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Item:  BSL - Carrol Badajoz 1810

 

MAJOR GENERAL SIR WILLIAM PARKER CARROL,
KCB, GCB, KTS
SEVEN HANDWRITTEN AUTOGRAPH SIGNED
PENINSULAR WAR LETTERS

General of the Spanish Regiment of Hibernia, Army of the Left

A HERO OF THE CONNAUGHT RANGERS - "THE DEVIL'S OWN BRIGADE"
AN EXEMPLARY SET OF LETTERS SHOWING EVERY ASPECT OF HIS CHARACTER

THE MOST IMPORTANT BRITISH LIAISON OFFICER TO THE SPANISH ARMY
ONE OF THE LESSER KNOWN BUT MOST INFLUENTIAL
BRITISH GENERAL OFFICERS OF THE WAR

"the enemy ... arrived in front of this City in force nearly 2000 Cavalry and 6000 or 7000 Inf't with 12 field pieces"
"I do not by any means think Massena’s Army can amount to 50,000 Men; in all Castile he has not more than 35000 men, 25000 or 26000 of which are before Ciudad Rodrigo"
"the present fate of the Operations in Spain depends on the Contest at Ciudad Rodrigo"
"I think Massena will be very cautious of bringing up his heavy artillery against Ciudad Rodrigo ... I consider them as British property"
"the Junta have for months past been applying to me to obtain permission from my Gov’t to allow them to purchase arms"
"
the French army in Spain might be most materially diminished if not destroyed by the aid of the Press supported by a million of dollars"
"The arrival of Lord Wellington, who is the main spring and soul of active operation has been most timely"
"I have been constantly on the move with my Regt since the 31st ult. I fancy we shall soon come to close quarters with the Enemy."
"I have this instant learned that the Marquis is arrived at Olivenza with 5000 men from Badajoz."
"Alas! our pride seems to increase with our misfortunes and is only equaled by our ignorance."
"Would to Heaven that the Spanish Armies, or more properly speaking the skeletons of the Armies were under his Lordship's command and auspices"

THESE DOCUMENTS ARE COVERED BY OUR WRITTEN, SIGNED AND SEALED
LIFETIME GUARANTEE OF AUTHENTICITY

      William Parker Carrol’s zeal in the pursuance of his orders was outstanding and his activities, and his command of the Regiment of Hibernia, contributed significantly to the evolution of historical events in Spain, including his relationship with Generals Blake and La Romana at an early stage; with General Ballesteros and the Asturian Junta afterwards. Carrol was eventually made a Major General in the British army and a Field Marshal in the Spanish army. His work as an officer was praised by most Spanish Generals, including La Romana, Castaños, Cuesta, Blake, O’Donnell and also by the highest representatives of the different Spanish Juntas and other Spanish authorities. Carrol’s reports from the headquarters of different Spanish generals were extremely valuable to his own British commanders, who often quoted him when writing to Lord Castlereagh, Lord Liverpool or Earl Bathurst, (successive Secretaries of State for War) during the Peninsular War.
     He was probably the British officer whose judgments on the various Spanish generals he came into contact with, as well as on the Spanish army, were the most generous and positive. It is thanks to him that we know about actions that did not become well known, mostly because they had preceded the more important battles or were of guerilla activities. His letters and his correspondence are an indispensable source for understanding what was happening in the Spanish Theater. This is especially true now following the loss of many local archives; caused by the burning historical records during the revolutionary events of 1934.

[extract from Dr Alicia Laspra, Universidad de Oviedo, A British officer in the Spanish army: William Parker Carrol and the Peninsular Campaign (1808-14)] Be sure to read his extended biographical notes below.

Letter #1 -- Headquarters, Army of the Left -- Badajoz -- 22nd June 1810 -- 4 page ALS

Letter #2-- Badajoz -- 25th June 1810 -- 4 page ALS

Letter #3 -- Badajoz -- 25th June 1810 -- 2 page ALS

 

 

Letter #4 -- Badajoz -- 29th July 1810 -- 4 page ALS

Letter #5 -- Salvaleón -- 7th August 1810 -- 2 page ALS Letter #6 -- Salvatierra -- 31st August 1810 -- 1 page ALS

Letter #7 -- Olivenza -- 29th April 1811 -- 3 page ALS

 

Transcription Letter #1:

