Battle of Talavera
The Battle of Talavera was fought just outside the town of Talavera de la Reina, Spain some 120 kilometres southwest of Madrid, during the Peninsular War. At Talavera, an Anglo-Spanish army under Sir Arthur Wellesley combined with a Spanish army under General Cuesta in operations against French-occupied Madrid; the French army withdrew at night. After Marshal Soult's French army had retreated from Portugal, General Wellesley's 20,000 British troops advanced into Spain to join 33,000 Spanish troops under General Cuesta, they marched up the Tagus valley to Talavera, some 120 kilometres southwest of Madrid. There they encountered 46,000 French under Marshal Claude Victor and Major-General Horace Sebastiani, with the French king of Spain, Joseph Bonaparte in nominal command; the French crossed the Alberche in the middle of the afternoon on 27 July. A few hours the French attacked the right of the Spaniards and the British left. A strategic hill was taken and lost, until the British held it firmly.
At daybreak on 28 July, the French attacked the British left again to retake the hill and were repulsed when the 29th Foot and 48th Foot, lying behind the crest stood up and carried out a bayonet charge. A French cannonade lasted until noon; that afternoon, a heavy exchange of cannon fire started ahead of various infantry and cavalry skirmishes. Early in the evening, a major engagement resulted in the French being held off. A cannon duel continued until dark. At daylight, the British and Spanish discovered that the bulk of the French force had retired, leaving their wounded and two brigades of artillery in the field. Wellesley was ennobled of Wellington for the action. On 27 July, Wellesley sent out the 3rd Division and some cavalry under the command of George Anson to cover Cuesta's retreat into the Talavera position, but when Anson's cavalry mistakenly pulled back, the French rushed in to surprise and inflict over 400 casualties on Rufane Donkin's brigade, forcing them to fall back. That night, Victor sent Ruffin's division to seize the hill known as Cerro de Medellín in a coup de main.
Two of Ruffin's three regiments went astray in the dark, but the 9th Light Infantry routed Sigismund Lowe's King's German Legion brigade and pushed forward to capture the high ground. Alertly, Hill sent Richard Stewart's brigade on a counter-attack; the British suffered some 800 casualties on the 27th. During the evening of 27th, French Dragoon squadrons were riding close to the Spanish position firing their carbines at Spanish skirmishers. Without orders, Cuesta's entire Spanish line fired a thunderous volley at the French Dragoons; the French were outside the range of the Spanish muskets, little harm was done to them. Four Spanish battalions fled in panic. Wellesley wrote, "Nearly 2,000 ran off on the evening of the 27th... who were neither attacked, nor threatened with an attack, who were frightened by the noise of their own fire. While a majority of the panicked troops were brought back, many hundreds continued to flee, taking some rear echelon British with them. Wellesley's British army consisted of four infantry divisions, three cavalry brigades and 30 cannon, totaling 20,641 troops.
The infantry included the 1st Division under John Coape Sherbrooke, the 2nd Division led by Rowland Hill, the 3rd Division commanded by Alexander Mackenzie and the 4th Division under Alexander Campbell. Henry Fane led a brigade of heavy cavalry, while Stapleton Cotton and George Anson commanded light cavalry brigades. There were three British and two KGL batteries with six guns apiece. Cuesta's Spanish army of 35,000 was organized into five infantry and two cavalry divisions, plus about 30 artillery pieces, some 12lb guns; the 28,000 infantry were in José Pascual de Zayas y Chacón's 1st Division and Vanguard, Iglesias's 2nd Division, Portago's 3rd Division, Manglano's 4th Division and Juan Procopio Bassecourt y Bryas's 5th Division. Henestrosa and the Duke of Alburquerque led the 6,000 horsemen of the 1st and 2nd Cavalry Divisions and there were 800 artillerymen. While Joseph nominally led the French Army, his military adviser Marshal Jean-Baptiste Jourdan exercised command over their 37,700 infantry and artillerymen, 8,400 cavalry and about 80 cannon.
