Kingdom of Portugal
The Kingdom of Portugal was a monarchy on the Iberian Peninsula and the predecessor of modern Portugal. It was in existence from 1139 until 1910, after 1248, it was known as the Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves and between 1815 and 1822, it was known as the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. The name is often applied to the Portuguese Empire, the realms extensive overseas colonies. The nucleus of the Portuguese state was the County of Portugal, established in the 9th century as part of the Reconquista, by Vímara Peres, a vassal of the King of Asturias. The county became part of the Kingdom of León in 1097, the kingdom was ruled by the Alfonsine Dynasty until the 1383–85 Crisis, after which the monarchy passed to the House of Aviz. During the 15th and 16th century, Portuguese exploration established a vast colonial empire, from 1580 to 1640, the kingdom of Portugal was in personal union with Habsburg Spain. After the Portuguese Restoration War of 1640–1668, the passed to the House of Braganza and after to the House of Braganza-Saxe-Coburg.
From this time, the influence of Portugal declined, but it remained a major due to its most valuable colony. Portugal was an absolute monarchy before 1822. It rotated between absolute and constitutional monarchy from 1822 until 1834, and was a constitutional monarchy after 1834. The Kingdom of Portugal finds its origins in the County of Portugal, the Portuguese County was a semi-autonomous county of the Kingdom of León. Independence from León took place in three stages, The first on 26 July 1139 when Afonso Henriques was acclaimed King of the Portuguese internally, the second was on 5 October 1143, when Alfonso VII of León and Castile recognized Afonso Henriques as king through the Treaty of Zamora. The third, in 1179, was the Papal Bull Manifestis Probatum, once Portugal was independent, D. Afonso Is descendants, members of the Portuguese House of Burgundy, would rule Portugal until 1383. Even after the change in houses, all the monarchs of Portugal were descended from Afonso I, one way or another.
With the start of the 20th century, Republicanism grew in numbers and support in Lisbon among progressive politicians, however a minority with regard to the rest of the country, this height of republicanism would benefit politically from the Lisbon Regicide on 1 February 1908. When returning from the Ducal Palace at Vila Viçosa, King Carlos I, with the death of the king and his heir, Carlos Is second son would become king as King Manuel II of Portugal. Manuels reign, would be short-lived, ending by force with the 5 October 1910 revolution, sending Manuel into exile in England, on 19 January 1919, the Monarchy of the North was proclaimed in Porto. The monarchy would be deposed a month and no other monarchist counterrevolution in Portugal has happened since, after centuries of Portuguese dominion in Angola, the Kingdom of Kongo was made a vassal state of the Portuguese kingdom, its king pledging allegiance to the King of Portugal
Andalusia is an autonomous community in southern Spain. It is the most populated and the second largest in area of the communities in the country. The Andalusian autonomous community is recognised as historical nationality. The territory is divided into eight provinces, Almería, Cádiz, Córdoba, Huelva, Jaén, Málaga and its capital is the city of Seville. Andalusia is the only European region with both Mediterranean and Atlantic coastlines, the small British overseas territory of Gibraltar shares a three-quarter-mile land border with the Andalusian province of Cádiz at the eastern end of the Strait of Gibraltar. The main mountain ranges of Andalusia are the Sierra Morena and the Baetic System, consisting of the Subbaetic and Penibaetic Mountains, in the north, the Sierra Morena separates Andalusia from the plains of Extremadura and Castile–La Mancha on Spains Meseta Central. To the south the geographic subregion of Upper Andalusia lies mostly within the Baetic System, the name Andalusia is derived from the Arabic word Al-Andalus.
