The emigration of the royal families of both Portugal and Spain was a unusual feature of the wars with France. The general rule at international law at this time was that a country was the personal property of its King who might do as he pleased with it. It followed that a country abandoned by its King, such as Portugal, was available for occupation and a country gifted by its King to others, as King Carlos gifted Spain to France, was legally transferred. No European country objected to King Carlos’ transfer of his property in 1808 except Britain and the Pope.

All European Kings except George III went on brief walkabouts at different stages of the wars but only the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain changed their rulers for extensive periods.

The articles in this chapter will be more clear if read together with the South America and Europe chapters.

There is a sub-plot running through European history at this time involving the Pope, his Cardinals, the propaganda fide and some monastic orders. It seldom comes fully into focus in the newspapers but is slightly apparent in this chapter and in the activities of the Knights of St John that appear in the main text.

The instant benefit to London of the Spanish King’s abdication is British occupation of the country with the assistance of the merchants of Cadiz. It was that Junta’s control of Ferrol and Cadiz that made the French fleets in those ports available to Britain – the Junta made an offer that Britain was unable to refuse.

The British occupation of Iberia was done in the name of the Portuguese and Spanish Kings although King Ferdinand VII of Spain, who was inveigled into assuming the monarchy from his father, in fact preferred France and declined the handsome British bribes and the advices of other Bourbon family members. The British said he was unable to express himself truthfully and he certainly returned to the country in 1815 in true monarchical style. In the interim, the Wellesley brothers ran the country on his behalf.

Spanish culture and national character differ from North Europe in so far as the country was sequentially a colony of Rome and Islam. Conquered people invariably emulate the conquerors they profess to hate. Muslim attributes apply equally to Spaniards at home and throughout Latin America as to Middle Eastern peoples. This observation should be kept in mind in both the articles below and those in the South American chapter.

The Peninsular War was a disaster for Spain and Portugal. The blood costs was enormous. It was so great that historians do not talk of it. Rather surprisingly, the seven campaigns we fought there cost Britain less than forty thousand lives but in monetary terms it was equally a disaster for Britain and a unique burden on generations of Englishmen yet to come – something in the order of £45 millions a year was spent in each of the six years of its continuance, about a third of the entire British national debt at conclusion of the War with France. Where all this money went is unknown as no accounting was attempted by the Wellesleys. Military costs might have been 20% of it.

It should be noted that one aspect of British policy inflated the costs of occupation – the British army was unpopular in Spain and had to pay for board and lodging. The costs paid to Portuguese and Spanish intermediaries was the oil that bought reluctant Iberians to the British side. Prior to the Junta’s possession of the French fleets, all requests for financial assistance from both Portugal and the representatives of Spain had not been heard.

Portugal was more submissive than Spain and facilitated British management of her homeland, control of her colonies and influence over her ruling House. Only the tiny enclave of Macau, rented from China and not a colony, repudiated monarchical direction and threw-in its lot with democratic France. Nevertheless, Portugal, like Spain, also lost the peace and took generations to recover.

This chapter starts with the departure of the Kings.

Sat 26th March 1808

General Junot, the Governor of Paris, has been given command of the Army of the Pyrenees and will take it to Lisbon to elicit Portuguese agreement to close their ports to the English.

Sat 21st May 1808

25th November 1807 – King George III-in-Council has deemed that Portugal was compelled to shut her ports to our merchants and should not be punished. Portuguese ships now detained in British ports are to be released if they have not breached our Navigation Laws. They may depart for any neutral port or to Portugal.[1]

Any Portuguese ship may trade with English ports or Gibraltar or Malta; or neutral port to neutral port, or between Portugal and her colonies, or from any port of a British ally (currently Sweden) provided they sail direct to the port nominated on the Clearance Certificate. They are all entitled to the protection of any British treaty with Portugal that is currently in force.

Sat 16th July 1808

Le Moniteur says France is in Portugal to shut Oporto and Lisbon, ‘those two great depots of British trade’, to the British Navy and merchants.

Sat 3rd Sept 1808

There is a developing popular insurrection throughout Spain. The King of Spain received a letter from Napoleon saying he was coming to visit ‘for the good of the nation and to make a Prince happy’.

The King showed Napoleon’s letter to his High Admiral and Minister, Don Manuel Godoy, who persuaded him that the people would not tolerate the visit and commended him instantly to flee Spain and take up residence in Mexico, as the Portuguese House of Braganza has done at Rio de Janeiro.

Godoy then took the contents of the national treasury (36 million Reals) in preparation for flight. Last month he sent 60 million Reals to Corunna where a British frigate brought it to London. At that time, he already had $40 millions in his London bank account. He has now accumulated almost the entire wealth of Spain in his London bank.[2]

Napoleon learned of the political uncertainty at Madrid and wrote that there was nothing to fear from his arrival. This reassured most of the courtiers and all the common people who actually look on France as their deliverers and friends. Finally the Spanish King issued a Decree on 18th March reassuring the people that the French army was merely traversing Spain to get to Cadiz and there was nothing to fear.

The King blamed everything on Godoy – ‘he took all the money I thought was being spent on you; help me get it back and I will look after you.’ Godoy is in English pay and has guaranteed the surrender of Ceuta to England. In return the British minister guaranteed his bank account to him.

Napoleon intends to give French protection to the old Spanish King and to take Godoy to Paris for a chat.[3]

Sat 10th Sept 1808

Napoleon has requested Portugal to contribute 100 million Francs to his costs in sending an army to that country. The apportionment of payments will be fixed by the French CiC. A large part will be met by the sequestration of all the property of the Royal Family and of those nobles who have also emigrated to Brazil.

General Junot (the French CiC in Lisbon) calculated the contribution in local currency as equivalent to 40 million Cruzadoes. He ordered 6 millions to be paid by the merchants and capitalists; all the gold and silver of the churches that is not used in divine service is to be surrendered. The bishops, convents, monasteries, commanders of military orders (including the Order of Malta) and land and house owners will contribute pro rata.

Sat 17th Sept 1808

Admiral Sir Charles Cotton has made a Proclamation in Portuguese to the people of Lisbon saying it is not his intention to cause the scarcity and great expense of grain and other necessaries to the Portuguese but his blockade (and their famine) is necessary for the security of England.

He says France now occupies Portugal and might use Lisbon and Oporto to launch an invasion of England. “I have taken instructions from my government and George III is filled with compassion for your loss and misery. He offers the most generous terms for your capitulation where after the blockade will be lifted and your hardships alleviated. If a flag of truce is permitted in the Tagus, I will send you a copy of his offer.”

Sat 24th Sept 1808

The Francophile Ferdinand, Prince of Asturias (son of the Spanish King Carlos), who was imprisoned last October for trying to seize his Dad’s crown, has said that even before that time he was trying to arrange his own marriage with a Princess of France.

Since March his party has been in the ascendancy and, as his father abdicated in his favour at that time, he became King. There seems little chance that Spain will oppose France as Britain wishes. Ferdinand VII and the rest of the Royal Family have unitedly resigned their sovereignty of Spain in favour of France. They believe France is the only power capable of restoring the independence of the country and its Catholic religion.

Two dissenting nobles – Viscount Materosa and Don Diego de la Vega – have gone to England to solicit funds and hopefully arms and ammunition. They escaped from Spain in an open boat and were picked up by the British privateer Stag and brought to Falmouth. They want to foment rebellion in Asturias and Galicia where there is some support. They say Catalonia and Biscay may subsequently rise too.

This is an opportunity for England to tie down a good part of the French army which is in Spain primarily to protect communications with Junot’s force in Portugal.

Sat 22nd Oct 1808

28th January 1808 – The Portuguese King has arrived at Brazil and declared that country is now open to the trade of his allies and the owners of Portuguese-registered ships. The import duty is 24% on everything except wine, brandy and sweet oil which are all 48%. All Brazilian produce may be exported except Brazilwood[4] and the other items already prohibited. The export duty will continue as heretofore.

Sat 19th Nov 1808

Carlos IV (of Spain) relinquished his crown to his son under popular pressure. He later protested it was a coerced abdication but has now reverted to his original position.

The son did not want to be King and offered the crown to France. Joseph Bonaparte has been crowned King of Spain by his brother Napoleon at Bayonne on 5th June.

Carlos IV is to live at Fontainebleau with his Queen and retainers. He has a French pension of 5 million Livres a year to subsist on. Another French Estate has been given to Ferdinand VII, Prince of Asturias, and the two infantas – Carlos and Antonios.

Sat 26th Nov 1808

The Indiaman Streatham has arrived at Calcutta from Rio de Janeiro and says the flow of emigrants from Portugal into Brazil continues unabated. At the time of her departure on 1st August, 15,000 – 20,000 additional emigrants had already arrived and the number was increasing. The flow of English goods from London has been equally prolific although they are not finding the profitable market that was expected. 34 English merchantmen were in harbour and a convoy arrived from Portsmouth just as the Streatham was leaving.

The thing is that the smuggling trade into Spanish and Portuguese possessions in South America has always been so substantial via the West Indies that it almost equals the regularity of legal trade. The supposed monopoly of the Iberian mother countries was merely a documentary monopoly, existing in treaties but not in fact. Customs officials systematically connive with ship owners. These are not virgin markets for British manufactures.

The overt evidence of this is in the warehouses of the West Indian smugglers where one finds British manufactures not in the usual bales but repacked in small parcels with fake Spanish markings on the covers that are easy to take ashore and carry away anywhere along the coast. Payment is in silver which is a great allurement to smuggle.

A second piece of evidence is in the records of the English Prize Courts in which it has from time to time been noted that British manufactures are often cheaper in Buenos Aires than in London. Popham’s recent expedition (see the South America chapter) revealed the fact only too clearly. Every man in the expedition noted the prodigious glut in the market caused solely by the absence of the usual duty charged by the Spanish. British goods were even carried back to Lisbon and Oporto and offered at lower prices than they could be imported direct from London.

When the Streatham left Rio, all articles of daily use were abundant and uncommonly cheap. Although the export of British goods to Brazil is unprofitable for the time being, the return cargoes of hides and tallow are sufficiently valuable to make the round trip slightly attractive commercially, mainly because the usual sources of those commodities in the Baltic have become difficult to obtain.

It also appears that the Portuguese Court had determined to emigrate before Lord Strangford or Sir Sidney Smith made the proposition to them. The Prince Regent made his proclamation on 26th November 1807; Strangford did not see HRH until the next day and on 29th November the emigration fleet was at sea. Strangford’s papers suggest he saw the Prince ashore but a careful reading reveals that is misleading and, in fact, they met on board.

Both Strangford and Smith were in Rio when the Streatham was there. The Portuguese Prince Regent has offered to support British trade in South America and extend it into Spanish colonies. Smith is negotiating a commercial treaty with both Spanish and Portuguese colonies which is expected to particularly favour British exports.

Alexander Cunningham is deputy British Consul at Rio and the India Company’s Agent in Brazil. He is supposed to develop trade between Bengal and Brazil which will be carried in Portuguese ships.

Sat 3rd Dec 1808

America has sent a minister to Rio to express their formal recognition of the new government. This expression of American commercial policy will annoy Napoleon.

Sat 3rd Dec 1808

The sudden arrival of so many emigrants in Rio has deranged the housing and food markets. That has upset the original settlers. They are further irritated by the Prince Regent’s preference for his old buddies from Lisbon who are incrementally taking over all the plum jobs. The Prince already claims to control revenues of £1 million a year. Nevertheless, the long-term residents are peaceful in expectation that things will turn-out for the best.

The Royal Family treat Sir Sidney Smith like an English King and consult his opinion on everything. He recently held a reception for them on his flagship.

The Prince Regent is in secret negotiations with the Spanish Governor of Buenos Aires and it is hoped a suitable commercial treaty can be reached without bloodshed.

Thurs 5th Jan 1809 Extraordinary

When the Portuguese Royal Family left Portugal, Britain assumed the government of that country. Now the Spanish Royal Family has emigrated to France, Britain has established an alternative government at Seville. We are administering all Iberia.

The Seville junta has declared war on France on 6th June. It has opened all Spanish ports to British trade. As a result, we captured five French capital ships and a frigate in Cadiz harbour in early June. The Governors of Majorca and Minorca have also publicly declared against France.

England unilaterally proclaimed peace with the new administration of Spain on 4th July. Sir John Moore’s force from Sicily has been landed in Spain to assist the popular insurrection. Spanish rebels have already claimed victories over the French in Saragosa, Andalucia and Valencia. General Dupont with 10,000 of his men has reportedly surrendered to a Spanish peasant army. The French are being driven out of Iberia. The Spanish people have restored the hopes of monarchs all over Europe. Napoleon’s enchantment of Europe has been ended.

Prince Leopold, son of Ferdinand IV, King of Naples, is from the Spanish branch of the Bourbon family. He is being taken to Madrid in an English frigate to command the Spanish army and assert the rights of his family.

