The Cadiz journal

The third document has quite a different format to the other two. It begins with the author’s arrival in Cadiz, where he logs the events and general situation of the city under siege. Each day’s entry deals with different aspects of the current situation under siege, the people of Cadiz and the surrounding area and general impressions, as well as events taking place on the day. The author does not hold back in allocating blame for the  failures of high-ranking personnel, which might have been glossed over by a disinterested party. The final entry is made on board the Antelope heading for home, so it is not clear how or from where the message was posted, or the recipient.  Written during the author’s stay in Cadiz during the early days of the siege in 1810.

As with the Ceuta report, you can view or download the original script by clicking on the link on the right. We would value suggestions for alternative transcriptions.

[C1] Sunday 25th Feb. We this morning doubled the lighthouse then had a fair breeze to carry us in. The appearance of the harbour was uncommonly grand. 3 or 4 & 20 sail of the line, 5 or six pontoons or hulks with French prisonners, many smaller vessels of war, & a vast number of merchant vessels of all descriptions with innumerable small craft. The only disquieting object spoiled the whole, the number of Corses floating on the water. These are chubby Frenchmen from on board the hulks who from close confinement & bad provisions, & being greatly crowded, die very fast and without ceremony are consigned to the deep unshriven unanointed unannealed[?]. The hardships they endured induced 8 or 10 to hazard their lives in attempting to escape & they succeeded in cutting down a boat, & tho‘ fired at by our ships & pursued by our boats they affected their landing to the great triumph of their countrymen who received them on the beach & in truth their boldness deserved success. Several others attempted to swim off, but were discovered & brought back by a shot; the firmness with which they endured the greatest suffering & the constancy in refusing the offers made to them deserve encomium even from an enemy: fac est et ab hoste doceri.1 Soon after the commencement of the war between Spain & France and the relicts of Dupont’s Army were brought to Cadiz & placed aboard the prison ships, a pestilential fever broke out among them, & 15 or 16 died daily.2 At this time the English who were off the harbour offered to take any German, Swiss, or Italians, into their service. This offer they to a man refused. On landing we avoided the Quarantine (which is strictly observed to all ships from the African Coast) by declaring we brought letters of importance to the Commander in Chief which was true as far as By order of Admiral Viners (to whom an hour before delivered them) but not in the way they under …

[C2]stood it.3 A however succeeded & we were permitted to land all our goods whilst another vessel remained 3 days beating about the bay. Never could there be less appearance of a siege than was exhibited in Cadiz. The same gaity the same dissipation & thoughtlessness prevailed among the people as when the French were behind the Sierra Morena. No-one seemed sensible to danger, but heard the repeated cannonades with an unconcern & infatuation that appeared astonishing to a stranger. The public walks, the Alameda4 & the town walls were crowded with women & Officers in their garish apparel. Vive la bagatelle was their motto & continued the intrigues of the last month, or considered new ones with the usual spirit & animation. The truth is the confounded panic in which they were universally thrown by the appearance of the French before the Town was succeeded by an exultation (at seeing their first endeavours fail) that knew no bounds.  & as the alarm when they imagined themselves defenceless was excessive so also was the confidence inspired by the appearance of a regular army. The inhabitants were bouyed (sic) up with sanguine hopes of success. They possessed an almost impregnable front. They had about 200 regular & volunteer Spanish troops & 5000 English, with a large fleet in the bay, and had succeeded in destroying 2 batteries erected by the French. I had checked the construction of other work by a spirited fire & in addition had not yet felt any inconvenience from the communication by land being cut off, as the regular supplies were brought from the whole of the Western Coast in mysticos & felucchas5 Such was the feeling of the moment & the gay, the thoughtless & dissipated revelled & caroused as if such a state of things were to be perpetual. Some few however might be distinguished from the crowd, dejected by the subjugation of the country, & foreseeing the horror consternation & despair that may succeed a protraction of the siege.

