paul defected from the allied cause.

Louis XVIII lost his asylum and again became a fugitive until the King of Prussia permitted his residence at Warsaw. Prussia was not strong enough to withstand France and was soon obliged to arrest Bourbon agents at Bayreuth. Louis XVIII recognised his danger but by then Tsar Paul has been assassinated and Tsar Alexander allowed him back to Mittau. Throughout all his difficulties, the English people paid him a pension of £12,000 a month.

Sat 20th Aug 1814

Rostan, Napoleon’s Mamaluke, has written to the French Gazette. He is said to have asked Napoleon for a large sum of money as severance pay. He says he served Napoleon for 16 years since the Battle of Arcis-sur-Albe at which battle Napoleon was pleased with his performance and gave him a gratuity.

“Since the public demand for his abdication, I have received nothing from him. I am not going to Elba with him. I will stay with my family.”

Sat 20th Aug 1814

The Pope has promised England that any correspondence between members of the Catholic flock in Britain and the Vatican will be available for inspection by British agents. He will strictly require Catholics to obey the civil authority.

Sat 27th Aug 1814

General Blucher has been given the village and estate of Johannesburg in the Rhingau near Mentz for services to the allied cause. The Estate was previously given by Napoleon to General Kellermann for services to France but all those gifts are now nullified. The estate produces a popular wine.

Sat 27th Aug 1814

Victory celebrations in London continued for several days. The Admiralty illuminated the Crown & Anchor with the British standard under which was the phrase ‘the sheet anchor of Europe’; The Pay Office displayed a sign ‘Europe saved by the example of England’ whilst the Foreign Office had an outrageous sign ‘Moscow burned, Paris spared’. India House has an illuminated sign – ‘Wellington’, under which is ‘allies, peace, commerce’. Hudson’s Bay House has ‘peace and commerce’. Knight’s Gaslight Company in Fleet Street had an amazing sign illuminated by gaslight and brighter than all others; but the most popular sign was outside a restaurant in Fleet Street. It portrayed John Bull seated at table, roast beef on his plate, bottle of brandy in front and a large loaf of bread marked 7d to one side. Underneath was ‘John Bull himself again.’ At Southgate an effigy of Napoleon was burned, complete with imperial medals provided by Sir Wm Curtis, the London banker and shipowner.

Sat 27th Aug 1814

Earl Grey has moved a debate on Norway. We promised this country to Sweden in return for war support although the Norwegians are said to prefer to remain part of Denmark.

Vansittart, Chancellor of the Exchequer, says the Norwegians are delighted to be joining Sweden. The opposition has misunderstood Norway’s feelings. It was Denmark’s failure to ratify the Treaty of Kiel ceding Norway to Sweden, that stirred-up this suspicion of Norwegian antagonism, he said.

Sat 3rd Sept 1814

An English merchant at Gothenburg wrote on 1st March – the Norwegians want independence. They are a fine people whose hopes and fears duplicate our own. The Danes have reduced provisions to Norway to encourage their submission.

Prince Christian Frederic of Norway (Olav IV), nephew of King Frederick VI of Denmark (who styles himself inter alia as King of Oldenburg), has proclaimed Norwegian independence on 19th February.

Leading citizens are called to Eidsvol on 10th April to settle on the form of the future government. The King of Denmark is annoyed and the King of Sweden has ordered a strict blockade of Norwegian ports and issued Letters-of-Marque to private armed ships – more war. The Norwegian parliament of 154 members contains 80 Danes amongst their number.

Meanwhile the two American peace Plenipotentiaries, Clay and Russell, arrived at Gothenburg on USS John Adams.

Sat 3rd Sept 1814

A dinner has been given to the Duke of Wellington in Paris on 4th May. The Bourbon family attended. Wellington, Blucher and Count Herman Platoff, hetman of the Cossacks, were hailed as the three military geniuses of the age. Blucher is trying to recover the great sword of Frederick the Great which Napoleon put on display in the Louvre.

Meanwhile HMS Undaunted (Usher) of our Toulon squadron has taken Napoleon to Elba.