Napoleon’s mistake in Iberia was in attacking the Catholic church which is dependent on monarchy for its possessions, income and power. He under-estimated the ability of the priests to politicise the people. The church accuses him of capturing the Spanish monarchy and they have incited rebellion.

The British ministry also wishes to restore friendly relations with Turkey and America.

Tues 17th Jan 1809 Extraordinary

In consequence of the British-financed, Catholic-inspired insurrection in Spain, the Spanish army in Portugal has handed over the forts in its control to the remaining Portuguese supporters of the Prince Regent (now in Rio), preparatory to returning to Spain.

It is the priests who have fomented anti-French feeling. As a result they have won some political power. The Bishop of Oporto, Antonio de S J de Castro, is now Governor and General of that city. He has appointed 500 monks to guard the French garrison after it surrendered. The old Portuguese regular regiments that were disbanded by the French are reassembling. G A Creyke is the British officer in Oporto. He has placed an English captain on a Brazilian warship to protect the harbour. £200,000 has been discovered in Oporto which is assumed to be part of the contributions levied by the French. The Oporto junta has started to publish a Gazette informing the people of developments. Sir Arthur Wellesley arrived off Oporto on 24th. He quickly continued to the Tagus in HMS Crocodile.

The Portuguese rebellion has progressed from the North towards the South and the Oporto regiments are approaching Lisbon which is the only place the French still have a strong presence. Their soldiers in Lisbon are mainly Swiss and Hanoverians. The French are surrendering everywhere because the people are not supplying them with provisions and are hindering their every act. Every patriotic Portuguese man wears a cockade inscribed ‘For the Prince Regent’ and every woman wears a black armband marked ‘vengeance’. It is dangerous for a Portuguese to be found in public without one or the other.

Members of the Junta at Oporto have gone to London in HMS Angelica to discuss means of co-operation.[5] Britain controls the Tagus and Lisbon’s port facilities.

Sat 21st Jan 1809

A commercial treaty has been done between the Seville Junta and England whereby the ports of South America are formally opened to our trade.

Sat 21st Jan 1809

We are protecting the Royal Family of Spain and no-one is permitted to visit them.[6] Mde Talleyrand (Mrs Grand), who was in Spain at the time of the revolution, is included in the arrangement. Her husband lost the trust of Napoleon in April when he expostulated against French proposals for Spain. She is here for her own safety.

Sat 28th Jan 1809

Woolwich Arsenal has manufactured 60 x 3-pounders on light carriages. They are each designed to be attached to a saddle to permit them to be moved on muleback. They are intended for the Seville junta’s guerillas.

The rebels’ technique is to command the passes, particularly in the north of the country (Pamplona, Vitoria, etc.), through which French communications are routed, and deny passage to the French. The entire production of Woolwich is given over to manufacturing these special weapons.

Sat 11th March 1809

Major Shrapnel’s exploding shells have been successful in the Peninsula and created great havoc amongst the French infantry at Vimiera. Each shell contains 100 pieces of metal which are thrown out in the explosion. French grenadiers who were taken prisoner said they could not stand the effect. Many were captured lying on the ground.

Sat 15th April 1809

Rio de Janeiro, 1st May 1808 – The House of Braganza has published a formal explanation of its flight to Brazil:

France demanded we close our ports to the English, arrest all English residents and confiscate their property. We offered to close the ports but rejected the other two demands and said we would remove the government to Rio if pushed.

We told England of the French terms and they agreed their residents would naturalise as Portuguese and sell their property to us. Then we accepted the French terms.

We told France that if their army entered Portugal we would remove to Rio. The French sent an army anyway, claiming it was a reinforcement of our own army to help us against the English. We recognised they would likely attempt the same procedure as in Spain i.e. capture the Royal Family and operate through them or cause their abdication and replacement with Frenchmen.

We called the English blockading fleet into the Tagus and retired to Brazil to illustrate in the clearest way that it was an invasion. We repudiate the French view that we have abandoned our land and people – it is merely temporarily ungoverned by us. The Portuguese Court, in collaboration with the English government, has not relinquished its right to rule Portugal.

Sat 22nd April 1809

There is a sort of magic attached to Napoleon. When his armies travel through Europe they are never short of provisions whereas those of his enemies usually are. The logistical organisation required to achieve this is unknown to the Kings. Napoleon’s choice of location for battle and the disposition of his forces are equally miraculous. In a long article, the Editor of Bombay Courier seeks to establish that it is just good planning and not supernatural. He then continues …

One of the causes of recent French defeat in Spain was the absence of grain in the positos.[7] They were raided by the Spanish army in 1801 when it marched across the country to invade Portugal.[8] As a result the farmers have ever since declined to replenish them. They keep their seed grain at home. The French army intended to use the positos as its chief resource and its absence deprived them of sustenance.

Sat 3rd June 1809

The City of London has sent a petition to the King expostulating against Sir Hew Dalrymple’s ‘disgraceful, humiliating and degrading’ Convention of Cintra:

“We pray your majesty, in justice to the outraged feelings of an indignant people whose blood and treasure has been thus expended …. to enquire and punish.”

The King’s reply (drafted by Hawkesbury) merely says he is at all times ready to institute enquiries.

The merchants suppose the ministry is trifling with them. They adduce a long list of military failures in reply, mostly attributable to the Duke of York, which did not result in enquiries and pray the instant case will not be disposed of in the same way. It is.

Sat 10th June 1809

Cobbett has stirred up the people of Southampton with a fiery speech against those people who make their money from war. He specifically mentions the Wellesley family, the Duke of York and others.

His speech ended with a collection of signatures for a petition to the King requesting an enquiry into the Convention of Cintra.

Mon 19th June Extraordinary

Sir John Moore has been killed by a cannon ball at Corunna.

Sat 23rd Sept 1809

England has made an alliance with the Spanish Junta (which purports to act on behalf of Ferdinand VII) on 14th January 1809 (English version) and 21st March 1809 (Spanish version).

Sat 23rd Sept 1809

The British government has loaned £1 million to the present administrators of Portugal (that’s us as well), secured on the revenues of Madeira. Four London wine merchants (the Madeira wine cartel) are to receive the Portuguese taxes on that commodity in repayment.

Sat 30th Sept 1809

Charles Grey (Howick) has gone through the voluminous documents about Spain and prepared an extract-report for the House of Lords. There were misrepresentations by the delegates of the Spanish junta to London insofar as they said the country had 400,000 men under arms when it turned out to be at most 62,000.

The ministry seemed uncertain where to send the British army. Sweden was attacked in the east by Russia and in the West by the Norwegians. Sir John Moore’s army of 11,000 was sent to Sweden’s assistance but not engaged and eventually re-embarked for Spain. Did we abandon the defence of Sweden because Stralsund and Pomerania had by then been lost to us and the Swedes could no longer deliver British commerce into Europe, Grey asked?

We lost all our goodwill in Europe when we seized the Danish fleet to prevent its use against Sweden. Now that country is ruined anyway.

Grey also notes Sir John Moore’s expedition was sent with inadequate horses (for cavalry and to pull cannon).

In Spain General Wellesley was sent to land wherever he could get support and provisions and unite with General Spencer who was likewise told to land anywhere. How were they to find each other and combine their forces, Grey wondered? Etc.

Sat 30th Sept 1809

The Spanish junta has agreed special terms for British imports via Cadiz into Seville (Cadiz is the port which the junta controls). British manufactures will be imported at the same tariff as before 1804; goods which cannot be sold may be re-exported with the Junta retaining only a 2% ad valorem tax. As England is now bringing bacalhao, which is a necessary of the Spanish people, we permit it to enter at the rates in force before 1779.

Sat 7th Oct 1809

The former Governor General of India, Marquis Wellesley, has been appointed British ambassador to the Spanish junta in Seville.

Sat 16th Dec 1809

London newspapers, 14th June:

  • The expedition to Spain is fitting-out and the need for transports is so great that the government has invited American shipowners to participate at 25/- per ton. We have just rejected Erskine’s agreement with US Secretary of State Smith and the American merchants will not wish their ships to return to their home ports – this will give them something profitable to do.[9]
  • Our army to Spain is equipped with a great number of Congreve’s new rockets fitted with Shrapnel’s exploding shells.

Sat 30th Dec 1809

The British army in Spain is becoming fractious. They are not capturing towns or fighting other armies and there is no prize money to be had. Many have been predating on the villagers and their officers are looking the other way.

This will damage the British effort as it is the Spanish people we are supposed to be representing and protecting. The Spanish armies have been overpowered and success or failure rides on Wellington.

He has issued strong disciplinary orders on 25th October, 11th November and now 27th December to be read to every battalion. He says he will punish offenders to the full extent of army law. He reminds his officers that he is CiC and he will chose the time and place of battle, not them.

Tues 6th Feb 1810 Extraordinary

In the battle of Talavira, Sir Arthur Wellesley reported the French attack was focused on his troops alone and the Spanish contingent of the English army was not attacked. It appeared the French did not want to create hostility with Spain but only to remove the English from the peninsula. Wellesley’s report has 5,000 English casualties and 10,000 French – it is therefore a victory.

Sat 11th Aug 1810

The political loss of popular trust in London is bringing all sorts of things to public attention that the ministry has hitherto concealed:

The London Gazette of 15th April recited a letter of Sir Arthur Wellesley to the ministry after the battle of Talavira. He says he apprehended that the French might cut-off the 4,000 sick and wounded he had left behind. The ministry deleted this paragraph from the version which they published on 15th April.

The abandonment of British wounded was publicly fixed on the Spanish General Cuesta instead.

Sat 17th Feb 1810

There is a rumour emanating from Seville that Sir Arthur Wellesley’s army has been pushed back into Gibraltar and he has abandoned all his guns and wounded, but we cannot believe it.

Mon 19th Feb 1810 Extraordinary

Sir Arthur Wellesley has been made Duke of Wellington. It was not a retreat to Gibraltar as previously reported – he went there to replenish his supplies. There is no food to be had in Spain.

Sat 3rd March 1810

The Spanish ship-of-the-line Santa Fulgencio arrived at Cadiz from Lima in mid-July with $5 million in specie. The Santa Francisco de Paula arrived earlier from Vera Cruz with a similarly large shipment of silver.

The Spanish fleet supports the Junta’s insurgency and is moving from Ferrol to Cadiz to get paid and to avoid a French army which is approaching Ferrol fast.

Sat 3rd March 1810

Lord William Bentinck, whose most recent posting was supposed to be 2 i/c to the Duke of Wellington in Spain, has been redeployed. His new assignment has not yet been published.

Cadiz is besieged by the French and General Gerona is defending manfully. Wellington has marched into Portugal to join with General Beresford’s army at Castelo Branco. He has experienced difficulty provisioning his troops in Spain. He took away 2,000 British wounded from Talavira but could not take another 1,500. It is said the French army thereabouts out-numbered him too greatly.

Mr Dillon, the assistant Commissary, who was captured on 2nd July has been released and returned to us. He says the French are well provisioned and looking after our chaps at Talavira very nicely. Wellington is trying to arrange a cartel for exchange of prisoners.

Sat 10th March 1810

At a dinner given by the Duke of Wellington for General Junot after the battle of Vimiera, Junot revealed that he and his aide inspected the British camp the day before the battle, disguised as friars.

Sat 17th March 1810

There is discontent in Spain. English support is for the Cadiz merchants who are represented by the Junta at Seville but this group does not enjoy support elsewhere in Spain.

The difficulty is that the Spanish people do not like us – we eat meat on Fridays and espouse an heretical religion – they are often unwilling to provision our men.

Sat 17th March 1810

Lord Wellesley is our liaison man with the Junta in Cadiz. He has proposed to the British government that it change horses. The Spanish do not like us and the Seville junta is unpopular in other parts of Spain. He suggests a Regency under the Archbishop of Toledo has better prospects of obtaining the support of the people. The Archbishop is a relative of the old King.

The Seville junta is aware of diminishing British support. It has repealed the hated taxes called alcabalas, clentas and millones and substituted other less onerous charges. It has promised other un-named reforms. Perhaps they are not too late but most likely they will have to submit to a Regency.

The Seville junta has sent Rio Dobro as its new Viceroy of Buenos Aires. They have authorised him to execute people should he think it necessary. His first acts were to discourage smuggling to recover his revenue – that was very unpopular. He will have a hard time asserting his authority.

His predecessor as Viceroy was General Liniers, who was appointed by the old King. Liniers has adjourned to Mendoza and still enjoys the support of the merchants. He has somewhat liberated the Creoles and natives (the army has been localised) to the disgust of the old Spanish but its good for trade.

British merchant ships were encouraged to flood the market with all their produce as it was feared a collapse in price was in prospect but prices astonishingly increased 20%. It seems people feared the supply may soon be cut-off, should the Junta’s representative re-establish colonial mastership, and that caused a run on purchases.