[C3] … Monday 26th Feb. The French at their first approach made an effort to intimidate the Town proposing advantageous terms if the place was immediately surrendered, an offer indignantly refused, and accompanied with an avowal that no future flag of truce would be admitted as they were determined never to surrender the place but to perish in its ruins. They on this commenced the regular attack but found the Spaniards so well prepared that dispairing (sic) of effecting their purpose by a coup de main6, they slowly began making their approach. The difficulty of this you will conceive from my former account of the defences of Cadiz. By land (meaning by this term the Isla de Leon) the approaches can only be made in 3 points.  1. by the Carraca, the arsenal & dockyard, a place of great strength & separated from the island by the river Sancti Petri so broad & deep that a 74 can lay along the shore, so that the passage over must be extremely dangerous (allowing the Caracca (sic) to be first taken). The 2[nd] point the Puente Zuazo7 is equally well fortified. The only road to it intersected every 200 yard by defence batteries that can [be] attacked only by a point blank fire which would be returned with equal force. The 3rd is the port of Sancti Petri8. In this place there is an island well defended in the middle of the channel & a hill immediately on landing, on which strong works are thrown up. From these causes & as the French will then have to pass through a strong town where every house is a castle & finally begin a new attack against the Corto duro9 it is most probable they will attempt it in another part, the only vulnerable point in my opinion. This is gaining possession of Matagorda Castle, & the Caño de(l) Trocadero10 from which places they can through (sic) shells to the Corto duro & the entrance of the town. Every exertion ought to have been made to render these places as strong as possible, but the folly of our Admiral & the Spanish Governor was so great as to blow up these points most essential to the preservation of the City …

[C4] … & when too lately convinced of their error sent over a body of men who repulsed the French from Matagorda & from its ruins. I have annoyed them greatly in retaking the fort of Matagorda. They only accomplished half their purpose as the Trocadero & Fort Lucia which flank them still remained in the enemies hands: strong remonstrances have been made to the Spanish & English General by skilful officers, to reoccupy these forts immediately whatever loss they might sustain, but tho‘ it is of such importance the attack has been delayed upon one pretext or another til the time (I left Cadiz) & what should never have been given up, in the first instance (must be recovered at the expense of 1 or 2,000 lives as the French have had time to fortify themselves) tho it might have been retaken without loss at first & for the first week by sacrificing 3 or 400. It must be allowed however that these places would eventually be gained by the enemy, but the time they would have to do this, & by obstinate defence & number of lives it must have cost them should have been sufficient inducement to the Spaniard to defend them to the utmost. When the French are finally in possession of these Forts, they (sic) intention most probably is to line all the coast with heavy batteries drive our fleet off, at least keep them at a considerable distance & then construct gun boats & craft of all kinds to transport their troops across. That such is their plan may be inferred from all the carpenters etc in Andalusia being put in requisition & sent to Puerto Real & other places for the building of boats. Wood will be their chief want, but we know too well the activities & enterprize of the French to imagine this want will continue long. The principal firing has lately been from this Fort but so badly directed on both sides that the Spaniards have lost only a few wounded & our shells …

[C5] … have frequently burst ½-way in the course directly over our own boats. The most serious loss sustained has been from the shameful neglect of Admiral Alava.11 The San Justo has been moored near the Puntales.12 in order to bear upon the French & was manned ½ English & Spanish sailors but it scarcely began firing when 2 guns burst killing & wounding 15 men of whom the greater part are not likely to recover. One of our Artillery Officers, Capt Hunt, has examined them & reported them all13 unfit for service. Which report being given to the Admiral he remarked, that it was true, for they had been condemned 3 years before as unsound a circumstance he had quite forgot when he ordered them on deck. 2 others from a similar neglect burst on shore with nearly equal fatal effects.

Tuesday 27th Feb. – The late Junta were suffered to steal off without notice, without the punishment they so richly deserved for accepting a command they were so totally unfit for & employed so injuriously to the count[r]y. The last base act of this pusillanimous treacherous body was refusing the removal of the quicksilver, pictures, arms, cloathing, (30,000 jackets) etc. which were stored in Seville & which a Mr Roberts had proposed to remove in a Brig immediately the French had passed the Sierra. They excused themselves saying that the people would be despondent by such an act, & these & most valuable booty fell into their hands. A still greater acquisition was the saltpetre left in the wharehouses which might have easily been thrown into the River. This, the French were in great want of & could not obtain but from Madrid or France. They had also no small prize in the Tobacco manufacturing which had prospects to the amount of several millions Sterling deposited in it. 