Including an intense relationship with Naples, Andalusia has been a traditionally agricultural region, compared to the rest of Spain and the rest of Europe. However, the growth of the community especially in the sectors of industry and services was above average in Spain, the region has, however, a rich culture and a strong cultural identity. Many cultural phenomena that are seen internationally as distinctively Spanish are largely or entirely Andalusian in origin and these include flamenco and, to a lesser extent and Hispano-Moorish architectural styles. Andalusias hinterland is the hottest area of Europe, with cities like Córdoba, Late evening temperatures can sometimes stay around 35 °C until close to midnight, with daytime highs of over 40 °C common. Seville has the highest average temperature in mainland Spain and mainland Europe. Its present form is derived from the Arabic name for Muslim Iberia. However, the etymology of the name Al-Andalus is disputed, the Spanish place name Andalucía was introduced into the Spanish languages in the 13th century under the form el Andalucía.
This was a Castilianization of Al-Andalusiya, the form of the Arabic language al-Andalus. The etymology of al-Andalus is itself somewhat debated, but in fact it entered the Arabic language before this came under Muslim rule. Like the Arabic term al-Andalus, in historical contexts the Spanish term Andalucía or the English term Andalusia do not necessarily refer to the territory designated by these terms today. To designate the territories the Christians had regained by that time in the Guadalquivir valley and in the Kingdoms of Granada, in a document from 1253, Alfonso X styled himself Rey de Castilla, León y de toda Andalucía
First French Empire
The First French Empire, Note 1 was the empire of Napoleon Bonaparte of France and the dominant power in much of continental Europe at the beginning of the 19th century. Its name was a misnomer, as France already had colonies overseas and was short lived compared to the Colonial Empire, a series of wars, known collectively as the Napoleonic Wars, extended French influence over much of Western Europe and into Poland. The plot included Bonapartes brother Lucien, serving as speaker of the Council of Five Hundred, Roger Ducos, another Director, on 9 November 1799 and the following day, troops led by Bonaparte seized control. They dispersed the legislative councils, leaving a rump legislature to name Bonaparte, Sieyès, although Sieyès expected to dominate the new regime, the Consulate, he was outmaneuvered by Bonaparte, who drafted the Constitution of the Year VIII and secured his own election as First Consul. He thus became the most powerful person in France, a power that was increased by the Constitution of the Year X, the Battle of Marengo inaugurated the political idea that was to continue its development until Napoleons Moscow campaign.
Napoleon planned only to keep the Duchy of Milan for France, setting aside Austria, the Peace of Amiens, which cost him control of Egypt, was a temporary truce. He gradually extended his authority in Italy by annexing the Piedmont and by acquiring Genoa, Parma and Naples, he laid siege to the Roman state and initiated the Concordat of 1801 to control the material claims of the pope. Napoleon would have ruling elites from a fusion of the new bourgeoisie, on 12 May 1802, the French Tribunat voted unanimously, with exception of Carnot, in favour of the Life Consulship for the leader of France. This action was confirmed by the Corps Législatif, a general plebiscite followed thereafter resulting in 3,653,600 votes aye and 8,272 votes nay. On 2 August 1802, Napoleon Bonaparte was proclaimed Consul for life, pro-revolutionary sentiment swept through Germany aided by the Recess of 1803, which brought Bavaria, Württemberg and Baden to Frances side. The memories of imperial Rome were for a time, after Julius Caesar and Charlemagne.
The Treaty of Pressburg, signed on 26 December 1805, did little other than create a more unified Germany to threaten France. On the other hand, Napoleons creation of the Kingdom of Italy, the occupation of Ancona, to create satellite states, Napoleon installed his relatives as rulers of many European states. The Bonapartes began to marry into old European monarchies, gaining sovereignty over many nations, in addition to the vassal titles, Napoleons closest relatives were granted the title of French Prince and formed the Imperial House of France. Met with opposition, Napoleon would not tolerate any neutral power, Prussia had been offered the territory of Hanover to stay out of the Third Coalition. With the diplomatic situation changing, Napoleon offered Great Britain the province as part of a peace proposal and this, combined with growing tensions in Germany over French hegemony, Prussia responded by forming an alliance with Russia and sending troops into Bavaria on 1 October 1806. In this War of the Fourth Coalition, Napoleon destroyed the armies of Frederick William at Jena-Auerstedt, the Eylau and the Friedland against the Russians finally ruined Frederick the Greats formerly mighty kingdom, obliging Russia and Prussia to make peace with France at Tilsit.