Sat 3rd Sept 1814

Catherine, Grand Duchess of Russia and Duchess of Oldenburg,[329] has arrived in London for the celebrations. She is a Quaker. All the great Kings of Europe are here. The Duchess speaks good English. She was greeted by the Prince Regent and the other Royal Dukes.

Sat 3rd Sept 1814

Le Sage’s Atlas for 1814 estimates the global human population at 710 millions.

Sat 3rd Sept 1814

Earl Grey has asked the ministry in the Lords for details of the negotiations to settle the future shape of Europe – where are the frontiers, who are the rulers. The first negotiation with Napoleon broke down on 18th March; now we are talking to the French Senate and others.

Liverpool (Hawkesbury) says its a secret.

Grey says we have fought for liberty and have a free government – the ministry should not be furtive in its actions. Liverpool was implacable.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Tonning is the port at the start of one of the new smuggling routes the British are developing into Napoleonic Europe.
  2. Father Ripa’s college opened in 1725. This is another school.
  3. See the Prizetaking chapter
  4. The ’spat’ refers to John Hookham Frere’s conversation with Napoleon about assassination. See the Chapter of that name for better details.
  5. This refers to British ministerial complicity in the ‘opera house’ attempt to kill Napoleon – see the Chapter on Assassination for better particulars.
  6. Mercury is necessary to refine gold and silver – it is one of the few valuable metals mined in Spain where production is a Royal monopoly.
  7. By seldom participating in land battles, England incidentally isolated herself from the tragedy of war. The bereavements and disablements that were visible amongst the populations of continental Europe were restricted in England to the Royal Navy. This helped maintain popular support for the war. England pays more in money and less in blood. 17th and 18th century Spanish Kings adopted the same policy using South American silver – it is the benefit of wealth.
  8. This appears contrary to Del Mar’s assertion in ‘Money and Civilisation‘ that “Napoleon only paid cash, at least until Tilsit.” It seems that Del Mar equated a gold / silver based economy with ‘payment in cash.’
  9. When previously arrested, Wright was described amusingly as Captain Sydney Smith’s prize clerk. He is mentioned repeatedly in the newspapers in connection with British activities in Bretagne, commonly at the port of Biville.
  10. Articles about the arrest, trial and execution of d’Enghien are all removed to the Assassination chapter.
  11. Tsar Alexander concluded after these battles that his army could not confront France. It is probably the thinking behind his introduction of Cossacks into European warfare after Moscow. It was also the case that Napoleon invariably expected quick victories and was seldom prepared for failure.
  12. It was Austerlitz that administered the coup de grace to Pitt. After he learned of that defeat in Bath he seems to have relinquished the will to live.
  13. This mainly relates to the shortage of money in England in Spring 1796 and the efforts of the Governor General in British India to alleviate it through the reluctant assistance of the Nabob. It represents one of those rare occasions when the King and his Company were not at idem with the Commons.
  14. There should be no doubt the country was in a disastrous state. One million people on poor relief; another million men signed-up as militia for the bounty. Only in London was wealth conspicuous – in the stock exchange, the Bank of England, the India Company and the City generally – owing to the concentrative effect of the British way in business.
  15. A rare but telling indication of the difficulty successive ministries have with the unparliamentary George III.
  16. The Grand Pensionary was an aristocrat with Kingly powers who formally led the government of Holland but assumed responsibility for all Netherlands. The office lapsed in 1795 after the rise of the House of Orange.
  17. The result of Jena is that Prussia drops out of the First Division of European powers. Her territory and population decrease to about half the pre-war figures whilst she retains all the national debts, which are substantial. Her defeated army will be further reduced by the King’s agreement to discharge all the soldiers from his former lands in the south and east.
    Lauderdale says he asked Champigny during their peace negotiations whether France would cease her march against Prussia if England made peace and Napoleon agreed to do so. The Prussian military predilection for the grandiose Declaration has back-fired on this occasion but they learn the lesson quickly and well.
  18. A strange and completely anomalous permission in favour of Italian merchants.