Sat 24th March 1810

Undated letter from a British merchant at Rio, c. July / August 1809:

The domestic commerce of Rio de Janeiro has been assumed by the English and the Portuguese residents are complaining. The Portuguese are mostly shop-keepers themselves but since the English arrived, we have become shop-keepers in their place.

As all foreign goods are delivered by English ships, it is the English agents who receive the goods and they monopolise the markets for imported necessaries. One simply attends the English wholesaler’s warehouse and buys what one’s needs in as small a quantity as one wishes.

The Prince Regent is very indulgent of the British. He laughs at things we do that are crimes should his own people do them. Not only are we apparently above the law but we have taken the bread out of Portuguese mouths. This is why the residents are equivocal about us.

We obliged the Regent to sign a treaty with us 19th February 1810 whilst he was en route to Rio whereby he repudiates the slave trade in Brazil and will try to prevent it. The same treaty agrees that the Inquisition will never be established in Brazil.

Sat 24th March 1810

London Morning Chronicle:

The willingness of the Austrian Emperor to sacrifice several ten thousand more subjects and another great swathe of his Empire has been British salvation in Spain. If that second front had not been opened and French troops not been diverted from Spain to Germany, we would not still have our ‘grand little army’ in Portugal.

Sat 12th May 1810

Frankfort Gazette items:

Wellesley has arrested several members of the Seville junta for treason. General Palafox’s brother Francis is one of them. They were trying to recover command of the Spanish armies but we say they are unqualified to run them. The Junta says they will train officers ‘on the job’ but we told them they risk running out of troops before they have sufficient generals.

The human cost of the Peninsula War has caused widespread popular anger in Spain and there would have been a rebellion against the rebels if the dissident Junta had tried to stay on.

The junta is replaced by a Regency of the Archbishop of Toledo. He is also Duke of Infantado and Marquis of Romana. There are two others who are as yet unnamed. Lord Wellesley is arranging the details.

Sat 2nd June 1810

Excerpt report from an article in the Political Management chapter:

More bad news for the ministry. Sir George Villiers has £300,000 missing from his account. He is Paymaster of the Marines. It is another result of the measures of Fox’s brief liberal ministry that did so much for the people – they established the Board for Auditing the Public Accounts.

…….. An attempt was made several years ago to penetrate the obfuscation of the Marine Paymaster’s accounts and a tentative figure of £284,000 was thought to be missing at end 1804. Villiers then produced his own account which introduced some formerly unknown transfers and appeared to reduce the amount due on his personal account to £250,000 at end 1804.

He has now resigned the Paymastership and been appointed to a diplomatic post in Spain where British expenditure is unregulated.[10]

Sat 23rd June 1810

An embarrassing observation on our Iberian campaign has appeared in the Edinburgh Review:

Junot’s French army which we carried back to France in our own transports as an agreed term of the Convention of Cintra, enabled the French to send a similar number of troops straight back into Spain to confront Sir John Moore’s force which had been sent from Lisbon.

The British ministry should have been aware of French troop movements and indeed Sir William Bentinck had informed Moore of a communications intercept indicating the approximate situation.

We sent an army of 30,000 into Salamanca when we knew there were 120,000 French troops available to oppose it.

The only conceivable explanation is that the ministry supposed Moore would be reinforced by Spanish troops.

The Spanish people decided they liked the French less than their own government. It was a nice decision and required stimulation by the priests to be adopted but it was done. Britain had sent both civil and military agents throughout the country to gauge the sense of the people although not a word of their advice figures in the parliamentary debates. Instead there is Frere’s advice (the British minister, formerly to the Spanish King, and now to the junta) and the reports of our Generals. Frere admitted the people of the Castillas and Leon were unwilling to fight France but asserted the southerners were willing. The generals, on the other hand, disputed any ability of Spain to contend militarily with France.

Castlereagh told Moore on 30th September that he should join General David Baird in the north and would be supported by 60,000 – 70,000 Spanish troops, exclusive of Palafox and Castanos. No-one knows where Castlereagh’s figures came from, indeed, at the end of October Castlereagh asked for a man to be sent to Catalonia to see what size the Spanish army in that province was. There was express mention at the time of an allied invasion of southern France. It must have been intended for the Spanish to do the invading because we certainly could not. Moore repeatedly reported inadequate funds and Castlereagh sent him a moderate sum saying there was no more to be had in all England.[11] Baring had already advised the ministry that silver was in short-supply in London.

Moore continued his attempts to unite his army with Baird believing he could not abandon the Spanish without a struggle. He continued in this policy until December when it was fully apparent that his army could serve no purpose in Spain.

Nevertheless, Frere continued to say ‘advance, advance to Madrid’ whilst others warned Moore that the retreat of his army would likely bring on a collapse of Spanish resistance. Then a letter from the Archbishop’s Supreme junta at Madrid advised him to come at once. It informed him that adequate support force was available.

Frere concurrently sent a French émigré, Colonel Charmilly, to Moore who enthused about the martial spirit of the Spanish irregulars. This man completely baffled the General with tales of Spanish courage and enthusiasm. He spoke of troops and people united, peasants flooding into the capital city, etc., and in this way induced Moore to halt his retreat and hazard his army to an advance.

Moore naturally took precautions. He sent General Graham to confirm the improbable advices emanating from Madrid and that officer soon returned with a report of Madrid’s capitulation on 3rd December (something Frere concealed from Moore until 14th December) but this was countered by the junta deputies with advice that there were still 60,000 Spanish irregulars engaged around the city.

Charmilly again appeared in Moore’s camp with another note from Frere (it had been pre-issued and was intended for use if the first was ineffective) urging Moore forward. Frere was himself then retreating from Madrid to Seville.

The émigré approached Moore, surrounded by his generals and staff, and delivered Frere’s letter which said inter alia ‘if you do not advance you will be arraigned before a court-martial.’ It was thus that Moore was persuaded he had a chance of saving Spain and he continued his advance from Salamanca.

Soult’s and Napoleon’s armies were separate and Moore might have contended successfully with Soult but that general was then reinforced whilst Napoleon rushed to attack Moore from the rear. Retreat towards Galicia was Moore’s only option. Even then, Castlereagh was instructing Moore on 11th January to comply with the junta’s wishes as advised to him by Frere.

Some observers suppose that Moore’s army was intended by the ministry to be sacrificed to appease Austrian and Prussian complaints that England had not shared in the blood cost of the war.[12]

Mon 2nd July 1810 Extraordinary

The French have overrun Spain and the British and the Spanish insurgents have been driven back to Cadiz.

Sat 7th July 1810

The Supreme junta (the Regency) has removed to the island of Leon, off Cadiz. All of Spain is lost to us and French armies are converging on Cadiz.

This last toe-hold of the English in Spain has become unsafe. Preparations are in hand to remove many of our Spanish supporters to England. The Spanish merchants however generally prefer to go to South America where their language and culture is alive in their colonies.

Bills on London are selling at ridiculous premiums. The junta has executed a Deed ceding Ceuta to England whilst it still has the power to do so. That was a requirement in the original deal.

Wellington has withdrawn the British army into Portugal.

Sat 7th July 1810

The French army entered Malaga on 5th February and took the city in the name of King Joseph (Bonaparte). The Spanish lost over a thousand people, many of them monks and priests who have taken a leading position both in forming popular opinion and leading public opposition. French losses were 30.

The shipping in harbour was escorted away by three British frigates before the French could secure it.

Sat 18th Aug 1810

The Regency we support in Spain is now based on the only bit of the country we still control, the island of Leon off Cadiz. It has approved the removal of all the French and Spanish warships from Cadiz to Minorca. It has approved the occupation of Minorca by Britain.

Sat 18th Aug 1810

Le Moniteur: A group of 12 Deputies from Seville, Grenada and other Andalusian cities has sailed to the island of Leon to reason with the members of the junta and try to re-integrate them with the rest of Spain. They go in the name of King Joseph (Bonaparte). Their ship sailed under a flag of truce but was obstructed by a British warship. They nevertheless, landed but were again obstructed and no meeting was permitted. King Joseph has warned the Junta that the English will soon sail away and their situation will be worsened.

Sat 15th Sept 1810

Charles Leopold, Baron de Kolli has been arrested on 6th April at the Castle of Valencay in France. He is an emissary of George III sent to interview King Ferdinand VII, the former King of Spain. de Kolli was introduced to George III by the Duke of Kent and his trip was organised by the Marquis Wellesley at Cadiz. de Kolli was carrying a parcel of jewels and three letters when arrested. He had about 200,000 Francs with him and an unlimited credit on the Banking House of M/s Maentiff & Clancy in London.

He had gone over to Plymouth in an English frigate from Quiberon Bay to receive his instructions. He returned the same way with Monsieur St Bonnet. He says “I returned to France on the night of 9th/10th March. King George III’s two letters were sown into the lining of my coat; the jewels were sown into my greatcoat and in my belt. St Bonnet had some of the jewels lodged in his cravat. I had been given fake French passports for my journey through France. The plan was to assist King Ferdinand VII to escape from French influence and promote the Spanish cause.”

One document is a letter from Ferdinand’s father Carlos IV to George III announcing the marriage of the Prince of Asturias (Ferdinand VII). This was authenticated on the back by Marquis Wellesley and was to be shown to Ferdinand to suggest his father supported the British plan.

George III’s own letter offered his fleets and armies, and the help of the Regent of Portugal, to restore Ferdinand to the Spanish throne. He says Ferdinand’s presence in Spain will inspire his people and bring victory.

Ferdinand was either opposed or unconvinced. He accepted none of the proffered goodies. Most disappointingly, he said his only wish was to become the adopted son of Napoleon. (NB – The Baron’s memoirs were published in Paris in 1823 as part of “Mémoires relatifs aux Révolutions d’Espagne” by Alphonse de Beauchamp. It was recently republished.)

Sat 22nd Dec 1810

The British have placed a regiment in the formerly Spanish colony of Ceuta as garrison. Major General Frazer has command. He is to co-operate with the civil government of Ceuta and defend the colony. The former religion, laws and customs of the people will be respected. British troops are reminded that any purchases made from the people of Ceuta are to be paid for in cash. Rent will be paid for quarters requisitioned for British officers from the inhabitants. The force will be withdrawn as soon as conditions in Spain allow.

Sat 26th Jan 1811

The Archbishop of Toledo’s Regency does not trust us. It is as suspicious as the Junta it replaces. All sorts of jealousy and etiquette flavour its actions. The Regents fear the Cortes and are terrified of the people. The guerrillas who do our fighting distrust the Regency as much as King Joseph (Bonaparte). At least the Junta kept away from the Queen of Naples and the Princess of Brazil but the Regent has enlisted a French émigré Prince to assist him[13] and he did not even ask the British minister first. The Regent supposes Bourbon support will give him more respectability.

It is a funny thing but the Americans, who supply all the provisions and much of the arms & ammunition to the Spanish insurgency, are also the people making South America independent. On the one hand the Regency depends on them as a matter of survival; on the other the Regents wish to make war on them as destroyers of the Spanish Empire in America.

A Decree has been issued placing Caracas in a state of blockade – tit-for-tat for Caracas’ declaration of independence. This embarrasses England whose Treaty of Commerce with independent Caracas requires her to protect Venezuelan trade whilst our agreement with the junta in Spain requires us to give them full assistance.

The Marquis Wellesley has received cabinet approval to demand the junta takes a more global view.

Sat 27th April 1811

About 200 Portuguese nobles and merchants have been arrested in Lisbon by the British administrators of Portugal. This disaffected cabal of Portuguese aristocrats object to the appointment of British officers to government posts in the Regency and to British control of Portugal’s land and sea forces.

The British administration at Lisbon identified them long ago and had already removed them from positions of power. The disaffected officials then commenced a correspondence with the French. They sought to expel the British and assume the government themselves.

Lord Wellesley, acting on behalf of the Prince Regent in exile, has been intercepting their letters and this led to the arrests. Involved in the plot are the Marquis d’Abrantes, Marchioness of Alviso, Count of Bolibere, some of the family of Count Sampayo and many others. They are accused of conspiring to clothe 600 Portuguese men in British uniforms and have them shoot the priests who are to parade through Lisbon on 15th September in celebration of the expulsion of the French. They are said to have supposed this would draw the support of the hoi polloi to their side.

The conspirators were held briefly on a British warship in the Tagus and then transported to Ceuta. It is Wellesley’s supposition that the long inactivity of General Massena’s army in Spain was due to his awaiting this coup taking place.

The recent demolition of the British magazine at Almeida is thought to have been the work of the same group – they are said to have planned to destroy all British arsenals in Portugal. We suppose they intended to disrupt supplies to Wellington’s army which would have tilted the chances of military success in favour of Massena.

Sat 4th May 1811

A British warship has sailed from Vera Cruz for London with $6 million silver dollars. The shipment is authorised by the junta in Spain. It is part payment to us for the clothing and war materiel the British ministry supplies to the Spanish insurgents.