The Treaties of Tilsit ended the war between Russia and the French Empire and began an alliance between the two empires that held power of much of the rest of Europe, the two empires secretly agreed to aid each other in disputes
Battle of Alcantara (1809)
The Battle of Alcantara saw an Imperial French division led by Marshal Claude Perrin Victor attack a Portuguese detachment under Colonel William Mayne. After a three hours skirmish, the French stormed across the Alcántara Bridge and forced the Portuguese to retreat, the clash happened during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. Alcántara, Spain is situated on the Tagus river near the Portuguese border,285 kilometres west-southwest of Madrid, while Marshal Nicolas Soult invaded northern Portugal in early 1809, two other French forces stood ready to cooperate in the subjugation of Portugal. Pierre Belon Lapisses division lurked near Ciudad Rodrigo while Victors I Corps operated in the Tagus valley, a weak force under Robert Thomas Wilson watched Lapisse while Alexander Randoll Mackenzies Anglo-Portuguese corps kept an eye on Victor. After being outgeneraled by Wilson, Lapisse marched south to join Victor, as Sir Arthur Wellesleys Anglo-Portuguese army disposed of Soults corps, the detachment under Mayne moved to occupy Alcántara.
Believing Maynes troops to be a threat, Victor marched against him. The Loyal Lusitanian Legion battalion stoutly defended the Alcántara Bridge for three hours, the French artillery silenced their guns and a supporting battalion of militia took to its heels. The bridge was mined, but when Mayne ordered the charges to be detonated, Victors infantry rushed the incompletely demolished span. The French hung around the area for a few days but finally withdrew, the next action was the Battle of Talavera. Emperor Napoleons strategy for early 1809 called for an invasion of Portugal by three columns, Napoleons plan called for Soult to capture Porto by 5 February 1809. From there, Soult was supposed to march to Lisbon and occupy it by the 16th of the same month, Lapisse was directed to move from Salamanca to seize Ciudad Rodrigo and Almeida, Portugal as soon as Soults II Corps got to Porto. Victor was ordered to be at Mérida by this time and he was instructed to detach a column from there to advance on Lisbon.
The emperor assumed that Soult and Victor would be able to send messengers to each other. This assumption ignored the likelihood that Portuguese and Spanish guerillas would prevent Soults dispatches from reaching his colleagues, Soult marched south on 30 January 1809, aiming for Portugal. After being repelled in his attempt to cross the Minho River in mid-February, his forces marched to Ourense. Soults cavalry crushed a Spanish brigade at La Trepa on 6 March, at the Battle of Braga on 20 March, the French routed a Portuguese army consisting of a few regulars and 22,000 militia. The First Battle of Porto on the 29th was another lopsided French victory marked by terrible Portuguese loss of life, but despite being established in Porto, Soult found his communications cut by General Silveiras regular and irregular forces and he had no idea of the whereabouts of Lapisse. Meanwhile, Marshal Victor won a victory over General Gregorio García de la Cuestas Spanish army at the Battle of Medellín on 28 March 1809
Battle of Arzobispo
Albuquerques troops rapidly retreated after suffering disproportionate losses, including 30 artillery pieces. El Puente del Arzobispo is located 36 kilometres southwest of Talavera de la Reina, the action occurred during the Peninsular War, part of a larger conflict known as the Napoleonic Wars. The Battle of Talavera in late July 1809 saw a victory by Arthur Wellesleys British army, Wellesley found that he was unable to exploit the triumph due to the failure of his logistical arrangements. Within a few days, Wellesley discovered that Soults large French army was attempting to cut off his army from Portugal, the British and Spanish armies withdrew to the west, narrowly avoiding interception by Soults forces. Albuquerque was left with 3,000 cavalry and 5,000 infantry to hold the bridge of Arzobispo, because their position was so strong, the Spanish were lulled into a false sense of security. Meanwhile, French officers found and secretly reconnoitered a hidden ford near the bridge, achieving tactical surprise, the French cavalry plunged across the ford during the Spanish siesta, followed by the infantry of Marshal Édouard Mortiers V Corps.
