British Invasions 2
Posted by Constanza on February 11, 1998 at 11:09:02:
In response to British Invasions, written by Constanza on February 10, 1998 at 15:53:02
I found no connection between the Navy/Chile and the strawberries. However, I'm posting a brief account of the British Invasions to Buenos Aires, in which the Navy did take part.
It seems that Prime Minister Pitt and Francisco Miranda (a guy from Caracas intent in gaining English or US support for South American independence) had been studying the possibility of having a series of military expeditions send to Hispanic America so as to cause the opening of the markets to British commerce. Commodore Home Popham had taken part in such conversations and it was he who had suggested an attack to Buenos Aires aimed at having the Virreinato of the River Plate (Argentina, Bolivia?, Uruguay, Paraguay) independent from Spain.
Popham and Barid were in Cape Hope when they received information from a US slave ship just came from the River Plate that Buenos Aires and Montevideo were defenceless. On that information they decided to attack the cities and share in the booty, i.e. the "Treasury" (all taxes collected from the Virreinatos of Peru and the River Plate). Popham left with the fleet and Baird staid. Buenos Aires was chosen as the first target and the first invasion occurred by the end of June 1806. The city (45,000 hab.) was taken by surprise and sized by a small force of 1635 men leaded by General William Carr Beresford. News of the success - together with the "Treasury" (5 tons of silver pesos) - were sent to England by the frigate "Narcissus".
Buenos Aires "neighbours" were forced to swear loyalty to the King of England. All in all, the city remained a part of the British Empire for 46 days before it was "re-conquered".
There were a lot of comings and goings during 1806/1807 in the River Plate. Maldonado and then Montevideo (both in Uruguay) were captured by the English. Lots of British merchants arrived in Uruguay. However, I'm afraid they trafficked in English manufactures and local hides (no strawberries).
The Narcissus reached Portsmouth in September; Beresford and Popham were then declared "honorary citizens" and given "honour swords" (?) for bravery and on account of their opening a new source for commerce. Although Popham had acted without authority, his success, added to the pressure from tradesmen and manufacturers, forced Lord Grenville (then Prime Minister) to send additional troops to Buenos Aires (4,000 men leaded by Auchmuty) and Chile (leaded by Craufurd). An attack to Mexico is also planned but never accomplished.
On arriving to the River Plate, Auchmuty, Craufurd (it seems he did not make it to Chile) and Popham joined forces to assault Buenos Aires for a second time. In June 1807, 110 ships and almost 8,000 men crossed the river leaded by General Withelocke. The attack was rejected and half the English were either taken prisoner or killed. The British surrendered and left the River Plate for good.
Back in UK, Withelocke was hold responsible for the defeat and discharged.
In 1808 the "Treasury" was distributed the 2841 soldiers and sailors that took part in the first invasion to Buenos Aires; Beresford got 11,995 sterling pounds; the remainder was prorated among officers, soldiers and sailors (the rank and file received 30 pounds per capita).
- Oh, thank you!And.... Caroline 18:54:38 2/11/98 (2)
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