Sat 11th May 1811

The Regency in Spain claims to act de jure on the authority of Ferdinand VII, the son of the abdicated King Carlos IV, both of whom are presently sojourning in France, but its de facto authority derives from British military support.

The Regency says ex-King Ferdinand VII has been deceived. Ferdinand’s reported marriage to an Austrian princess is objected by the Cortes – they say his marriage requires their prior consent. They say their job is to expel the French, ‘rescue’ Ferdinand and reunite the motherland with her American colonies. They say only the alliance with Britain (the Junta’s treaty of 14th January 1809) can attain that.

Napoleon is prepared for a long war of attrition in Spain. He is sending no more soldiers than necessary to achieve that aim. He expects the disruption in Spain and Portugal will soon make the people tired of war whereupon they will cease supporting the British expeditionary force under Wellington.

Sat 27th July 1811

The British expedition to Portugal is facing hardships. It holds about a quarter of the area of Portugal in the vicinity of Lisbon and 40 miles to the east to the mountainous frontier with Spain, i.e. both the Tagus and Montego river valleys. England also holds Leon Island, the base of the Regency off Cadiz, and the fortress of Gibraltar. All three places can be reinforced and provisioned by sea.

Providing for a combined army of 60,000 men in Portugal is an expensive chore for England. We can get no local supply of provisions which all have to be sent from London. There are 600 transports constantly chartered for the carriage and many thousands of sailors employed on the work. Wellington’s policy is to burn all the crops for miles around Lisbon to permit the French no local provisions should their army endeavour to advance – its his main defence. It is keeping the French away but local food shortages and unemployment are reducing his support.

Sat 3rd Aug 1811

The Prince Regent of Portugal at Rio, in his birthday honours for this year, has appointed the Duke of Wellington as Count of Vimiera with a pension of 20,000 Crowns for two lives.

Sat 24th Aug 1811

The Portuguese temporary government (another Regency comprising the Bishop, Charles Stuart and four Portuguese nobles) has announced the defeat of France in Portugal on 30th March 1811.

Sat 21st Sept 1811

Le Moniteur has drawn attention to the Duke of Wellington’s predilection of destroying habitations and crops as he retreats in order to deny his opponent any sustenance or shelter in his pursuit. Wellington gets his supplies by sea.

They say Wellington is introducing the style of Indian warfare into Europe. They say all of Europe under French control is tranquil and productive but these 70 miles of Portugal are useless for any purpose.

Wellington, on the other hand, says that any Portuguese who is supportive of England, is plundered by the French and his house is burned. He says the French have been driven out of Portugal and are merely casting around for excuses.

Sat 5th Oct 1811

The House of Commons has debated the Anglophile usurpers of Spanish sovereignty that have been known sequentially as provisional juntas, juntas, central juntas and now Cortes. They are not much respected in the House where the liberal Whigs in opposition call them free-loaders and self-glorifiers.

The Cortes recently withheld Spanish arms from the battle of Barrosa which the English General Graham fought alone. Two Spanish battalions were withdrawn from Barrosa Hill and only returned to the combined army after the battle was concluded. During the course of the battle the British baggage train was caught by the enemy and plundered.

There is a feeling in the House of Commons that the Spanish officers, particularly General La Pena, are not contributing their fair share to the war effort. The same subject arose previously after the Battle of Talavira and was never satisfactorily settled then.

R Wellesley MP said the temporary government of Spain may be corrupt but that weakness has allowed us an entrée into their country and has helped raise the spirit of the Spanish people against France.

This discussion was followed by some inconclusive observations on whether the Regency in Brazil might have influence on the Cortes at Cadiz.

Sat 14th Sept 1811

The Prince of Wales has written to General Graham thanking him for his services at Barrosa and saying that if he had full regal powers he would acknowledge the help more properly but that would have to await his father’s recovery.

Spencer Perceval immediately feared the Regent was trying to woo the military from support of the ministry to support of the Regency. He moved a vote of thanks to Graham in the House of Commons as well. He also moved thanks to the Duke of Wellington and to the army in Portugal, more or less everyone in fact.

Sat 2nd Nov 1811

The French troops garrisoning Holland and the French coast are being transferred to the south Baltic coast. A message has gone to Soult denying him the reinforcements he urgently requested for Spain. It was intercepted by Spanish guerrillas and forwarded to the Duke of Wellington who has published it.

It says no troops can be spared pending for the resolution of the negotiation with Russia. To obtain a good result in those discussions, Napoleon needs to be imposing and that means a very large army threatening Russia.

Sat 2nd Nov 1811

Lord Paget is going to Iberia to command our cavalry. He is senior to Wellington who will be given the entirely local rank of General in order for Paget to serve under him.

Sat 4th Jan 1812

London, 8th June – A contributor to one London newspaper has queried the ministry’s commitment to truth:

He says the government and a small group of London newspaper editors are deceiving the nation. In the reports of the late Battle of Albuera, which our ministers and newspapers have described as a victory, we have been given ‘extracts’ of dispatches to shape our opinions. We learn that Soult, Duke of Dalmatia, had 16,000 men and General La Tour Malberge had 5,000 men however these forces are later totalled as 26,000 men.

There is not a hint of the size of the allied army opposing the French.

What I (the letter writer) have done to remedy this omission is to identify the establishments of all those units that are listed in the Return of Killed and Wounded and add them together to get a figure. The establishment figures are taken from the last House of Commons debate on army estimates in February 1811. This produced a total of just over 20,000 English and German troops.[14]

Until recently we funded a Portuguese army of 30,000 men under British officers. This year the funds for that purpose were doubled to £2 millions, so one might suspect that the Portuguese troops have also doubled and now total about 60,000 men. By way of comparison, we voted £4,248,669 this year to maintain our national army of 141,000 infantry. At that rate, £2 millions buys about 65,000 British infantrymen so the estimated numbers seem approximately right.

Now where were these 60,000 allies when we were fighting the battle of Albuera? It was surely the most important battle we have fought in the peninsula for a long time. They must have been there and we do actually see some mention of their British officers in the ‘extracts’ of dispatches. I guess there were a minimum of 20,000 Portuguese on the battle-field as well.

There are also our Spanish friends. I suspect there were several thousands of Spanish troops in our line-up.

It would therefore appear that Soult attacked us with an inferior army, although he had more cavalry than Beresford.[15] The extent of our list of casualties reveals Soult was pretty successful. Actually one of the guiding statistics that establish if a battle is won or lost is the number of prisoners taken. In Beresford’s dispatches he says he took over 900 prisoners. A little later he says the enemy left over 900 wounded on the field and it turns out that his prisoners were in fact the French wounded. Soult, on the other hand, left our wounded on the field and took his prisoners away with him and they totalled over 500 men – including fifteen commissioned officers, drummers and soldiers.

The Wellesley family have an admirer in the Editor of The Times who derides Soult’s ‘tarnished reputation’ for leaving his wounded on the field. Has he forgotten that after the supposed victory at Talavira we fired the guns of the Tower of London, gave parliamentary thanks, awarded two titles and a pension of £3,000 a year for three lives to the man who left his wounded on the field of Talavira?

It will be interesting to see how Le Moniteur reports this engagement but on the face of it, it was not the crushing defeat of France that the ministry and some London papers are alleging.

It is a funny thing that we have to await the French account to obtain an idea of what actually happened.

Sat 18th Jan 1812

Something may be developing in Spain at last. Soult has not been reinforced (he still has about 30,000 men) but Joseph Bonaparte is returning to Madrid. Wellington has 12,000 British infantry, 12,000 Portuguese infantry, 6,000 Spanish under General Castanos and 5,000 Spanish under General Blake. He also has 4,000 cavalry – half British, half Spanish / Portuguese. He appears to have a slight numerical superiority but the opposing sides continue to feint and move about, each unwilling to confront the other unless he has a decisive advantage. This type of warfare could continue for ever or at least until the Iberian people become sick of it.

Sat 25th Jan 1812

British officers serving in Spain say the reason they are disproportionately killed in engagements is their uniform. They wear cocked hats and a feather whereas French officers are only distinguishable from soldiers by their epaulettes.

Sat 14th March 1812

The Spanish government of Montevideo (which supports Ferdinand VII) has arrested the Anglophile Governor of Buenos Aires and sent him to the Isle de Leon (off Cadiz) to be examined by the Cortes.

Sat 21st Mar 1812

Britain operates a special naval unit at the Isle of Leon to harass the French army besieging Cadiz. 2 Captains and 30 Lieutenants operate a fleet of gun boats each having 2 heavy cannon and 40 men. They patrol the coast east and west of Cadiz and take every opportunity to distress any activity they see. This is a volunteer service for both officers and men. They are quite reckless.

Sat 2nd May 1812

Wellington is still using the rivers and the mountains of Portugal to avoid a direct confrontation with the French. They are pressing upon him and the Spanish armies do little to draw them off. Wellington’s particular skill has been to turn the mountains into an impenetrable wall – Torres Vedras is a particularly fine example of his defensive works.

On the other hand, it seems that the French do not seem intent on driving the British out of Portugal. Their plan seems to be to drain us of men and money and, whilst doing so, to capture whichever of our officers reconnoitre too close to French positions. Over 12,000 of our troops are sick at Lisbon.

Thurs 7th May 1812 Extraordinary

Wellington has been made Count of Vimiera by the Portuguese Cortes. It looks like they wish to publish their authority by ratifying the Prince Regent’s prior award from Rio.

Sat 30th May 1812

A notice in the London Gazette says Chalie’s fine old Port, that essential article of luxurious living, has increased in price from £6.15.0d to £7.7.0d the case, or from 11/3d to 12/3d per bottle. That works out at a shilling a glass.

In the same Gazette is a list of over thirty bankruptcies.

Mon 22nd June 1812 Extraordinary

  • General Blake surrendered Valencia to the French General Suchet on 9th January. We lost 374 cannon, 893 officers and 16,000 men. Suchet is made Duc d’Albuera.
  • A new Spanish Regency has been appointed from Anglophile Spaniards. It is composed of the Duke of Infantado, General Henry O’Donnell, Admiral Vellanocenza, Rebas and Mosquera.

Mon 22nd June 1812 Extraordinary

The Prince Regent has conferred an Earldom on the Duke of Wellington and an additional pension to support the increased dignity of his new appointment. Wellington is also created a Grandee of Spain by the English-appointed Regency with the title Ciudad Rodrigo, the name of the supposedly impregnable hill fort he has just captured from the French. An important element in Wellington’s success appears to have been sabotage by Spanish guerrillas in English pay. The French appear to have been starved out of Ciudad Rodrigo.

Sir Francis Burdett in the Commons moved that Wellington’s successful attack was intended to be a feint until he discovered how weak the defenders were. He thinks the ministry has over-done its congratulations. Burdett thinks they should note the French have taken Valencia and Tarragona and have also occupied Badajoz, another hill fort but on a bigger road than Ciudad Rodrigo, and thus more important.

Canning ridiculed Burdett – he is unpatriotic; his motion had only his own single vote in support, etc. It was enough for a ministerial victory.

Sat 11th July 1812

The Regency in Spain has proclaimed to the people that the Cortes has transferred the government of the country to them:

You have been resisting the French for 5 years. You cried for vengeance when deprived of your King Ferdinand VII. Some of you joined together as national representatives to establish the Cortes. Now you have passed the burden to us.

We have heard the groans of the people and the privations of the Spanish armies. We will exterminate abuses to make your sacrifices more glorious.

Defend religion, defend Spain, defend Ferdinand VII.

We must persevere in the struggle – Britain demands it. We will well reward our country’s defenders. If you do not obey us and defend Spain, anarchy will result and our country will be no more. Our danger is great and our sacrifices must be proportionate.

You lost confidence in the Cortes and it is no more, but you must obey us. We will establish order and consolidate government. Every Spaniard must assume his share of the burden. Your right to citizenship entails your responsibility to sacrifice for the country. With your support we will zealously annihilate the enemy and confirm the monarchy. The alternative is slavery. We will fight an eternal war until the French surrender.

Sgd Joaquim Mosqueri Figueroa, President, Cadiz 25th January 1812

Sun 12th July 1812 Extraordinary

The old Cortes obtained the agreement of the popular representatives of several of the Spanish American colonies to send Commissioners to Cadiz for negotiations. The new Regency has continued to pursue the same idea. Our man Henry Wellesley has advised them against it.

The Commissioners are presently coming to London. Lord Wellesley has ordered our naval squadron to stop their frigate HMS Grampus and send them back.

If there must be negotiations, Thomas Sydenham will attend the Convention in Spain on behalf of England. He has just received a lengthy briefing from Castlereagh. Once Sydenham arrives there, it will allow General Stuart at Lisbon to visit South America should it be necessary.

Sat 19th Sept 1812

Wellington has taken Badajoz. It was a bloody affair. The French lost 1,200 men. Our loss was 2-3 times greater (the list of dead officers occupies two columns of newspaper). Marmont has retired into Spain.