  19. This was reversed for practical reasons a little later – Napoleon could not get the Tsar’s agreement to the Tilsit terms without abandoning the Turkish provinces to him.
  20. The overland route has generally been through Mesopotamia but anarchy in Ottoman lands, induced by the overflow of European war into those Turkish provinces, causes a British preference for the route through Egypt and the Red Sea.
  21. This was a straightforward armed robbery. A report of the proceedings is available at
  22. The India Company’s overland communications, which give them an invaluable advantage over other European settlements in the East, are now directed through Egypt under the protection of the Porte’s rebellious Viceroy of that Ottoman province.
  23. The Cossack way in war, terrorism, will shortly be introduced in Spain by the British. Later the Cossacks reappear, harrying Napoleon’s retreating pan-European army across Europe and into France.
  24. See the South America chapter for Popham’s invasion of Argentina, also the chapter dedicated to him.
  25. From the time of the pre-emptive attacks on the Turkish fleet, on South America and Copenhagen, the remainder of this endless war is overtly commercial. A couple of insightful expressions became common usage at the time – ‘most smuggling occurs at the Customs House’ and ‘trade always finds a way’.
    British factories produced goods in small waterproof packages (often with faked markings) for ease of handling. The blockading cruisers along European coasts gave protection and an army of black marketeers arose on all the coasts and rivers to partake in the distribution and the profits.
    The downside of ‘profit by any means’ – the demise of commercial morality – is apparent from the later report of Lloyd’s of London in the Sat 6th June 1812 newspaper concerning licensed trade with the enemy and burgeoning national crime. The Lloyd’s report is in the Economy chapter.
  26. The King of Sweden is also a German Elector due to this possession.
  27. A reference to the India Company’s invasion of South America. The articles on this topic are in the dedicated South America chapter.
  28. This viewpoint is shared amongst the ruling Houses of Europe – Romanoff, Hapsburg, Randolph, Bourbon – they feel they are making the blood sacrifices while England is collecting the money. They suspect they are being fooled.
    The British King was stung into permitting Castlereagh’s sacrifice of British troops in Walcheren. There is some slight authority to suppose the selection of that target was made in the belief the émigrés had purchased the keys of Antwerp. The town could be provisoned by sea and its capture would have made British control of the Scheldt a feasible project. The Scheldt was a smuggling route for British goods but was more important to France in getting her competing goods into central Europe.
  29. The result of the reference to the Chancery Court is not clearly published in the newspaper beyond the King’s request to parliament to fund the Prince of Wales.
  30. The Pitt family fortune was made by ‘Diamond’ Pitt, Governor of Madras, the 1st Earl of Chatham’s grandfather. The only known source of diamonds then was from Hyderabad in the Madras hinterland. Diamonds were one of India’s lucrative products to the advantage of both Company and staff.
  31. Removed from Russian protection now the Tsar is allied with France.
  32. The direct cause of Fox’s death is in the Science and Technology chapter because it was ultimately due to ingestion of digitalis, a new medicine. It appears that only a small part of Fox’s research into the Stuarts was published.
  33. In emulation of France. French officers are hardly distinguishable from troops except by their epaulettes. British officers also wish to have this protection from snipers.
  34. Strachan actually lived another 20 years. He later led the naval element of the Walcheren expedition and was blamed for its failure.
  35. Romagna’s progress was stopped in a turbid act of deception.
  36. States in the hinterland of Ancona, south of the Po Valley, that form a portion of Le Marche, a most delightful part of Italy.
  37. Not Carlos (Charles) but his son Ferdinand – Carlos abdicated in favour of his son who in turn abdicated in favour of a French nominee. International Law of the time considered a King as owner of his country which he might sell, encumber with debt of transfer as he pleased. The British ministry says King Ferdinand’s abdication and transfer of sovereignty to France was involuntary, although it was ratified by all the other Courts of Europe – see the Iberia chapter for the hoary details.
  38. Morier was a British expert on Turkey. He worked diplomatically throughout Ottoman domains. He was subsequently made British resident in Albania. He had formerly been Lord Elgin’s secretary, according to Peter Cochran’s site.
  39. This indicates the direction of Tsar Alexander’s next volte face.
