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Professor Clive Willis










Subject Matter:


Peninsular War



The article covers the period from the departure of the Royal Family to Brazil in 1807 to the resolution of the Portuguese Civil War between supporters of the Princes Miguel and Pedro, in 1834. 

Wellington left Portugal in May 1813, for the last time, but was kept fully informed of events by Beresford, who was effectively in charge of Portugal until 1820, growing increasingly unpopular in the process, partly because he inflated the size of the Portuguese army to 60,000 out of a total population of only three million, often forcibly recruiting agricultural workers. Beresford made two voyages to Rio de Janeiro, the first in 1815-16 and the second in 1820. On his return from the second trip he found the country in the hands of a revolutionary junta, which would not let him land and dispatched him to England. He was to return in 1826 on the suggestion of Wellington to try to regain his position as Commander in Chief, which the Portuguese were prepared to accept if he agreed to be subordinate to the Portuguese minister of war. This annoyed him greatly while he was, at the same time, annoying Wellington by bombarding him with letters.


The full article can be downloaded here

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