Victor's I Corps included the infantry divisions of François Amable Ruffin, Pierre Belon Lapisse and Eugene-Casimir Villatte, plus Louis Chrétien Carrière Beaumont's 1,000-man light cavalry brigade. Sebastiani's IV Corps consisted of his own infantry division, Jean-Baptiste Cyrus de Valence's Poles and Jean François Leval with his German-Dutch division. Christophe Antoine Merlin led the IV Corps light cavalry brigade. Marie Victor de Fay, marquis de Latour-Maubourg and Édouard Jean Baptiste Milhaud commanded the two heavy dragoon divisions of the Cavalry Reserve; the Madrid Garrison included part of Jean-Joseph, Marquis Dessolles's division, the King's Spanish Foot Guards and two regiments of cavalry. In the morning, it could be seen that the bulk of Cuesta's army held the right while the British formed the left; the Spanish right was anchored on the c
The Peninsular War was a military conflict between Napoleon's empire and Bourbon Spain, for control of the Iberian Peninsula during the Napoleonic Wars. The war began when the French and Spanish armies invaded and occupied Portugal in 1807, escalated in 1808 when France turned on Spain its ally; the war on the peninsula lasted until the Sixth Coalition defeated Napoleon in 1814, is regarded as one of the first wars of national liberation, significant for the emergence of large-scale guerrilla warfare. The Peninsular War overlaps with what the Spanish-speaking world calls the Guerra de la Independencia Española, which began with the Dos de Mayo Uprising on 2 May 1808 and ended on 17 April 1814; the French occupation destroyed the Spanish administration, which fragmented into quarrelling provincial juntas. The episode remains as the bloodiest event in Spain's modern history, doubling in relative terms the Spanish Civil War. A reconstituted national government, the Cortes of Cádiz—in effect a government-in-exile—fortified itself in Cádiz in 1810, but could not raise effective armies because it was besieged by 70,000 French troops.
British and Portuguese forces secured Portugal, using it as a safe position from which to launch campaigns against the French army and provide whatever supplies they could get to the Spanish, while the Spanish armies and guerrillas tied down vast numbers of Napoleon's troops. These combined regular and irregular allied forces, by restricting French control of territory, prevented Napoleon's marshals from subduing the rebellious Spanish provinces, the war continued through years of stalemate; the British Army, under Lt. Gen. Sir Arthur Wellesley the 1st Duke of Wellington, guarded Portugal and campaigned against the French in Spain alongside the reformed Portuguese army; the demoralised Portuguese army was reorganised and refitted under the command of Gen. William Beresford, appointed commander-in-chief of the Portuguese forces by the exiled Portuguese royal family, fought as part of the combined Anglo-Portuguese Army under Wellesley. In 1812, when Napoleon set out with a massive army on what proved to be a disastrous French invasion of Russia, a combined allied army under Wellesley pushed into Spain, defeating the French at Salamanca and taking Madrid.
In the following year Wellington scored a decisive victory over King Joseph Bonaparte's army in the Battle of Vitoria. Pursued by the armies of Britain and Portugal, Marshal Jean-de-Dieu Soult, no longer able to get sufficient support from a depleted France, led the exhausted and demoralized French forces in a fighting withdrawal across the Pyrenees during the winter of 1813–1814; the years of fighting in Spain were a heavy burden on France's Grande Armée. While the French were victorious in battle, their communications and supplies were tested and their units were isolated, harassed or overwhelmed by partisans fighting an intense guerrilla war of raids and ambushes; the Spanish armies were beaten and driven to the peripheries, but they would regroup and relentlessly hound the French. This drain on French resources led Napoleon, who had unwittingly provoked a total war, to call the conflict the "Spanish Ulcer". War and revolution against Napoleon's occupation led to the Spanish Constitution of 1812 a cornerstone of European liberalism.
The burden of war destroyed the social and economic fabric of Portugal and Spain, ushered in an era of social turbulence, political instability and economic stagnation. Devastating civil wars between liberal and absolutist factions, led by officers trained in the Peninsular War, persisted in Iberia until 1850; the cumulative crises and disruptions of invasion and restoration led to the independence of most of Spain's American colonies and the independence of Brazil from Portugal. The Treaties of Tilsit, negotiated during a meeting in July 1807 between Emperors Alexander I of Russia and Napoleon, concluded the War of the Fourth Coalition. With Prussia shattered, the Russian Empire allied with the First French Empire, Napoleon expressed irritation that Portugal was open to trade with the United Kingdom. Pretexts were plentiful. Furthermore, Prince John of Braganza, regent for his insane mother Queen Maria I, had declined to join the emperor's Continental System against British trade. Events moved rapidly.
The Emperor sent orders on 19 July 1807 to his Foreign Minister, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, to order Portugal to declare war on Britain, close its ports to British ships, detain British subjects on a provisional basis and sequester their goods. After a few days, a large force started concentrating at Bayonne. Meanwhile, the Portuguese government's resolve was stiffening, shortly afterward Napoleon was once again told that Portugal would not go beyond its original agreements. Napoleon now had all the pretext that he needed, while his force, the First Corps of Observation of the Gironde with divisional general Jean-Andoche Junot in command, was prepared to march on Lisbon. After he received the Portuguese answer, he ordered Junot's corps to cross the frontier into the Spanish Empire. While all this was going on, the secret Treaty of Fontainebleau had been signed between France and Spain; the document was drawn up by Napoleon's marshal of the palace Géraud Duroc and Eugenio Izquierdo, an agent for Manuel Godoy.