  40. Strangely, this brief allusion to debate on war in Spain is the first item I have on Britain’s ‘grand little army’ in the Peninsula.
    Long after the peace of 1815, its activities were represented as an ulcer in Napoleon’s arrangements for Europe requiring him to constantly maintain a few ten thousand troops in Spain.
    Shortly after conclusion of war, when King Ferdinand was not displaying the extent of gratitude expected in London, the British Treasury notified a claim on him for the costs of British military assistance between 1808 – 1814 of £265 millions. That is about a third of total published British debt at the end of 20 years of war and it was expended in the peninsula in 6 years. Without considering the blood cost, which was unique and appalling, Spain was indubitably a British ulcer not a French one.
  41. There have been rather many English and émigré spies arrested during this war but so far few, if any, French Republican spies, if one discounts the people said in London to have surveyed English West Country ports during the peace of Amiens.
  42. See the Asia chapter for British ministerial sales of jobs in India.
  43. Long casualty lists are a feature of Arthur Wellesley’s battles, both in India and Europe.
  44. It is the émigré nobles and priests who have disproportionately made this war so despicable – they have lost their lands and their revenue and will do anything to recover them.
  45. This order was later amended to include Andreas Hofer, the Tyrolese patriot, who was tried by a French Court-Martial and shot for the massacres.
  46. Pitt’s brother John, 2nd Earl of Chatham, did not land the bulk of his forces until four weeks later, on 25th August, by which date the garrison at Antwerp had been reinforced beyond British ability to successfully besiege it. Had the capture of Antwerp succeeded, Britain would have controlled trade on the Scheldt. It appears there was a British expectation that Bernadotte would voluntarily surrender Antwerp.
  47. He kept his men aboard ship, drinking the water brought from England.
  48. The four propositions were that kings were not subject to ecclesiastical authority in temporal affairs; that a council of the French church was domestically superior to the Pope; that the Pope’s leadership of the church was modified by the fixed rules of the French state, and that the Pope was the authority in questions of faith, but was not infallible.
  49. The disruption of trade inevitably caused Europeans to become inventive. Beet sugar farming commences in France in 1811, chicory (endive) is later processed into a substitute for coffee, the Prussian invention of sulphur-dyeing is adopted instead of indigo, etc., and is used for almost all colours – See the Science and Technology chapter for brief details. These are positive consequences of the Continental System which is normally only remembered for its negative effects.
  50. One news report identifies this man as Serrurier, probably a confusion for the general who distinguished himself in the siege of Mantua, but the others call him Sarrazin. He later produced fictional reports of Napoleon’s confessions of atrocities to a priest which were published in 1811 as part of the propaganda offensive.
  51. It was Count Fabian Fersen who drove the coach that took Louis XVI to Varennes. Charles XIII’s long-term girlfriend is Augusta Fersen. This was an obscure bit of skullduggery whereby Bernadotte’s agent Fournier represented himself as Napoleon’s agent and convinced the Swedish Court to require the Diet to approve the General’s elevation to King. Napoleon assumed Sweden would be resolutely Francophil whereas Bernadotte instantly reassured the Tsar that he accepted the loss of Finland thereby indicating his neutrality towards, if not support for, Russia.
  52. This strengthens the Francophile party in Washington. The deal is France will allow American trade in the European ports she controls and America will execute an Act of Congress against England. It is the unwillingness of the commercial members of Congress to pass this Act that scuppers Armstrong’s deal
  53. Ferdinand IV of Naples has been dispossessed of his mainland territories and is living in Palermo. Neapolitan troops are being assembled under French officers for an invasion of Sicily. Lt General Stuart is commanding the British garrison at Messina which port he has fortified. He will conduct the defence of the island.
  54. On publication of this story, the Vienna Gazette announced that the Imperial government had not been informed it had been relieved of the contributions.
  55. This was a flaw in Napoleon’s plans – his expectation that merchants could briefly abstain from making profit. Russia was a purely agricultural country – it had to export products to fund its import of manufactures – and both government revenue and the profits of the nobles derived from agriculture.
