The papers of John Campbell, fourth Earl of Loudoun (1705-82) (illustrated), held at the Huntington Library in San Marino California contain a number of letters that throw interesting light on the British campaign in Portugal in 1762. The purpose of this article is to explain why British troops were sent to Portugal in 1762 and to draw attention to the Loudoun papers.
On the declaration of war with Spain in 1762, Loudoun was appointed to succeed Lord Tyrawley as commander of the British troops destined for Portugal. The situation was a difficult one. Britain had been at war with France since 1756, the Seven years' War, and her success in north America, the West Indies, India and European water had owed much to Spain's refusal to support her traditional ally France.
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