The treaty proposed to carve up Portugal into three
Battle of Copenhagen (1807)
The Second Battle of Copenhagen was a British bombardment of the Danish capital, Copenhagen in order to capture or destroy the Dano-Norwegian fleet, during the Napoleonic Wars. The incident led to the outbreak of the Anglo-Russian War of 1807, which ended with the Treaty of Örebro in 1812. Britain's first response to Napoleon's Continental system was to launch a major naval attack on the weakest link in Napoleon's coalition, Denmark. Although ostensibly neutral, Denmark was under heavy French and Russian pressure to pledge its fleet to Napoleon. In September 1807, the Royal Navy bombarded Copenhagen, seizing the Danish fleet, assured use of the sea lanes in the North Sea and Baltic Sea for the British merchant fleet. A consequence of the attack was that Denmark did join the war on the side of France, but without a fleet it had little to offer; the attack gave rise to the term to Copenhagenize. Despite the defeat and loss of many ships in the first Battle of Copenhagen in 1801, Denmark-Norway, possessing Jutland, Greenland, Schleswig-Holstein and several smaller territories, still maintained a considerable navy.
The majority of the Danish army, under the Crown Prince, was at this time defending the southern border against possible attack from the French. There was concern in Britain that Napoleon might try to force Denmark to close the Baltic Sea to British ships by marching French troops into Zealand; the British believed that access to the Baltic was "vitally important to Britain" for trade as well as a major source of necessary raw materials for building and maintaining warships, that it gave the Royal Navy access to help Britain's allies Sweden and Russia against France. The British thought that after Prussia had been defeated in December 1806, Denmark's independence looked under threat from France. George Canning's predecessor as Foreign Secretary, Lord Howick, had tried unsuccessfully to persuade Denmark into a secret alliance with Britain and Sweden. On 21 January 1807, Lord Hawkesbury told the House of Lords that he had received information from someone on the Continent "that there were secret engagements in the Treaty of Tilsit to employ the navies of Denmark and Portugal against this country".
He refused to publish the source. The reports of French diplomats and merchants in northern Europe made the British government uneasy, by mid-July the British believed that the French intended to invade Holstein in order to use Denmark against Britain; some reports suggested. The Cabinet decided to act, on 14 July Lord Mulgrave obtained from the King permission to send a naval force of 21 to 22 ships to the Kattegat for surveillance of the Danish navy in order to pursue "prompt and vigorous operations" if that seemed necessary; the Cabinet decided on 18 July to send Francis Jackson on a secret mission to Copenhagen to persuade Denmark to give its fleet to Britain. That same day, the Admiralty issued an order for more than 50 ships to sail for "particular service" under Admiral James Gambier. On 19 July, Lord Castlereagh, the Secretary of State for War and the Colonies, ordered General Lord Cathcart at Stralsund to go with his troops to the Sound where they would get reinforcements. During the night of 21/22 July, Canning received intelligence from Tilsit that Napoleon had tried to persuade Alexander I of Russia to form a maritime league with Denmark and Portugal against Britain.
Spencer Perceval, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, wrote a memorandum setting out the government's case for sending forces to Copenhagen: "The intelligence from so many and such various sources" that Napoleon's intent was to force Denmark into war against Britain could not be doubted. "Nay, the fact that he has avowed such intention in an interview with the E of R is brought to this country in such a way as it cannot be doubted. Under such circumstances it would be madness, it would be idiotic... to wait for an overt act". The British assembled a force of 25,000 troops, the vanguard sailed on 30 July. Canning offered Denmark a treaty of alliance and mutual defence, with a convention signed for the return of the fleet after the war, the protection of 21 British warships and a subsidy for how many soldiers Denmark kept standing. On 31 July, Napoleon ordered Talleyrand to tell Denmark to prepare for war against Britain or else Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte would invade Holstein. Neither Talleyrand nor Jackson persuaded the Danes to end their neutrality, so Jackson went back to the British fleet assembled in the Sound on 15 August.