               Headquarters army of the left
                    Badajoz 22 June, 1810



My Dear Sir,

     I am just favored with your letters of the 20th Inst [this same month] on my return from Elvas, where I went pour prendre congé
[ppc – to say goodbye to or the departure ceremony] of Lieut. Col. Stewart of the Caçadores, who has marched with his Corps to join Gen'l Hill’s Division. –
     About one o’clock yesterday, the enemy having advanced from La Roca, arrived in front of this City in force nearly 2000 Cavalry and 6000 or 7000 Inf't with 12 field pieces, the Inf't & Guns with part of the Cavalry took post on the right bank of the River, the main body of Cavalry on the Talavera Road. Some smart skirmishing took place during the day in which the spirit of the Peasantry and Soldiers who advanced in Guerillas was, I understand very conspicuous. The Enemy were very much fatigued, and did not evince much energy having declined to decide some partial re-encounters in which the Carabineers were very forward, at 7 o’clock this morning the last Reg’t of the Enemy retreated towards Montijo, the enemy’s loss is supposed to be 10 or 15 killed and double that number wounded – the Spaniards lost 6 men killed and about 15 wounded,
     The information in your letter, is most interesting. – I do not by any means think Massena’s Army can amount to 50,000 Men; in all Castile he has not more than 35000 men, 25000 or 26000 of which are before Ciudad Rodrigo, and I think there can be little doubt of Lord Wellington’s taking possession of all their heavy Guns – indeed the present fate of the Operations in Spain depends on the Contest at Ciudad Rodrigo.
     With respect to the sheep I shall attend to your wishes, three thousand 30070 3370 3370 – are safe on their march to Aldeia Gallega, 1000 more were in much danger yesterday but are now safe, however in no Case, can you run any Risque, as I have stipulated with the Junta, that the responsibility rests with them, until the sheep are delivered over on the borders of Spain,
     1630 – The last 1630 shall go to Abrantes agreeably to y[ou]r Directions.
     I beg you will not consider the trifling assistance that I may be able to give Mr. Romero as by any means giving trouble – Excuse great haste as the Post is ready to start


                        I am my D'r Sir
                         faithfully yours
                         William Parker Carrol
 


Detail of Badajoz Region showing Elvas, the Talavera Road and Montijo


Showing Badajoz to the right on the main road west to Lisbon through Elvas ending at Aldeia Gallega across the Tagus from Lisbon. At Elvas the Northwest Road runs to Abrantes also on the Tagus.

Transcription Letter # 2:


                     Badajoz 25 June, 1810

My Dear Sir,

     Your second lot of sheep are on their way to Lisbon. I got a passport from Gen. Leite, Mr. Romero having informed me that he had not rec’d the one's you alluded to, and that the former ones were all sent with the first Division – I wish you would inform me particularly on the subject – in my opinion the Passports should be delivered up on their arrival, by the shippers at Lisbon, least any flocks belonging to other Persons might be sent under the Sanction of your name.
     I last night wrote to Gen. Leite requesting that he would direct that no impediment should be made to the Shepherds remaining with that part of the flocks of Bolar? destined for you, in the vicinity of Elvas.
     No news here, I rec’d letters from Lord Wellington 21st and 22nd no news. I think Massena will be very cautious of bringing up his heavy artillery against Ciudad Rodrigo, when once they shall have been planted, I consider them as British property.
     In three or four days your sheep will proceed to Abrantes. I shall apprise the senior officer there of their Departure.
     The Marquis of Monsalud and the Junta have for months past been applying to me to obtain permission from my Gov’t to allow them to purchase arms etc. – The Marquis of Monsalud has told me they would pay for them in Wool or Sheep he also spoke to Col. Downey on the subject – I beg to submit the affairs entirely to you,

Ever yours My d’r Sir
Most faithfully
William Parker Carrol

P.S. Mr. Romero rec’d the 6 Passports
by this day’s Post.

Notes:

     Elvas is a Portuguese fortress city about 230 km. east of Lisbon; the town is only 15 km. from the Spanish fortress of Badajoz. Origins of the town are traced back to the Roman establishment Alpesa, or Helvas. The town is dominated by a castle of Roman-Moorish origin.
    