Before Albuquerque could react, his cavalry was routed and one of his infantry battalions crushed, during the pursuit, Soults horsemen not only seized 16 Spanish guns, but recaptured at least 14 of the 17 French artillery pieces lost at Talavera. Though the Anglo-Spanish armies triumphed over King Joseph Bonapartes army at the Battle of Talavera on 27 and 28 July 1809, the butchers bill was steep. The British counted 5,365 casualties, including 3,915 wounded while Gregorio García de la Cuestas Spanish army lost only 400 to 500 men killed and wounded, the battles losers suffered more, a total of 7,268 Frenchmen were casualties. On the morning of 29 July, General Robert Craufurds Light Infantry Brigade, even so, General Wellesleys army was in no shape to exploit its victory. The soldiers were on one-third rations due to the collapse of the supply system, with few wagons and carts, Wellesley was unable to bring supplies forward from his base at Plasencia or evacuate his wounded. The British commander received intelligence that a French force was moving down from the north, as it happened, the threat was much worse than Wellesley imagined.
On 12 June 1809, Emperor Napoleon ordered Marshal Soult to take command of the II Corps, V Corps, and VI Corps and move against the British army. It took some time to assemble this host but on 27 July, Marshal Mortiers 16, on the 29th, Soults own II Corps received a convoy of artillery to replace the guns lost in the 1809 Portugal Campaign. Thus equipped, the 18, 740-strong II Corps marched south on the 30th, Marshal Michel Ney and the 12, 500-man VI Corps followed on 31 July, after dropping off a brigade of 3,200 men. Napoleon insisted that Soult keep his corps closed up to defeat in detail. At most, about 10,000 French Imperial soldiers under General of Division François Étienne de Kellermann were left behind to defend León, Soult was aware that the Spanish and Portuguese could bring 20,000 men against Kellermann. But he accepted the risk because he understood that Wellesleys British army was the main objective, in this, Venegas was completely unsuccessful, but another opportunity opened up
Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch
General Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch GCB GCMG was a Scottish aristocrat and British Army officer. After his education at Oxford, he inherited an estate in Scotland was married and settled down to a quiet career as a landowning gentleman. However, with the death of his wife, when he was aged 42, he immersed himself in a career, during the French Revolutionary Wars. Taylor described Graham as tall, square-shouldered, and erect, his limbs sinewy and his complexion was dark, with full eyebrows, firm-set lips, and an open, benevolent air. His manners and address were frank and polished, Thomas Graham was the third and only surviving son of Thomas Græme of Balgowan, in Perthshire and Lady Christian Hope, a daughter of the first Earl of Hopetoun. He was born in 1748, and was educated at home by the Reverend Fraser, minister of Moneydie, and afterwards by James Macpherson, the collector and translator of Ossians poems. He went up to Christ Church, Oxford in 1766, on leaving college, he spent several years on the Continent, where he learnt French and Spanish.
He set himself to cultivate improved breeds of horses, cattle, in 1785, he purchased the estate of Lynedoch or Lednock, situated in the valley of the Almond, where he planted trees and oak coppices, and improved the sloping banks bordering the stream. Two years in 1774 he married Mary and on the day her elder sister became Duchess of Atholl. Jane, wrote Lord Cathcart, has married, to please herself, Duke of Atholl, a peer of the realm, Mary has married Thomas Graham of Balgowan, the man of her heart, and a peer among princes. Her portrait by Thomas Gainsborough was highly acclaimed when exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1777, the painting now hangs in the National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh. Graham spent the eighteen years as a quiet country gentleman, spending his time on riding and sports, studying the classics and making occasional visits to London. Then, drawing his sword, which at the time formed part of a suit, he threatened to run the man through. They immediately fled, and the prostrate highwayman was arrested, Mary Graham’s health began to decline, and in the spring of 1792, on the recommendation of her medical adviser, she went to the south of France with her husband and sister.