Sat 24th Oct 1812

Wellington’s casualties from the assault of Badajoz reveal his determination to succeed on this second attempt. He lost 17 of his General Staff and 32 officers from the artillery and engineers. The 35 regiments of infantry, including the Royal Scots and the Brunswick regiment, lost over 3,000 men. It looks Pyrrhic but Badajoz controls the southern route from Portugal to Madrid.

Sat 7th Nov 1812

Frankfurt Journal – The British ministry has revealed that £2.3 millions of army expenses last year was unforeseen. This year one sees that £5 millions is budgeted for more ‘extraordinary’ expenses. This waste is being poured into Spain to expose those people to endless war – both civil war and war against France.

The Spanish are not content to be cannon fodder – they resent having British officers over every Spanish regiment. The Portuguese army has already revolted against its British officers.

A person just escaped from Cadiz says the Regency is bankrupt and Spanish army officers have become beggars. The English found only one valuable resource in the town – a huge store of timber from Caracas worth £8 millions – and they have taken that to England to build new barracks in the manufacturing districts.

Sat 30th Jan 1813

Wellington’s recent victory over Marmont at Salamanca appears partially due to the acts of Joseph Bonaparte. As King of Spain, he was bringing 12,000 men to assume command of Marmont’s army. That galvanised Marmont into battle and his defeat instantly followed. As a consequence, Wellington is said to be able to march into Spain for Madrid. Soult has marched off south to renew the siege of Cadiz.

Joseph tried to resign the Spanish monarchy in a letter to Napoleon of 23rd March 1812. Apparently he is not getting the income he needs. He has been promised a million but it has not arrived. He says he will be content with an Estate in Tuscany for the winter and another in Moifontaine. Joseph has gone to Seville to meet Soult.

Mon 15th Feb 1813 Extraordinary

The Spanish Regency has allied its provisional government with Russia on 8th July 1812.

Sat 6th March 1813

News from Paris: At end August, Massena with 10,000 men was sent to Spain to bring a higher quality of Generalship to French arms.

Sat 3rd April 1813

The Cortes has issued a Proclamation to the Spanish people on 28th August. It appears in the Gibraltar papers of early October.

The Cortes admires the sacrifice of the people and promises to end feudalism in Spain. All seigniorial rights are abolished. The difficulties of France in Russia signal the beginning of the end of our problems. Continue the fight.

Sgd Andres Angel de la Vega Infanzon, Juan Nicasio Gallego and Juan Bernardo Olgacun.

Tues 11th May 1813 Extraordinary

Parliament reopened on 10th November 1812. The Regent addressed both Houses (extract):

“Wellington is in control of the southern provinces of Spain. We had to withdraw from Burgos and Madrid but we are making progress.”

Sat 15th May 1813

House of Commons, 7th December:

£100,000 is voted to be spent on lands, etc., as a gift to Wellington in recognition of his services in Spain.

Sat 15th May 1813

Wellesley has addressed the House of Lords in a speech on the Regent’s Address to parliament. He has lauded the Russians and criticised the ministry for failing to properly supply his brother Wellington. Armies cannot be moved quickly – they cannot protect as much territory as the minister believes.

Salamanca on 22nd July was a fluke. The French made a mistake and Wellington exploited it. In the result, the French had to raise the siege of Cadiz and were driven out of the south. At that time the British army had $20,000 in the war chest. Wellington then besieged Burgos with 2 x 18 pounders!

The day we entered Spain from Portugal we needed more men and money. The French have the bigger army and, of greater concern, the bigger cavalry. The minister insists Spain is a mere diversion to draw French resources from the action in Russia. Both Spain and Russia are desolated places where no support can be had. An army fighting in either place must bring its own provisions and money with it – its not like the rest of Europe where you may live off the land. That appears to have been unexpected by Napoleon.

We are not taking advantage of our situation. We have allies in the Baltic but do nothing there. By a peculiar treaty, we have engaged to defend Sweden without requiring an equivalent from them. Our agreement recognises Bernadotte as Prince of Sweden. With that agreement in their pockets, the Swedes disembarked their expedition and waited for us to act.

The French General Victor who had been waiting on the Pomeranian frontier to oppose the Swedish expedition immediately moved off to support Napoleon in Russia. The addition of Victor’s army enabled Napoleon to enter Moscow. The support we gave Russia was 50,000 muskets. That Swedish expedition might have held down Victor or, in his absence, cut across Napoleon’s communications but our undertaking gave Bernadotte no reason to do so.

Sat 15th May 1813

Commons, 10th December 1812:

The Regent wishes to reward the Hanoverian Legion for its bravery at Salamanca by giving the officers and men permanent rank in the British army.

Its illegal to put foreigners over British officers.

Palmerston said ‘permanent’ in War Office parlance does not really mean ‘permanent’.

Sat 22nd May 1813

Lord Liverpool has responded to Wellesley’s disapproval (above):

He told the House of Lords that war in Europe was first against strong governments and involved army against army. The citizenry of Holland, Prussia, Austria, Italy, etc., were uninvolved.

The war in the peninsula is qualitatively different. The Spanish King abdicated and his son Ferdinand VII expressly declined the monarchy. It is the people who are fighting to expel the French armies and place Ferdinand on the throne. We have a duty to help them. We have 91,000 British and German troops in Iberia and the Mediterranean. The Portuguese have 36,000. The numbers of Spanish guerrillas are unknown. This year we have sent an additional 20,000 troops and 7,000 horses to Iberia.

Wellington complains of a shortage of equipment and money but that is always the case in war. France is also having difficulty. In fact Wellington is well equipped. Britain is not levying contributions on the Spanish people. They do not like us much anyway and if we charge them for our help, they will object. They have seen independence affecting all their colonies except Philippines and suspect our involvement in those changes.[16] By relieving them of the costs of our assistance, we assure ourselves of their co-operation in the struggle with France. The problem really is silver. We allow Wellington to draw sufficient Bills but discounting of British Bills by Iberian merchants is frightful. Its due to the chaos in South America where independence movements are deranging mine production and shipment of silver.

Once we had obtained a controlling position in Sicily, we sent Wellington 5,000 troops from the garrison there. That is as much as we can do in the Mediterranean. We are making progress. Whilst the Cortes (and then the Regency) was shut up in Cadiz, we appeared to be supporting a government without a country, but now southern Spain is relieved of French armies, the Regency can authentically claim to act for about half of the people. Most of our recent difficulties have been due to disobedience of orders by General Ballesteros and the Spanish army.

Grenville also spoke in the debate:

If the British army was removed from Spain the country would be instantly overrun by France. The Spanish army is incompetent and unreliable. Our presence there is a continuation of the same thinking that put an expedition into Walcheren.

The Austrians required a diversion of us at that time and, instead of landing in northern Germany, we opted for Walcheren and lost an entire expeditionary force in the marshes, and hardly diverted any French forces.

It seemed to Grenville that it was not us diverting French forces but France diverting ours. The problem in Spain was that, whilst the people were generally willing to oppose France, the government was unconvinced. There is an endless succession of examples of where Wellington had relied on Spanish support and been let down. We have had years of this unsupportive Spanish government and should have responded to them the way they respond to us.

Here in England, it has been our policy for years to retain all the gold and silver that comes into the country and press paper on our people for domestic exchange. We have raised an astonishing amount of revenue from our people which secures an even greater and more astonishing amount of debt. Where has the bullion gone?[17] Why is Wellington’s military chest not full.

Sweden has become one of our few allies but we demand nothing of her.

Sat 22nd May 1813

The British have dismissed General Francisco Ballesteros from command of the 4th Spanish army (the army of the four Kingdoms of Andalusia) in late October.

He is angry. He went to his headquarters and was prevented from entering. The guerrillas support him but the regular soldiers oppose. He was put under house arrest and guarded. Later he was ordered to be transferred to command the garrison of Ceuta.

He told the Regency’s Minister of War that Spain is one of the greatest countries in the world. “You gave command of our national army to Wellington. Spain has many generals who have fought honourably and well for years. The British say they act on behalf of the Spanish people. If you really consult the people, they will tell you to appoint a Spaniard. I am a true patriot. I am not ambitious for myself, only for my country.”

Ballesteros is replaced in his command temporarily by Joaquin Verues, Brigadier of the Royalist armies.

Sat 3rd July 1813

General Ballesteros has not gone to Ceuta. He is still in Spain and still protesting to the Regency. There is considerable support for him amongst the patriotic Spanish. They do not agree that British generals should control Spanish armies. Wellington has 30,000 English and 20,000 Portuguese troops. He has little cavalry as the country has been so devastated its difficult to procure forage. The French on the other hand have been able to maintain a force of 9,000 horsemen. It seems the devastation is mainly around the English positions.

Both armies have postponed war until Spring. Wellington has gone to Cadiz for consultations. The news of the French defeat in Russia had not yet arrived in the Peninsula but should motivate our troops well.

Sat 10th July 1813

Napoleon’s Russian reversal has healed the disputes between Wellington and the Cortes at Cadiz. They have willingly placed the Spanish forces under his command and believe it is now possible to expel the French from the Peninsula.

It is rumoured that large detachments of the French armies in Spain are being withdrawn back into France.

Sat 31st July 1813

Wellington has asked the Regency to divide Spain into departments and appoint his nominees to the command of each. He says he will raise a revenue for the maintenance of the army and hand over any balances to the Regency at year end.

The Regency rejected it as unconstitutional and passed copies of Wellington’s request to the Spanish newspapers in Cadiz. They say they have been fighting to escape the French and now they are covertly being replaced in the government of Spain by the British. The Spanish press says Wellington has disgraced himself. His army has been helpful but his proposal would be fatal. He knows nothing about Spain.

London newspaper Editors expostulate ‘we have spent millions of Pounds and thousands of lives in support of Spain and this is how they repay us’.[18]

Sat 18th Sept 1813

Napoleon seems to be fighting back. Prussia and the Hanseatic towns (Hamburg, Lubeck, etc) changed sides but the reinforcement of the Russian armies was insufficient to defeat the French at Bautzen (on the River Spree, 30 miles east of Dresden). France has taken some troops from Spain but we are unable to get any advantage from it as our own forces are sick. Wellington is trying to raise a Spanish army of 50,000 under British officers but recruitment is very slow.

Sat 25th Sept 1813

Wellington has held a party at Ciudad Rodrigo to invest Sir Galbraith Lowry with the Order of the Bath. The Prince of Orange attended along with all the Spanish and Portuguese officers.

Strangely there was a contingent of Spanish ladies from Salamanca in attendance. Salamanca is still in French hands.

Sat 16th Oct 1813

The Prince Regent of Portugal has awarded Wellington the Dukedom of Vitoria.[19]

Sat 23rd Oct 1813

The Spanish Regency is headed by Antonio Cano Manuel L de Bourbon, Cardinal of Scala and Archbishop of Toledo – that’s all one Don. He is in dispute with the Papal Nuncio – Peter Gravina, the Archbishop of Nicea – who has come to Spain to politicise the bishops for the retention of the Inquisition. Gravina has visited Malaga, Granada and Jaen.

The forerunner to the Regency, the Cortes of Cadiz, banned the Inquisition as a populist move and the Regency never interfered with that decision. The Pope now seeks to overturn the ban.

The Pope is promoting the view that temporal states should not interfere in religious matters. The Inquisition empowers the church and helps to assure its authority and income. It is a power centre independent of the Cortes or Regency.

The Bourbon Cardinal finds himself opposed to his religious contemporaries but he does not wish to restrain the choices of the Regency’s temporal power. It is a difficult call because the priests are closer to the people than the government is. Their role in commencing the insurrection against France was crucial. Nevertheless, he categorises the Nuncio’s job as against international law and denies he has jurisdiction in Spain. He feels he has grounds to expel the Nuncio but satisfies himself with a Decree questioning the Nuncio’s authority as both the Pope and Ferdinand VII live in France as guests of the French government and therefore under its influence. He disapproves of the Nuncio’s conduct.

Sat 19th Feb 1814

London, 17th Aug 1813 – the Prince of Orange has returned to London from the Peninsula bringing Wellington’s latest dispatches. Soult’s army has been driven back into France.

Sat 19th Feb 1814

The baggage of Joseph Bonaparte was captured by Wellington’s forces at Vitoria[20] on 21st June as the French retreat from Spain commenced. It contained an interesting letter from Napoleon. In it, he says he hopes Joseph will maintain a defensive presence in Spain as long as possible. He despises Murat (the King of Naples) for changing sides and failing to support the French effort. He hopes his victory at Bautzen will encourage the people of the Confederation of the Rhine to side with France but notes that the time has passed when a war can be decided by one battle (‘the governments of our enemies have grown wiser’, he says).

Sat 19th Feb 1814

The Spanish Regency formerly granted Wellington (who is known on the Spanish documents as the Duke of Cuidad Rodrigo) the estate of Soto de Roma, a large extent of valley land in Granada. The Cortes has now added the land of Chanchina to him and his heirs. They recently also made him Prince of Vitoria.