General Leite was Major General Francisco de Paula Leite (1747-1833) who had spent much of his life as a naval officer but achieved distinction at the Massacre of Evora in 1808 commanding a ragtag army of Portuguese peasants and townspeople armed with pikes and knives and 3000 regular troops, most Spanish from Badajoz. Leite defended the town until it was overrun by superior French forces and managed to retreat to Olivenza saving the remainder of his force. By not agreeing to surrender to French Commander Loison, the French, upon taking the town in July of 1808, put all the inhabitants to the sword and sacked the city. This massacre had much to do with the subsequent Portuguese and Spanish hatred of the French. Leite was appreciated by Wellington and made Military Governor or the Elvas Fortress 1810-1811. [see Rene Chartrand's excellent Vimeiro 1808: Wellesley's First Victory in the Peninsular]
    
The Junta was a revolving set of power brokers from the rump Spanish loyalist government in exile which was based in Aranjuez, then Seville, and finally Cadiz for most of the War. (see Henry Wellesley's and Siege of Cadiz correspondence)
    
The Marquis of Monsalud referred to was the 2nd Marquis of a well known Badajoz aristocratic family (the 5th Marquis was a well known archaeologist). His name was Juan Nieto y Aguilar and was Colonel of the Royal Armies. He fought at the battles of Medellín (1809) and La Albuera (1811). He had his palace at Almendralejo (Badajoz).

Transcription Letter # 3:


                 Badajoz 25th June, 1810

My Dear Sir,

     Having been requested by several officers here, whom I wish to oblige to write to Ensign Corrigan to make some purchases for them at Lisbon, I am apprehensive that he may not have sufficient money for that purpose, & as I have not a mode of sending him money immediately not meeting any person in whom I could confide going to Lisbon, I take the liberty of requesting that you would be so kind as to advance Ensign Corrigan for me, such sums as he may require as far as 200 Dollars. Which I shall pay either to Mr. Romero or any one you appoint to receive it – I trust you will excuse the liberty I thus take in troubling you.

Ever my Dr Sir
most faithfully yours

William Parker Carrol

To His Excellency
Chas Stuart

Transcription Letter # 4:


                 Badajoz 29th July, 1810

My Dear Sir,

     I was favoured with your letter of the 25th inst. The possession of Santoña is of the greatest importance it has upwards of eighteen months been a favourite of mine a great deal may be done in Biscay.
    
I have the satisfaction to transmit you copies of intercepted letters which I think you will deem interesting. I trust you will forward them to England with all possible dispatch.
    
I hope and trust you consider the Cause to be in a prosperous state, and that a little exertion will speedily bring it to a favorable termination now is the moment for exertion.
    
From the high situation you hold, your perfect knowledge of the state of the Peninsula, together with the information you have from all parts, no person is so proper as yourself, to recommend the measures the plans and exertions which the present crisis requires.
    
In my mind the French army in Spain might be most materially diminished if not destroyed by the aid of the Press supported by a million of dollars – the Spaniards are not aware how powerful an engine the Press is when well directed
    
I am persuaded many French officers of Rank might be induced to quit the ranks of the Tyrant bringing with them entire Regiments – the half measures we are adopting only serve to protract the War – The enemy themselves and the intercepted letters point out to us the line of conduct we should pursue.
    
I communicated to the Junta the contents of your letter of the 22nd inst they will petition Government for permission to have 12000 stand of arms exported from England – They desired me return you their thanks for your kindness in saying you would be glad to forward the attainment of their object – they wish to contract with some Merchants and bring out the arms to Lisbon where they would pay for them in sheep or wool.
     I translated your letter for Mr. Romero – he is getting the necessary certificates relative to the breed of the Sheep, he wrote to have the 45 sheep sent to Lisbon. I trust they have arrived by this time, as Mr. Corrigan wrote to Extremos and Montemor 10 days since to have them forwarded immediately, if capable of Marching.
     I beg you will command my sources in any way I may be useful.