    The ineffectiveness of sanctions and blockades is now well known, they merely increase prices – trade always finds a way.
  56. The article seems to suggest that 100 MPs (15%) formed a quorum at that time. Today 40 is enough to commit the country.
  57. This forecast, based on the assumption that Bernadotte will favour France over England, never happens; it is Gothenburg in Sweden that becomes the safe port from which to send British mercantile convoys into the Baltic.
  58. France would like to uplift the agricultural surplus of southern Poland through Black Sea ports to Marseilles whereas this treaty will put that part of the prospective trade that comes via the Dnestr under Russian control.
  59. Since the end of Dutch administration of Britain.
  60. Recall this is France criticising England and not the other way round. The ideological argument about principles is here turned upside down.
  61. ‘The French party’ is in fact the rump of the Neapolitan government that has fled from Naples. They are British allies under a Bourbon King but have acted oppressively to the Sicilians. All the Neapolitan courtiers have received Sicilian offices at the expense of the former holders; those who cannot be placed are given Sicilian pensions. All this expense is for the account of the Sicilian and British people.
  62. Bentinck had demanded control of the army and dismissal of the Royal ministers. This assassination attempt was the regal response. It was preliminary to Bentinck’s astonishingly liberal Constitution for Sicily which was repudiated when the Kings recovered their power after Waterloo.
  63. The Dukedom is one of the titles of Christian Fredrik, the Prince Royal of Denmark, currently ruling Norway. He is married to the Tsar’s sister
  64. Speransky held discussions with Napoleon on the form of Constitutional government that was suitable for Russia. He was probably Alexander’s closest adviser until sacrificed to appease the Tsar’s more traditional supporters, his noble merchants, on the approach of French armies.
  65. This is one of John Thornton’s sons – Samuel, Robert or Henry. They were all MPs and all Directors of the Russia Company and sometime Directors of the Bank of England and East India Company. John Thornton was reputedly the richest merchant in Europe after Hope, the Amsterdam banker. The family fortune came from Russia.
  66. It was Count Rastopchin, the Duke of Moscow, who ordered the town burnt.
  67. This is the 3rd Earl, George Carpenter.
  68. This appears to have been the factual basis to the Befreiungskrieg of Prussian history books.
  69. General Rapp is said to have saved Napoleon’s life during the Russian campaign – it was said to be the second time he had done so.
  70. The French say every time the fortunes of Europe change, Prussian policy changes along with it.
  71. Napoleon’s difficulty is that in settling Europe with better frontiers and fair Constitutions, he often has to contract with a ruling class that expects a disproportionate share of the wealth. He has publicly identified himself with the European people against the oligarchs and monarchs but must treat with the latter. The people who support him were originally the powerless ordinary people but have become increasingly and necessarily the merchants and bankers. The aristocrats, on the other hand, understand how to manage populations. They willingly abrogate treaties when circumstances change.
  72. Nicholson admitted the murders and was hanged. He gave no reason for committing them.
  73. Matvel Platoff offered his daughter in marriage to the man who killed Napoleon. He commands the Cossacks.
  74. The Napoleonic vision for Europe was stilled for 13 decades until revived in an updated format by Jean Monnet and others in the first steps towards European Union.
  75. These islands form a land bridge between Sweden and Finland. They are strategically important
  76. The Council of Prizes in Paris determined the equity of prize disputes in that jurisdiction. It was similar to ‘Doctors Commons’ in London.
  77. Hugues Bernard Maret (Duc de Bassano) does not appear again in the newspapers but from Lefebvre’s ‘Napoleon‘ one reads he had a role in Chaboulon’s visit to Elba that preceded Napoleon’s return to France.
  78. The bank has increased its debt and has sought to only maintain sufficient funds to meet predictable fluctuations in daily receipts and payments. This is a small percentage of its total exposure. Now account-holders are withdrawing their funds and it is in trouble. The Bank’s issued capital is 111.5 million Francs.
    Note the concurrent increase in the market price of British 3% consols in the Economy chapter. This suggests where at least some of the money has gone.
  79. The French occupation of Oldenburg was the pretext for Tsar Alexander changing sides. Catherine is his sister.

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