However, during the voyage she died off the coast near Hyères and her sorrowing husband hired a barge to take the casket to Bordeaux but near Toulouse a group of French soldiers opened the coffin and disturbed the body. He closed the casket and returned home to deposit her remains in a mausoleum, Graham would himself be laid in the same tomb fifty years later. Mary Graham is commemorated in a four-part Scottish fiddle tune composed in her honor, the loss of his wife preyed deeply upon Graham’s mind, and first he set out for twelve-months of foreign travel. However, still overwhelmed by great sorrow, and now in his forty-third year, still Thine was his thought in march and tented ground, He dreamed ‘mid Alpine cliffs of Athole’s hill, And heard in Ebro’s roar his Lynedoch’s lovely rill
Ferdinand VII of Spain
Ferdinand VII was twice King of Spain, in 1808 and again from 1813 to his death. He was known to his supporters as the Desired and to his detractors as the Felon King and he reestablished the absolutist monarchy and rejected the liberal constitution of 1812. He suppressed the liberal press 1814-33 and jailed many of its editors and writers, under his rule, Spain lost nearly all of its American possessions, and the country entered into civil war on his death. His reputation among historians is very low, historian Stanley Payne says, He proved in many ways the basest king in Spanish history. Cowardly, grasping and vengeful, seemed almost incapable of any perception of the commonwealth and he thought only in terms of his power and security and was unmoved by the enormous sacrifices of Spanish people to retain their independence and preserve his throne. Ferdinand was ostensibly the eldest surviving child of Charles IV of Spain, Ferdinand was born in the palace of El Escorial near Madrid. The Queens confessor Fray Juan Almaraz wrote in his last will that she admitted in articulo mortis that none, none of her sons and daughters, none was of the legitimate marriage.
In his youth Ferdinand occupied the position of an heir apparent who was excluded from all share in government by his parents and their advisor and Prime Minister. National discontent with the government produced a rebellion in 1805, in October 1807, Ferdinand was arrested for his complicity in the El Escorial Conspiracy in which the rebels aimed at securing foreign support from the French Emperor Napoleon. When the conspiracy was discovered, Ferdinand submitted to his parents, following a popular riot at Aranjuez Charles IV abdicated in March 1808. Ferdinand ascended the throne and turned to Napoleon for support and he abdicated on 6 May 1808. Napoleon kept Ferdinand under guard in France for six years at the Chateau of Valençay, while the upper echelons of the Spanish government accepted his abdication and Napoleons choice of his brother Joseph Bonaparte as king of Spain, the Spanish people did not. Uprisings broke out throughout the country, marking the beginning of the Peninsular War, provincial juntas were established to control regions in opposition to the new French king.