[C6] … Wednesday 28th Feb. As soon as the inhabitants heard that the French had forced the passes of the Sierra, & observed the preparations making to receive them, they convened an assembly which was fully attended & therein formed a Committee at the head of which was Ystariz & Garay Coche to take measures for the defence of the place & watch the conduct of the Governor, become suspected from his inactivity & supineness. These afterwards planned the Junta of Cadiz which was elected in the most popular & free manner. The mode of the election was this, every householder gave in his vote for the person he wished to be a member of the committee for electing the Junta. 40 who had the majority in this general election formed this committee & proceeded to elect without discrimination from their own numbers or the rest of the citizens 15 members who had the proper qualifications for the situation. This body from what I can understand is composed of these of enlightened minds & warmest patriotic feelings, who have their country’s welfare to heart & are determined to resist to the last moment; there is however the usual evil accompanying a double government14 – jealousy & want of union in manner & unanimity in sentiment; the Regency imagine that chief authority resides in them as well for the affairs of Cadiz as for the remaining parts of Spain still exempt from subjugation & claim the entire disposal of them. The Junta of Cadiz on the other hand think themselves best calculated for preserving their own city as well as acquainted with its resources & having greater property at stake; hence there are mutual recriminations & suspicion & the constant result want of energy & inefficient measures; one party will not agree to one plan because proposed by the other, or wastes time in modyfying it to their wishes, & both omit performing essential duties supposing it the province of the other. They however are both anxious to obtain the sinews of war15 & consider the money most securely & properly placed in their hands.

[C7] … Thursday 1st March. This day I was in company of Capt Oulan who lately made his escape from Seville. The accounts from there are not of the most flattering nature. The French it appears met with no resistance in entering the place & felt so perfectly secure of tranquillity that they only left a body of 1,500 men to keep in check a population of 80,000 or more. They even went further & elected a body of 4,000 from the inhabitants to form a Guard, called Guardia Civica whom they cloathed, armed & appointed in the course of 3 days, a measure which the Junta endeavoured but vainly endeavoured to effect. These divided into 4 regiments regularly mount guard & prevent any assemblies & any commotion in the streets. These are generally men of some property & would most probably immediately turn against the French were the standard of liberty universally raised, but till such an event takes place they form a complete check to popular feelings & will soon prefer the comparative quiet of French oppression to the horrors of war & the risque of their lives & property. The value they attach to these they have evinced by their easy & dastardly summission. The conduct of King Joseph has been extremely popular & no outrage has been committed on the property or persons of the inhabitants, but encouragement has been given to all who absented themselves to return to pursue their different avocations in peace. Several merchants have received pressing invitations from the French General to reoccupy their houses & passports have been transmitted to Mr Ryan & Mr Wetherell with promises of protection & support if they would again engage in their business. These have been generally refused as offered to men who [in] principle were too strong to be corrupted & whose attachment to freedom & their country was superior to mercenary considerations. They must however influence many & above all remove that dread & horror of the French yoke which was the great stimulous to resistance among all classes of the people. 

[C8] … A partial engagement was supposed to have taken place between [La] Romana’s army16 & the French as numbers of the latter were brought in carts to Seville desperately wounded, in the direction of Badajoz, & as there had been no rejoicings for victory it was hoped that success had attended the Spaniards or at least that the loss was equal. Romana was supposed to have 40,000 under his command one half of which regularly armed, the rest furnished with pikes and every offensive instrument they could pick up.17 They have been joined by a division of 15,000 English & Portuguese & with this reinforcement may be able to withstand 2 divisions or 30,000 men detached against them.