Tues 5th July 1814 Extraordinary

Napoleon has made peace with Ferdinand VII of Spain on 15th December at Valencay. The treaty restores Ferdinand to the government of Spain. He eulogises the Spanish and British armies who have obtained this treaty of peace for the Spanish people.

This is annoying. For years we have been telling everyone we are fighting for Ferdinand although he actually repudiated our bribes and preferred to live in France. We say Ferdinand is a prisoner of Napoleon and cannot exercise free will.

Under the agreement, France and Spain bind themselves to maintain maritime rights as fixed by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1715 and considered binding international law in Europe until 1792 (free ships make free goods). Ferdinand takes over from France the responsibility to pay the pensions of his father and mother.

The Regency we established for Spain has rejected the treaty. The Archbishop of Toledo, as Regent, says the Spanish King cannot make peace without British consent. They will continue to make war.

Sat 23rd July 1814

The Prince Regent of Portugal, presently in Rio, has awarded 9,000 hectares of Portugal to the Duke of Wellington. He is also awarded an honorary Grand Cross of the Order of the Sword.[21]

Sat 30th July 1814

Bells’ Weekly Messenger, 30th January 1814 – There is an interesting report circulating in London. Wellington has long been in communication with his opponents, the French Generals Soult (Duke of Dalmatia) and Suchet (nephew of Bernadotte, now the Crown Prince of Sweden).

The French generals proposed a deal to Wellington that would benefit them all. They do not believe they can win in Spain since Napoleon took away 30,000 of their troops to increase his army protecting Paris. Wellington sent Sydenham to London three weeks ago to advise the Cabinet of the offer.

It is supposed the deal involves help to remove Napoleon from France and to procure Ferdinand’s agreement to be King of Spain again. The recent movements of Castlereagh and the departure of the Bourbon princes from London to various European destinations may be related to Sydenham’s advices.

In support of this rumour, we know that Soult has long been close to Ferdinand. The latter has just left his French estate for Paris.

Sat 6th Aug 1814

Bayonne is an interesting town. In the 12th century it was the capital city of the independent kingdom of the Basques. England under Richard I occupied the town and its hinterland in 1193 and kept possession until 1451 when the French under Charles VII expelled us.

The people are called Basquois and dress in a unique way. Both males and females are dark-skinned. Their women comb-up their hair over their heads and cover it with a cap like a turban which looks neat. The people speak Basque which is distinct from French, Spanish and Gascon.

Sat 26th Nov 1814

4th May 1814 – Ferdinand VII of Spain is in Valencia and has been briefed on what has occurred in his country during his long absence. He now has to resile from all our Constitutional Republican arrangements and reassert monarchy. It is a difficult job negotiating his way through all the various initiatives we tried in Spain but this is how he did it:

He says the Spanish love him and accept him as King. The Cortes should resign and go home. He says that on 5th May 1808, before he removed from Spain, he sent orders to the Council of Castile that the Cortes should be convened. They just had to raise a little revenue to fund themselves and start an army that’s all.

However, the provinces were unaware of this act and spontaneously created their own juntas. Those juntas each sent a representative to a central Junta that purported to rule Spain from Sept 1808 – Jan 1810 when Wellesley created the First Council of Regency to assume sovereignty. It operated until 24th Sept 1810 when 104 deputies convened on the Island of Leon off Cadiz and created the General and Extraordinary Cortes which endorsed Don Nicolas Maria de Sierra’s proposal that the Cortes act in my name to recover Spain.

This General and Extraordinary Cortes never convened the estates of the nobility and clergy and was merely a popular front. This was in opposition to the order of the Central Junta and was concealed from the Council of Regency. In this way the Cortes arrogated to itself the government of Spain and made such laws as they chose. They imposed a new Constitution on the people without any authorisation or approval from the provincial authorities.

They published this Constitution in 1812 and thereafter they purported to rule the country under it. They altered my good laws and replaced them with popular laws that accorded with the terms of the French Constitution of 1791. They subverted monarchy and substituted democracy. All the power centres of Spain were required to sign and ratify this Constitution or face punishment.

To press these novelties on the nation, some members of the Cortes published newspapers wherein monarchy was made to appear odious and those who objected to that characterisation were punished. The Royal army and navy were made the National army and navy and democratic institutions were introduced.

Having thus boldly expressed his analysis, Ferdinand continues

‘I have returned and will bring you good government. I will liaise with the Procurators of Spain and the Indies to assure it. A real Cortes will soon be established including all three branches of power. Respect for monarchy and religion will be revived. The revenues of Spain will be returned to my control.

‘I do not accede to the former Constitution. I do not accede to the directions of the General and Extraordinary Cortes. I accede to no derogations of my authority. Anyone who opposes me is guilty of High Treason and will be executed.’

Sat 3rd Dec 1814

Ferdinand VII of Spain has appointed the Duke of Infantado as his minister, called ‘President of the Council’ in the Spanish system. He has the support of the army and nobility and seems capable of confronting and defeating the democrats.

The Regency sent him a draft Constitution and he rejected it. He has proscribed both Regency and Cortes and says he will convene a real Cortes when he gets to Madrid. The Papal Nuncio is recalled to Madrid and the Inquisition rehabilitated.

Sat 17th Dec 1814

Ferdinand VII entered Madrid on 14th May 1814. He was warmly welcomed and the people themselves pulled his carriage the 7 miles to Aranjuez Palace. All the Republican newspapers have closed. The Republican policy of the Cortes seems to have died with the arrest of the newspaper Editors, most deputies to the Cortes and the Regency members.

Ferdinand acknowledges the lesson of the French Revolution and the Great War and he avers his monarchy will be enlightened. Whilst all traces of Republicanism have gone underground, there has been a very public return of the clergy.

The Bourbons are restored in Paris and Madrid. It remains to be seen if they will also recover Naples.

Sat 18th Feb 1815

Carlos IV has disavowed his former abdication and is going to Spain to recover the crown from his son Ferdinand VII. The Bourbon Kings of France and Naples and the Pope have all given him their support.

Sat 11th March 1815

The losses sustained by the Anglo-Spanish army in Iberia during the recent war are the greatest in recorded history for a victorious army.

Sat 22nd April 1815

Gazette Universal, Hamburg, 3rd October 1814 – Wellington induced Ferdinand VII to commit violent acts on his return to Spain. When the King arrived at Valencia, Wellington advised him not to accept the Constitution of the Cortes.

The recommendation of a British commander at the head of an army of occupation is tantamount to an order. Ferdinand complied but this denial of popular rights caused the village priests to politicise the people. Ferdinand responded by imprisoning the members of the Cortes. His government then started to lose control of the country and Ferdinand had to relent and free some of the men but they demanded to know his complaints.

Now he does not know how to explain himself and Wellington is unavailable for clarification. He attributes his difficulties to Wellington’s attempt to roll back democracy in Spain once it had obtained the removal of the French from the country.

Ferdinand had already re-introduced the Inquisition at the request of Pope Pius. That was deeply unpopular with the people. The Inquisition re-established the Jesuits and proscribed Freemasonry. It seems the Pope expects the Inquisition and the Jesuits to restore the revenue of the Catholic Church in Spain.

Sat 22nd April 1815

Sir Henry Wellesley, our long-term ambassador to Spain, has obtained a treaty of alliance with Ferdinand VII that expressly repudiates the family compact with the French Bourbons. He has spent much of the war in Spain with his brothers and, with this achievement, is now returning to England.

Sat 22nd April 1815

Carlos IV of Spain has abdicated again. Once again it is in favour of his son Ferdinand VII. He has retired to Arena Castle (he later continues to Rome).

Reports received in Madrid from America say that New Grenada (today’s Colombia) has declared its independence.

Our minister at Madrid has agreed to pay 500,000 piastres for the repeal of the prohibition on import of British goods. We are seeking for the same commercial advantages that Spain has given France.

Sat 27th May 1815

A Spanish chap in Paris has provided an explanation for Ferdinand’s proscription of cotton imports to Spain.

He says that during the war, British merchants at Cadiz smuggled-in a huge amount of cotton piece-goods with the connivance of the Customs House officials and these were sold at a loss, completely ruining the market for the few Spanish manufacturers. The employees of those factories transferred into the army as their workplaces were sequentially bankrupted. After six months, all the Spanish factories had closed and all the skilled weavers were subject to army law, whereupon British imports increased in price.

Ferdinand VII says this is the background to his proscription of cotton imports. The English say its mere ingratitude for our military services.

Sat 3rd June 1815

Ferdinand VII has recalled General Ballesteros to Madrid. He is the patriotic Spaniard who opposed Wellington’s appointment as CiC of the Spanish army and was accordingly banished by the Cortes. He is popular and has a broad following amongst the people. If Ferdinand can draw Ballesteros to his side, his attempt to restore monarchy will have better prospects.

There is great anxiety in all the Spanish ports at the danger of the loss of the South American colonies. The Spanish had not really appreciated the extent to which British and American merchants have inculcated a wish for independence amongst the people of Mexico, Peru and Buenos Aries.

Sat 5th Aug 1815

Ferdinand VII has left Madrid after an insurrection in the capital made his continued presence inadvisable.


All issues for 1816 and 1817 are missing in the British Library copy of the newspaper – they contain the European news between about August 1815 – August 1817.


Sat 25th April 1818

London, 18th Oct – There was an attempted military coup at Lisbon in September. General Friere and 17 co-conspirators are sentenced to death. The government indicates it will publish details only after the sentences have been carried out.

Sat 13th June 1818

King Ferdinand VII has forbidden Spaniards to trade in slaves north of the Equator and has limited the time remaining for the trade in the southern hemisphere to 2 years and 5 months.

The penalty for disobedience is transportation to the Philippines.

Sat 4th July 1818

The Russian squadron of warships, which Britain repaired, reached Cadiz without accident but British commentators are doubtful whether the ships can cross the Atlantic in safety – they are made of fir and thought likely to be unseaworthy in heavy weather. Ferdinand VII has insufficient money to fit-out the expedition and has offered the Cadiz merchants a deal – they ship 2,000 tons on the fleet and he will assure them that, wherever they land (the precise destination is a secret), his troops will protect their trade and re-establish Spanish sovereignty.

King Ferdinand has declared Alicante, Cadiz, Corunna and Santander to be free ports – this may convince the merchants of his free-trade credentials but they all remember Morillo’s recent expedition to South America which was a disaster. This second expedition to recover his silver colonies is smaller than Morillo’s force.

The problem is that Spain has had no effective government for ten years and the people rather like it. Its difficult to bring them under control.

Sat 4th July 1818

The Basque people are in open rebellion against Ferdinand VII’s government. They assert ancient privileges which Ferdinand discountenances.

Sat 12th Sept 1818

The Russian fleet of 7 warships that the Tsar gave to Ferdinand VII has turned out to be irredeemably defective. On survey at Cadiz only two ships could be salvaged from the fleet.

Ferdinand gave away Minorca and the west coast of North America for this fleet.

He was relying on the ships to get an army to South America, restore his income and thus secure his crown. Spain has no forests of her own with which to build ships. He has assembled a force of 2,000 men whom he wants to send to Lima to reinforce the government there. Lima is the seat of the only loyal government he has left in South America.

Sat 12th Sept 1818

11th May – a negotiation is in hand between America and Spain. Joseph Adams represents the USA.[22] The Americans have proposed Spain cede all her claims east of the Mississippi to USA, i.e. both the Floridas. In return Spain gets American recognition of her sovereignty over all the lands to the west of the course of the Colorado River to its source and thence to the Louisiana boundary (California, Texas, etc.).

Claims relating to New Orleans and East Florida to be settled by Commissioners. Spanish national debts to America to be forgiven.

The initial Spanish response is hostile but give them time ….

General Jackson has occupied Pensacola and part of the Floridas – the US seems to be proceeding as though its a done deal but the actually pretext is that the Floridas are being used by Indian tribes to launch attacks on USA. The Spanish treaty of 1795 disallowed that.

Strangely, the American government has invariably said, since it obtained Louisiana, that its title extends to the Rio del Norte. Now they seem to be giving away two thirds (c. 700 million acres) of their acquisition.

Sat 26th Dec 1818

Lisbon, 20th June – Field Marshall Beresford, who has been running the Portuguese army for several years under the name Marquis de Campornay, is returning to England and will be replaced by Francisco Paoli de Leite. He is a real Portuguese.

Sat 20th March 1819

It appears that Spain’s problems are about to be resolved. The Bourbons in Paris have encouraged the ministers of England and Russia to provide a fleet for the transport of a Spanish army to South America.

It is said that war between Spain and USA has been avoided by America paying Spain $5 millions for the Floridas.

Sat 20th March 1819

Lisbon has sunk into poverty and decay. Its not just the city but the country for tens of miles around. It seems as though the means of subsistence has been withdrawn from this country (it was devastated by Wellington for defence and has still not recovered). Almost everyone seen wandering the streets of the city seems to be in a dream.