After the Battle of Bailén proved that the Spanish could resist the French, on 24 August, Ferdinand VII was proclaimed king of Spain again, and negotiations between the Council and the provincial juntas for the establishment of a Supreme Central Junta were completed. Subsequently, on 14 January 1809, the British government acknowledged Ferdinand VII as king of Spain, the Spanish people, blaming the policies of the Francophiles for causing the Napoleonic occupation and the Peninsular War by allying Spain too closely to France, at first welcomed Fernando. Ferdinand soon found that in the years a new world had been born of foreign invasion. In his name Spain fought for its independence and in his name as well juntas had governed Spanish America, Spain was no longer the absolute monarchy he had relinquished six years earlier. Instead he was now asked to rule under the liberal Constitution of 1812, before being allowed to enter Spanish soil, Ferdinand had to guarantee the liberals that he would govern on the basis of the Constitution, only gave lukewarm indications he would do so
The Cortes Generales is the legislature of Spain. It is a parliament, composed of the Congress of Deputies. The Cortes has power to any law and to amend the constitution. Moreover, the house has the power to confirm and dismiss the President of the Government. The system of Cortes arose in the Middle Ages as part of feudalism, a Corte was an advisory council made up of the most powerful feudal lords closest to the king. The Cortes of León was the first parliamentary body in Western Europe, from 1230, the Cortes of Leon and Castile were merged, though the Cortes power was decreasing. Prelates and commoners remained separated in the three estates within the Cortes, with the reappearance of the cities near the 12th century, a new social class started to grow, people living in the cities were neither vassals nor nobles themselves. Furthermore, the nobles were experiencing very hard times due to the Reconquista, so now the bourgeoisie had the money. So the King started admitting representatives from the cities to the Cortes in order to get money for the Reconquista.
The frequent payoffs were the Fueros, grants of autonomy to the cities, at this time the Cortes already had the power to oppose the Kings decisions, thus effectively vetoing them. In addition, some representatives were permanent advisors to the King, isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, the Catholic Monarchs, started a specific policy to diminish the power of the bourgeoisie and nobility. They greatly reduced the powers of the Cortes to the point where they simply rubberstamped the monarchs acts, one of the major points of friction between the Cortes and the monarchs was the power of raising and lowering taxes. The role of the Cortes during the Spanish Empire was mainly to rubberstamp the decisions of the ruling monarch, they had some power over economic and American affairs, especially taxes. This allowed the Cortes to become influential, even when they did not directly oppose the Kings decisions. The abolition in the realms of Aragon was completed by 1716, Cortes existed in each of Aragon, Catalonia and Navarre.
It is thought that these legislatures exercised more power over local affairs than the Castilian Cortes did. Executive councils existed in each of these realms, which were tasked with overseeing the implementation of decisions made by the Cortes. Thus, the Cortes in Spain did not develop towards a system as in the British case
Battle of Barrosa
The Battle of Barrosa was part of an unsuccessful manoeuvre to break the siege of Cádiz in Spain during the Peninsular War. During the battle, a single British division defeated two French divisions and captured a regimental eagle, a large Allied strike force was shipped south from Cádiz to Tarifa, and moved to engage the siege lines from the rear. The French, under the command of Marshal Victor, were aware of the Allied movement, following a fierce battle on two fronts, the British succeeded in routing the attacking French forces. A lack of support from the larger Spanish contingent prevented a victory. This allowed the citys defences to be fully manned, under pressure from widespread protests and mob violence the ruling Spanish Junta resigned, and a five-man Regency was established to govern in its place. Additional troops continued to arrive, and by May, the garrison was 26,000 strong, while the besieging French forces had risen to 25,000. Although the siege tied up a number of Spanish and Portuguese troops.
However, in January 1811, Victors position began to deteriorate, Soult ordered Victor to send almost a third of his troops to support Soults assault on Badajoz, reducing the besieging French army to around 15,000 men. Following Soults appropriation of many of Victors troops, the Allies sensed an opportunity to engage Marshal Victor in open battle, to that end, an Anglo-Spanish expedition was sent by sea from Cádiz south to Tarifa, with the intention of marching north to engage the French rear. The Anglo-Portuguese contingent — a division commanded by Lieutenant-General Sir Thomas Graham — sailed from Cádiz on 21 February 1811, Grahams forces were unable to land at Tarifa due to bad weather and were forced to sail on to Algeciras, where they disembarked on 23 February. Joined by a battalion of flank companies under Colonel Browne, the troops marched to Tarifa on 24 February. By 27 February, they were joined by la Peñas Spanish troops, General Cassagne, Victors flank commander, informed the Marshal of the developing threat.