            I have the honor to be
       
My dear Sir your most obedient humble servant
                                      
     Wm Parker Carrol

P.S.      I sincerely hope the Marquis will not quit this Army – I believe there has been some slight misunderstanding relative to the carrying into effect the plan of Blake for the formation of the Estado Mayor – one thing I am concerned of: namely that Romana should be invariably supported by the British and held up to the view of the Spanish People as possessing the full confidence of the British people - if once the great share of Popularity which he possesses should be diminished, the cause would suffer most considerably –
      Romero has just informed me that the Secretary of the Junta refuses to give any other certificates than those given – I shall go to the Junta this Evening and get them –
      The Marquis of Romana wishes me to procure two good Armourers wither from England or Lisbon to superintend and to work themselves, at the repairing of a quantity of broken firelocks that are in store here – could two armourers with their implements be sent with in Lisbon?
      I beg to trouble you on a subject relative to self – I have got some engravings – 104 folio Prints which I am desirous of getting safely conveyed to England or Ireland. I should be distressed to lose them – and as perhaps the duty might be high. The original cost to me here being nearly £50/

Transcription Letter # 5:


                 Salvaleón 7 August [1810]

My Dear Sir,

     I was favoured with yours of the 1st inst. I have been constantly on the move with my Regt since the 31st ulto. I fancy we shall soon come to close quarters with the Enemy. I have this instant learned that the Marquis is arrived at Olivenza with 5000 men from Badajoz - as soon as I see his Excy I may be able to let you know our plans. We have been expecting to bring them to action on our own ground, as we have here good positions but they do not appear disposed to quit Burguillos or Xeres (Jeréz) - I send you the certificates that I got the night before I left Badajoz. I hope they may answer. I have taken the liberty of giving a letter of introduction in favour of my friend Don Manuel Pereyra a most respectable gentleman in Lisbon if it should come in your way to do him a kind office it would be serving a most worthy man and much oblige.

My Dear Sir
ever most sincerely yours

W[illiam] P[arker] Carrol

My Regt is just going to march for Salvatierra it appears the Enemy is in motion
                                                    C[arrol]
Please to send the the adjoined letter to Señor Pereyra who lives opposite your Excy's house.

[To His Excellency
Chas Stuart]


Showing Salvaleón, Salvatierra, Olivenza, Burguillos, Jeréz and Almendral in relation to Badajoz and Elvas.

Transcription Letter # 6:

 


                 Salvatierra 31 Augt 1810

Dear Sir,

     I have the honour to transmit you the adjoined letter containing reports made to the Marquis of Romana. no news here the enemy, seems to have retired,

            I have the honor to be
       
your most obedient humble servant
                                      
     Wm Parker Carrol

His Excellency Charles Stuart

Transcription Letter # 7:

 


                 Olivenza 29th April 1811

My Dear Sir,

     No events of any great importance having taken place since I joined Gen'l Castaños I omitted trespassing on your attention. The arrival of Lord Wellington, who is the main spring and soul of active operation has been most timely - during his short stay he made arrangements which if not ???? in the execution, will be productive of infinite benefit to the Cause, would to Heaven that the Spanish Armies, or more properly speaking the skeletons of the Armies were under his Lordship's command and auspices. We might in that case do great things - but alas! our pride seems to increase with our misfortunes and is only equaled by our ignorance - is it not lamentable that the exertions and zeal of the Crown and as fine soldiers as any in Europe should be paralized, and rendered nugatory by the positive ignorance of an inept Government?
     I shall be happy to hear of your being well whenever your leisure may present your favouring me with a line - and if I can be in any way useful to you in this Country command fore by the ??? of

            My Dr Sir
       
yours very faithfully
                                      
     Wm Parker Carrol

His Excellency Charles Stuart

Gen'l Castaños is at Almendral where I return tomorrow - please order the adjoined letters to be sent to England
                                                            C