All the country estates remain abandoned. Some, on which repairs started after the war in expectation of the King’s return, have since again been abandoned and are left half-completed, exposed to the weather. Unless the King returns from Rio, this city will go the way of ancient Tyre and Alexandria.

It is a tragedy for the Portuguese. They were on the winning side in war but lost the peace. It was the people of Spain and Portugal who made the greatest sacrifices in the struggle with Napoleon and their reward is privation.

Sat 3rd April 1819

A Papal Bull to the Inquisition in Spain approves the use of torture for cases of treason and freemasonry. The bishop at Alicante has excommunicated all freemasons there and anyone else who either possesses Masonic writings or knows of a freemason but does not identify him to the church.

Sat 29th May 1819

The British ministry has announced the discovery of $37.25 million in an account at the Bank of England. It is said to belong to one of the recent Kings of Spain.[23]

Sat 5th June 1819

The government of Spain is in serious difficulty. The King’s army assembled in Andalusia (around Cadiz) for the subjection of South America but has been diminishing as troops become disenchanted and drift away to join the great bands of smugglers in the Sierra Morena. The army is seldom paid, irregularly fed and barely clothed – these difficulties nullify the efforts of the priests to get them to fight for the Empire. The Spanish smugglers have historically brought British goods in Gibraltar and Cadiz and disposed of them along the coast and in the interior. They are the chaps who inter alia carried out the war of harassment against the French for us for reward.

The Spanish call them guerrillas and they are a fearsome lot of robbers and vagabonds but are hospitable and honest amongst themselves. After the return of Ferdinand VII they resurrected their smuggling trade and united with army deserters and adventurers to maintain it. The general poverty of the country has caused their numbers to increase greater than they were before. They are now sufficiently powerful to levy contributions on the towns in their jurisdictions. They plunder any monks or Inquisitors they find. They are the rump of the old liberales and mercilessly rob any serviles. They dominate the area from Seville to Madrid and Estremadura.

Don Flores Estrada has published a pamphlet in London commending the liberal form of government that Ferdinand discountenanced. When the Council of State learned of Estrada’s pamphlet from the Inquisition, they met to consider ways to prevent its importation but the document is already in the country and making a profound impression.

Sat 5th June 1819

The queens of Carlos IV and Ferdinand VII of Spain have both died. The former was quite old but the latter was 21 years old and pregnant. Immediately after the old queen died her husband followed her. After the young queen died, the baby was delivered by Caesarean section but did not survive. Ferdinand has consequently lost his father, mother, wife and child in the course of a few weeks. He is a religious chap and will likely consider it as Acts of God.

It has become necessary for travellers crossing Spain to form themselves into caravans with armed dragoons or light cavalry for protection. The country remains disorderly.

Sat 5th June 1819

London, late January – The Spanish government is seeking for a loan of 60 million Reals to fund another expedition to South America. Right now Spain has transports adequate for 3,000 troops but the country appears likely to collapse into civil war unless something dramatic is done soon.

Sat 19th June 1819

The scrip of the Vales Royal (national debt) of Spain trades at an 80% discount to face value. The government is suddenly concerned to retrieve its value now it is again in the market for loans. Presumably, it will create a Sinking Fund.

Sat 7th Aug 1819

Ferdinand VII has given the Floridas to USA in full & final settlement of all outstanding American claims. The Federal Government has assumed responsibility to pay the claims of its own citizens, assessed at $5 million. The Treaty also fixes the boundaries of Louisiana.

The cession of the Floridas has been greeted in London with concern. The Americans are now positioned to interdict our West Indian trade from bases they can develop along the Florida coast. The opinion in London is that the Spanish King should have consulted us first.

Sat 6th Nov 1819

Le Pilote, Paris 15th June – extract from a report considering the sale of Spanish possessions in America (original in the South America Chapter):

….. the British minister has notified the Spanish government that he expects repayment of the costs Wellington incurred in removing the French.

He values British military services in Spain from 1808 to 1814 at £265 millions. That demand, coming from the hegemon of the high seas, should loosen Ferdinand’s grasp on his American possessions.

Sat 4th Dec 1819

Russia has long wanted a port in the Mediterranean and Spain’s endless difficulties have provided an opportunity. The Tsar has asked if Minorca or Majorca are for sale. This is likely to prick-back ears in the British Admiralty.

Sat 4th Dec 1819

Ferdinand VII has found a nice Catholic girl in replacement of his dead wife. She is Princess Josephine of Saxony and she is leaving Dresden in early August for Madrid.

Sat 4th Dec 1819

Spain has failed to get support from the European powers concerning her difficulties in South America. They will give her money in exchange for her land but nothing else. This suggests her best course is the partial disposal of the Empire to fund the retention of the remainder.

This thinking has rather spoiled American expectations over Florida. USA made a straightforward offer but Madrid, sensing deep American interest, is intent on putting some conditions on the deal.

Ferdinand VII must suppose that the American President can do whatever he likes, very much as Ferdinand does himself. He has obtained American agreement that Florida will be forever neutral, although how a federal system will digest that is anyone’s guess.

Now the Madrid Morning Chronicle of 10th July says Ferdinand is adamant he will never sacrifice an inch of territory.

Sat 11th Dec 1819

Letter from Madrid, 19th June – It is rumoured England would like Spain to cede Santoña (a fishing town on the Cantabrian coast) to her as the price of her help in South America.

It is in Biscay and would permit British merchants to control the informal trade into Southwest France presently monopolised by the Basques. Spain must awake to the danger of these cessions.

Sat 19th Feb 1820

Ferdinand VII assembled a respectable force of some 22,000 men around Cadiz for his invasion of South America and recovery of his colonies but when the date for embarkation approached on 7th July the soldiers at Puerto Santa Maria became mutinous. Its one thing to sit in barracks being boarded and lodged but quite another to fight in an unpopular cause for an unpopular King.

Word of dissent leaked out and Ferdinand was persuaded to call out the garrison of Cadiz. Those 4,000 men were promised they would not be send to South America and, thus satisfied, they agreed to march on the barracks of the 2,000 rebels and overawe them. 160 officers were arrested and the men of the mutinous regiments have been dispersed all over Andalusia.

The problem is the perennial one. The soldiers want the old Constitution that the British provided through the Cortes. Indeed the rebellion is in those regiments that fought most eminently.

Sat 3rd June 1820

Letter from Madrid – An insurrection has swept across southern Spain. It commenced at Cadiz where the troops intended for the expedition to South America arrested their officers. About 20,000 men are involved. They captured the Isla de St Leon and arrested Admiral Cisneros, the minister of marine, who is supposed to be fitting-out the expedition for them.

They then attempted to capture the naval arsenal (Trocadero) and tried to occupy Cadiz with a small force of 2,000 men but were beaten-off by the garrison and auxiliaries. The Governor of Cadiz, de l’Abisbal, has gone away and a Provisional Governor is heading the opposition to the rebels. A second attempt on the town was made with 5,000 men but the results are unclear.

Another 5,000 rebels marched off to capture Seville where, it is said, a provisional junta would be formed and the old Constitution proclaimed. Communications from Madrid to Andalusia are severed and little information is coming out. Manrel, the King’s Commissioner of the Navy, has been captured. It appears as though the rebel democrats are proceeding to a plan.

On New Year’s Day the rebels marched on Arcos de la Frontera and captured Calderon (Calleja), the CiC of the army.

Latest reports say the rebels are in control of everything except the Trocadero. They have proclaimed the Constitution of the Cortes. General Frere, the Royalist General, is said to have joined the rebellion.

The Commission that was examining and punishing the perpetrators of the last rebellion in July has fled to Lisbon on an American ship. All their working papers (depositions and statements) were left behind. It is widely expected that the insurrection will spread further and the King may have to go on tour.

This should ensure that no early regulation of the South American silver supply is in sight.

Sat 1st July 1820

Lisbon, 25th March – The Spanish King Ferdinand VII has agreed to accept the Constitution of 1812 and convoke the Cortes provided they acknowledge he is King. He was in a frightful mood as a result and banished several inoffensive people from Madrid. Eventually the direction of events was determined by the Madrid garrison which declared itself in favour of the Constitution. As the King’s actions have all tended to have a violent flavour, this totally disabled him. He was obliged by the people of Madrid to publicly swear to uphold the Constitution. This appears to have been an almost bloodless Revolution except in the area around Cadiz where it commenced.

The reconciliation of the King with his people was to occur on 11th March but the King needed more time to come to terms with his situation. His own guard was given instructions to shoot anyone they found in the Praça, the place where the ceremonies were to be held, and considerable injury was done on 11th – 14th March – 470 were killed and 600 wounded. A good many of the insurgency leaders were thus removed from contention but not enough to make any significant improvement in the King’s position.

The Inquisition has been extinguished, the press is free and all those people who had been confined for expressing unwelcome political views have been released from prison. The large numbers of Spaniards who fled overseas are permitted to return with security for their safety.

On 14th March the Constitution was brought-in and on 17th March the people had their vengeance. They armed themselves, turned on the King’s guard and killed all those who did not flee. The Governor of Madrid was their particular bugbear and they captured and tortured him before killing him along with many other officials supposed to have authorised the army shootings in the Praça.

The Spanish people now live under a Constitutional Monarchy.

Sat 23rd Sept 1820

Now King Ferdinand VII has returned to reality, the Treaty with USA for the cession of the Floridas is being ratified. Ferdinand nevertheless retains faith in his Divine Right and has many people in powerful positions who continue to support him.

Sat 30th Sept 1820

The Portuguese have observed with great interest the success of the Spanish people in their tussle with the King and they evince a determination to emulate Spain. Marshall Beresford has briefed the King in Rio. He reports that the Court has not turned its back on Portugal and is anxious to preserve its European lands under the monarchy.

Sat 28th Oct 1820

Ferdinand VII of Spain has incurred the disgust of the American government. Having finally agreed to trade the Floridas and sign a Treaty to that effect, it turns out in his recent ratification that two extensive land grants in the area, which were previously made to the Duke of Alagon and Punon Rostro, are excepted from the ceded lands.

As a result the President had to reject the Treaty and decline to accredit General Vives, the putative Spanish ambassador to USA, who was the bearer of the news.

Sat 17th Feb 1821

A bloodless revolution has commenced at Oporto but has reportedly not affected Lisbon.

Sat 24th Feb 1821

The rebels in Oporto wish to convoke a Cortes as the preliminary step in establishing constitutional monarchy in Portugal. It is led and supported by the army and appears to be widely popular in the city. They claim to act on behalf of the King in Rio de Janeiro.

There is a distinctly anti-British flavour to their rebellion. They object to British officers in the Portuguese army and appear intent on restoring their own nationals to control of the Portuguese armed forces. They claim to govern all the north of the country down to Leira (20 miles from Lisbon). Their leader is Col Sepulveda (of the family of Viscount Herbadoze).

The Council at Lisbon, that also professes to act on behalf of the King, has not taken any action against the northern power centre beyond a condemnatory Edict appealing to national honour and their Oaths of Allegiance to the House of Braganza.

Oporto’s exports are port wine and cork to Europe – it is a cosmopolitan city (mostly British expatriates) whilst Lisbon’s trade monopolises Brazilian and Asian imports and is more national.

HMS Active and HMS Liffey have been sent from Portsmouth to Portugal to protect British merchants and convey those Portuguese nobles who wish to emigrate to Rio.

Sat 4th August 1821

In October 1820, Simon Bolivar (for Colombia, but effectively for all the independent governments) was negotiating with Pablo Morillo (for the Spanish King) on the future shape of South American governments. A prisoner exchange was agreed in November.

The Constitutionalists in Spain are not progressing their cause. They are held in contempt by the towns people. The uneducated rural poor, who form the majority of the Spanish population, have fallen under the spell of the priests who are daily whittling away at Constitutional support. It looks as though Ferdinand VII may yet get another shot at unlimited monarchy.

Sat 31st March 1821

Calcutta Gazette, 8th March – Lord Beresford arrived off Lisbon from Rio in HMS Vengeur on 10th October 1820. He has come from the Portuguese King at Rio and is widely supposed by the Portuguese, to whom he is known as Marquis de Campornay,[24] to have been created Regent of Portugal.

The Council of Lisbon declined to let him land saying it was unsafe. The army is in control of both Lisbon and Oporto.

Sat 3rd March 1821

Corunna Journal, 16th June – the farmers of Migno are rebelling. About 2,000 of them are involved, armed with British muskets and well-provided with ammunition. They are affecting the neighbouring areas. Here at Corunna the militia was called but only 311 out of 1,200 men turned-out.

Sat 3rd March 1821

Paris, 21st September – a consortium of French and Dutch bankers have agreed to make a loan to the new Spanish government. It is led by M/s Ardonin Hubart & Co.