The British published a proclamation demanding the deposit of the Danish fleet. On 12 August, the 32-gun Danish frigate Frideriksværn sailed for Norway from Elsinor. Admiral Lord Gambier sent the 74-gun third rate Defence and the 22-gun sixth rate Comus after her though war had not yet been declared. Comus was so outdistanced her. On 15 August, Comus captured her; the British took her into service as HMS Frederikscoarn. The British troops under General Lord Cathcart were organised as follows: Cavalry Brigade: Major General von Linsingen, 1st, 2nd, 3rd Light Dragoons King’s German Legion Artillery & Engineers: Major General Blomefield, 84 field guns and 101 siege guns First Division: Lieutenant General Sir George Ludlow Guards Brigade: Major General Edward Finch, 1/Coldstream Guards, 1/3rd Guards 1st Brigade: Brigadier General Warde, 1/28th, 1/79th Second Division: Lieutenant General Sir David Baird 2nd Brigade: Major General Grosvenor, 1/4
1812 United Kingdom general election
The 1812 United Kingdom general election was the fourth general election to be held after the Union of Great Britain and Ireland. The fourth United Kingdom Parliament was dissolved on 29 September 1812; the new Parliament was summoned to meet on 24 November 1812, for a maximum seven-year term from that date. The maximum term could be and was curtailed, by the monarch dissolving the Parliament, before its term expired. Following the 1807 election the Pittite Tory ministry, led as Prime Minister by the Duke of Portland, continued to prosecute the Napoleonic Wars. At the core of the opposition were the Foxite Whigs, led since the death of Fox in 1806 by Earl Grey. However, as Foord observes: "the affairs of the party during most of this period were in a state of uncertainty and confusion". Grey was not the commanding leader. After Grey inherited his peerage and went to the House of Lords in 1807, the party leadership in the House of Commons was weak; the Grenvillites, associated with the Whig Prime Minister before Portland, William Grenville, 1st Baron Grenville, were in opposition but were of less significance than the Foxites.
Despite this Grenville was recognised as the first Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. A relative of Grey's wife, George Ponsonby, was proposed to Whig MPs by Grey and Grenville as the Whig leader in the House of Commons. Ponsonby was the first person recognised as the official Leader of the Opposition in the House of Commons, as opposed to the leader of an opposition faction, he could not be persuaded to resign. Until 1812 the Tory faction associated with another former Prime Minister, Henry Addington, 1st Viscount Sidmouth, were out of office; the smallest component of the opposition were the Radicals, who were a middle-class group of reformers. They had philosophical differences with the more aristocratic Whigs, but ended up voting with them in Parliament. In 1809 Portland, whose health was failing, resigned; the new Tory Prime Minister was Spencer Perceval. In April 1812 he brought Sidmouth into the cabinet. A month on 11 May 1812, Perceval was assassinated; the premiership passed to the Earl of Liverpool.
This was a further stage in the development of a two-party system—just about all Tories supported the government and all Whigs opposed it. The general election of 1812 returned the Tories to power for another term. At this period there was not one election day. After receiving a writ for the election to be held, the local returning officer fixed the election timetable for the particular constituency or constituencies he was concerned with. Polling in seats with contested elections could continue for many days. An example of what happened in the 1812 election was the Irish constituency of Westmeath. Walker confirms the date of election was 24 October 1812. Stooks Smith indicates that there were three days of polling, during which time 950 electors came to the hustings and voted. Longer contests were possible; the polling in the Berkshire election of 1812 went on for 15 days. The time between the first and last contests in the general election was 5 October to 10 November 1812. Monmouthshire is included in Wales in these tables.
Sources for this period may include the county in England. Table 1: Constituencies and MPs, by type and country Table 2: Number of seats per constituency, by type and country United Kingdom general elections His Majesty's Opposition 1714–1830, by Archibald S. Foord Footnote to Table 5.02 British Electoral Facts 1832–1999, compiled and edited by Colin Rallings and Michael Thrasher. British Historical Facts 1760–1830, by Chris Cook and John Stevenson. Parliamentary Election Results in Ireland 1801–1922, edited by B. M. Walker
Francis Russell, 9th Duke of Bedford
Francis Charles Hastings Russell, 9th Duke of Bedford KG was an English politician and agriculturalist. Known as Hastings, the 9th Duke was born in Curzon Street, the son of Major-General Lord George William Russell and Lady William Russell, the grandson of John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford, he was commissioned into the Scots Fusilier Guards in 1838, retiring in 1844. He was Liberal Member of Parliament for Bedfordshire from 1847 until 1872, when he succeeded to the dukedom on the death of his cousin William Russell, 8th Duke of Bedford, took his place in the House of Lords. In 1886, he broke with the party leadership of William Ewart Gladstone over the First Irish Home Rule Bill and became a Unionist, he took an active interest in agriculture and experimentation on his Woburn Abbey estate and was President of the Royal Agricultural Society in 1880. On 1 December 1880, he was made a Knight of the Garter. From 1884 until his death he was Lord Lieutenant of Huntingdonshire, he died in 1891, aged 71 at 81 Eaton Square, London, by shooting himself as a result of insanity, while suffering from pneumonia.