Victor responded by sending three battalions and a cavalry regiment to reinforce Cassagne, and ordering the fortification of Medina-Sidonia. Having concentrated, the combined Allied force began marching north towards Medina-Sidonia on 28 February, once there, Beguiness scouts reported that Medina-Sidonia was held more strongly than had been anticipated. This change of plan, combined with bad weather and la Peñas insistence on marching only at night. La Peña sent a message to Cádiz informing Zayas of the delay, a pontoon bridge was floated across the Santi Petri creek and a battalion sent across to establish a bridgehead prior to the arrival of the main force. Zayass battalion was ejected from its positions, with 300 Spanish casualties, General Eugène-Casimir Villattes division was sent to block the neck of the peninsula on which the western road ran, preventing access to the Santi Petri creek and the Isla de Léon. After another night march, on 5 March the Allies reached a hill to the south east of Barrosa, scouts reported the presence of Villattes force, and la Peña ordered his vanguard division to advance
Siege of Tarifa (1812)
In the Siege of Tarifa from 19 December 1811 to 5 January 1812, an Imperial French army under Jean François Leval laid siege to an Anglo-Spanish garrison led by Francisco Copons. Despite the advice of British Colonel John Byrne Skerrett to evacuate the town, some wanted to evacuate to and defend the small island that was attached by a causeway from the town. Tarifa is located on Route 340 on the southernmost tip of Spain, the siege occurred during the Peninsular War, part of the Napoleonic Wars. General of Division Jean François Leval commanded a corps of 15,000 soldiers, levals Polish contingent was made up of two battalions each of the 7th and 9th Infantry Regiments and his cavalry comprised four squadrons each of the 16th and 21st Dragoon Regiments. General Francisco Copons led the defenders, who numbered under 3,000 men and 26 guns and his Spanish brigade included one battalion each of the Irlanda and Cantabria Infantry Regiments, one company of Cazadores,120 gunners, and 25 cavalrymen.
The French drove the advanced posts of the garrison in on 19 December, seeing the apparent advantage of the high ground to the east, they opened trenches on 22 December and by dawn on 29 December were ready to fire their sixteen-pounder canon. It only took a few hours for the walls to tumble down, the small walled town of Tarifa seemed almost impossible to defend. Overlooked at short range by higher ground, with walls unprotected against artillery fire, Skerrett proposed abandoning the defence and embarking on ships. Captain C. F. Smith of the Corps of Royal Engineers strongly opposed the idea and he had noted that inside the walls, the ground level was much lower which combined with a deep narrow river that flowed through the town would make that assault quite hazardous. Skerrett was checkmated when the ships were ordered back to Gibraltar, the commanders being forbidden to embark a single soldier, by General Campbell, Smith having foreseen where the French would attack had prepared internal defences against the impending assault.
The 14 foot sheer drop inside the wall would trap the French from retreating and every house overlooking the area was loopholed and garrisoned, all debris was cleared from inside the wall, despite the grape being fired by the besiegers. Surrender terms were offered and refused, French Grenadiers advanced along the now dry river bed trying to enter through the portcullis, however it held and the 87th Regiment blunted their attack with withering fire. Going over to the offensive, the Allies sallied forth in the morning, forcing the French to retreat, Leval withdrew after making his one abortive assault and seeing sickness begin to ravage his soldiers. Unable to extract their heavy artillery from the mud, the besiegers destroyed and abandoned most of their cannons. to the British Engineer. Charles Felix Smith went on to part in many more conflicts over the next 30 years. He became a Lieutenant General and was knighted, General Francisco Copons y Navia went on to fight many more battles alongside the British, his shining star failing on the return to Spain of King Fernando VII.
The French did not return to Tarifa and their Siege of Cadiz was abandoned in August 1812, over the next year, the Spanish Ulcer, A History of the Peninsular War. Rickard, J. Siege of Tarifa,20 December 1811-5 January 1812, History of the Corps of Royal Engineers Vol I