Fryday 2 March. This day Mr Henry Wellesly (sic)18 the youngest brother & suite landed19. They were received with no acclamation or testimonies of joy, the only compliment paid was the Spanish & British troops quartered in the Town lining the different streets through which in a most unembassador like sort of manner most furiously drove to Mr Daff’s. No great hopes are entertained of his being to influence the measures of the Regency or as likely to propose any measures for the salvation of the country. The disappointment occasioned by the failure of his brother20 will rather check and impede his plans if such he has, & I rather believe he is heartily sorry at having accepted the situation which is as likely to redoun[d] to his credit than his brothers has. The different state of affairs, the unexpected loss of Andalucía, and the rapid advance of the enemy must embarrass & obstruct the measures previously planned. In short there is not one favorable point that he can hope to gain, no field for him to display his abilities on, & nought for him to expect but a speedy return to England. There have been great changes in the command within these few days. Admiral Alava has resigned & is succeeded by Admiral Villa Vicenza, lat Gov. in the Havannah, & General Vanègas is succeeded by the Duke of Albukerque21

[C9]as Governor of Cadiz. This is certainly a just reward for preserving the place by forced marches, but it may be doubted whether his post as Commander in Chief is not fully sufficient for the abilities of any man, & whether this accumulation of honor, & authorities rather tend to impede than promote the public service. Concerning these changes reports give different account, some do not scruple to say that the resignations were much to cover the disgrace of being turned out, & their conduct in too many instances justifies this presumption. Admiral Alava is I believe an honest man, but he wants that energy & enterprize in spirit that alone can save the country, & in addition still secretly feels indignant at his being taken prisonner & the subsequent conduct of the English, feelings which he may conceal but they still rankle in his heart. As for Vanègas tho a skilful Gen etc. his neglect of the defences was so apparent & mismanagement at Matagorda &… conduct that it may be justly inferred that he was unfit for his trust & consequently properly dismissed from it. A new Governor is also appointed at Ceuta in room of my old friend De Gand. This unpleasant news is softened by the certainty of the English troops being admitted into the garrison & having all the defence ordinates taken.

Saturday 3rd March. This day the presidanos were executed a fortnight since they attempted to break out of prison, wounded the guards set over them with long knives which they concealed & would have succeeded if a strong guard had not come to their assistance & overpowered them. The 3 ringleaders were selected 2 of whom were hung & the 3[rd] pardonned at the foot of the gallows, but ordered to be whipt round a town riding on an Ass, which was done to the great amusement of the populace & little injury of the sufferer’s back. There was one very great point attending this administration of justice, that is the first instance recollected by the oldest Spaniard of punishment immediately following the offence, so unaccustomed are they to it that …

[C10] … some murmured & thought them hardly used. The punishment of a procuress is very singular[similar]. They strip the lady naked tar & feather over & drive her through the town riding on an Ass. 

Sunday 4th March. From Dr Pym who came round from Gibraltar more favorable accounts are brought of the disposition of the Spaniards. General & simultaneous insurrections in Algeciras, Ronda and the neighbourings & the French driven out or massacred. & the garrisson were actively employed in making cartridges & distributing arms to the peasantry. At Algeciras the tumult brok out whilst a body of 200 surrounded the town. The inhabitants rose on 20 who were sent in to levy contributions & rations, put them to the sword, and then marched out & defeated the remainder driving the fugitives up the mountains where they must starve or surrender: this seemed a general spirit & great hopes were conceived from it. But neither this nor even a victory can regain the country unless there is considerable amendment of discipline. Gen. Stuart on landing was anxious to render the Spanish troops as efficient as possible, & proposed to have them regularly drilled twice a day in company with his own troops or separate according to the wishes of the Officers. This tho frequently & strongly urged he has never been able to obtain, & 3 weeks have elapsed without a single step being adopted for their improvement. So great is this neglect that a regiment being inspected by one of our Officers was found to be incapable of service as half their muskets from want of locks, flints, ramrod etc were perfectly useless. This too is a besieged town & with nothing to employ their thoughts & attention but the defence & regulation of the troops, an easy explanation for defeating a country possessing great resources and with population spurning with indignation the yoke of a foreign power.

[C11] … Monday 5. Feb. [March] This was the commencement of the Carnaval. The public however were not prepared to celebrate it with any festivities; the pressure at the times was too great & the magistrate had issued orders for the usual amusement to be changed for solemn invocations of the Almighty[‘s] assistance &protection. For the last 20 years the gaity of the period has been gradually declining. The licentious conduct of the people was so flagrant while concealed under masks, that it became the object of the governor to check it, & was commuted to the innocent priviledge of the ladies besprinkling with water any young man who passed under the window. The water varied from ditch to lavander according to the dress of passenger & disposition of the sprinkler. This salute was returned by the gallant by a shower of sweetmeats & sugar plums etc which they profered there & then. Assemblies generally concluded the evening & prepared them for the ensueing state of mortification & fasting during lent. This day a most violent storm commenced from S.W. which in the first instance drove several ships from their moorings &threatened great injury if its rage continued.

Tuesday 6th Feb. [March]  The storm of yesterday was but a prelude to the fury of today its rage was too great to permit any boat to come on shore, but 5 or 6 vessels were driven a shore, others were missed in their stations & supposed to have foundered & all on board to have perished. The beach was lined with people anxious for property exposed to the fury of the elements, or the lives of some relative or friend, whose feelings & anxiety were strongly marked in their dejected & disordered countenance, & increased & diminished in proportion [to] the increase or abatement of the hurricane.

[C12] … Wednesday 7th Feb. [March] All our attention was this day diverted from the siege to the contemplation of the miserable picture exhibited in the harbour during the morning. The storm lost none of its fury but raged if possible with increased violence. The swell was so great that the waves constantly beat over the walls, a dark thick heavy mist hovering over the water occasionally dispersed by violent squalls, & storms of thunder & lightning. In the evening it moderated considerably & a deep heavy sea also remained & which [pitched?] boats to land from whom we gained information of the sad effect produced by it. This storm was more violent than any in recollection of the oldest pilot here, except that which succeeded the battle of Trafalgar. It is the only one to which the shipping is exposed in the outer harbour, & being intercepted by no intermediate land bursts on the land with the force of the whole Atlantic. The shipping usually in therefore work up to the inner harbour, but this was impossible as the enemy commanded the entrance, & they were forced to remain exposed without, to all its bitterness. The loss on the whole has been upwards of 33 sail, 4 of which are of the line, the Montana, Ramon & Justo Spanish & the Maria Portuguese22. They were driven on the enemy’s coast, & set on fire purposely or by the red hot shot from their batteries. The chief mischief was done by this whilst adrift running against the other vessels. 5 or 6 were sunk by their broadside, & many others were afterwards driven on shore from their cables being parted & these vessels passing over them. 15 were stranded on the opposite coast, the rest were driven on Puntales or foundered in the bay. British skill & seamanship was remarkably exhibited as no vessel of war was lost tho‘ several stood foremost & finding their anchorage insecure weighed & again anchored, a plan which would have preserved[?] all the ships of war, if followed by the commanders. It has however produced considerable discontent among the Spaniards who justly complain that if proper precautions had been taken by the English no loss would have been sustained by them. It appears that before …

[C13] … the Spanish vessels were removed from the Inner bay they informed our Admiral that [they] were in want of cables & requested an immediate supply of 24. Instead of fully complying with this demand, our Admiral niggardly sent them but 4, tho he had plenty in store, and it is certain that from want of these their ships were lost. What has further increased their indignation is the unguarded expression of some Naval Officers, who have expressed their joy at the event as it removed a great incumbrance off our hands. One great evil has arisen from this storm that the French have been furnished with materials for constructing crafts & boats & have also learnt how much we may be annoyed with red hot shot, a secret which we would willingly have concealed from them.

Thursday 8th Feb. [March] I saw several Officer of our Squadron who complain most terribly of the cowardice of the Spanish seamen in rendering assistance to their distressed ships as soon as guns were brought to bear on them; nothing could induce their sailors to go within its range, but they kept a respectful distance while our boats brought off the hands & valuable property to them. One boat then secured alongside, but immediately they were fired upon they with their lieutenant threw themselves flat in the bottom of boat & tugged away from the ship like lions. The French as usual have made a distinction between their manner of treating the English & other vessels. One open[?] transport with 160 Officers & men were humanely received, & whilst they unmercifully beat some Americans declaring them enemies since they carried supplies to a besieged Town, & fired upon other men incapable of making any resistance & only anxious for the preservation of their lives. I of course was particularly anxious for the fate of the Zaragoza which luckily escaped shipwreck tho exposed to most imminent danger & saved only by the kindness of …

[C14] … Captain Saunders.25 & was reduced to such a state that Capt Mr. lssoc had slung 4 guns to a new spun cable, intending to bring themselves up with this if the rest parted. In the interim he went with his boat onboard the Atlas, & using Mr Jacob’s name obtained another anchor & cable which put them out of danger. This favor was the greater as the Adm had refused many other Capts making the same request. It was expected the French would have taken advantage of the growing confusion produced & made a brisk assault on our side & particularly on the fort of Matagorda entirely cut off from assistance & wanting provisions for 3 days. But they either did not know its state, or were occupied on other points or were confounded by its rage. Considerable damage has been done to the Corto duro by the wind rain & high sea, but this will soon be repaired by exertions which are making to complete it. 2 [of ward?] Manzanas[?] are daily sent to work upon it & no excuse admitted but for the aged & sick. Everyone else must either work himself or send a substitute. They have also lately strengthened it on the flanks by large iron gratings. These have been removed from the windows (?) & firmly fixed on each side & effectually prevent the cavalry from charging & taking it in the rear at low water.

Fryday 9th. Admiral Gravina who died from wounds after the battle of Talavera26 was removed from the church within the walls & was carried to that of St. Carmen27 where a grand funeral was read over him by his brother the Pope’s Legate. His body had been embalmed & the ceremonies were very grand & impressive, but similar to those I had witnessed at other places. Saturday 10th. This & the previous day I had been making arrangements for my return to England & by the kindness of my friends was introduced to the Officers of the Antelope which brought Mr Wellesly out. From their exertion I obtained a passage home & of course was busily employed in preparation …

[C15]taking leave of my friends. Every time I contemplated this City I felt increased pleasure & surprize at the beauties & magnificence of the buildings. Its walls have particularly struck me lately in height & breadth they remind one of the descriptions of Babylon & other Eastern cities where as in Cadiz several carriages might be driven abreast. Besides the Plaza San Antonio, Calle Ancha, the Custom House Aduanat, Cathedral Hospital, & the barrio de San Carlos particularly strike the strangers notice. This was about 50 years [from] recovered from the sea, & the building might have been extended still further on the rock but it was wisely considered that it would be weakening the defence of the place by exposing them to the approach & fire of the enemies. Enemies also at present were kept at a great distance by the shoal water & breakers. The Spaniards have a custom which prevents the obstinate refusal of parents to the union of a fond couple even during their minority. This consists in proving before an attorney or proper person that no lawful impediment exists against the marriage, upon which the young woman is taken out of the hands of her parents & united to the man of her wishes. None indeed seem to marry from interested motive, the mercenary considerations of the fortune is generally neglected. They sacrifice all to love & the world well lost.28

Sunday 11th Feb [March] This was the last whole day I remained on shore & was employed in to me a mournful visit to many friends I never expected to see again. From habit & from many civilities I began to feel an atachment to the Spanish character notwithstanding the many defects which disfigure it. There is a frankness & openess that enchants & that true specie of politeness[?] that load with obligations whilst instead of conferring it seems receiving a favor. The ease & good humor with which they receive you at all times in their houses exceeds anything conceived in England or practised but between …

[C16] the most bosom friends. In fact they are pleasing even in their weaknesses & vices.

Monday 12 Mar. I settled all my accounts & embarked in the evening in company with Captain Donnelly29 who takes his passage home in the same vessel. This evening a vessel came round from Gibraltar which brought Intelligence that 42 vessels were driven on shore in the bay. No particulars were known but it was ascertained that only 2 had foundered, & it was hoped that as the enemy were not on the coast that the greater number of vessels would be got off without much damage. The price of provisions had greatly increased within the last five days of my stay. Beef & that indifferent sold at 10 up to 14 reals30 a pound, equivalent to 2/6 & 3/- of our monies charcoal 4 dollars a lot & everything is the same purveyor[?] but whether this arises from the supplies being cut off by the last hurricanes, or the gradual effect of the siege I know not but believe the latter; & fear for the Crisis & how the poorer sort will endure the hardships & depreciation. The terrible example of Zaragoza & lesser than Gerona but they were not enervated with luxury & the wealth of the Americas accumulated in one spot. These were not so engulphed in pleasures & dissipation.

Tuesday 13. Whilst our boat went ashore for last dispatches I viewed the batteries which the French have thrown up all along the Coast which reduces secure anchorage to a very small channel. The forts of Santa Catalina that were blown up are restored. It was proposed to Col. Purvis to destroy these when nearly finished, & wishes to defer it till it was complete. In the interim they have erected lines in the rear commanding it & which render every attempt to destroy it useless & would expose us to immense loss in the trial. Between 1 & 2 the boat returned we had weighed in the interval & were lying to off the mouth of the harbor. The last intelligence brought was that the French have again appeared in force near Gibraltar & had seized Tariffa & other neighbouring Towns. 30,000 men are supposed to be scattered about the country.


  1. ‘It is right to be taught, even by your enemy’
  2. Following the battle of Bailen – see Historical Background
  3. See Lines of enquiry
  4. The Alameda was, and is, a popular promenade in Cadiz
  5. Mysticos and Feluccas types of small boat, the latter lateen-rigged.
  6. A sudden surprise attack
  7. Roman bridge between Isla Leon and the mainland
  8. 10km South of San Fernando
  9. Muralles de la Cortadura Cadiz defence walls
  10. Matagorda Castle lies on a narrow peninsula 5km east of Cadiz and the Cano del Trocadero is the Channel between it and the Isla Trocadero
  11. Ignacio María de Álava – Commander of the Spanish Fleet in Cadiz
  12. The naval base of Cadiz
  13. Double underlined
  14. The French advance had forced the national government to retreat to Cadiz. The Central Junta was dissolved on 29th January 1810 and set up a five-person Regency Council of Spain and the Indies. See Historical Background
  15. Sinews of war after L. nervi belli pecunia – Cicero. i.e. funds and equipment needed to wage war
  16. Remnants of a Spanish division led by the Marquis of La Romana which had been evacuated by the British from Denmark in 1808
  17. This proved to be overly optimistic
  18. One of the three Wellesley brothers involved in this story: In 1810, the eldest, Richard, was the Foreign Secretary having previously been the Governor-General of India. Arthur had served as a soldier in India when his brother was Governor-General, was currently commanding the Anglo-Portuguese army in Portugal and would eventually become the Duke of Wellington. Henry, who had been his brother Richard’s private secretary in India, was arriving in Cadiz as Ambassador
  19. Wellesley had travelled to Cadiz in HMS Antelope, McLeod
  20. Which brother does he mean? Had Richard attempted a negotiated settlement and failed? Certainly, Arthur had advanced into Spain in July 1809 and had effectively won the battle of Talavera but had then beaten a tactical withdrawal to Portugal in the face of overwhelming odds. It would not be until May 1811 that his army was able to break out of Portugal
  21. José María de la Cueva, 14th Duke of Alberquerque entered Cadiz with 10,000 men on 4th February
  22. The crew of the Maria Primerva or Maria Premeira 74, were rescued by HMS Antelope
  23. Why ‘of course’? The Saragossa, McKessock was a Danish prize operating as a merchant vessel ‘bound for Lima’. See Lines of enquiry23 During the violence of the tempest the Zaragoza parted with her 2 best bower cables 24The name of two anchors carried at the bows of a vessel, and also the cables attached to them
  24. The author would appear to be wrong – Admiral Gravina died after sustaining wounds at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The battle at Talavera was in July 1809 but it was fought inland, south of Madrid
  25. Nuestra Senora del Carmen, San Fernando, perhaps where there was a Pantheon for Illustrious Sailors
  26. All for Love; or, the World Well Lost is the title of a 1677 drama by John Dryden
  27. Ross Donnelly was the former captain of HMS Invincible who was being invalided back to the UK
  28. 8 silver reales = 1 dollar (or piece of eight)