Wellington’s Men in Australia: Peninsular War Veterans and by Christine Wright (auth.)

By Christine Wright (auth.)

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Sample text

However, the reality of the demands of the Peninsular War made for an anomaly. The military historian, Michael Glover, has undertaken an analysis of all army promotions and first appointments notified in The London Gazette for two periods during the Peninsular War, from September 1810 to August 1811, and from March 1812 to February 1813. This showed that in the overwhelming majority of cases, four out of five in fact, purchase played no part in appointments and promotions. 19 The vast majority of commissions issued without purchase were to infantry of the line, and of those commissions that were purchased, most were in the Foot Guards and the Cavalry, both of which had social prestige and higher pay.

70 The decision of 1826 to establish new penal settlements at Melville Island, Western Port and Shark’s Bay can thus be attributed to the fear of French incursion on what Britain considered to be its territory. 71 26 Wellington’s Men in Australia In the same letter to Governor Darling, Stirling noted that Shark’s Bay was unsuitable for a settlement, and the decision was made in favour of a settlement at the Swan River, now Perth. In hindsight, if fears of French settlement seem unfounded, they were very real at the time.

By 1819, Spain was in desperate difficulties, with a battered economy and the rebellion in her South American colonies. In the summer of that year, an army of 22,000 men, on their way to America, revolted. The uprising spread throughout the rest of Spain, and the country began to slip into anarchy. The Congress of Verona, held in October 1822 by an alliance of Russia, Prussia, Austria and Britain, met to consider ‘the Spanish question’. It was agreed to restore order in Spain, and they ordered Spain to change her constitution, but the Spanish Government refused.

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