Sat 3rd March 1821

Westminster – Joseph Hume MP referred to the mobilisation of militias in England to relieve some regular army units which in turn were said to be going to Portugal to put down the popular insurrection in the north of that country. This had affected the funds and become a matter of parliamentary interest. Castlereagh said he knew nothing of the state of Portugal and declined to comment on rumours.

Sat 24th March 1821

Galignani’s Messenger – the revolution in Portugal has infected Lisbon. The garrison declined to receive the orders of the Regency. The old nobles are out and a New Regency Council is assembled comprising the Count Sampayo, Resende and Pagnafiel (that’s one man) and Lt Generals M J D’Areda and Brancamp (two).

These three are Lisbon personalities and will need to concert with the junta of Oporto. The commandant of the Tower of Belem has been ordered by the new Council to permit no ship to sail unless authorised by them.

Sat 12th May 1821

The Lisbon garrison has returned to its allegiance and the Oporto junta has returned to the north. The volte face is attributed to the imminent arrival of the Prince Royal from Rio.

Sat 12th May 1821

The renewed success of the Constitutionalists in Spain has caused two important developments. The King has been enabled to sell-off the church lands again which has put money in the Treasury and he has unconditionally ratified the Treaty with America ceding the Floridas.

Sat 2nd June 1821

The news from Lisbon is that yet another message has been received from the King in Rio that he is to return. Instead of treating Portugal as a colony he will resume his regal functions at Lisbon and Brazil will revert to colonial status under the rule of the Prince Royal – at least that is said to be the plan.

The people of Lisbon are universally happy at the news. The period of the King’s absence has been trying for them and they assume his return means a return to their former happiness. They have confidence in him.

From Madrid is a report that the Kings of Portugal, Spain and Naples have been encouraged by the Great Powers to make a treaty of offence and defence amongst themselves to better secure their reigns.[25]

Sat 25th Aug 1821

Lisbon, 1st March – the Portuguese power centres have unanimously agreed to declare the Constitution and select a junta of five to arrange the election of members to the Cortes. King Joao VI at Rio is in agreement. His latest plan is to send the Prince Royal back to Portugal as His representative.

Sat 2nd Feb 1822

King Joao VI has returned to Lisbon, taken the Oath to the new Constitution and proclaimed the freedom of the press. He has raised the import duty on British woollen cloth to 30%. It has been 15% since 1814.

Meanwhile the Prince Regent, who remained at Rio, experienced a revolution and went aboard a warship for safety. A provisional Junta was declared after his departure.

Sat 9th Feb 1822

London 14th August 1821 – The King of Spain is again in trouble, this time with his erstwhile supporter the Pope.

Two priests, Espera and Toriero, were part of the General and Extraordinary Cortes at Cadiz during the war, and continue as members of the present Cortes. They enjoy widespread popular support and the King had sought to capitalise on that by making them Bishops of Seville and Guadix.

The Pope has declined to issue Bulls confirming the appointments although he has, on other occasions, denied that he seeks temporal power over foreign countries.

The Papal Nuncio explained to Toriero that the Cadiz Cortes had voted for the abolition of Spanish monasteries and the putative Bishop of Seville was additionally unsuitable because of his public opposition to the Inquisition.

This issue has polarised opinion in Spain to the benefit of the King.

Sat 9th March 1822

Diario do Governo, Lisboa, 27th August:

On 29th – 31st March the people of Lisbon illuminated their city to celebrate the taking of Oaths to the new Constitution. The representative of the Pope did not illuminate his office which was stoned by a crowd. The Austrian ambassador’s unilluminated office was also stoned until he illuminated it.

The London newspaper the Courier reported a distorted version of these incidents which was taken by the Austrian court at Vienna as a definitive statement of what had occurred. Plenipotentiaries from the Russian and Austrian emperors (representing the Holy Alliance), went to Lisbon to dissuade the government from going down the constitutional path. They said they had been insulted, that the insult was premeditated and that many high officials in the new Portuguese government were involved.

After lengthy consultations, the two Imperial Plenipotentiaries and the Austrian ambassador all left Lisbon on 22nd August for England.

The day before their departure Silveira Pinheiro Ferreira, who has replaced the Conde da Barbacena as foreign minister, had circulated an Information to all Portuguese ambassadors at foreign courts providing the constitutional government’s understanding of what had happened. This was the result of a lengthy and searching investigation that his ministry undertook, he said. He had concluded that there had been no plot against the Holy Alliance and the incidents were the spontaneous acts of the people who saw the failure of the foreign representatives to illuminate their premises as disrespect for the preferred form of government of the Portuguese people.

In mid-August the two foreign Plenipotentiaries co-ordinated their opinions. They insisted they had been insulted and demanded passports to leave Portugal.

Sat 27th April 1822

King Joao of Portugal seems to have lost the support of his nobility but won the gratitude of his people. Indeed his return to Europe was against the advice of Palmella and the rest of his cabinet. They commended the King to stop at Fayal (the settlement on one of the Azores) and set up his court there. They wished to await the result of an application to the British ministry for assistance in restoring the former absolute monarchy in Portugal. King Joao is said to have supported the initiative so long as it had prospects of success. Palmella’s agents in London, who comprise most of the Portuguese embassy to St James, have been scouting support.

The ministers just arrived from Rio have not handed over to the Cortes the files containing details of their administration of Brazil. They have another agenda. They want the Cortes to concede the King’s right to initiate all propositions for law made to the Cortes; an absolute Royal veto; the King’s exclusive nomination of membership of the State Council, and the creation of a (second) Chamber of Peers. These concessions would put the King back in the driving seat.

However King Joao seems to have outflanked his ministers. After departure of the fleet from Rio he ordered the Admiral to plot a course direct to Lisbon. It seems the Admiral neglected to tell the ministers. It explains why, on arrival, Palmella and his group were not permitted to land and, only after some delay, could they obtain permission to reside ashore provided it was at least 20 miles from Lisbon and 10 miles from the coast.

Nevertheless, they have interpreted this moderate response as weakness and have continued to work towards despotism. Palmella’s partisans in London are said to be behind the scurrilous series of articles in the London newspapers about the Portuguese King and the Cortes.

Britain’s role in all this is yet to be ascertained. Castlereagh’s protégé and relative Ward was invited to represent Britain at the anniversary celebrations of the Revolution. He said he had no official character and declined. Shortly afterwards, when the Cortes restored the old prohibitive tariff on British woollens, he discovered he did indeed have an official character and made a vociferous complaint.

It is also known that the Duke of Wellington has been in private communication with Palmella’s agents, both in London and Paris.

When the Portuguese King was in Brazil we sent Canning to Lisbon on £14,000 a year although the country was effectively already under our military government. Now we decline to nominate even a Charge d’Affaires although an ambassador was named to Palmella’s intended Court at Fayal until the Portuguese King’s diversion of the fleet scuppered that plan.

Sat 5th April 1823

Morning Chronicle, 21st October – The Portuguese government has promulgated a new Code of Law, sanctioned by King Joao. It is delightful “in these days of monarchical perjury” to find a King performing his agreement. The executive and legislative functions of the Portuguese government are in perfect accord. No doubt the new Code is founded on the work done by the authors of the Spanish Constitution but it is an improvement based on experience.

Two years ago Portugal was anarchic; now the people and the government are resolved to work together. The new arrangements include elected deputies of the Brazilian provinces sitting within the parliament at Lisbon.

Against this background, the acts of the Prince Regent in Rio appear resentful and intended to cause a breach. The Prince appears motivated by the policy of the Holy Alliance for a joint Bourbon / Braganza monarchy over all South America.[26] He is assumed to have been influenced by Austria.

Vol 2 No 6 – Mon 16th March 1829

We have a report dated September 1828 that says Portugal was then tranquil. Madeira had declared for Dom Miguel after his squadron arrived there. His brother Dom Pedro is expected to get broad European support to take over the government.

The army supports whoever is in power as it is funded from the Treasury. Officers supporting the Constitution are being dismissed. The young Queen of Portugal has arrived at Gibraltar and gone to Genoa en route to England.

Vol 7 No 3 – Tues 21st Jan 1834

A rebellion occurred in Portugal in July 1833. The priests and the police fought with the army and the people and were defeated. The Queen’s government has been re-established but at great cost. The streets of Lisbon are strewn with bodies.

Friend of China , 14th July 1842:

Queen Maria II of Portugal has commanded that the constitution of 1826 be applied in Macau. It was declared to be the Basic Law of the enclave on 10th July 1842.

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1. Portugal is now governed by London – see below and the South America chapter.
  2. Eight Reals = 1 Spanish dollar. Godoy has taken totally about 1,500 tons of silver.
  3. Godoy was the pawn of Maria Luisa, the Bourbon queen and 1st cousin of Carlos IV. He was called the Prince of Peace for extricating Spain from war with France in 1795. He spent the rest of the war in France and Rome and died in Paris. He never recovered the money he sent to London.
  4. A dense hardwood used, inter alia, for making violin bows.
  5. They actually arrive in HMS Plover. One is M Ferrar and the other is Viscount Balsamao, son of Chevalier Pinto who was long the Portuguese ambassador to England. The agreement includes British command of the Portuguese army and navy – see the Prize-taking chapter for details of litigation between the Portuguese and British Admiral over distribution of prize money. It reveals the basis to the political agreement.
  6. Unsurprising – they are all in France.
  7. Village granaries established by government for supply during famines and as a source of seed grain. Each farmer is obliged to put part of his production in his village posito
  8. In the War of the Oranges, a brief conflict unmentioned in the newspapers.
  9. America embargoed British trade; Erskine made an agreement with the US to remove the embargo; numerous New England ships sailed as a result and when George III refused to ratify Erskine’s treaty those ships became available for British use.
  10. The inference seems to be that impoverished British officials were sent to Spain to replenish their funds, rather like an unlucky Boyi Manchu getting appointed as Hoppo at Canton – see the China chapter.
  11. The amount provided was £100,000 in silver, about 11 tons – see the article dated 30th March 1811 in the Prize-taking chapter
  12. The more permanent result of Moore’s life on earth is a fine Imperial sonnet which British schoolboys used to learn – ‘The Soldier’ by Rupert Brooke.
  13. The Bourbon Duke of Orleans, son-in-law of Ferdinand IV of Naples who is brother to ex-King Carlos and uncle of Ferdinand VII of Spain.
  14. Foreigners in the British Army are numerous. There are totally some 30,000 German troops serving in England in the British army – parliament has indemnified itself for this breach of the Constitution by the passage of two Acts. Also, about 100 of the French prisoners-of-war have agreed to serve in the 10th Light Dragoons. A good many other foreigners hold commissions in British regiments and one (the Hanoverian General Linsingen) briefly commands a district of England.
  15. The Polish lancers in French service routed Beresford’s British cavalry by tying red pennants to their lances, a trick they had reportedly learned from the Cossacks. This unsettled the British horses which subsequently required training to inure them to waving red pennants. The Polish lancers killed British wounded on the field – a matter that ignited a fierce British hatred of them. These are the people who keep Europe safe from the Cossacks – their form of warfare is different.
  16. The Philippines were commercially insignificant. Britain occupied Manila at the end of the Seven Years War and discovered the nature of the economy. The great Spanish families there relied on annual dividends from their holdings in South American silver mines for income and exported only as much produce as the Spanish domestic economy required. Main exports were rice, sugar and cotton with lesser contributions from coffee, tobacco, hemp and ebony.
  17. This question from the perspicacious Lord has not been answered to date but there are some private letters indicating payments sent from London shrank on their way to Wellington. The General was said to sign receipts for cash but to actually receive only half or more of the receipted amount with the balance disappearing to intermediaries in fees.
  18. The British complaint is expense. The costs of the Peninsula War to Britain were totalled after its conclusion at £265 million. The figure is in a letter from the British Treasury to Ferdinand VII’s minister expostulating the reinstatement of high import duties on British exports when the war ended. Wellington’s initiative appears intended to create a basis to British sovereignty in Spain which will enhance our policy in South America, recalling George III’s instruction to General Whitelocke to make Argentina a British colony – see the South America chapter for further details of both matters.
  19. This may refer to Vitória, the capital city of Espirito Santo in Brazil, or the large Spanish city south of Bilbao.
  20. Vitoria is the capital of the province of Alava in the Basque Country.
  21. Ordem Militar da Torre e Espada do Valor, Lealdade e Mérito. An old Portuguese award recently revived by the Prince Regent at Rio. The Grand Cross of this Order is the highest Portuguese honour.
  22. This might refer to John Quincy Adams as Secretary of State.
  23. This may connect with the earlier report of Minister Godoy sending the contents of the Spanish Treasury (ultimately $52 millions) to London for safe-keeping.
  24. British histories record his Portuguese titles as Conde de Trancoso from 1811 and Marquis of Campo Maier from 1812. In Portuguese pronunciation, Campornay may be a variant of Campo Maier.
  25. See the Europe chapter for the acts of the Holy Alliance in restoring monarchy in Italy and Iberia.
  26. See the South America chapter for details of the monarchical initiative to make that continent a European monarchy.

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