Biographical Notes

Lieutenant-Gen. Sir William Parker Carrol, KCH, K.C.B, KTS
1776 -1842

     William Parker Carrol was born at Tullagh House, on the Limerick side of Nenagh, in 1776. He was educated in Trinity College, Dublin, where he distinguished himself in the classical and mathematical courses, and where he also cultivated successfully the Muses and the Belles Lettres. At the commencement of the war in 1794, he joined the 87th (or Prince's Own Irish) Regiment as a volunteer, in which corps his brother was at that time serving as Ensign. As Ensigncy was purchased for him, and he immediately afterwards obtained a Lieutenancy in the 135th Regiment, and in the beginning of the year 1796, having exchanged back into the 87th, he served with that corps in the expedition against Holland.
     In 1800 he was on half-pay and a Captain in a Fencible Regiment at Gibraltar. It was while he was here that Carrol developed his opposition to excessive corporal punishment (see our court martial transcript awarding 300 lashes with a cat-o-nine tails to a boot thief). Upon an occasion on which he sat as President of a Court Martial, the punishment awarded was deemed too lenient, and was ordered to be revised, but he refused. This circumstance was reported to the Gibraltar Lt. Governor General O'Hara, who felt it to be his duty, not only to order Captain Carrol and the members of the Court to depart from the garrison, but to take measures to have the former dismissed from the army. On his arrival in England he found he had been superseded, without even having been heard in his own defense. A statement of the facts of this case, however, having been laid before the Commander-in-Chief, the Duke of York; he reinstated him in his rank.
     In the memorable yet ill-fated expedition against Buenos Aires, Captain Carrol was distinguished for his conduct in storming the town at the head of his company of the 88th Regiment, [the Connaught Ranger’s, later described by General Picton of the 3rd Division in the Peninsular War as “The Devil’s Own Brigade”) and afterwards for frequently volunteering on every occasion of difficulty and danger; his knowledge of the Spanish language enabling him to render essential services to the army. He was at most imminent risk of his life when, as a prisoner, he went, as General Linier's Aide-de-Camp (whose brethren of the Staff bad been wounded in attempting to close on Gen. Craufurd's position under the pretence of a flag of truce), through the town to the British headquarters, amidst the rage and tremendous threats and gestures of an infuriated mob. On this occasion, had it not been for his presence of mind and great sang froid, in abusing the people for not resembling the noble Castilians from whom they were descended, he would have been sacrificed in the names of the children who had been accidentally killed by both sides in the firing, and who were dressed out with flowers, and placed on doors opposite to one of the great churches, for the purpose of inflaming the populace against the British prisoners. The logic of his pleas, however, on his march to his place of execution, miraculously saved him. The popular tide turned in his favor; they gave him back his epaulettes, bat, and Linier's sword (which he wore, his own being prisoner) placed him on horseback, and cheered him, “throwing up their greasy caps” as be passed through the so recently outrageous multitude.
     When Gen. Whitelock was forced to quit the country with his troops, a field officer was required by the Spaniards to be left behind as a hostage for the fulfillment of the treaty between the two armies; it was a service of delicacy, and no Field Officer present understanding the language, Captain Carrol offered himself as a substitute, and was accepted. He remained in the country many months, and until all matters were satisfactorily brought to a final arrangement. He thereby gained the friendship of the hostile chiefs, and did an essential service in procuring the release of, and bringing with him back to Europe, many prisoners of the British army, who had been marched into the interior, and, but for his exertions, would have been lost to their country.
     His services were now called for in a wider sphere; now Lt. Colonel, Carrol was sent to Spain as a Military Commissioner; in the Peninsular War, he literally fought his way up to rank and fame, having been in 28 different battles, in many of the latter of which he held a distinguished command. In May, 1809, the Marquis of Romana being in Oviedo with a handful of troops, having left his army in Galicia, Marshals Ney and Kellerman made a simultaneous attack on the Asturias, pushing forwards by forced marches, to surprise the Marquis in his weak position. On the night of the 17th May, the latter sent for Colonel Carrol, and informed him he had just received reports that Ney was advancing, but that no official statement had reached him. Colonel Carrol volunteered to march that night, and arriving at daylight at the town of Grado, found Marshal Ney in possession of the boats on the river, and his vanguard actually passing. He fell back to the bridge of Penafior, a very strong defile, commanded on each side by heights, and here, by ringing the alarm bells, he collected about 400 soldiers and one cannon and some armed peasants as a defensive force. Opposing himself to the immense superiority of the enemy, he defended the pass, directing and firing the cannon himself, till the ammunition was expended; giving the Marquis repeated reports of what was passing, that he might quit Oviedo and preserve himself for his army and his country. This defense Colonel Carrol continued during the greater part of the 18th May. The Colonel retreated to Gizon, and exerted himself in embarking stores on river boats until the evening of the 20th, when he himself embarked in an open boat, under the fire of a party of the enemy sent to take him. His escape was effected with the loss of all his baggage and equipage, which, with the town, fell into the hands of the enemy. Ney, in a letter which was later intercepted, said, “Romaña has slipped through my fingers. By the greatest chance I have missed my blow: he embarked here (Gizon) to return to Galicia: I shall be soon after him.” Accordingly, on the 8th and 9th of June, the Marshal was as good as his word, and attacked the Spanish army at the bridge of St. Payo, close to Vigo. Colonel Carrol, with sixty British soldiers, stragglers from Sir John Moore's army, was with the Spaniards on this bridge, 300 miles from where he had so obstinately last contested with Ney. The friendship which had been cemented between the Marquis of Romaña and Colonel Carrol was unhappily soon after this dissolved by the death of the former. Carrol had the melancholy office of superintending his funeral, and doing justice to his virtues, in an address to the Army of the Left.
     At the close of the war, Lt. Colonel Carrol returned to England, with the rank of Major General in the service of Spain, and decorated with many honors and later made Field Marshal of Spain. He also received the honor of knighthood from England, with the liberty to accept and wear the several foreign orders bestowed on him by others, and was appointed a Companion of the Bath. The following detail will give the dates of his steps in the English Army: 1794 Ensign and Lieutenant; 1803 Captain 13th Regiment Reserve; 1804 Major 88th Regiment; 1808 Lieutenant-Colonel; in the Spanish Army: 1809 Colonel of the Regiment of Hibernia; 1810 Brigadier-General; 1814 Major-General. Actions, etc. in which he engaged, since entering the Spanish service. – 1808. Oct. 7th, Frias: 24th, Bilboa: 26th, Zoruoza: 31st, Durango (slightly wounded by musket ball): Nov. 3d, Valmaceda: 6th, Guanes: Nov. 9th and 10th, Espinosa Dc Los Monteros: retreat to Leon. – 1809. Jan. Colombres: May 18th, Defense of bridge of Penafior against Ney's vanguard: June 7th and 8th, defense of bridge of St. Payo against Ney's division; served in the memorable campaign in Galicia with the Marquis of Romaña: Oct. 18th, commanded the Regiment of Hibernia in the battle of Tamames: Nov. 19th, ditto in the battle of Alba de Tormes: 23rd, Carpio: 24th, Medina de Campo: 28th, action on the right bank of the Tormes against the enemy's cavalry: (slightly wounded) – 1810. The campaign of Estremadura: The first siege of Badajoz – 1811. Battle of Albuera – 1812. Expedition on the coast of Calabria, with Sir Popham, at the attacks of the garrisons of Leiquicho, Castro Urdiales, Gue, Harria, Bilboa, Portugalete, and Somorosto: Sept. Appointed to command the Third Division of the 5th army near Madrid – 1813. Served in the glorious campaign under the Duke of Wellington, in the command of the First brigade of the Second division of the Spanish army at the blockade of Pamplona, during which, he retook, at the point of the bayonet, the important post of the White House, close under the fire of the walls of Pamplona: Dec. 25th, entered France at the head of his brigade – 1814. Feb. 29th, crossed the Adour, and engaged in the attack of the enemy's outposts at St. Esteven, on the side of Bidart. April 14th, retook, at the point of the bayonet, the posts in the possession of the enemy, on the road leading from Bayonne to St. John Pie de Port. – May 24th, commanded the column of Spanish grenadiers of the Army of the Left, during the short campaign in France – For these services the General received from the Spanish government and the King of Spain various crosses and medals, and the order of Knighthood of King Charles the Third: he has also been declared to “deserve well of that country.” He has added to these a British medal for the battle of Albuera. The crosses and medals conferred are:

1. Cross of the Royal and distinguished Spanish Order of Charles the 3rd
2. British Medal for the “Battle of Albuera“
3. Cross, “Asturias never conquered“
4. Medal, “Conqueror at Tamames”
5. Cross, “The King to the Army of the Left“
6. Medal, ”Gallant defense of the Bridge of St. Payo”
7. Medal, ”Valor proved at Medina de Campo“
8. Cross, ”Conqueror at Albuera“
9. Cross, “The King to the 7th Army“
10. Cross, “Valor and discipline at Pamplona and Bayonne“
11. Medal, “The Asturian Order of the Cross of Vitoria, and of Dn. Pelayo“
12. Received from his most Christian Majesty Louis XVIII., the “Fleur de Lis”

     He returned to England after the Peninsular campaign and in 1817 he married Emma Sophia Sherwell, who
may have been a granddaughter of King George III. They had two sons but she died tragically at a very young age in 1819 soon after the birth of her second son, Egerton. William Parker rejoined the British Army after his Spanish service and held senior positions such as Lieut. Governor of Malta in 1822 and of Corfu in 1829. He was a pall bearer at the funeral of Lt General Governor of Malta, Sir Thomas Maitland, in 1824. He died at the family home in 1842 and is buried outside Nenagh.

"There is one circumstance, however, which although well known to officers who were in Spain, the Editor conceives it necessary to state in recording the services of Sir William Carrol. A strong leading feature which characterized the conduct of the Major General in the long war in the Peninsula, was his total disregard of self-interest: he not only considered that the only harvest a British soldier should reap, in a war for the liberty of a brave and oppressed nation, was that of laurels; but upon various occasions expended sums of money from his own private resources, to afford clothing and comfortable support to his Regiment (Hibernia), and various troops under his command, in those times of privation and misery which so frequently occurred in the war in Spain. In 1812 be received the following distinctions, viz, the Freedom of the City of Dublin, with a flattering Address; an Address from the members of the Historical Society of Trinity College, Dublin, of which he had been a member: a valuable sword, from the members of the Irish bar, “as a mark of their admiration of his distinguished bravery and indefatigable zeal and exertions in the cause of Spanish liberty, “a silver Cup” value 200 Guineas, from the noblemen and gentlemen of his native country, with an inscription similar to that on the sword: and in 1816 he received a flattering address from the Grand Jury of his native county on joining their body."

[extracts from the Dictionary of National Biography]

Document Specifications: An extremely fine collection of seven handwritten, autograph signed, letters by William Parker Carroll as Brigadier General of the Spanish Regiment of Hibernia, Army of the Left, in Badajoz, Spain and dated June 22nd 1810 to April 23, 1811.

Letter dated June 22nd, 1810 is one sheet folded to form four pages each measuring 11¾" tall x 8¼" wide (302mm x 210mm). On cream batonne laid paper, watermarked Ionian Column in heraldic crest and indistinct "M?L", with some minor wrinkling at edges. Writing on four pages as shown.

1st Letter dated June 25th, 1810 is one sheet folded to form four pages each measuring 9" tall x 7½" wide (230mm x 190mm). On lightly toned batonne laid paper, watermarked Post Horn in heraldic crest beneath crown and "J Honig & Zoonen", with rough edge along bottom. Writing on four pages as shown.

2nd Letter dated June 25th, 1810 is one sheet measuring 9" tall x 7½" wide (230mm x 190mm). On lightly toned batonne laid paper, watermarked Post Horn in heraldic crest beneath crown, with rough edge along bottom and left. Writing on two sides as shown.

Letter dated July 29th, 1810 is one sheet folded to form four pages each measuring 11¾" tall x 8¼" wide (302mm x 210mm). On cream batonne laid paper. Writing on four pages as shown. Others similar.

These are scarce to rare, extensive, handwritten letters by one of the most important British Officers serving in the Anglo-Spanish Army. They demonstrate all his key characteristic: His reporting on Enemy movements and strengths; His administrative ability to gather food stocks and keep them flowing to Portugal; His rapprochement and liaison with the Spanish Junta and Generals regarding arms and passports; His renown care for the welfare of his troops even at his own personal expense; His zeal and dedication to God and Country. "I consider them as British property." A rare letter datelined Badajoz, Army of the Left, and a very nice set of Anglo-Spanish Army letters to enhance any serious Peninsular War or Connaught Rangers collection. The last letter is particularly interesting as Carrol presages latter day psy-ops propaganda campaigns when the Press was used to create dissention and promote desertion within the enemy ranks.

From the Sir Charles Stuart, Lord Rothesay, Correspondence. Stuart was His Britannic Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to Portugal during the greater part of the Peninsular War (10 January 1810 to 26 May 1814). He was a personal friend and confidante of the Duke of Wellington and Lord Horatio Nelson, as well as a member of the Portuguese Regency (the only British Subject in the war ever permitted to hold an official position in a foreign government while also representing Britain), and later ambassador to Netherlands & France. The most important foreign diplomat of the Peninsular War, his archive of diplomatic, military and intelligence dispatches are second only to Wellington's Dispatches.

Offered by Berryhill & Sturgeon, Ltd.
Member: APS, BNAPS, CCNY, ICSC, DMSC & SPHS

End of Item - BSL - Carrol Badajoz 1810

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