After being cremated at Woking Crematorium, his ashes were buried at the Bedford Chapel of St. Michael's Church in Chenies, Buckinghamshire, he married Lady Elizabeth Sackville-West, daughter of George Sackville-West, 5th Earl De La Warr, on 18 January 1844. They had four children: George William Francis Sackville Russell, 10th Duke of Bedford Lady Ella Monica Sackville Russell, died unmarried. Lady Ermyntrude Sackville Russell, married Edward Malet, 4th Bt. Herbrand Arthur Russell, 11th Duke of Bedford Lloyd, E. M. & Seccombe, T. "Russell, Lord George William", rev. James Falkner, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, <accessed 28 Feb 2006> Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by the Duke of Bedford
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, was an Anglo-Irish soldier and Tory statesman, one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain, serving twice as Prime Minister. His victory against Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 puts him in the first rank of Britain's military heroes. Wellesley was born in Dublin into the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland, he was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787, serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He was elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons, he was a colonel by 1796, saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and, as a newly appointed major-general, won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803. Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French Empire at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813.
Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which, together with a Prussian Army under Blücher, defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. Wellington's battle record is exemplary. Wellington is famous for his adaptive defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against numerically superior forces while minimising his own losses, he is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, many of his tactics and battle plans are still studied in military academies around the world. After the end of his active military career, Wellington returned to politics, he was twice British prime minister as part of the Tory party: from 1828 to 1830, for a little less than a month in 1834. He oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829, but opposed the Reform Act 1832, he continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death.
Wellesley was born into an aristocratic Anglo-Irish family in Ireland as The Hon. Arthur Wesley, the third of five surviving sons of Anne and Garret Wesley, 1st Earl of Mornington, his mother was the eldest daughter of The 1st Viscount Dungannon. As such, he belonged to the Protestant Ascendancy, his biographers follow the same contemporary newspaper evidence in saying that he was born on 1 May 1769, the day before he was baptised. His birthplace is uncertain, he was most born at his parents' townhouse, 24 Upper Merrion Street, now the Merrion Hotel. But his mother Anne, Countess of Mornington, recalled in 1815 that he had been born at 6 Merrion Street, Dublin. Other places have been put forward as the location of his birth, including Mornington House, as his father had asserted, he spent most of his childhood at his family's two homes, the first a large house in Dublin and the second Dangan Castle, 3 miles north of Summerhill on the Trim Road in County Meath. In 1781, Arthur's father died and his eldest brother Richard inherited his father's earldom.
He went to the diocesan school in Trim when at Dangan, Mr Whyte's Academy when in Dublin, Brown's School in Chelsea when in London. He enrolled at Eton College, where he studied from 1781 to 1784, his loneliness there caused him to hate it, makes it unlikely that he said "The Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton", a quotation, attributed to him. Moreover, Eton had no playing fields at the time. In 1785, a lack of success at Eton, combined with a shortage of family funds due to his father's death, forced the young Wellesley and his mother to move to Brussels; until his early twenties, Arthur showed little sign of distinction and his mother grew concerned at his idleness, stating, "I don't know what I shall do with my awkward son Arthur."A year Arthur enrolled in the French Royal Academy of Equitation in Angers, where he progressed becoming a good horseman and learning French, which proved useful. Upon returning to England in late 1786, he astonished his mother with his improvement.
Despite his new promise, he had yet to find a job and his family was still short of money, so upon the advice of his mother, his brother Richard asked his friend the Duke of Rutland to consider Arthur for a commission in the Army. Soon afterward, on 7 March 1787, he was gazetted ensign in the 73rd Regiment of Foot. In October, with the assistance of his brother, he was assigned as aide-de-camp, on ten shillings a day, to the new Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Lord Buckingham, he was transferred to the new 76th Regiment forming in Ireland and on Christmas Day, 1787, was promoted lieutenant. During his time in Dublin his duties were social. While in Ireland, he overextended himself in borrowing due to his occasional gambling, but in his defence stated that "I have known what it was to be in want of money, but I have never got helplessly into debt". On 23 January 1788, he transferred into the 41st Regiment of Foot again on 25 June 1789, still a lieutenant, he transferred to the 12th Regi
Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC