The Last Ironsides: The English Expedition to Portugal, 1662-1668

The Last Ironsides: The English Expedition to Portugal, 1662-1668

By: Jonathon Riley (author)Paperback

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Description

When Charles II returned home he began the search for a dynastic marriage. He fixed upon the Infanta of Portugal, Catherine of Braganza, whose dowry included the possession of Tangier, Bombay and valuable trade concessions. The Portuguese had been fighting for their independence from Spain for twenty years and needed alliances to tip the scales in their favour. In return for the concessions Charles agreed to send to Portugal a regiment of horse and two of foot, which provided an excuse to ship away the remnants of the Cromwellian armies that had not been disbanded at the Restoration. The prospect of service was at first well received - "Major-General Morgan drew forth his regiment of foot consisting of 1000 proper men besides officers, and made a short speech, acquainting them that his Majesty had been graciously pleased to design them for honourable service abroad. . . Whereupon they all with great acclamations of joy, cried out ' All, all, all. . ." There were also officers and men who had remained loyal to the crown to them Charles owed a debt of employment, Former Royalists therefore made up the balance of the regiment of horse - uncomfortable bedfellows for their former enemies. The English and French regiments fought with courage and discipline at the series of major battles and sieges that followed, most of which have never been properly described. This is, therefore, the re-discovery of a lost episode in our military history. It was the English and French soldiers, under Schomberg's leadership, who proved the decisive factor in winning back Portugal's independence. But in return for their courage in battle, the English soldiers were rewarded with insults and want of pay. At the conclusion of peace in 1667, only 1,000 out of the 3,500 men who made up the force were left standing. 400 of these received what was effectively a death sentence: they were shipped to Tangier to join the fight against the Moors. The remainder returned to seek service in England or abroad - but places were hard to find. One veteran of the horse summed up the feelings of many - ". . . there was never a more gallant party went out of England upon any design whatever, than were that regiment of horse. . . they came into the country full of money and gallantry, and those which survived left it as full of poverty and necessity."

About Author

Lieutenant-General Jonathon Riley is a General Officer with multinational operational command experience at all levels from platoon to corps in theatres from Northern Ireland to the Balkans, the Gulf, Iraq, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan; as such, he is well placed to penetrate, understand and to illuminate to the reader the challenges that an officer like Tony Farrar-Hockley faced in combat and in high command. He has been awarded the DSO and NATO Meritorious Service Medal and he is an Officer of the Legion of Merit of the United States of America. General Riley holds the degrees of MA and PhD in modern history and has seventeen published books including two biographies, one of which is that of General Sir Hugh Stockwell who held similar commands to AFH; he has also published A Matter of Honour: The Life, Campaigns and Generalship of Isaac Brock, in Canada for the bicentenary of the war of 1812. His book Napoleon as a General was nominated for the Army's Military History Book of the Year award. General Riley is currently Visiting Professor in War Studies at King's College London, a member of the British Commission for Military History, and Chairman of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers Museum Trust. He is retained as a technical expert by the International Criminal Court, has undertaken work with the International Committee of the Red Cross, and sits on two bodies advising the Welsh Government on matters related to the commemoration of the Great War.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781912174102
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 192
  • ID: 9781912174102
  • ISBN10: 1912174103

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